“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Sunday, July 19, 2015

An unknown visitor I could do without. Or, how a long and sleepless night was had by all.



 


I went to sleep out in the apartment last night.  The satellite radio receiver is out there, and I was sitting in my easy chair listening to the BBC World Service news around 11:00.  I guess I dozed off.

The hand held monitor I use to keep track of what's going on in the buildings was sitting on a small table next to my easy chair.

At about 0015, I heard a really loud crash and the strength lights pegged. The noise came from the main house.  My first thought was that the ferrets had pushed something off a shelf, and set the dogs off.  So I took an AK47 and went back down to the main house.  I got the dogs settled down on the porch, (they had been sleeping on the apartment porch and ran down to the main house porch when they heard that noise), and went inside.  Looked everywhere, and found nothing amiss. I did find the ferrets under the couch.  When a ferret is excited or upset, the fur on their tails sticks straight out. Both of them were fluffed up to the maximum, which is unusual.

Took my big Ryobi flood light, and scanned the woods. Nothing.

Then I looked over the side of the porch. My porch is about 15 feet off the ground, it's really on the second story of the house.  There's a wooden bin down there, about six feet X four feet, that I used to keep garbage cans in to keep the bears out. It's empty now.  There is a rain barrel and a gutter down spout there. Two of the 1X6 side boards had been ripped completely off the bin.  The gutter downspout had been torn off the side of the house there, and the rain barrel had been pulled out of the cinder block base and was laying on it's side.



The only thing I can think of is that some of the cat food fell off the cat feeding station on that side of the house, and down on the ground inside the bin. Something, and I am assuming it was a bear, did all that destruction trying to get in the bin.  That's my best guess.

I've had plenty of bears up here. After all, I'm right on the national forest.  There have been times when the forest service had to come up here and trap them, then take them to an isolated place in a national forest in Tennessee and release them.

I'd never hurt an animal gratuitously.  However, some of the local denizens of the forest here can be dangerous. I try not to get myself into situations where I might have to harm an animal, but things sometimes happen outside your control. Night time, when it's dark and you can't see what's out there, calls for caution if you have to go out and see what's going on. If I have to go out at night,  I take a rifle or a shotgun.  Pistols are ok for concealed carry and for protection against humans if nothing better is to hand.

" A pistol is carried to enable you to fight your way to a rifle."  I forget who said that on the blog but they are right. Serious moments require a serious rifle.


I left the clean up til morning, went back inside the main house and lay down on the couch. At 03:05 the power went out.  Called the EMC and woke the on duty dispatcher up.  That's why you keep a land line and an old style telephone that is powered by the 20 hz signal on the phone line. A phone that needs electricity to operate is useless in a power failure. At the best of times, my cell phone doesn't work well here and then only if you walk up to a big granite outcropping up slope. I'm not interested in doing that in the dark. Especially if I have cause to think Ursus is meandering about in the woods around the house.

The power came back on just before dawn.  I cleaned up the mess once it got light enough, but I will have to wait to put the guttering and the side boards back up, I'm too tired right now.

Never a dull moment.....


Friendly Ferret says " If your dogs won't go off the porch into the woods with you, you probably shouldn't go at all."

23 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    An AK is good to have around when something goes bump in the night.

    I have a rifle with a Condor light mounted on it and that light puts out 950 lumens. Darn thing lights up the entire backyard, tree's, everything.

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    1. I have considered getting some kind of light to mount on some of my weapons. It's really difficult to manage the Ryobi, and a rifle , at the same time. The trouble is, I would like to have a light on my weapon if I know I am dealing with animals. But if I am dealing with people, I don't want that thing hanging on the barrel, which is probably nicely aligned with my face and head.

      I tend now to stay on the porch and scan the woods with the big flood if I have reason to believe something is amiss. I can shut the flood off. I do have night vision and an infra red projector, but that's even more cumbersome than the Ryobi. It doesn't help the dogs see either, and their eye sight is much better than mine, especially in picking out details of a shape or in seeing movement at night.

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  2. What a great story Harry, the suspense was killing me right until the end! Good thing that bear left...

    BTW, thanks for the post of fuel storage. Just one question: I'm not too familiar with outdoor fuel tanks, but with it getting that hot there in the day is there a pressure relief valve on the diesel tank? --Troy

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    1. I never know what will happen up here, day or night. That's why I have such an elaborate, layered security system.

      Yes, both tanks have a relief valve on the top of the tank. It looks like a horse shoe shaped piece of pipe, nothing fancy but it lets air in and out of the tank as the fuel is used, or expands due to heating, without letting water in.

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  3. We had something creeping around last night too. I'm sure it wasn't a coon, Rock keeps those things in check. We always have our pistols next to the bed and usually one AR as well as flashlights in every room hanging from the doorknobs.
    As in your area, we get a lot of critters but it's always good to be ready.

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  4. Max, living out in the back country it comes with the territory. I'm always really careful moving between the buildings at night, because on the back side of the house the forest comes right up to the buildings.

    I'm far more worried about humans than I am about animals, but I have to admit that tangling with wild hogs, bears, etc is something I'd really like to avoid. I am much more cautious than I was when I first moved up here so long ago.

