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Bear in trash, grr.

I've been bitching since April about how dry this year was and that the one positive to drought is that it would hopefully curb the massive elk overpopulation up here. (I mean "eats everything in the garden including teasels and daffodils, have browsed an 8' lilac ragged and are thisclose to starting in on the aspen" overpopulated.)

<elk-related tangent>
If the neighborhood covenants allowed me to hunt elk in the yard, we'd have meat for the next few years. Thanks to that and the influx of flatlanders, the only way to kill elk up here without tags and permission to hunt on someone's private property is to take them out with your car... which I'd be inclined to do if I had a car and didn't mind the likelihood of totalling it. If I had prompt access to a truck (I could probably fit it in the back of the Bronco, but I'm sure Branden wouldn't appreciate it), I'd happily give my number to the local substation. Despite the fears of CWD (chronic wasting disease, related to variant Creuzfelt-Jakob in humans), elk hit up here often are salvaged as food, either taken by the deputies or whoever they call. The primary function of elk in my ecosystem is to be tasty when cooked, although they also make excellent jerky.
</elk-related tangent>


Anyway, due to the drought the elk have been eating damn near everything, mule deer are down at my altitude (this time of year they're usually at least 1000' up), and our friendly local mountain lion has been laying lower than expected.

Guess her (yes, our local is a she and I know where she lives, although I will not show you since we have a mutual non-aggression pact) absence from keeping the population of outdoors-at-night pets down threw me off guard, since I heard mad scuffling (much louder than the elk stripping the lilac which half-covers my window) in front of the garage.

Turns out a black bear decided to take a stroll through the neighborhood and rifle through trash. (Tuesday is trash pickup in our neighborhood. Also, the nearest bear I know of has a den about 3-4 miles west of us and I hadn't seen sign -- prints or scat -- of it in nearly three years until tonight.)

If Dad hadn't scared the almighty shit out of it (*chuckles* in the same car declared totalled after hitting/being hit by two elk back in 1999) by the timing of his arrival home, we'd have some pissy Department of Wildlife people up here trying to dart that bear.

I'm not sure whether to be amused or disappointed, but bets are I'll be the one out there in the morning picking up trash since I heard the bear and didn't scare it off at the time. (Not that I could scare a bear, but I made a huge Italian exchange student that was raiding the fridge piss herself when I came down the hall brandishing a dull 18" machete. Our own exchange student had broken curfew but neglected to call and inform us, so my parents assumed she was spending the night with a friend. I also scared most of a hall of drunken Southern girls, but they don't count since they were (a) mostly white and (b) straight.)

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oddharmonic
Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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