Bearly Waiting


Bearly waiting… no, I didn’t mis-spell that.  I meant B E A R L Y not barely.  Let me ‘splain, Lucy.

About a week before we went to Virginia for Relay For Life my mom called me one morning to let me know they had a “visitor” the night before.  I thought she was going to tell me about some long lost relative who had shown up on the door step like the week before when one of my cousins she hadn’t seen in years had stopped by.  So, I’m preparing myself to hear juicy news about one of my relatives and asked her who it was and she said “A bear.”

Yeah, just as calmly and matter of factly as that.  Now if it was me, it would have been my lead story as soon as she answered the phone… “OMG!!!! I saw a BEAR last night!!!”.  Nope, not my mom.  And it was more of an afterthought at the end of the conversation.  But then you have to remember that these are the people (my parents) who a few years ago were sitting in their living room when they saw a bear on their porch and both of them walk out on the porch with the bear and just smack their hands at it and tell it “Get on out of here!” AND the bear leaves….just like that!

So this time I ask her to please ‘splain herself and she tells me that the bear has taken their 50 gallon trash can that they store their dog food in and
carried it out in the driveway and dumped most of the dog food out in the road and turned over the other 50 gallon trash can they have corn in for the birds.  Her biggest complaint was that the stupid bear wasted a lot of the dog food because it spilt in the driveway.  Really??? That’s your BIGGEST concern?

So, every day I’m calling my mom and hearing how it came back again that night.  My dad chained the dog food can to the wall of the house and set the corn container on top of the dog food and the bear came back and pulled the corn one off and then just punched into the top of the dog food bin to get to the food inside.  In a few days time the bear consumed almost 50 pounds of dog food!  Of course my mom was more pissed that she had  to go buy more dog food NOT that there’s a huge ass bear stalking your porch!

My mom called the game commissioner and wildlife people and basically all they told her was that if my dad shot and killed the bear he would be arrested! WTH???  My parents are 81 years old and 77 years old and they can’t protect themselves against a bear that’s bigger than the both of them put together? They were informed it wasn’t bear season so he would be arrested for hunting out of season!  I’m sorry… he’s not freaking hunting… he’s protecting his life and home.

Apparently they have a neighbor who lives across the road from them that would turn them in too.  NOT because he’s a good citizen but because he is purposely feeding the bear to fatten him up so that he can shoot the bear come bear season and get whatever prize or notoriety he would get for bagging the biggest bear.  Can you say idiot?  If that’s the case, fence him in on your own property and keep him off everyone else’s. I think I am more pissed at their neighbor than the game commissioner.  Makes me wanna go fill his rump full of buckshot!  And “the authorities” have been no help either.  So, you’re supposed to just sit back and let him tear your house up?  They told them to just put the dog food in the house.  Excuse me?? Have they not heard that bears will tear down doors of houses to get to what they want?  They have had incidences in the past of bears in their county, even their town, breaking into houses to get to food.

My youngest told me “Tell Grandaddy to just shoot the bear and drag it so one paw is in the house and claim self defense!”  I told him that and he said “Self defense hell!  I’ll shoot him and drag his ass up in the woods with the truck and let the buzzards eat him!”  That’s my daddy!  Of course my mom says “Don’t write about this on the internet because they’ll come arrest your daddy!”  For what? He hasn’t done anything…. Yet…..

So, EVERY single night that week the bear comes back.  9 times in 7 days!  Even after they move the dog food inside the house.  And they have two big dogs.  They have a yellow lab, Queenie, that probably weighs about 70 pounds and a black lab, Crow that probably weighs about 10 or 20 pounds more.  And they both bark incessantly at the bear but it doesn’t seem to faze it.

