Monday, 20 October 2014

Me vs The Bear

We’re two weeks away from our move date. I’m so close to being in my newly build house, with it’s built in garage. I can’t wait! We’ve been living in our rental house in rural Small Place for 50 weeks (which is about 34 weeks longer than expected), and so far have survived a mouse army invasion, daily face-offs with deer, tides of elk (kind of nice actually, you could even call them majestic), coyote hunt-festivities just outside our window (soooo fucking creepy, I’ll tell that story soon), cows defecating on our front steps (again, story to come), and chipmunks killing themselves in the kid pool (part of the upcoming mouse story.  There’s something about the rodents out here).
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But no bears. In fact, in the almost full year we’ve been in Small Town, we’ve never actually seen a bear. And to be fair, I guess we still haven’t.

I know bears are out there. In town they are a constant problem because of garbage left on the curb for weekly pick up. This isn’t an issue for us, as we never get pick up outside of town, so we stored our garbage in a shed in the carport until we could take it to the dump.  The landlords had recommended this, and I feel like I can safely make the assumption that this was also their system. No mention of bears being a problem.  

Ironically, I’ve seen more bears in the city where I used to live than I ever have in the out of the way hamlet I currently live in. It was completely normal to go for a walk and have a big black bear wander across the path in front of you. There was even an occasion where two cubs playing bear-tag ran right at us before realizing we were there and veering off into the bush.  To be fair, that was a bit terrifying in a where’s-the-mother-bear kind of way, but in hindsight we didn’t get mauled, so it was neat to see.  

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that we haven’t seen a bear yet; we didn’t really have anything to offer them, so what reason would they have to show up? It wasn’t like I was tying salmon to my roof to lure them in, like some kind of demented nature photographer. And yet, apparently I didn’t need salmon, I had a room full of garbage. 

Two nights ago we were visited by what I am assuming was a bear. I assume this only because I have no visual proof, though I’d be surprised if it was something else. I’m pretty sure that even an enterprising bastard deer wouldn’t have been able to rip the shed door off its hinges.  Not even off it’s hinges, really. More like ripped the door and it’s entire frame out of the wall. And if some idiot were going to break into our garbage room, well, they can have it. They could have also just opened the door. So, probably a bear then. 

Door wasn't rated for determined bears,
also, fuck you white bag of cat food.
Truly I wasn’t sure if I was more concerned about the fact that a bear had gotten in and redistributed the contents of our garbage all over the carport and surrounding yard, or if I was simply impressed by the herculean feat of strength it would have taken to rip the door off. Also, I was a bit surprised I had slept through the demolition of part of the building. Usually I wake up if a piece of wood in the fireplace shifts. How did I miss a 200 pound hungry hungry hippo? 

The other incredible part of this chaos was how bloody picky the bear was.  It ate diapers, rotten leftovers, and plastic containers, but didn’t touch the brussel sprouts from a night or two ago. Really? Diapers over sprouts? I get that they brussel sprouts are one of the most (unfairly!) disliked foods around, but still, that’s just bizarre. You're a bear. Eat food that's actually food. 

The other thing the bear determined was unpalatable was a bag of cat food. This animal ate through a tupperware bin of stuffed animals, but wouldn’t touch the cat chow. It even went so far as to gently place the unharmed bag on top of the remains of the door it tore down, as if to say “Balls to you, I’m not eating that”. Not even a tooth mark in the bag. I have to say, I’m kind of glad I’m not a cat. The food must be horrific if even the bears think it tastes like shit. And they apparently enjoy diapers full of shit. Just saying.

So now we have a garbage room that is, effectively, unusable as a garbage room, and I still haven’t figured out where I’m going to store the trash for the next two weeks. Thankfully it should only be for two more weeks! New house, here we come!!!


  1. Wow, that's crazy! What a story! I grew up on an acreage but we never saw bears. Deer and moose, lots, and mice (get a cat or two), and other rodents, but never a bear. Good luck with the new house! (I'm jealous - we're still renting!)

  2. Thanks Bonnie. Can't wait to make the big move!!!

  3. Jamie I was talking with a neighbour and it turns out her landlord (who lives above) doesn't realize that we live in bear country where we are. That's amazing to me!

    1. Wow, that's nuts. I think most places with some green space are bear country these days, city or rural! Always a good idea to assume there are animals out there, and take precautions. :-)