The front of our house and the whole garden area is enclosed in a 7' high deer fence, a necessity here in the northwoods if you don't want to cater to the culinary tastes of the deer population. This fence does a good job of keeping out a lot of other smaller animals that could wreak havoc on our garden, orchard or berry patches.
So, we were very surprised to wake up this morning and find two bird feeders within the fencing completely destroyed and one knocked apart but still salvageable.
This tube feeder sporting two big holes and puncture marks most likely made by some animal's teeth was still hanging on its hook on the deck.
This larger feeder we had fastened from a really, really high branch in a big birch tree hung in the air about 10-15 feet away from the tree or any other structure. It's constructed of very heavy plastic, and we were surprised any animal could get access to it let alone break it this way.
Out in the yard off the front deck, we had this feeder mounted on a pole. Everything was knocked off the pole but nothing was irreparably broken. (Papa Pea had started to put it back together before I took the picture.)
In the garden, many corn stalks were broken by being pulled down and the ears of corn eaten.
We made two trips around the perimeter of the deer fencing looking for a spot where something could have gotten in . . . and then out. We could find nothing. Because we felt a bear would have done a bit of damage getting through or up and over the fencing, we had almost decided that our marauder must have been a large racoon.
Another reason for ruling out an invasion by a bear was our apple trees. Unfortunately, apples are a favorite food for bears and each year we hear of lovely apple trees being (literally) torn apart limb by limb by bears seeking the fruit. If a bear had been in our orchard area, why wouldn't it have gone after these nearly ripe apples hanging in plain sight?
Well, my dear hubby wouldn't give up trying to figure out exactly what had happened and upon continuing his walking over the whole area, he found this.
That, folks, is one HUGE pile of bear scat found down near our raspberry bushes. Papa Pea's size 12 boot in in the picture for comparison. That left no doubt that our destructive visitor last night had been a bear.
We've been really lucky. This is the first time in the nearly 18 years we've been in this location that we've had anything get into the fenced in area and do damage.
But the question remains, how did a bear get in and out of the the 7' high fencing without damaging it? And why didn't it go after the apples? And . . . how in the world are we going to keep it from coming back??
Our last Christmas gathering
2 hours ago