Saturday night at Relay For Life we had planned to stay all night but after hubby’s allergies got so bad we decided to go on and spend the night at my mom and dad’s house.  They live about a half an hour from where we were walking.  I tried to call my mom to let her know we were coming home.  Heaven forbid we pull up and my dad hear us on the porch and greet us with a shotgun thinking we are the bear.  We finally got her before we lost our cell signal and she assured us that she’d leave the porch light on since they had been leaving it on in an attempt to ward off the bear. I think all they were doing was allowing him to see where he dropped the food better!

When we got to the house I’m not sure if I was more scared of the thought of my daddy waiting for the bear with the shotgun or that the bear would actually come up while we were racing from the car to the house.  I told hubby and baby boo that they better bring whatever they needed in the house because at that time of night there would be no return trip to the car to grab something else.  Anything we forgot could wait til morning!   I did however tell hubby to make sure that we left NO FOOD inside the car.  I could just see us waking up to the car looking like the jaws of life had been taken to it because the bear smelled Cheez-its or white trash inside!

By the time we got inside and settled in it was well after midnight.  Hubby and I went back to the guest room which is on the opposite side of the house from the porch, across the hall from my parent’s bedroom and #3 laid down on the sofa.  About 1:30 in the morning I heard the dogs barking like crazy and I’m thinking that I need to get up and wake my dad because the bear is probably out there.  Before I can even get the thought formed in my head I hear a KAPOW!!! Holy Crap! I hit the floor running and by the time I get to the living room the door is standing wide open, my mom is standing on the porch in her nightgown and my dad is in his pajama bottoms, barefoot, in the middle of the yard holding a shotgun!  What a way to wake up!  My dad is cussing up a storm (and he doesn’t normally cuss anymore except apparently when he’s talking about that damn bear!) and fussing because he can’t see where it went.  I asked him if he got him and he said no, that when he opened the front door it made so much noise it scared him off so he just shot in the direction he saw it run to scare it. Then my mom gets on the phone (at 1:30 in the morning) to call my cousin who was supposed to come by around 2 or 3 in the morning to let him know not to bother because it had already made it’s rounds and my dad had shot at it and scared it off and it wouldn’t be back.  I’m laughing at the fact that my dad is standing out in the middle of the yard barefoot and my dad corrects me and says “I had ONE bedroom shoe on… I just lost the other one running after the bear!” Oh? That makes me feel SO much better.   Only my dad!  81 years old and running after a bear…. Not AWAY from it…but after it!

We finally all get settled back in bed and after much tossing and turning I fall back asleep.  Every time I hear the dogs bark I jumped up and looked out the window but nothing.  Finally around 4 or 4:30 in the morning I hear the dogs barking again and I go into the living room to look out the
window again expecting to see nothing and THERE, right outside the window, is the biggest freaking LIVE animal I have ever seen that up close before.  I mean, if the wall and window hadn’t been there I could literally have reached out and touched it!  I quietly woke up #3 since she was literally sleeping right under the window and she looked out the window and saw it too.  It was sitting on its back haunches, bent over so its massive head was inside the big dog food bin just eating away.  It wasn’t like it had to strain to get into the barrel.  It was seriously so big that if it had sat up its head would have been even with the window and it’s a high window!  Even with the wall between us I was scared! I’m  surpised I didn’t mess my britches!

I told #3 that I was going back to wake up my dad and she bent down to get her cell phone to take a picture of it and when she sat back up he was lumbering off the porch.  My dad came running out with his gun again and takes off into the woods!  Here’s my dad, 81 freaking years old, barefoot, in his pajama bottoms, with a shotgun in his hands traipsing into the woods at 4:30 in the morning after a freaking MASSIVE bear.  My mom said she thought it weighed at least 400 pounds…. Ummm…. At least!

The dog was sitting literally two feet from the bear barking it’s fool head off and the bear wasn’t even paying attention to the dog AT ALL.  Of course the bear outweighed the dog by at least 5 or 6 times but still… you’d think it might scare him off a little!  Nope, he totally dissed the poor doggy.  Talk about busting the poor dog’s ego.

