The Problem with Black Bears

| 11/6/2008 4:01:37 PM

Black bear one mile from our house

When I was a child, it was a rare occurrence for someone to see a black bear around these parts. If one was spotted, it didn’t take long for the word to spread! Things have really changed since then. Now they have become a common sight, and in some instances, a real problem!

Our relationship with the bears started about 8 years ago, when we built our home. We were getting ready to lay up our basement wall. We had block, and sand delivered, and we got bags of mortar and a cement mixer to do the job. We did all the work ourselves. I am very fortunate to have a dad and uncles who used to be mason contractors! The day after it was delivered, my husband found someone had been playing in the sand. He was going to yell at the kids for knocking the sand down and spreading it out all over the place when he noticed the paw prints in it. It turns out it was not “someone,” but “something” playing in the sand. You could see where a bear had stood and rolled in the sand. It was also clear where the bear walked away, with the sand falling out of its long black fur.

That was the beginning of our black bear encounters. Since then, it seems the population has steadily increased. We’ve had bears take down our bird feeders numerous times, pull bird houses down, get into the garbage, and even push off the heavy cement lid that covers our septic tank. I have no idea why! They’ve also overturned stones that I use for landscaping around my flowerbeds, obviously looking for grubs and bugs underneath.

Mama bear with one of three cubs

Although all these things have been a nuisance, and there is some cost in replacing bird feeders, we didn’t get terribly upset. It was cool to see them now and then, and me being me, I love the photo opportunities! Of course, most of the time the bears seem to show up at dusk, in low light conditions, making it very difficult to get clear photos. Two years ago we had six different bears visiting out place. There was a mother with three cubs, and two single bears that would visit at different times.  

2/4/2015 5:22:56 AM

Thanks for great ideas and tips that you have shared. As far as your problem is concerned of black beer, in my opinion you should put an electric fence around your yard that not only gives a fresh ambiance but also protect from wild animals. I work with fencing supplies in and around Orange County provides great fencing products for your need with amazing fencing services.

1/16/2010 10:48:59 AM

Lori I'd like to ask you about using one of your black bear pictures in a non-profit educational program I am preparing on box turtles. Could you contact me? (

9/10/2009 12:40:58 PM

"I have a great respect for nature and wildlife, but I also know that in order for people and animals to co-exist, their population must be kept under control, and we must remember that these are wild animals and not pets." To co-exist, human population is also has to be under control, it is humans, who cut down forests, and jam wildlife down to tiny clocks of land. So stop blaming nature, animals are just trying to make the living in this filth, and it is not that easy for them as it is for you. Instead of thinking how to treat your self again with something tasty, just think how a wild, hungry animal should make the living in this conditions...

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