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Black Bear Almost Busts Into House

SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So my mom calls me up and tells me that today she was sitting on the couch in a house we have up in Vermont. The doors to the porch were open, the screen closed.

She was watching television when all of a sudden she hears a thumping behind her. When she looks to the glass door, she notices a black bear has opened up the screen and is poking its head into the house. The bear is a full grown adult and after getting the door shut, it just sort of sat on the porch. It has children, and they all began to feast in a nearby garbage can.

The house is in lyndonville (think rural and take it down to something below that).

Now my question is...does this bear pose a threat to us? Is there anything we can do to deter it from coming to the house? My uncle is a hunter (20 years now) and has said that the bear may be motivated enough to smash glass or tear at things, and I'm more or less the only one stopping my mom from giving him the a-ok to shoot the thing. I know that my dad is already pro shooting it because he is very property centric, but if I can show that the bear isn't a threat, my mom could convince them to not kill it.

So yeah...this bear is usually in this area on a yearly basis. We ran into cubs earlier in the year, but they skuttled off in fear. Is there a way of handling the situation that doesn't end in the bear's death?

SkyGheNe on

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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Shooting, no. Call animal control and/or your local Fish and Wildlife service. You don't want to be responsible for disposing of a big-ass bear corpse. :P

    There's also a good chance it'd be illegal to do unless in direct self-defense; most places have laws against discharging firearms or hunting near houses..

    Phoenix-D on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Shooting, no. Call animal control and/or your local Fish and Wildlife service. You don't want to be responsible for disposing of a big-ass bear corpse. :P

    There's also a good chance it'd be illegal to do unless in direct self-defense; most places have laws against discharging firearms or hunting near houses..

    Bit of collum A bit of collum B.

    The main reason bears attack because they think their children are in danger. Your mother just by her accidental proximety to the bear and her cubs may be viewed as a threat.

    Call animal control and tell them that if they don't show the fuck up now it's going to catch lead.

    The other thing to consider is that does your old man have a gun big enough to take down a bear? You don't want to just make this thing angry.

    Blake T on
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    Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Bear spray is one option. It should be backed up by someone with a firearm, though (assuming you value your own life more than the bears).

    Peter Principle on
    "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." - Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Shooting, no. Call animal control and/or your local Fish and Wildlife service. You don't want to be responsible for disposing of a big-ass bear corpse. :P

    There's also a good chance it'd be illegal to do unless in direct self-defense; most places have laws against discharging firearms or hunting near houses..

    Bit of collum A bit of collum B.

    The main reason bears attack because they think their children are in danger. Your mother just by her accidental proximety to the bear and her cubs may be viewed as a threat.

    Call animal control and tell them that if they don't show the fuck up now it's going to catch lead.

    The other thing to consider is that does your old man have a gun big enough to take down a bear? You don't want to just make this thing angry.

    The house is in redneck vermont. Very north, very rural, very conservative. I'll have to see how close animal control is.

    Also - yeah, my uncle has a gun big enough to kill the bear.

    SkyGheNe on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    It's clearly not scared of people. That makes it a threat.

    Whether or not that means it's enough of a threat to legally kill it in Vermont, I don't know, but it's definitely a danger.

    Thanatos on
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    ZonkytonkmanZonkytonkman Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Ounce of prevention blah blah blah.

    Your mom lives in bear country, obviously. Has she been taking the proper precautions? The fact that the cubs were eating out of a trash can says no. Places that share areas with bears go to great lengths to ensure that there is never food lying around, and that bears cannot get at any garbage.

    If she wants to scare the thing away, loud noises are generally enough. Clanging pots together, throwing shit at it will all scare the thing away. Bear bangers are another option. Bear spray? Not so much. It's considered a last resort if a bear is charging at you (not bluffing) and even then approximately 40% of people just spray themselves and now theyare blind AND there's a pissed off bear nearby. Don't get bear spray.

    For the most part black bears are very very docile, very afraid of humans and don't pose a huge threat. Keep your distance if confronted. Don't walk away. Don't play dead. Make yourself as big as possible (open up your jacket, stand up to your full height etc) and make a lot of noise. If that doesn't work back away slowly.

    But if you call a conservation officer or the US equivalent, there's a very good chance that they'll trap the bear and move it somewhere else.

    Zonkytonkman on
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    RevolutionaryRevolutionary Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Call animal control and/or your local Fish and Wildlife service.

    They are the professionals. And yes it appears the bear isn't afraid of humans. You have to remember, bears end the lives of other animals to survive. If it ever feels any need to attack, it won't have much reason to question it.

    Revolutionary on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Yeah I have no clue how it was in trash, considering I've never seen us have trash outside period. She has seen the cubs on a trail we walk (it's really the dirt road in the area).

    As for the mama bear...that one came into our house. I'm just surprised it was that comfortable with us. I'll tell her to contact the wild life department.

    SkyGheNe on
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    cfgausscfgauss Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Bear bangers are another option.

    Hiring someone to have sex with the bear is not going to solve anything.

    But yes, the best option is to call animal control. Shooting at a bear isn't a great idea unless you know what you're doing. Inexperienced (or just unlucky) people shooting at bears get killed all the time because they don't realize things like a bear's skull is thick enough to deflect a rifle bullet.

