In Norway House, as summer winds down and autumn takes hold, both teachers and black bears can be found returning to the community and roaming around at large. Presumably the teachers are largely well-behaved--but the bears are a another matter. They're usually shy and easily scared off, but the potential for danger is there.
After a couple of encounters with a scrawny-looking yearling bear that was hanging around our property, I phoned the Conservation Officers to let them know. After I made the phone call, a bear trap - which is a wide culvert pipe with a metal grill at one end and a trap door at the other - was placed along our laneway. But the bear never took the bait and after a day or two the trap was placed at a different location.
One of the Conservation Officers told me that there are about 15 bears prowling around the community, all hoping to fatten up for the winter. The COs try to trap and relocate them, but the bears have got wise this year and are largely avoiding the traps. (I heard today that they had to start baiting the traps with fruit instead of meat because they were mainly trapping stray dogs.)
In a few more weeks, of course, these bear sightings will grow less and less frequent. And then eventually the bears go into hibernation. It's just part of the cycle of the year here.
The bear photo (above) was taken by my wife as we were on Highway 373 (a.k.a., the Norway House Road). It was just hanging out by the side of the road, no doubt hoping for handouts from passing cars. As we slowed down to have a better look at it, the bear came out to greet us. Needless to say, we didn't give it anything to eat. About 500 metres up the road we came to a construction zone and we told one of the workers about the bear nearby. "We know him allright," the guy with the Slow-Stop sign said. "He's the friendly one."