life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for April, 2013

Lions and tigers and bears

As the last of the snow melts, many NH residents are eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring. Me? No. Not yet. I’m not ready for the mud, the black flies, and the bears.
Yes, bears. Last year, our house must have been on the bear’s food route because every morning, without fail, he tackled our black garbage cans. Not only are they animal proof (we can barely open them), they are hidden under the porch, located behind heavy objects like the snow blower and lawn mower. Does that deter a hungry bear? No. Neither does my husband, watching him from the porch (screened in and out of reach). The bear knocks around that can, drags it across the yard, bumps it against trees and rocks until the bags magically fall out. Breakfast is ready!
We received our annual reminder to cease bird feeding activities (bird feeders are involved in the majority of bear problems around houses). So it seems like a good time to remind others to be safe this spring. According to personnel from the NH Fish & Game Wildlife Division, bears are currently foraging for food. Bears are looking for things with high fat content, including potato chip bags and even dirty diapers. It is recommended that you put your trash receptacles outside the morning of your trash pick up rather than the night before. Do not put any meat products in compost bins. Bears are also attracted by the smell of food, so keep your grill clean. Here are a few more pointers found among the information on the state’s website

* Normal trail noise should alert bears to your presence and prompt it to move (usually before you even see it). In fact, your best view of the bear may be watching it hurtling through the woods away from you. If it stays, keep your distance. Make it aware of your presence by calling, talking, singing or making other sounds.

* If a bear doesn’t immediately leave after seeing you, the presence or aroma of food may be encouraging it to stay. Remove any sight or smell of food. Place food items inside a vehicle or building. Stay in your vehicle or a building until the bear wanders away.

* Black bears usually aren’t aggressive, even when confronted. Their first response is to flee. Black bears rarely attack or defend themselves against humans.

* Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground and slowly back away.