I suppose it is human nature to get complacent, even comfortable. Those of us who live in the city and rarely see any wild life other then the occasional rabbit or bird don’t know how to look for wild animals or know when they are there when out in the woods. This weekend like many other people camping was our getaway of choice. We have a campground we love in northern Minnesota. 99% of the time this is our destination for camping. People had told us there were bears around and we should be careful. We noticed supposed “bear proof” boxes at surrounding campsites to put food in. But still we hadn’t seen any signs of them. Oh there was the scat, (poop) that looked like it could be bear. There were the occasional, very occasional sounds of large animals fleeing from us as we walked through the woods, but we were sure those were deer, maybe if we were lucky a moose. And we got careless with our food. We had started dumping cooking oil on the ground and throwing watermelon rinds off into the woods–for the animals.
Well the animals came. Most of my life animals have been only for companions, no real jobs that they were supposed to do. Then we got the chickens They obviously had a real job of giving us eggs. Next came the cats. Though they were gifts for the children and companion animals their job was ridding our home of mice. But Hiro, our Brittany seemed only good for a companion. He was intended for a hunting dog, but he needs training and that takes time and a location where he can be off leash and not distracted all of which are at a premium.
But on Sunday morning he did his job. All of a sudden at 6:30 in the morning he starts barking. Hiro does not bark so this was an unusual event. We started getting worried real fast. My mom was the first one up to look about the window of the trailer, she had the forsight to put on her glasses and there sitting by the fire pit was a black bear. it was about 250 lbs. It ran when it knew it was discovered, but not too far. We didn’t really feel like getting up after that so we stayed in bed. About 7:30 my dad was up and looked at the picnic table. The bear was back and standing at the table digging in our tupper tote. It had a jar of peanuts in its mouth when I saw it. It again ran off when it was discovered. But not far, only about 15 feet off in the woods where it not so quietly ate its peanuts. At that point Proeun and dad decided they should go outside to keep it from coming back. Luckily it didn’t .
Looking back we realized that Hiro had been acting strange a lot the day before. I guess we will have to learn to pay attention to our animals. And they all have a job.