Bear phobia

If you were at my house this morning you might have heard slightly raised voices. A very rare thing indeed in our little home.

It all started last night. As I lay in bed listening to the window panes rattle in accompaniment to his snores, I started to worry about the bears this summer. As I said yesterday I had been planting my seeds in containers to put in the garden later, so I was worrying about working out there this summer. As many of you know I have had a few ‘bear incidents’ and have developed a fear of them, probably I have built it out of all proportion but nevertheless the fear is there. I won’t even take Annie the dog for a walk as the locals say a dog is more dangerous around an angry bear as the dog will run back to you with the bear after them.

So this is how the conversation started this morning

“Will you be gone much this summer as you were last summer?’ says I

“How do you mean”, says he

“Since S. moved up here you have been gone all day six days a week, either working with him, fishing or running about and I am concerned about working in the garden when the bears are around.” (S. is his best friend they have known each other over 55 years, I am used to being alone and don’t mind generally.)

“Oh the bears aren’t going to hurt you, you are being silly” he exclaims “and you are starting to make me feel guilty that we moved up here, you know I came up to fish, and now you want me to give that up”

“I don’t mind you fishing, I encourage you and Sal to go out, you know that I just want you around when I am in the garden maybe I will have to do it in the evening and don’t read things into what I am saying”. I said heatedly and got up to go and have a shower.

So for the rest of the morning we were studiously polite and then I decided to drive into town by myself just because it was a nice day and I wanted to get out.

So now it all seems to have blown over and he is back to teasing me but unfortunately my fear of the bears has not gone away. I suppose it is irrational. What can he do if a bear shows up more than I can, except I am 5′ 3″ and a little plump and probably tasty, and he is 6′ 2″ and tough with a deep voice to yell at the bear. Which one would you chase?

All these stories that I have written of my bear experiences have enabled my phobia, also our village does have a bear problem and several have to be shot each year unfortunately. I don’t know what to do about my fear but I guess it is my problem and I have to learn to deal with it.

Bear Invasion
3 shots then silence
Good reason to be wary of bears
BC workers attacked by grizzly
Bear in the back yard today
They are back and they are out
Chicken little and the grizzly bear tracks

8 Responses

  1. Go to a store and purchase some BEAR spray. Not mace but bear spray and keep it on you while out in the garden. Try to sing or play some music. Bears don’t go looking for humans unless some jerk has fed the bear. Most of the time they just want to be left alone. If you are really worried have your husband put up some electrified fences around your area. Put the humming bird feeders way high up and don’t put out bird feeders. Birds don’t need help finding food in the spring and summer and fall months. Leave those for the winter when they need them.
    Great that you are putting out your garbage in the morning.
    About your black bears. When you see them, make it perfectly clear that they are not allowed too near your property, use pots and pans or loud noises until they have left. Keep this up and they should learn.
    All those postings of the bear shootings is so ridiculous. Someone in your “hood” is feeding those bears. I’d find out who it is. The next time there is lethal replications to the bear make sure those people are there to witness the killing. People think they are doing bears a favor by feeding them or feeding them to get in close for a picture. Letting them watch a bear get shot AND the cubs ought to fix that right up for them. Jerks!

  2. I can completely understand the phobia and don’t think you’ve blown it out of proportion. I have no experience with bears so can’t give any advice, but the comments by Paul sound pretty good.

  3. You could install an electric fence around the garden. Bears hate them!

  4. I can’t say that I blame you for having a fear of the bears. We do have bears around here and every now and again, one will make its way into “civilization” (i.e. the village), raid someone’s garbage can or some such. Thankfully, those visits are pretty rare though. I did like the suggestions Paul made in his comment to you -those ideas made a lot of sense to me.

  5. Unfortunately, I can relate to your fear of bears. For years and years we didn’t have any trouble here, but in the last five years or so they’ve been coming onto our street.

    We ended up calling someone from our local Bear Aware program last year and he was very helpful. He gave us a bear proof garbage container for FREE (a sample a company had sent) and also an alarm to put outside that senses motion and makes a very high pitched alarm that scares the bear away. The website might be helpful to you http://www.bearaware.bc.ca

    We set up the garbage can and went away for the weekend. When we came home it had been pulled out into our driveway, overturned, and there were puncture marks from teeth and scratches from claws! But, the bear didn’t get what he wanted. Eventually there were no more problems.

    We mostly see bears here in spring when they’re hungry after hibernation, and in fall when they’re packing on the pounds. They come into the neighborhood in the very early morning, and in the evening. I avoid walking alone in the evening then.

  6. Vic, wah…how nice ah u can see bear live…never even got a chance to view them live… can send me nice photos of bear to my email..

  7. I also feared more than respected bears until 7 yrs ago when I started to study them in the wild, in backyards, in books and going to talks by experts.( both black and grizzly). It took a lot of learning and experiences to finally overcome old stereotypical beliefs and myths that had been ingrained in me growing up in PG. I can now read a bear ‘s mood quite well by looking at his face, eyes, ears, sounds,actions and posture without fearing injury or death. I am confident that I know how to avoid conflict with black bears…grizzlies I have not had the exposure and practice to have that confidence as yet. Charlie Russell , author & grizzly expert ,at http://www.cloudline.org has that confidence and experience. I am passionate about bears and try to educate everyone I meet about the true nature of bears. They are far more intelligent than I first realized and can communicate their feelings to us if we let them. Please go into http://www.BenKilham.com to learn amazing facts and the true nature about black bears. Ben will help you think of bears more as primates than unpredictable carnivores. Remember too that the stats do not prove out your worst fears about bears doing you injury or death. More harm is done by deer, dogs or cars etc…also a bear’s diet is 90% vegetarian and they most times flee from human-bear meetings. And http://www.bearbiology.com teaches you about all 8 bear species in the world today and research and findings.
    Over 1,000 black bears and 200 grizzlies are killed every year in BC as nuisance bears or perceived threats to a person or their property. This number may be on the rise as humans/roads/railroads are increasingly displacing wilderness and recreating in natural areas is the ‘thing to do’. People living and playing in bear habitat hopefully will learn to respect bears and act responsibly so as to minimize bear deaths. When a bear in an area is removed another new, unknown bear will take it’s place. Sometimes it is better the bear you know(but don’t feed) than a bear you don’t. Paul makes great suggestions about not feeding bears bird feed, garbage and use electric fencing and keep bear pepper spray on hand when outside. Another great Bear Smart site is: http://www.bearsmart.com

    Vic, I envy you living where you live….the only bears I see are killed within 2-3yrs as I live in a more urban area in BC where outside resident garbage is not contained properly.
    My website is: http://www.bearsmatter.com (see more bear info links here)

  8. I too have always envied your wildlife friends, but I must admit – I’d be afraid of the bears too!

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