I feel that I should write a retraction of sorts to my previous blog Return of the Bear. In my blog I stated that a bear would be killed if reported to be in a neighborhood more than twice. I have been happy to learn that I was misinformed. They will relocate a bear if it visits a neighborhood more than twice but not kill it. Yea! Happy news!
I was also told that you can not shoot an animal on your property unless it is threatening you. Now this can make for an interesting discussion because there are different opinions as to what is a threat and what is not.
"Well sure! We wouldn't shoot a bear because it's going through our trash or passing through our property but if it's in my house..." I reasoned.
"Nope. It has to be threatening you," said the Mountain Woman.
"Um...a bear in my HOUSE is pretty damn threatening."
However...I kind of get it.
There is a story that I was told by one of my Mountain People about one of their neighbors. A bear entered their house through the basement door. Once inside the bear bumped the door and it shut. Poor thing could push the door in but could not figure out how to make it open to let itself out. (My dog, Drake has the same problem.) Feeling trapped and scared the bear pooped himself. Repeatedly. The bear pooped all over the basement and was sort of running about/pacing through it all, mashing that poo into the carpet real good.
It sounds like the floor plan of this house is similar to mine in that you can enter from the basement or from upstairs. The owner of the house exited his home from upstairs, went down to the basement door, and opened it for the bear to exit. The bear followed the cue and ran out the opened door. Now I don't know all of the details of this story. I don't know if the owner of the home loaded his shotgun first, then went and held the door open all gentlemen-like for the bear to exit through but if it were me, that's the way to go.
I think this home owner handled the situation perfectly. First of all if he had shot the bear he would not only have poop to clean out of the basement but a huge dead bear and a bloody mess to boot. His home was preserved (some what), family safe and the bear can also live happily ever after. I like that. However, I would not have thought poorly of him if he had shot the bear because it is in his house and that would make me feel quite threatened! If a human broke into my house and pooped all over it I'd shoot him. Actually, I would probably try to sneak out of the house while talking to 911 on my cell phone but the point is, if someone breaks into your home you can shoot them. At least in Texas. I guess I should find out what the law in Colorado is in this regard. Maybe you can't shoot them until they hit you first or point a gun at you first.
I'm still not sure what constitutes a threat by a bear or mountain lion or deer. (Deer can kill you. I know it sounds crazy but they can.) At this point I am taking my cue from South Park (written by Coloradoans). In one episode Uncle Jimbo explains to the kids that if an animal is charging you, you are being threatened and you may shoot to kill regardless if said, critter is in season. Jimbo uses this to kill what ever he likes.
A bear: "$@#%! It's coming right for us!"
A deer: $#@%! It's coming right for us!
A squirrel: $#@%! It's coming right for us!
Please note that by taking this cue it does not mean that I'm going to shoot and kill animals willy nilly and "claim" that I was threatened. It means that I think that the animal has to be "coming right for you" to be considered a threat.
Also note that in regards to my first blog where the bear shows up, I said that my husband was planning to take a day off from work to sit on the deck and shoot any deer that came on the property and tried to eat his trees. He did in fact say this. He was in fact joking. Maybe we have a rather twisted sense of humor but these things are in jest. The truth is we love the animals and we love to see them. My husband is the first to say that we are in THEIR territory not the other way around.