Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First Bear Encounter!

    Never in a million years did we think our first BEAR encounter would occur in our very own backyard in this little village of Calumet.  Of course, Steve has had bear encounters in the past on our property near Eagle Harbor, but that's to be expected occasionally in that densely wooded area. 
    Monday began quietly and routinely - just the way we like it.  Steve had plans to put the last coat of paint on the kitchen, and we were sitting in the living room.  Suddenly, we heard a loud growl coming from right outside our living room window at the front of the house.  Steve quickly opened the curtains, looked outside, and spotted the black beast moving toward a man who happened to be walking by on his way to the garage next door.  The man was backing up slowly toward the garage door keeping an eye on the animal.  He wasn't far from the door at that point and made it safely inside.  We quickly called the police.  Then, Steve put on his boots and jacket, grabbed his handgun, and went outside.  He's so brave.  No longer spotting the vicious critter, he went around the corner of our house to check on our dog in our fenced backyard.  Whew, our dog was fine.  Just then, that wild animal came around the corner of the house.  Steve had made sure to close the gate behind him, but it hopped the fence and followed him into our yard!  Steve had just enough time to open the back door to let our dog inside the back porch and draw his handgun.  The animal circled around him and had him pinned down to a small area near the back door.  Steve had his gun out and pointed.  He didn't really want to kill the beast, but he would have to shoot if it got too close.  Steve stayed very still - trying not to make any sudden moves.  The handle of the back door was within reach, but he wasn't sure he could make it inside quickly enough.  The crazed critter was growling and lunging toward him repeatedly.  I was still inside the house and heard the commotion in the backyard, so I banged on the window and yelled in an attempt to scare it away.  Steve yelled for me to call the police again.  I told the police the animal had my husband pinned in the backyard.  They said they would immediately dispatch a car. 
    After what seemed like an eternity, the state police and the village police both arrived.  The officers exited their vehicles and began knocking on doors across the street.  What?  Why are they doing that?  Don't they know my husband is in the backyard with a savage beast?  The noise of the officers on the street was enough to distract the aggressive monster, and it went around the other corner of the house to see what was happening.  That gave Steve the opportunity to dart inside the house.  Steve hurried through the house and went back out the front door to talk to the police.  The animal was still inside our fenced yard.  As the police walked back and forth and discussed what to do, I watched that critter hop back and forth over our fence from our yard to the neighbor's yard at least a dozen times. Why weren't they doing something?  I wondered what were they going to do if it hopped a different portion of the fence and got loose in the neighborhood again.  At that point, I didn't know the police weren't even carrying a tranquilizer gun.  I also didn't know they had a run-in with this fierce animal in the past.  It had bitten a jogger!  
    Suddenly, another vehicle arrived and a woman ran up to the officers.  It was the neighbor.  They actually allowed her to enter our backyard!  That's when we found out the dog was named "Bear."  The lady got a "stiff fine" for not keeping her dog under control along with a warning that Bear would be taken if this happens again.  So, that was our first U.P. "Bear" encounter!  It is currently 35° and sunny.  All's well again in the Keweenaw.
Disclosure: Some names were changed to protect the identity of those involved.


  1. This was just like I was reading an O. Henry story. Short with a twist ending. Glad everything worked out. BAD DOGGY!

  2. Ohhhh Julie.. Julie... Julie..... you had me!!! I'm yelling SHOOT IT!! SHOOT IT!!!!! Like the Jurassic Park scene where the Raptor is eating the guys whole! LOL... Can't wait for next big tale!


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