Bears: Vermont’s Backyard Menace


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Since the early 2000s, the black bear population has steadily grown in Vermont, and one Stowe resident has had multiple encounters with the animals in his yard.

Pete Hussey walked out his front door one day to find a 250–300 pound black bear on his porch.

“I back peddled and slammed the door, and he skedaddled,” Hussey said.

That wasn’t the only run in with bears he’s had.

“I have bee hives, and he came in and got up on top of a truck cap, reached over, knocked the hives onto the electric fence,” Pete Hussey said.

According to Vermont Fish & Wildlife, human actions contribute to the presence of “problem bears” like the one visiting Hussey.

“A problem bear is what people have taught that their yard is a great place to find food. From leaving bird seed out to leaving garbage out, feeding you dog outside, all these things that are going to attract a bear to your yard,” Tom Rogers from Vermont Fish & Wildlife said.

According to Rogers, you can easily scare bears away by banging pots together or making other loud noises.

“Do things that are loud, noisy, that will frighten the bear away and give it a bad experience from being in your yard,” Rogers said.

In Hussey’s experience though scaring off a bear doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t come back.

“We looked out the door: he was gone. We went out on the porch, and sure enough, he poked his head right around the back of the car at the bottom of the steps, like ‘Uh hey, can I come back up now?'” Hussey said.

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