Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Catskill Black Bears

In the Catskills black bears abound. Everyone has a Bear Story to relate. One recent account told of two bears walking a catwalk to the 17’ deck of a home deep in the woods to sample the meat roasting on the grill. The startled residents were indoors preparing a salad, and just happened to hear noises and saw their $$$ steaks getting a workout. No shot gun blast in the air turned a furry head. They kept eating and sauntered away after the feast.

Sandy told me how she used to brag that she’d never met a bear until one morning she opened her front door and hit one backwards off the porch! She never saw him again!

And my friend Jack, told of hearing a gun blast one morning and looking out his door moments later, saw a bear adjacent to his truck with buckshot in his rear. Snow was three feet deep and Blackie found a good cold seat at the front grill of the Ford. Jack was housebound for two days, the time it took for Blackie to move deeper into the woods.

And pity the poor man who found a bear sitting on his backporch in front of the open freezer stuffing into his mouth frozen meats from past deer hunts and managing to destroy everything else inside. Mister shooed the fur ball with a couple of shotgun blasts only to find him a week later in the same position. This time the Wildlife folks came to the rescue, drugged the bear and placed him in another part of the Pennsylvania woods.

Bears are attracted to bird feeders, so residents are encouraged to let the birds find their own food. Bears trespass, although they don’t think so. It’s not an uncommon sight to see a mama with her cubs crossing one’s property or a lone bear ambling across a busy roadway. Anyone here will tell you that the best way to scare a bear is with a pan and a spoon. Maybe those $20 steaks would have been saved with a good bam-bam instead of a bang-bang!

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