    I keep firearms in reach. You just never know what will happen in the next five minutes.

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  5. In Alaska they use a plywood bard with 8 penny spikes every 3 inches as a welcome mat for bears. They poke their paws and learn to stay away. If he actually got some reward for his effort he is likely to be back for seconds. Might be worth making up an Alaskan bear mat. Kind of like this.
    https://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/spikes.jpg?w=680

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    1. I've seen those on Discovery Channel programs. I think in my case, my loyal but not very intelligent Labrador would be the most likely victim. Unless I forgot about it and walked into it wearing flip flops, which I'm perfectly capable of doing.

      What I am about to go to if I can ever steel myself to going out in that heat is put a couple of the "flash bangs" out there. I still have the devices and some of the black powder cartridges. I'll run a wire diagonally from two trees, so that anything taller than 3 feet will set the boomer off. One evolution with these will doubtless cure even a bear of the desire to come look for dog or cat food.

      No harm done to the bear, except a little emotional trauma, if he does hit the wire and set this off.

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  6. That's unbearable!

    OK, pun out of the way, a weapon light, used properly as a tactical tool and not as a flashlight, increases the odds on your side when dealing with two-legged predators. Seriously, my friend...check it out a bit more. That's why they even make light mounts for AKs now...so that even cavemen can fight with light. Heh.

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    Replies
    1. the thing I can't figure out, is if I have a flashlight on my weapons, what's to keep some guy in the tree line from just sighting in on me and blowing me away? If I'm lit up and he's not, the ending of the story is not to my liking.

      How can you use it as a tactical tool and not give away your position?

      If there's some trick to it, I wouldn't mind hanging a light on the AK because it really is a dyed in the wool bitch trying to handle that massive Ryobi flood and a full sized rifle. It's damn near impossible.

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  7. Harry,

    Sounds to me you have a bear looking for easy food. Be careful, if he/she is knows there's food easily available they'll be back. You don't want to walk up on one in the middle of the night. I know you do everything possible to make sure nothing is available to the wildlife as far as food from your domesticated animals. Like you, I would have a gun handy at all times.
    Be safe!

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    1. Sandy, I'm careful. I don't put a lot of good on the cat feeding station and they usually eat it all. I don't use the trash bin down there anymore because it was a constant irritant, not just bears but the raccoon's proved to be very adept at taking the bungie cords off the lids, pulling out the trash sacks, and scattering trash everywhere.

      It was actually the bears and wild hogs that stopped me from growing corn up here. They would just tear down the electric fence and feast on the corn. I'd fix the fence, they'd tear it down again.

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    2. Harry,

      The bears and hogs can become a nuisance when it comes to food and wanting it. The raccoon's maybe cute but their a nuisance too. They just love getting into the bird seed.

      I know you're safe, it was just a figure of speech. Sometimes it just comes out, lol.......

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    3. It's a worthwhile admonishment. This can be a dangerous place to live, in its own way.

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  8. Bear was my first guess. I've had bear issues as a side effect of buring waste grease. The AK is fine, but keep a 30-06 handy for night visitors. I also keep my boat spotlight by the door when we are home. Pretty normal for country living, I guess.

    Buddy of mine had to shoot one. After invading the chicken coop it tought it'd try the neighbor's kitchen door.

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    1. I would really hate to have to kill one. They're inoffensive animals most of the time. I bend over backwards to avoid enticing them up here around the place, but sometimes they just get curious, or something out on the porch attracts their attention. Usually they'll leave when the dogs get going, which is what I suspect happened this time.

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    2. I've no use for a dead bear my own self so I do my best to discourage their visits. When humans and bears clash it's usually worse for the bear.

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    3. My problem early on when I first moved here, was I got used to them scrounging around and just ignoring me, and I forgot how dangerous they are. I'm lucky I never got mauled, as I used to come out and get about 10 feet from them, and shoot my shotgun up in the air over their heads. I also didn't realize, at the time, that they can outrun a man. I thought they would be slow and cumbersome. Some of the locals explained those issues to me, so I was lucky and didn't have to learn the hard way. I always feel like I'm squatting on the animals land up here, and I try to live and let live. I don't want to be like that idiot that hung out with Grizzlies and petted them and walked around with them til one day they ate him.

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    4. That would be Timmy "Bear-Poop" Treadwell, Darwin took care of him. It is hard to feel sorry for him. I imagine drugs atrophied his brain cells and caused him to think he could play with wild bears. Sadly he got his girlfriend killed in the process too.

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    5. I saw pictures of the guy some time before he got killed. I remember thinking he was not long for this world. His girlfriend must have been a chip off the old block as well.

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  9. Harry - we have brown and i think black bears here but they are so timid you could leave out a bear buffet but they won't come too close to a human settlement - i guess you could say that they are pretty smart.

    i know that you are careful but i can't help but say be careful...and always have a loaded weapon handy...which i also know that you always have.

    be safe. sending much love, as always! your friend,
    kymber

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  10. Kymber, I think if anything happens to me up here it will be people,and not animals, that do me in. Animals don't usually do things out of spite and hatefulness but you know how so many people are.

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