So says a Jeff. Co. woman who was swatted by a bear outside her house early this morning.
Beware! As we've said before, bears are out and about - and they're hungry. They won't like anything standing between them and food.
The DOW says a bear swatted the 38-year-old Conifer woman at 12:30 a.m. outside her home. Responding to her barking dog on the porch, she encountered a bear, one of three in the area. The victim’s 10-year-old daughter saw the swat and said the bear was small, 50-60 lbs.
A DOW officer followed tracks leading away from the home and encountered three bears. One bear charged the officer and was shot and killed.
The DOW set a trap for the other 2 bears. The woman was taken to a hospital, treated and released.
To learn more about black bears play the DOW's Black Bear Challenge.
To minimize such encounters the DOW recommends:
++ Keep garbage out of reach and smell of bears. Use bear-proof trash bins. Be sure garbage cans are emptied regularly. Periodically clean garbage cans. Store trash cans in a bear-proof enclosure.
++ Do not store pet food nor feed your pets outside.
++ Clean your BBQ grill of grease and store inside.
++ Hang bird seed, suet and hummingbird feeders on a wire between trees instead of on your deck or porch. Bring all bird feeders in at night.
++ Do not put fruit, melon rinds and other tasty items in mulch or compost piles.
IF YOU SEE A BEAR:
++ Stay calm.
++ If you see a bear and it has not seen you, calmly leave the area. As you move away, make noise to let the bear discover your presence. Stop. Back away slowly while facing the bear.
++ Avoid direct eye contact, as bears may perceive this as a threat.
++ Give the bear plenty of room to escape.
++ Do not run - you cannot outrun a bear. Do not make any sudden movements.
++ If on a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly move away.
++ Speak softly. This may reassure the bear that you mean it no harm.
++ Try not to show fear.
If a black bear attacks you:
++ Use rocks, sticks, binoculars, a backpack and even their bare hands to defend yourself.
++ Aim for the nose or eyes if possible.
(Photo by Michael Seraphin, courtesy of the DOW)