Last night, just after sunset, the fella and I had a very unusual encounter.  As we approached the front gate to the house we saw that the gate posts on one side of the gate were knocked over. What the heck?

Crime scene in the light of day.

It was dark, but we could see that the trash cans were all strewn about and there was trash everywhere. Lola took one sniff of the area and nearly jumped out of her skin. I was inspecting the posts, and saw that they were snapped in two at the bottom!

Not even rotten. Just ripped apart.

At that same moment, we heard a very large animal running away from us, through the garden, and then the sound of scrambling and wires ripping and twanging.  Then we heard it tear-assing into the forest.  That’s about when me and Lola and the fella all started screaming.  The fella went over to the side of the yard where the twanging came from and found this:

Fence ripped clean off the posts.

The running sound was not the boing-boing of a deer.  And it was much heavier than any raccoon I’ve heard.  And going through the trash (as well as ripping to shreds an especially stinky bag of organic citrus fertilizer I had on my gardening table) is not really a mountain lion’s style.

I mean that would have to be one BIG ASS raccoon…

It took us a few minutes, but eventually we had to accept the fact that the yard had just been raided (and wrecked) by a bear.


Now, all sorts of folks live amongst bears. They key issue here is that I don’t.  And I don’t want to.  Sure, my property runs along the Bear River. My high school mascot was the Bruins. And black bears are often seen outside Nevada City, a little town about 20 miles due north and about 1000 feet higher in elevation. But I have never seen a bear in our area and no one I know has either.  I am not equipped for bears. I have itty bitty goats and unprotected trash cans. My dog is perpetually wracked with fear over imaginary creatures and can’t be relied on to even scare a turkey out of the garden. My cat, while a total badass, weighs about 7 pounds.  When we were fixing up the back door a few days ago we thought nothing of spending two nights with NO DOOR AT ALL.

In other words, we are not bear people.

Paul suggested it could have been Bigfoot.  All I can say is, before last night I would have told you the chances of seeing Bigfoot run through my yard were better than seeing a bear.

12 thoughts on “Bear!…..Bear?!

  1. That is insanely intense. Hard to imagine a bear on the porch where we so casually hang out late at night. Did you call the local Fish and Game, or whoever, to check if there were any other reported sightings? I’d sure be curious.

  2. Yikes! There’s been plenty of bear sightings around here in the last 6 mos or so ::knock on wood none at the farm::. I did, though, have a good giggle at “big ass raccoon” :)

  3. I loved your post! So true that bears are unwelcome guests. I once watched two adult black bears tear Bambi apart as Bambi’s mother watched helplessly (but ready to flee)……so much for the happy thought that bears in Yosemite are harmless plant eating Yogis in disguise.

  4. Don’t forget your hive….we had a guy some 6 years ago with ten of his hives down by our studio for the season..we were gone two nights and came home to find him putting up an electric fence because some bear (which we had never seen any evidence of before or since) came in and demolished two of them completely (fortunately only two and not the whole lot). A little scary when the big predators make themselves known…

  5. Sara one can ‘become’ a bear person ;)
    I have actually been literally nose to nose with a brown bear when I lived in PA with nothing but the screen from my porch between us, it was a magical experience for me. I hope you don’t get too frightened of having bear neighbors…I mean, I’d rather a bear than a bigfoot any day ;)
    We always use electric wire around the hives, however, even that did not deter a young bear one time…and when they go at the hives they destroy them beyond repair seeking the larvae (protein), not so much the honey.

  6. Regarding the comments about the hive: yes, I am pretty bummed about having to put up electric wire around it. I recall silently gloating when doing my beekeeping classes because when others in class were having to worry about bearproofing their hives, I thought I was exempt! I guess not. Bah.

  7. Sara-
    I found the further evidence that it was a bear, in the form of a huge bear turd, in the meadow, down by the fire pit. Even had some fragments of trash in it….

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