Last week Ashlee came out of the house, face to face with a black bear about 15ft away. Needless to say, it surprised her. The next night we heard the dog barking her “bear bark” whenever a bear is in the yard. We got up, but couldn’t see the bear. The next morning, I left the house to get some coffee and fill up the gas tank. Once I got back, I came inside for a about twenty minutes and then went out to check on my chickens. In the span of those twenty minutes, the bear had gotten into the trash (which had not been properly latched) and had spread garbage everywhere. Understandably, I was on edge to have the black bear visiting in the middle of the day.
About two hours later, I came outside again, and there was the black bear, sitting in the yard looking at me. I ran inside, grabbed the gun, and shot him as he sauntered up our driveway. (Black bear hunting is open year-round where I live.) It was a clean shot and he didn’t go far.
The neighbor came over and helped me drag him into the driveway where I could butcher him.
This bear had been harassing the neighborhood for weeks. It had killed another neighbor’s chickens and had been getting way too close to humans. Upon skinning him, I found that this wasn’t the first time this bear had gotten himself into trouble either. I found 80-90 pieces of bird shot in his face and one of his front quarters. It had been there a while, so this bear had taken a shotgun blast to the face and had still not been deterred from eating garbage and killing chickens. Needless to say, a number of neighbors are glad to see him gone.
The meat is really good too! It’s the first bear I’ve eaten and it’s very mild, if a bit chewy. Above all, it’s nice not to have to worry about a troublesome bear in the yard with my kids.
In other news, we’re done fishing for the year. I went dipnetting on the Copper River (with only marginal success) and spent a week dipnetting on the Kenai River, which is enjoying a record run. The freezer is getting full, the garden is starting to produce nicely, and there’s a tinge of fall in the air.
Next up: berry picking in order to make my annual currant-raspberry mead.