    Get rid of anything the bear might want to get at nearby, and call animal control.

    cfgauss on
    The hero and protagonist, whose story the book follows, is the aptly-named Hiro Protagonist: "Last of the freelance hackers and Greatest sword fighter in the world." When Hiro loses his job as a pizza delivery driver for the Mafia, he meets a streetwise young girl nicknamed Y.T. (short for Yours Truly), who works as a skateboard "Kourier", and they decide to become partners in the intelligence business.
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    CrossBusterCrossBuster Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Get a bear-proof garbage bin. If the bear doesn't have easy access to food at your house, it will have no reason to come by there again.

    CrossBuster on
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    TransporterTransporter Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    A bear proof bin wouldn't necessarily solve the problem, since, there will be food still inside the house. BAsed on what the op has told us, I don't see that bear having any problem with busting down the door and rummaging around the entire house.

    Transporter on
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    MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited July 2007

    If she wants to scare the thing away, loud noises are generally enough. Clanging pots together, throwing shit at it will all scare the thing away. Bear bangers are another option. Bear spray? Not so much. It's considered a last resort if a bear is charging at you (not bluffing) and even then approximately 40% of people just spray themselves and now theyare blind AND there's a pissed off bear nearby. Don't get bear spray.

    For the most part black bears are very very docile, very afraid of humans and don't pose a huge threat. Keep your distance if confronted. Don't walk away. Don't play dead. Make yourself as big as possible (open up your jacket, stand up to your full height etc) and make a lot of noise. If that doesn't work back away slowly.

    I'd like to add that this only applies to black bears and one should do the opposite, as in play dead, if you're one on one with a grisly.

    Meiz on
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    DrHookensteinDrHookenstein Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Couldn't you set "alarms" that make loud noises if tripped? Something on the door, or near other entrances?

    DrHookenstein on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    A bear proof bin wouldn't necessarily solve the problem, since, there will be food still inside the house. BAsed on what the op has told us, I don't see that bear having any problem with busting down the door and rummaging around the entire house.

    That's pretty much the issue.

    I'll just forward what I know to my rents and have them make a decision.

    SkyGheNe on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Black bears generally will fuck with your trash and stuff and thats it. They have little interest in people and tend to prefer avoiding them. A bear that goes into houses is one that has likely been feed by people or is truly desperate. Move outdoor garbage to a different place away from the house and put it in a bear proof bin. If the bear is still showing interest in your house call animal control immediately. There are likely non lethal solutions they have(down by my parents they move first offedners)

    Also goes without saying stay the hell away from the cubs as momma will hurt you badly to defend them. For short term if you feel a bear is too close to the house make a fuckload of noise. Bang pots or yell and scream. They don't like noise and typically will just walk away.

    nexuscrawler on
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    Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    even then approximately 40% of people just spray themselves

    Interesting. Do you have a source for that number?

    Peter Principle on
    "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." - Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Here's more info.

    It appears that there was NO trash in the garbage bin we have. In fact, we take our trash home when we go up there for the weekends, so that makes sense. I think he must've just gotten curious? But regardless, there was no motivating factors inside the garbage bin to make it want to search it. It must've been curious.

    Second, the bear may have been attracted to the smell of paint inside the house. I guess they were doing some painting, had the doors open, and the strong smell of the polyurethane possibly attracted them.

    Maybe he won't be a repeat offender - I just told my parents not to freak out about it, but knowing my family they'll probably bang bang it if they see it again :/

    SkyGheNe on
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    UndefinedMonkeyUndefinedMonkey Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Don't wait for it to show up again... call animal control. They're good at handling these situations. They'll be able to trap it (along with the cubs) and relocate it. Keep Uncle Redneck in check for now. Don't shoot it... in the words of the Waco Kid, that'll just make it angry. Grizzlies are worse than black bears for this, but a misplaced shot on a bear will transform it from "timid scavenger looking for food and protecting its cubs" into "big hairy toothy thing looking to fuck you inside out." Plus, you still have the cubs to worry about. Are you gonna shoot them, too? Let them starve because their main food provider is dead on your porch? Even if Animal Control doesn't directly deal with bears, they'll be able to point you toward someone who does (forest service, fish & wildlife, etc...)

    Also, this bears repeating (no pun intended.) Whatever you do, don't go anywhere near the cubs. Momma bears let their cubs wander a bit to get used to feeling independant, but will be all over anyone that bothers them like shit on velcro at a moment's notice.

    UndefinedMonkey on
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    FuruFuru Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Yeah, animal control is definitely your best bet. This is what they exist for, after all.

    And honestly, I think the last thing anyone wants to be responsible for is orphaning little bear cubs.

    Furu on
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    Original RufusOriginal Rufus Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Mothers with cubs are unbelievably dangerous.

    That bear, if it believes there is any threat whatsoever to the cubs, is going to attack. You can usually bet on most bears simply to turn and run in the face of human disturbance, but when comes figure into the equation, that behavior is out the window.

    Keep the doors locked, and make sure they have a weapon handy.

