SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Bear Tales, 'It Wasn't The Bear's Fault, I Got In The Way'

By Bob Weaver

A bear or two wanders around the Village of Hur on many nights, causing great alarm for our dogs, but little attention from us.

Sometimes the critter comes close to the house, wallowing the saplings and brush across the road from the house, while we sit on the front porch.

Most bear activity is during the hours just before dawn. We have spotted a bear a couple of times when the outside house lights come on or we use our giant rechargeable floodlight.

Bears are hard to spot around here.

They're nervous and shy away from human activity. I have only seen about eight in 25 years, and I ridge run a lot.

Calhoun folks have been submitting photos to the Herald of bear on their back porches, yards, and in one case garage, for several years now.

An attack by a black bear on a man in Durbin, brought cause to reconsider the old saw "If you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone."

It turns out the old logic held true. He was cornering the critter with his hunting dogs, and it escaped through the path of least resistance, right on top of him.

The bear did some serious damage to his hands, after he lifted them to protect himself. "It wasn't the bear's fault. I just got in his way," he said.

Visiting Alaska, the bear warning was much different. "They'll attack and kill you."

On one visit to Cordova, Alaska, a bear attacked a kid on a bike, but having his trusty spray, he managed to give the bear a dose and he ran away.

Forty or so years ago it caused a big stir to spot a bear in Sunny Cal, every now and then they passed through.

I was wandering the woods behind the house and encountered a small-like bear in the 1950's. Frightened, I ran home to tell my dad, who seemed unconcerned.

A few years later, my dad and his brother, former Calhoun football coach Don Weaver, spotted two or three bear on the Gainer farm. When they told me about their sighting, I remained unconcerned.

Our old friends, Lexie Miller and his wife Opal, both now deceased, saw a rather large bear amble across the road in front of their house on Hughes Fork in the 1990s.

Lexie said it was big as a mule, laughingly exaggerating.

Out on the Husk there are bountiful persimmon trees, and sometimes we travel out the remote ridge to try to get a few for some jelly.

The grass around the tree is always wallowed to the nubbin' by the neighborhood bear. They love the fruit.

Even Dianne has become accustomed to the bear, becoming an expert on bear poop.

She said the proof is in the poop.

And there is poop just about everywhere.