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Monday, August 24, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My...Again!


I'm exhausted this morning. We went to bed shortly after 10 last night. I got up again because Courtney kitty wanted in shortly before midnight. Shortly before 2 AM this morning one of our outdoor dogs started barking...incessantly, until JB got up to see what he was barking at. He came back to bed and said he didn't see anything. But Bandit kept barking so JB got up again, went out on the deck to the north of the house with a flood light and came trotting back to the bedroom to get dressed. There was a BIG bear sitting on the split rock near the tractor, acting like he was going to go up the tree there. I got up, got dressed, grabbed my truck keys and JB grabbed the rifle, a flashlight and the flood light. The flood light is BRIGHT but it overheats and quits without warning...not a good thing if you're out there in pitch black with a bear! So, we went out to the truck together and JB headed off for the girl's pasture with rifle and lights in hand and I started up the truck and headed out behind the house and up north to shine the headlights up the hill to the north into the male's pastures. We never did see the bear again so after JB went through every pasture and counted heads we headed back in and went back to bed. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to fall back to sleep when the adrenaline is pumping like crazy through your body?!

This morning when I went out to feed the horses, I discovered the 30 gallon trash bin where I keep all the rabbit food dumped over, ripped open and the food containers were spread all over the ground. I always use a bungee cord to hold down the lids on all the feed bins if I leave them outside so the bears and deer cannot get into them - at least as easily. JB came out and found the carton of oats sitting on the split rock torn open and half eaten. I cleaned up the mess and dragged the bin to the drive so I could figure out where to put it (somewhere inside) so the bear doesn't come back. While I was cleaning this up, Handel kept giving the alarm call and looking up the hill towards the Barn Shed. Puff, the 29 year old POA mare kept rounding up the female llamas and putting them in the interior corner of the pasture. She refused to come down the hill to eat her breakfast in the corner where she normally eats. I had to take her breakfast to her. I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers! I had Annie, our mini Aussie out with me to do chores and she was sniffing around like crazy but wasn't growling or acting like there was anything close by so that helped calm me a bit. I kept stepping back and looking up into the pine trees before I walked under them, just in case Yogi Bear had shimmied up a tree for the night.

After feeding the horses and llamas I started filling water tanks and as I was going through the pastures checking everyone out I discovered a pile of bear scat right in front of the Barn Shed. Nice...that's always a fun discovery. Thank goodness I didn't step in it...ewwwww! I dragged the rabbit feed bin into the Barn Shed and I hope the bear doesn't decide to attempt to break in to get to it.

I hope Yogi doesn't come back again tonight because I need my beauty rest. When I don't get my full 8 hours of sleep I get up feeling really ugly in the morning. He will not want to mess with me if he wakes me up again tonight!

22 comments:

Pricilla said...

Man, I thought with the way the berries are this year they wouldn't be looking so far down for food. I hope he doesn't come back. It is such a shame when they have to be killed....

My hubby saw a cougar not far from our place eating a road kill mule deer. We have been watching for it. The goats go in a barn at night thank heavens!

Karen said...

How interesting in a scary way. Stay safe. I hope that bear stays away from your animals.

Split Rock Ranch said...

It has gotten really dry lately and things are getting brown. We're near a water source (a pond right behind our property) and they have lots of places high up in the rocks to the northwest of us. We don't have a barn for all the animals to go into at night so it makes for some scary and sleepness nights this time of year.

tahtimbo said...

That sounds like a scary way to wake up. I'm glad you guys have a gun with you. This may sound like a stupid question, but is there any type of scent you can spray around the perimeter of your land to keep the bears away? Please be careful and keep safe.

PJ said...

is that where you live!? that is gorgeous! (oh, sorry, got taken away by the pic...hehehe)

i would be totally freaked out if i saw a bear. i hope he keeps his big self away from you.

Lynne said...

WOW! Now that's a post I won't read every day! I don't know how you ever got back to sleep! What an experience!
sewingmom

askcherlock said...