    But yes, I'm definitely going to second the animal control route. I just want to impress how fucking ruthless an irate female bear can be.

    Original Rufus on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Alright - I'll stress the importance of avoiding the baby cubs.

    As for possible not killing the bear with the first shot...that really wouldn't be a problem for my uncle. He's hunted them before legally and has a lot of experience, so if my parents were to take that route it would be very controlled and with all the safety precautions kept in mind. He gave my parents a gun just in case (like they know how to fire it).

    Anyway, i'll ask them to call animal control and make the request, but the final decision is up to them. I personally don't like shooting animals...especially ones with kids. Thanks for all the advice guys.

    SkyGheNe on
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    ReitenReiten Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Call your local animal control or DNR. DO NOT SHOOT IT YOURSELF. This can be illegal and land you in very hot water. It can be considered poaching. That's a road you don't want to go down.

    Reiten on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    He gave my parents a gun just in case (like they know how to fire it).

    Oh that's just fucking stupid, sorry but it is.

    He gave people with no training a gun. To kill something that you need precise shots with to take down.

    Really, look at this. This is not a good idea

    Blake T on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Sounds like you live in a rural area - fish and wildlife. Call them.

    tsmvengy on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2007
    Giving someone a firearm, particularly a high powered one as would be required to down a bear, with no training and no practice using such a weapon is probably one of the worst possible ways to confront the situation.

    If your parents are going to keep a weapon in the house they should seek training on how to safely handle, store, maintain and fire it. And then they should both log at least a few hours on a range getting used to using it. Even all of that doesn't guarantee that they'll successfully use it to defend themselves against a bear, but at least it greatly reduces the likelihood that they hurt themselves or someone else.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
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    DirgeDirge Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Im sorry man but if your parents don't know basic bear safety, they have no business living in a place where there may potentialy be bears. Just tell them to call animal control and let that be the end of it.

    Dirge on
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    1. Father was in the military, mother not so much.

    2. As far as not living in areas with wild life one can't handle - no offense, but then we might as well migrate off of the planet, although I understand your point.

    Anyway - this is more or less solved, so the mods can lock it.

    SkyGheNe on
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    Eat_FireEat_Fire Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Vermont Fish and Wildlife might have some good suggestions give them a call:
    http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/about_staff.cfm

    As for the gun, if your parents have never been trained (like more than 1 day) with a gun don't think of that as a useful or safety option. However if you see the bear in the distance from the house, perhaps firing into the air might get it going in the right direciton.

    According to the website hunting black bear is permitted in the state as long as you have the proper license the fine for big game is $500. SO if you get a license :
    http://www.bowhunting.net/susieq/bear.html

    Eat_Fire on
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    cfgausscfgauss Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    As far as not living in areas with wild life one can't handle - no offense, but then we might as well migrate off of the planet, although I understand your point.

    No to be an ass, but what the hell are you talking about? In no place I've lived have I had to worry about fucking bear attack, or any other animal except possibly stray dogs or maybe squirrels.

    cfgauss on
    The hero and protagonist, whose story the book follows, is the aptly-named Hiro Protagonist: "Last of the freelance hackers and Greatest sword fighter in the world." When Hiro loses his job as a pizza delivery driver for the Mafia, he meets a streetwise young girl nicknamed Y.T. (short for Yours Truly), who works as a skateboard "Kourier", and they decide to become partners in the intelligence business.
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    eh in Northern NJ they're a huge problem with expanding suburbs and shrinking forest areas. My parents had a mother who came back to thier property to have her cubs nearly every year. She would knock over the nieghbors dumpster and literally rip the doors off our garage to get at our food. But guess what? She never came within 50 feet of the house nor showed any interest in doing so. That's why I find this bear taking interest in the house unusual. they can usually pick up where people are and will avoid them. It's possible someone in the past fed this mother bear and she's lost some of her fear of humans. These are the bears to watch out for becasue not only are they not afraid of you they can come to your house expecting a meal and get angry when you don't deleiver.

    nexuscrawler on
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    Original RufusOriginal Rufus Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    DrDizaster wrote: »
    Giving someone a firearm, particularly a high powered one as would be required to down a bear, with no training and no practice using such a weapon is probably one of the worst possible ways to confront the situation.

    If your parents are going to keep a weapon in the house they should seek training on how to safely handle, store, maintain and fire it. And then they should both log at least a few hours on a range getting used to using it. Even all of that doesn't guarantee that they'll successfully use it to defend themselves against a bear, but at least it greatly reduces the likelihood that they hurt themselves or someone else.

    I don't think I'll ever say this in any other context, but in this case, a gun can be perfectly handy even if you have only a reasonable idea what you're doing, and aren't looking to kill something.

    If the bear comes knocking, like, literally, and it appears unwilling to go away, fire a round into the forest. Based on past experience, there's an excellent chance it will just tear ass into the woods scared shitless.

    Original Rufus on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2007
    If someone who doesn't know how to handle a high powered rifle fires from the hip they'll probably miss, possibly injure themselves from the recoil, and may now be in a much worse condition than if they went up a flight of stairs too narrow for the bear to climb, slammed the door, put a dresser in front of it and called for help.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
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