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Posted by Kim Filler

If you were watching Denver’s Channel 4 last night, you would have heard this week is BEAR week. Early snowmelt and a mild winter have seen our furry friends rolling out of hibernation faster than normal. Fewer berries and less water in the high country is forcing them to lower elevations, and bringing them into our neighborhoods.

They’ve certainly been making headlines on the Steamboat Today. Scouring trashcans and scaling trees, the canine community has had plenty to bark about. In this Steamboat household it was more a mere story in the paper.

Stargazing from our garage the other night, my husband was enjoying a little malted beverage and a cigar, until he was rudely interrupted. If you had been upstairs like I was, and heard the commotion that ensued you’d have thought a riot was happening in the basement. Slightly anxious, I ventured down to see what was going on, to find him making what could be perceived as an audition for a Jane Goodall movie. Leaping about with his arms in the air, crashing lawn chairs together and making his best daddy chimp sounds was my husband. By the car was a VERY large bear that, after a little consideration had decided tonight’s performance was one he’d rather skip. Thankfully 250 lbs of furry (questionable cuteness) left our property.

Despite my take on the evening’s proceedings, I am pleased to say awareness of how to handle such an encounter probably saved my other half a trip to the ER.

So, if during bear week, or any other week for that matter you need to scare such a creature away, here is a little pocket guide. (This only applies to black bears, grizzlies are a whole set of other rules).

1. Make noise – anything you can get your hands on – bang it furiously.

2. Look as big as you can.

3. Never get between a mama bear and her cub.

4. Back away slowly and find your own exit.

5. Do not corner the bear.

In case you are sorry you missed this particular sighting, attached is a gift left on the doorstep by our fuzzy friend.


Story & Photo by Suzi Mitchell.

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