Where are the Bears?

I lived in the Rocky Mountains pretty much my entire life, until our recent move to the High Plains. There are things about life that you don’t fully realize were an everyday part of your thoughts and actions until they are gone. I realized that dealing with bears was something I was used to from always living in the mountains. But until we moved, I didn’t realize HOW MUCH living with bears changed my thoughts and actions and were just a normal part of my existence. As we begin to turn the corner into fall, the void of bears on the High Plains is becoming even more evident as that is their most active time of the year. They keep coming to mind and I realize that they are not something I need to think about anymore.

  • In the mountains, trash is always locked up. And even then, you have the concern that bears will break in the garage to get it, or break the “bear-proof” dumpster to get it. We had both happen to us over the years. This is true from about March through November, but is especially true when they are preparing to hibernate in the fall.
  • Here on the plains our trash is not even kind-of locked up. We don’t even always close the dumpster. So strange.
  • In the mountains, bird feeders are brought in each evening, or hung where there is no way a bear can reach them.
  • On the plains we can feed the birds all we want, night or day…no issues.
  • In the mountains, all our livestock housing was built to be bear-proof. The doors, windows, and even roof and walls had to be as sturdy and tight as possible to keep our livestock from being bear food. Our friends had a bear rip the roof right off of their chicken coop like a sardine can and then killed all the chickens.
  • As we have been building new livestock housing down here on the plains, we keep finding ourselves making plans that are over-kill in the security department, and then realizing “there are no bears here, we don’t have to build it like that.”
  • Whenever exiting the house in the dark up in the mountains we were alert to the chance that there is a bear right there, or just around the corner. And during the fall we even had them in our yard during broad daylight. Night barn checks meant a big bright flashlight, and I would “talk” to the bears on my way to the barn to be sure that any bears would hear me and I would see them.
  • Down here on the plains, I catch myself starting to “talk” to the bears as I exit the house in the dark, and then realize I don’t need to be making sure they hear me and I see them. Because…they aren’t here.
  • In the mountains, specifically in certain towns where bears have become accustomed to eating from humans, we had to keep our cars and house locked at all times, with windows closed (car and house windows), otherwise a bear could (and would) break in. We had our cars broken into, and our camper as well, even though neither had a scrap of food in them. Our extended family had their home broken into and their kitchen destroyed by a bear. There was only one window on our house that we dared leave open at night to let in that beautiful mountain breeze, and that was because it was second story with no deck or way for a bear to climb up.
  • Down here on the plains, locking the car doors and house doors at all times is not an issue. Humans are more the worry, not bears. And we can leave the windows open and let a breeze blow through with no worries.

Speaking of breezes…where are the mountain breezes? Sigh. Still getting used to the new location. Pros and cons no matter where you live. I feel like I need to live a full year here and see all the seasons before I will really start to get used to it. Everything is still very new and different.

2 thoughts on “Where are the Bears?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s