• Jane Wheeler

Bear Encounters


As soon as I pulled into the yard, I knew something was off.


First there was the tipped over recycle bottle container that was laying on its side; it had not been windy. Then I glanced over to the left where we have our cow grain stored. Okay, now it’s official, the grain bins are both down, the barley one is almost empty, and I can see a huge pile of rolled oats laying on the ground.


We have had a bear visit.


I was not sure where or how long he had been here, so I ran into the trailer to grab my gun (its only a 22 but it is loud). Mocha is being very cautious and not leaving my side, so I figure this bear is still fairly close by. I go over to the bins and start righting them. I kept checking into the bush and I thought I saw a black object, but then it could have been a stump. Still feeling uneasy I fired a shot off into the bush (not at the object, just for noise). Well low and behold if that stump did jump up and start to run away. Oh, my stars, it was just right there in the bush! I then fired a number of rounds off to ensure it moved away further.


Confident it had moved far enough away I started to scoop up the oats and put them back into the container. The oats one was so full and heavy I could not budge it, I had to leave it there.


Our generator is right there by the grain so with my head bobbing from bush to generator I start to fill it up with gas. I am shaking by now and as I try to put the gas cap on, my hands are shaking so badly I keep not getting it on correctly. Finally, I get it on, and Mocha and I run to the trailer. I reload the gun.


I call Brian and he says he is over an hour away and has another job to do which would bring him home in the middle of the night. It is now 6:20pm. Okay, I can do this, I will wait for him to come home, it’s getting dark anyways so we will just stay inside.


Bang, something bumps the trailer, Mocha is up and barking and I grab the gun. Oh God help!


I look for a big flashlight because it is amazing how dark it got suddenly. I open the door slightly; Mocha does not even try to get out. I shine the light over at the oat bin. Two big shiny green eyes reflecting the flashlight stare back at me about 25 – 30 feet away. I shoot several shots and it takes it time to mosey away.


It is not scared! I go and grab the bigger gun but am not 100% sure if I pump it after each bullet or put bullets in and then pump, I call Brian. Doing a video chat we try to figure out the gun. DO NOT TRY THIS METHOD!


He says the bear is probably gone, go have a look. Oh no, he is back already.


Brian says, go fire some shots, with the 22, and run for the car and come and meet him.

I say, “go outside?!” He says, “get to the car!”


So, flashlight, Mocha on a leash, gun and car keys in hand I step out the door. I fire rapidly a couple shots and feel a lot like Bonnie and Clyde. Shoot and run for the car!


On after thought, that might have been me over romanticising Bonnie and Clyde and it probably looked more like the frumpy Ikea lady rapidly pushing a buggy through the parking lot and yelling at her husband “Start the Car!”


Mocha does not hesitate and leaps into the car via the front door (she is never allowed there so she knows something big is up).


I start the car and shine the lights over to the bear area, the stinking guy is not scared and sitting there. I zoom away down the driveway! I have to unlock the gate, which I did not take a lot of time doing. I could not bring myself to shut it again with the back up lights, so I turn the car around and put the high beams on the gate and up the driveway to relock it.


This next part might not make sense and when I told Brian he laughed at the absurdity, but I know some of you will understand.


After I had the gate locked, I sat in the car staring at the locked gate feeling safe. I had locked the bear in. The absurdity is that our property is not fenced up at this end. So the bear could simply have walked around it but at that moment I felt safe – okay?


I called Brian and he said go for a drive and then wait at the weigh scale by the BC border and he would be there in an hour. After waiting for enough time for the shaking would stop, I headed for the border (5 minutes away).


There is a corner gas store on the way, I stopped for water and the much-deserved ice cream bar that did amazing things to calm my soul. Then I drove to the weigh scale (1 minute) and waited.


Poor Brian I am sure was moving as fast as he could trying to get here, and he made record time.


We take my car and drive home; Brian swings the car around to shine the lights on the area in question and there he is still sitting in the oats. This time he has a distinct waddle and I think perhaps the oats have bloated him. Good!


We wait for half an hour for him to come back but he doesn’t, more than likely in an oat stupor for the night.


Mocha and I end up going back to Brian’s big truck and going with him for the drive and not getting home until 2:00am. At that time and with the sleepy grogginess, I think the bear could be standing there and I’d probably just push it out of my way to get to the bed.


The next evening around 5:00 I had gone to pick up new gas for the generator. I pulled in and there he was again licking up the scraps he had missed. I am angry now at his presence and roar the car, horn piercing the air and drive straight for him. He got out of the way.


I back up next to the trailer and get my gun and drive back over to the generator. I fire a couple random shots into the bush and get the gas and pour it into the generator. All good so far.