No wonder you had a restless night! This must have been so scary for you and the animals. You are a brave soul. The view is breath-taking. Is this what you see from the back of your property? It is a stunning view. Almost enough to calm a soul?

Beadsme said...

That's country living. We only have to worry about snakes, spiders and the ferel dogs.

BeadedTail said...

Thankfully no one was injured from that bear this time and hopefully he stays away. I can't imagine how scary that would be to have to deal with that in the middle of the night.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Tim: It was very scary. Especially since I took some antihistamine before bed and was really drowsy -hard to concentrate and think straight! I'm wondering if the scent of dead bear would be a deterrent to the rest of them! And we have several guns - the 12 gauge shotgun was purchased specifically as a bear gun. This is a common problem for us this time of year.

PJ - Yes, that is a view of our place from the "hill" to the northwest of us at the end of the road.

Lynne: I only managed to get back to sleep because I was roused out of a drug induced coma (Benedryl before bedtime!)

Cher: I dreamed about bears and skunks after falling back to sleep! And it was very scary. We now think that he came back early this morning - right before dawn - because the neighbor I just called says she's seen him coming out of the pond behind our place and ambling up the road past her place about 5:30-6:00 AM several mornings. And the photo is our place, taken from up the road on the hill. We have a view of the lake and the mountains from the house. Very serene - at least when we're not out bear hunting!

Mandy: I saw a snake on Sunday. FREAKED me out! Non-poisonous but still freaked me out when I almost stepped on it. Not too many spiders around here. And no feral dogs, but plenty of feral cats - at least those that haven't been eaten by the skunks, foxes, coyotes and bobcats!

BT: Yes, at least no injuries or AWOL llamas this time! We've had to do this so many times over the years. It gets really old - and we start praying for frost, cold weather and snow right about now!

Nancy said...

Wow, what an ordeal! I'm glad everyone was OK and accounted for, albeit a bit nervous. Bears are scary business!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Nancy: Amen!

WillOaks Studio said...

Oh boy, you don't really want to mess with bears--especially hungry ones!! So happy all the animals are OK, but if it's smart bear..now he/she knows where the FOOD is, darn it!! I hope he/she moves along!

Artist Victoria O'Neill said...

snakes and bears! I saw a groundhog through a pair of binoculars and screamed because it was so big! a bear did lick my toe once when camping.....

Grampy said...

You have such a beautiful place. Life does give us those little challenges every once in awhile.In this case a very scary big challenge.
Glad the lamas were alright.
Hopefully you will be able to sleep tonight.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Karen: Yes, that's why we put the food into the shed, hoping the bear would just move along to the next place.

Victoria: A bear licked your toe while you were camping?!

Grampy: Thank you. This is usually just a bump in the road at this time of year. I just get really grumpy when my sleep is rudely interrupted! We slept good last night. Dog woke us up at 2:45 but we didn't see anything out there and were able to go right back to sleep.

jude8753 said...

I like bears, but no way would I actually want to be around one unless it was in a cage, I would have been scared to death. So glad all you had was a mess to clean up.

Hot Rocks said...

Wow..what excitement! The black bears around here, have been known to break into sheds to get food! They can sniff it out a mile away. Once they have been somewhere and found food, they will most likely return, so be careful...he may come back for seconds!

Meghann LittleStudio said...

Wow, how terrifying....then again, me during PMS would scare the bejesus out of any bear...I should rent myself out, LOL.
I pray your family, farm and the bears stay safe and out of each othersk' way!

Ann said...

Wow that was some excitement. Glad to hear Yogi didn't get at anything other than food bins and such. Lets hope he stays away

DayPhoto said...

We had a mountain lion once and a bear once. Both things are scarry!

I'm glad your animals are all safe!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

CastoCreations said...

Wow! That is so scary. I'm glad you guys have a rifle. And hope you're good shots. :) Be careful!