The Bears of Custer County & the Smell of Drought

Here’s an url to an article about bears in this morning’s NY Times:

I can vouch for the accuracy of some its statements, especially about bear behavior in drought. Here in the southern mountains of Colorado we’re suffering a drought, not as bad as the South or Texas, but bad enough to hurt the rancher’s hay crops and to make my creek look pathetic and my yard fried. Drought has a certain harsh smell to it, the dryness of the withered plants, more dust in the air. And this has been our biggest year for bear encounters. We’ve seen four different black bears in our yard, three small-medium-sized, and one big bruin who ripped a hole in my shed door to get at the garbage cans inside (a habit now abandoned, but that had never been a problem for eight years). And yesterday this fella went for the bird feeders on our deck. I sympathize with them. They’re hungry. I wish I could feed them but as they say, “A fed bear is a dead bear.” So I don’t. But I did snap his picture.

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