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

By Bob Weaver

A bear wanders around the Village of Hur on many nights, causing great alarm for our dogs, but with 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, sometimes to be seen in the yard a short distance from the house when the night lights flash on.

They are hard to spot. In fact, I have only seen four in several years, and I ridge run a lot.

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.

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

I was wandering the woods behind the house in the 1950s and encountered a small-like bear. 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.

He said it was almost as big as a mule. Almost.

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. She has become an expert on bear poop.

She said the proof is in the poop.

And there is poop just about everywhere.