Mocha and I go into the trailer and doesn’t that darned guy just wander out again and plunk himself down. I turned the lights down and sat and watched him. He eats, gets up and jumps over my quad and trailer hitch instead of going around it. He is moving a lot tonight back and forth, sometimes standing straight up and sniffing the air. He spent a lot of time sniffing my quad, (maybe the cow poop on the tires?) I had told someone that if he touches my quad, I will probably run out there and hit him with the gun I would be so angry.


I figure okay I will leave him to clean up the scraps and see if he wanders away. I turn up the heat for the evening and it goes, click, click. Great, now I have no heat in the trailer. I check the fuses, I move fuses, I wiggle the thermostat up and down, click, click. Nooooooo!


After lots of phone calls a plan is hatched. I will have to be brave again and make a run to the car with Mocha and go to Walmart and buy a plug in heater for the evening, we have the generator going so it will work. Ray and Glen are on their way out to help me with the bear. Brian is coming home but is over 2 hours away.


The boys and I converge at the gate and we head up the driveway, we turn our vehicles to shine the lights on where he should be and ….. nothing. The guys were patient and waited and waited but that little fat feller was obviously down for the night.


They left and I plugged in the heater and waited for Brian. Still no bear and the heater was “okay” to warm the trailer- Praise God it did not freeze last night.


Next evening right on cue the bear ambles out of the bush and now he is starting to sniff at the buildings. That is too much for me and I sit and cry because that is certainly going to help. Brian pulls in unexpectedly – he got soaked and had to change but was heading back to work. I choose to pack up Miss Mocha and go with him. It’s a long night and I don’t make it home til morning from the truck.


That evening 2 of my boys come out again to try to catch the bear and I am so thankful as I just found a set of bear paw tracks up on my trailer – it was sniffing and trying to get in! While waiting for the boys I clean one of the windows so we could see it easier. Low and behold there are weird marks on this window too – I go outside and find more bear paws, nose prints on 4 of the trailer windows. This guy was serious to get in. I am freaked out now.

The boys arrive and we wait, no bear. After the boys leave, off I go to meet up Brian and go riding in the truck for another night because I know I will not sleep if it is just myself and Mocha at the trailer alone.


Well, here we are day 5 and I have not seen the bear for a couple nights. Does that mean he is gone? No, I was in Brian’s truck again last night so wouldn’t have seen him but he doesn’t have free grain and I keep the blinds down so I can’t see him (that helps right?) It has been weird. The bear only appears for me and Brian, never for the boys and he never shows up on a trail camera.


We have been praying and praying for our mobile home to come and finding a mover and a hitch has seemed insurmountable. This bear has made me anxious to get a more sturdy place to live. We have been trying to get it moved for over 3 weeks. Nothing. Today I hit bottom, as I could not find any movers out of the four I had tried in the morning (one was our for sure). The temperature is supposed to dip to minus 14 and wow that is chilly in the trailer – either the furnace is running full time or it’s just darn cold.


God obviously moved some mountains and at 8:00pm I got a text from a mover – “I can probably move your mobile tomorrow”. Hallelujah!

It arrived last night, and we are so excited and can’t believe it is here. It does not mean bear problems are over or that we can move in right away but it is here.


I have had to analyse the whole bear incident because I was not good and I was paralyzed with fear. All I could think, or see was that bear. Now bears are scary BUT I was not able to do much of anything because I was so afraid. Being scared is not silly, being paralyzed was.


FEAR: paralyses, minimizes, stalks, and puts huge blinders on our eyes. Fear actually minimizes the blood flow in our brains and we honestly do not think clearly.


Fear is intended to produce a Flight or Fight situation in our bodies. Move or fight.

Me, I was stuck.


God says He does not give us a spirit of fear. Notice God calls it a “spirit” of fear – that is correct, fear itself is the name of a demon. Demon’s like to kill, maim and destroy and I felt after 5 days that it was doing quite a good job. (see 2 Timothy 1:7)


I had a lady at church tell me a story about her brother. He quoted the Bible and said we have dominion, albeit authority over the animals but we have to believe and know that. He had a bear walk into his tent while he and another fellow were sleeping – he did not freak out but said, “Get out of here in Jesus’ name”. The bear turned and walked out. (see Genesis 1:26)


Upon learning the degree of fear I was walking in and being able to relax a bit and start clearer thinking I realized – I was no good to anyone, especially myself. I went outside and took authority over the land, and animals. I haven’t seen him since. The bear is still around I am sure, but I have chosen to start living again and not letting the bear run my life. We have some security measures in place but I won't be mastered by fear anymore.


This world, our nation has a huge spirit of fear hovering over it. It started with Covid and fear has run rampant for the past 1.5 years. A good question for living is, "what is running you?" If you watch the news, it is designed to keep you in a constant state of fear. I heard of one very prominent physiatrist who told every patient of hers to turn off the news. I learned last week that you can let fear control you or you can control fear and live again. The choice is totally up to us.

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