Animal Welfare

I didn’t know bears ate corn. Especially baby corn plants that haven’t yet gotten knee high. But at 3:30 last night, that’s what a momma bear and her three cubs did in my back yard (DVR clock is an hour off):

I knew they were out there because my son and wife, night owls both, were clattering around trying to get a peek and scare them off without waking up everyone in a half-mile radius with the air horns. They finally managed to avert them with flashlights.

IMG_20150609_085440612Kinda wish they pulled out the air horns, though, because the damage was considerable. They mowed down at least a full row of plants. Strangely, though, for the amount of carefree frolicking the cubs did among the rows, very few plants were outright trampled. And nary a track could I find in the soft soil this morning. Surprisingly light on their feet.

So I’m afraid this is the beginning of a cycle of dependency that will have my corn and veggie patches cleared out before they ever get a chance. Everything is doing really well this year, even the fruit trees – we’ve got a ton of baby peaches on our tree, and our sour cherry trees could yield multiple pies worth of fruit. Our Macintosh and Honeycrisp trees are well laden, and our grape vines, both cultivated and wild, are bursting with baby fruit clusters. But given this latest raid and our ursine dependents’ know proclivity for our fruits, we might really have to stay on the ball this year if we expect to enjoy the bounty.

 

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