Monday, July 30, 2012

Please Do Not Feed The Bears!!

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
                               Marie Curie

So much beauty hiding in the bush waiting to be discovered.

I was not going to go in this direction today, I had every intention of writing my story about how exciting it was for me to walk back in the bush and feel the steady cool rain dripping off those thirsty leaves and then trickle down my face. It was amazing. This made me think of something I just had to talk about, something that has been bothering me.

I walk in the bush almost every day, rain or heat, snow or cold, I do this as it is part of my job to check my cows; they like to lie in the bush. Frankly I truly enjoy being back there and I hope to live the rest of my days wandering this bush among the forest creatures, the rocks and the trees with a huge smile on my face.

I had quite a fright last week and normally it would not have bothered me but for the nasty rumours of someone feeding our local bears. I must admit I have now acquired a little fear of the unknown. I have always had a healthy respect for the local wildlife be it Bears, Lynx, Turkeys, Raccoons, Fishers and a number of others, be they flying, or walking. I have always been alert and conscious of my surroundings. There has been a mutual respect and trust happening back there for decades. I have always made my presence known to the creatures I share this bush with by singing or talking to myself and silly as it seems this I expect in return from them.

I was walking back through the bush early one morning and heard crashing and banging and thinking it was the cows I was looking for I walked ahead. I immediately stopped when I realized the crashing and banging was coming from steps away and high up in the gigantic leafy Maple tree. I made myself know “Hello, Hello” thinking it was either Turkeys or a Raccoon, it was apparent to me very quickly the shadow I seen was way too big to be either. I could hear the loud crashing and banging and I could see the leaves shaking. This was my warning I backed up slowly, well maybe quickly, and exited to the open space in front of this section of the bush. I headed home keeping to the wide open spaces while all the time wondering what it could have possibly been.

I honestly do not have any real proof of what it was but I do know it was way too big to be anything I have ever encountered before. I have always known there were Black Bears in the bush and always have been respectful of their space and I knew they would not bother me. My wise Dad had taught me that they do not like the smell of humans, as much as we do not like their smell, apparently we both stink. They do not want to have an encounter with you as much as you do not want to have an encounter with them. I have always trusted that advice.

Now; I have heard rumours of someone feeding our local Mother Bear and her Cubs for whatever reason and this makes me very nervous about my safety and the safety of others. A bear being fed by humans will quickly associate humans with an easy food source and that makes for possible confrontations that will not be good for anyone.

Always sitting by my door waiting just in case.

I usually carry some fruit or a granola bar with me and on this particular day it was no different. I am not an expert on Bears but I do know enough to know this feeding is a dangerous practise even if it seems innocent to some. I have questions you may consider thinking about and a couple of Bear Sites you may want to check out.

Don’t you think that now that the Bear associates humans with easy food he/ she may forget about those boundaries that have been established long ago?
Don’t you think that feeding Bears will endanger innocent people who do not know the food in their packs or in their pockets could now make them an unknowing target?

On both the sites I have linked to it has one common saying. Ultimately, A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear! Read why.

I truly do hope these are just rumours and I do hope things will get back to normal, mine and the Bears. The Bears and I have been coexisting for decades without fear of one another and I would like that to continue. Respect for each other’s boundaries has always worked for us.



  1. Oh my Buttons...I'm glad you and that bear didn't meet up! That wouldn't be careful!

  2. Oh dear!

    I arrive back here just in time to find out you are putting on a production of Goldilocks and the One Bear, in the woods!

    In sooth, people never cease to amaze me when it comes to wild (or any!) animals.

    Bears are snuggly....only in the toilet paper commercial.......

    I do hope that those in your area will have a care and heed your advice.

    Please stay safe........

    *huggies* xo

    ps. I've missed you. I'm busy as a three legged beaver with a four holed dam in the summer! :P

  3. Oh my goodness - very scary. I can totally understand your nervousness in going back.
    I can't even begin to imagine why anyone would want to feed a bear.
    You take care out there!!!

