Bear Story

One day on our way out of the Water Shed

We had been doing storm repair on the cable feeding Lester & Stampede. Because of road conditions I had left my big truck and trailer at about the 12 mile and just followed the line truck with pole trailer and splicers bucket truck into the watershed with the backhoe. On our way out that evening the guys in the line truck hollered back to me on the CB radio to hurry up and catch up with them. They were stopped on the last hill before reaching the 12-mile parking spot. They had this cinnamon colored bear that was intrigued with their yellow pole trailer. They were sure he would really like my big yellow backhoe. Just like they figured, after I pulled up behind them… his interest in the pole trailer dropped like a rock. He wondered back to check out this new yellow machine.

He stood and just studied it for a bit. Kinda taking it all in. I had a small pop-top can of tuna left in my lunch bucket and I opened it and dumped it on the ground through the open window. He sucked that right down, then stood on his hind legs and looked into that magical machine for more. I spoke to him then telling him that was all I had. He then moved forward and put his paws on the bottom of the open window, just begging for more. Needless to say, I was snapping pictures the entire time and used up the last of my film. About that time the guys in the forward truck started up and headed on up the road. They hollered at me to hurry up and leave my little buddy because it was past quitting time. I left the bear cub and followed them the final quarter mile up to my trailer. I drove the backhoe onto the trailer and as I went to climb down the guys hollered again. Mikie… here comes your little buddy. As I looked over the steering wheel back down the way we had come… here he comes at an easy lope. I dropped down to the ground and started throwing chain to tie down the hoe. I hooked the off side first like usual… flipping the ramps up as I came around the back. The whole time keeping watch on my backside for the bear cub. As I started to flip the binder chains… here he comes around the back of the trailer. This whole time the guys had climbed up on the back of their truck and were keeping me apprised of his whereabouts. Just laughing and carrying on.

Anyhow, as he came around the back of my trailer I reached down and picked up a small branch that had blown out of a tree. I charged at him screaming like a banshee and switching my branch. He turned tail and ran to the closest tree (about 24” at butt). The distance being about 50 feet from the trailer and without missing a step he hit the tree and started up. When his butt was about 10’ above the ground, he looked over his shoulder back down at me and I screamed at him again while swishing my switch and he moved further up the tree. I turned around and started back to finish chaining down the hoe. At that point I thought the guys were going to role off the top of the truck. As I reached about 20 feet from the base of the tree, they hollered that he was climbing down and I heard the scratching of tree bark. Turning around, I see him hit the dirt and turn tail and run off into the brush. He didn’t want anything to do with that crazy man in the cowboy hat. We never saw him again after that. We figured he was on his own because his mother had been hit by a truck or had been shot. I guessed him at maybe 150/175 pounds.

When he stood next to the hoe his head was as high as the bottom of the window. That is about 6’ high.

I sure wish the guys on the truck hadn't used up all their film... <grin>


     Oh Boy another yellow machine         Wow... I wonder               Eating tuna                    Any more in there ?               Hey buddy got more ?

Bear 1.jpg (279605 bytes)                     Bear 2.jpg (353291 bytes)             Bear 3.jpg (287074 bytes)              Bear 4.jpg (328082 bytes)        Bear 5.jpg (252855 bytes)    Bear 6.jpg (270860 bytes)


Back to main Lester/Stampede page