The next night my cousin had decided he would come by around midnight and back his truck in and sit and wait on it.  We went to bed shortly after 11 and it started storming like crazy.  Rain like a monsoon and thunder and lightening like crazy so I figured that stupid bear wouldn’t be coming around.  I woke up around 2:30 or 3 to the dogs barking again and go in the living room and then my mom tells me.  “Oh, that bear won’t be back tonight. Your cousin shot him around 2.”  Say huh?  I miss all the excitement!  Shot him? I didn’t hear a THING. What did he shoot it with?  Did he kill it?  How big was it?  Where is it? I had a million questions running through my head and out my mouth like a faucet and my mom assured me he had only “grazed” it but it wouldn’t be back.

I get up the next morning and go and look at the tracks.  Those tracks were as big as my foot and I have BIG FEET.  You could see where he
clawed the ground when he turned to run after my cousin shot it but no blood, although the dogs were out there going crazy around that area.  After breakfast my dad comes out looking like Indiana Jones on steroids.  I think I should rename him “Virginia Jones” or maybe “Pistol Packing Pete”!  I wish I had thought to get a picture of him.  He looked so darned adorable!  He had on his suspenders but had his pistol on his belt on one side and a big old hunting knife strapped to the other side of his belt.  My cousin came by and they went out tracking the bear but didn’t find it.
BTW, my cousin said the bear weighs at least 500 pounds and its one of the biggest he’s ever seen and he’s lived in those parts his whole life and has seen a LOT of bears! He also said he wasn’t trying to kill the bear, only scare enough that it wouldn’t come back. That’s why he only used like buckshot. He said it would pack a mighty sting but not kill it.  My fear is that now it’s pissed off and will come back and do more damage.

My big fat foot next to the bear's print...even bigger and fatter!

The bear's crack containers! See where they pushed in the tops?

Crow wondering where the bear went?

I did however find out from my cousin that apparently dog food is like crack to bears!  Who knew?  I guess once he got a taste of that kibble he
was Jonesing for it every night and had to have more.  I can just see him now stomping through the woods finding his bear buddies and asking if they know where he can score some Alpo.  I’m wondering if he would resort to turning a trick to support his habit. How many dens would he have to knock over to keep up his 20 pound a day habit?  Would he start stealing from his friends and family? Would he get all sunken cheeked and hollow eyed and start wandering the highways looking for a score?  I’m hoping he doesn’t find a crack pipe because you know only YOU can prevent forest fires!

So…they are still waiting on him to show back up. But apparently the buckshot wasn’t enough to kill him but was enough to scare him off.  They haven’t seen any buzzards circling nearby so apparently he’s not dead but he hasn’t come back… yet.  Let’s hope he’s gone for good since we are
planning that celebration of life in my brother’s honor on July 2 up at “the old home place” which is not too far from my mom and dad… as the crow flies… or in this case, as the bear walks.

This post was brought to you courtesy of Sprite’s Keeper and The Spin Cycle and this week’s topic of WAITING.


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Just Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Bearly Waiting

  1. Wow, what a story! To spend a night waiting for a bear to show up, oy! I hate to say it, did anyone think of poisoning the dog food? My cousins had to do that in North Carolina when a bear kept ransacking their property and they were also told they couldn’t shoot the bear, which was becoming a nuisance and killing their chickens. They poisoned the very food the bear was coming after (dog food, of course) and never saw it again.
    I can’t believe I just suggested that..
    You’re linked!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Well, they moved the food inside and either the buckshot scared it off or the fact that it I guess can’t smell the dog food anymore. Not sure but it hasn’t been back. Let’s hope it doesn’t!

  2. Ron says:

    OMG…what a story, Peg!

    That photo of the bear footprint is AMAZING!


    And I died laughing at your daughters suggestion….

    “Tell Grandaddy to just shoot the bear and drag it so one paw is in the house and claim self defense!”


    ” In a few days time the bear consumed almost 50 pounds of dog food!”

