number bear radis decreasing

Frequency of bear raids decreasing in Squirrel Cove

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

After two very intensive weeks, the frequency of bear raids along Squirrel Cove road, on Cortes Island, appears to be decreasing. 

All images of Squirrel Cove Bear taken from Graham Blake’s web cam recording of Sep 8, 2020

No raids on Friday or Saturday 

According to Sandy Hoffman, who has been keeping tabs on developments, “Thursday night around 11 PM the bear went through on Graham [Blake’s] property by the trail cam, which is between our properties, but on his side. It was coming out from [Basil] Creek. So I would guess that it goes down my driveway. That’s all connected to the logging road that goes out my driveway to [Squirrel Cove Road].”    

The last known incident: Sunday night

She added, “I didn’t hear anything from anyone on Friday or Saturday, and Sunday night the bear was back at Laurel’s.”

The bear had not found anything to eat at Bohart’s, but did get into a neighbours compost. 

Number of bear raids decreasing
Locations associated with the Squirrel Cove Bear – adapted from Google Maps by Roy L Hales

Along Basil Creek

Laurel Bohart described what she saw, walking beside Basil Creek. 

“The trail is broader than it used to be, so we think the bear is coming and going fairly frequently. Up and down the edge of the creek, through Nancy’s property at the back and down along the trail below her,” said Bohart.

The sound of rubber boots along a water soaked trail accompanied her voice, “I’ll go see if I can find more scat.”

” Oh, what’s that?”

“Not scat, okay, hang on.” 

More foot steps, “Okay, I’m down here. [The ground is] trampled down, definitely not from deer coming back here.” 

She observed, “It’s not disturbing freezers. It is actually a very polite bear. It’s coming along, poking around to see if there is anything good [to eat] and then leaving again.”  

Bohart’s tone changed after opening her compost bin, “I think he put fresh compost in there. I wish he’d tossed it somewhere else. Sandy puts her’s in the bin at the recycling centre. Oh thanks Tom, that’s fresh stuff. Oh well, it is mostly lettuce.”

She continued, “The bear will go for lettuce. I think this guy specializes in compost, what do you think?” 

There have been at least three attacks on buildings and all of them were apple related.     

“Well, the bear ate all of our apples that it could find the first time, so there is nothing left. Well, we locked the door to the house, so it can’t get in the house where the apples are – and it hasn’t tried getting in,” said Bohart. 

number of bear raids decreasing
Bear tracks the snow – courtesy Leslie Perdisa

Attacks on buildings  

All of the attacks on buildings occurred last week. As mentioned in my first report, the bear burst open the door to Leslie Perdisa’s cellar and was driven off while it was ripping the siding at Mack-Mumford’s. I just learned of the incident at Lloyd and Nancy’s. 

Nancy Beach said, “[The bear] didn’t break in, but it was trying. It broke the dryer vent off of our wash house on the outside – because it could smell apples in our washhouse, apparently. It was also clawing at the lock on the door and it ripped a little bit of the sheathing off the door at the bottom. There was some cans beside it as well, with some liquids – which he bit into. He probably didn’t like the taste of those very much.”

“It returned the next night, I think, and then squashed the vent pipe …”  

That was a week ago. 

Frequency of bear raids decreasing

The only recent incidents occurred Sunday night.

“Maybe the bear is spending more time in the creek? Maybe it’s getting ready to hibernate? I don’t think the bear has moved on if it was at Laurel’s on Sunday night – at least the one bear and it could easily be more than one bear,” said Hoffman.

“I think there are two bears. I think there is a larger one and a two year old female with small paws – but that is a guess, I don’t really know,” said Bohart.

A word of advice

Sandy Hoffman has some advice for people whose houses have not yet been raided, “ … I think the number one thing is to make sure you don’t have anything like fresh compost, apples or any attractants out because once the bear has been to your place, and was successful, it will continue to come back. They are very optimistic creatures. The bear has come to our place three times after there was nothing left. There are no attractants, but it was successful one time and remembers. It keeps trying. I don’t know how many times it takes before the bear says ‘okay, enough already, I’m not coming back there anymore.’”

Links of interest

One thought on “Frequency of bear raids decreasing in Squirrel Cove”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.