  4. That would make me nervous too. We had one run across the road in front of our car a few weeks ago. The boys were really excited to get to see one.

  5. that's scary.
    hearing the loud movement in the bush...seeing shadows bigger than a raccoon...yikes! my heart would have been pounding!

    i'm sure it's the same as for alligators here...BAD when people feed them, because then they are NOT WILD anymore. they lose their fear of humans. they start to associate people with FOOD. and that makes them dangerous.
    people may very well BECOME their food.
    and then once this starts...and they attack...they ultimately will end up being hunted and killed. and all because someone thought it cute to feed them. :(

    be safe out there Buttons!

  6. Some folks seem to think that nature is a Disney park. It takes a disaster to convince them otherwise.

  7. Feeding wildlife is always a bad idea for many reasons.

    We always carry walking sticks just in case of an unfriendly wildlife encounter.

    Great post, B.
    Happy day to you :)

  8. The stupidity of people.... maybe you should add a bear banger to your back pack. Makes a loud noise, and may make the bears respectful enough to stay away from your neck of the woods.

  9. Very scary! I'm so glad you didn't get into a close encounter. I don't know why people keep acting the way they do with wild animals. It just boggles the mind. Stay safe, my fried.

  10. i do hope you will continue to be safe. i know you have a healthy respect for everything around you.

  11. I don't think it is right to feed bears. do be careful of your safety.

  12. Buttons
    That is scary! It would make me very leery of walking in the bush.

    No bears in SD, but there are Mountain Lions. The lions are very evident in the Black Hills. On the Prairie we have more skunk and snack run-ins.

  13. Never smart to feed bears. Especially with yourself. Bears are already clever enough to find bird feeders, apple trees and garbage cans. Actually going out of the way to provide snacks for them is, as you say so well, just foolish.

  14. Feeding the Bears is awful! I wouldn't want them thinking I was a source of food thats for sure. BE SAFE!

  15. A wonderful, informative entry buttons!! Respecting nature is so important!!!

    Thanks for all the information!!!

  16. Excellent advice Buttons. Maybe wearing a bell or something which rattles would help, so they know to clear off?

    Take care of you!

  17. Be safe. I have also heard of wearing a bell on the backpack.

  18. We have bears and mountain lions here and I have the same trust that you do. My only worries are encounters with a sick or injured bear or mountain lion or one that has been fed by stupid people. One morning some years back I found a lot of little twigs and branches broken off one of our juniper trees, some neatly put on a lounge chair I had under the tree. Bear tracks were all around, so a bear had feasted on the berries, on a lot of berries, all night long. I was sorry I missed seeing him.

  19. Buttons, I am very happy to hear about the rain and that you are ok, but it also ticks me off that people have no respect for wildlife and the consequences of their behavior.

  20. Great to read that you're still getting rain B., not so good about the possible bear visitor.
    There's always some people who don't think further than two minutes ahead aren't there.
    Hopefully you can resume your bush walks in peace and safety xx

  21. I am with you on this. There are people in the hills that gather road kill deer and put them out for the mountain lions so they can get good shots on their camera and they are doing this on the edge of town and subdivisions! What are they thinking. I do not want a lion hanging around associating me with food. My sister was just telling me about something she read that said, "Maybe there is something to Darwin's theory. Let's take the warning labels off of things and just let nature sort it out."

  22. Oh My God! Bears scare the crap out of me. I think I've told you that before. They just do. I don't even live in a 'bear' state. Indiana. no bears. I don't even want to vacation where there are bears. I was reading this and getting goose bumps. So glad you are safe. It's so hard to not make wildlife your friend, but it is so bad for everyone when you do.

    Cindy Bee

  23. I swear people have no common sense sometimes! There were some people feeding the local coyote population here a couple of years ago, made them very brazen. I know you are careful out there but please be extra vigilent!

  24. That's a bit scary!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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