    I’m surprised the bear doesn’t BARK now!


    Fab post, my friend!


    • pegbur7 says:

      Come to think of it… DID say the dogs were barking a lot that night…. maybe it was the bear baking at the dogs!
      LOL Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wondrous week my dear friend!

  3. Hahahahaha, wow, Peg, this is so unbelievable that I’m tempted to say you made it up, except I know you don’t have any reason to do that! But seriously, WHO KNEW that bears liked dog kibble?! I’ve heard of bears diving into trashcans to eat McDonald’s (apparently there’s an obesity problem with bears in America because of this very thing!) but never dog food!

    I can’t believe your 81 year old daddy ran after the bear with a shotgun… Of course, now that I know what your dad looks like from the Relay for Life post, I know that he’s no frail old man – he’s robust looking, so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised :P.

    • pegbur7 says:

      My dad got that physique honestly. He was a logger for most of his life so he’s used to hard work. He still plants his own garden and apparently still runs through the woods after bears! He is quite the character! You can’t make this kinda crap up! I don’t have that good of an imagination. My sister, SuziCate can verify because they spent the night the night before but they didn’t get the privilege of seeing the bear in person… only hearing it!

  4. Jan says:

    “I can just see him now stomping through the woods finding his bear buddies and asking if they know where he can score some Alpo.”


    The photo of your foot next to the bearprint, though, was sobering. (Still chuckling over a bear trying to score some Alpo, though…)

  5. Patty says:

    Holy cow! That’s pretty frightening. And so messed up that your dad could be arrested for shooting the bear. Sad state of affairs…

  6. Rachel says:

    Came over from the Spin Cycle. That was RIVETING! I didn’t have to wait around for the good parts at all. Great story!

  7. Michele says:

    Popped over from Jen’s place and glad I did. This brought back memories of our home in the woods. The only animal that we had visiting the house for dog food was a Bobcat. Our dogs learned a valuable lesson about eating all their food that night. Great Spin!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks Michele. They eat all theirs in the bowl. This was in the big bin that they thought was protected. Now they are keeping it in the house!

  8. mrsbear0309 says:

    Stopping by from the Spin Cycle.

    That is some story! I would have been terrified. I love that your parents were able to take the whole ordeal so casually. A pane of glass between you and that bear would’ve had me changing my pajama bottoms too. Wow.

    The lesson about the Alpo/Bear-Crack was sobering. I’ll never forget it. 🙂

  9. CaJoh says:

    I just LOVE the kibble crack section. Who knew. Isn’t there some Bear Proof containers that they could use to store the feed.

    Excellent Spin!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I’m not sure about bear proffing. Is there such a thing? They are pretty determined animals! For now they have moved the dog food indoors. I just hope that blast of buck shot scared it off for good!

  10. Ellie Belen says:

    Wow. What a great story. To be that close to a beast that size would have scared the crap out of me.
    My dad is in his 80’s and pretty spry. The thought of him out there chasing bears with a shotgun is comical and scary at the same time.

    • pegbur7 says:

      EXACTLY! It’s was comically scary! Would that make it scarmiical? LOL It was definitely exciting! Just not conducive to a good night’s sleep!

  11. Alaina says:

    Oh my god, I would totally move. Bears? Not cool!

  12. Krystal says:

    Your family is braver than I – that is for sure! I would have been screaming at the tp of my lungs while probably soiling my pants – yeah, I’m chicken…awesome spin!

  13. Amber says:

    Wow, what a story! I would be so freaked out by that; heck, I’m freaked out by the little wolves around my parents’ place. LOL

    Happy Spin Cycling!

  14. bex says:

    Wow! Your mom and dad rock! That bear would totally get it from me – now that my kids aren’t babies anymore, nobody interrupts my beauty sleep! Ha!

  15. Pseudo says:

    Now that is a great story. We don’t have bears over here at all. Centipedes is as bad as it gets.

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