Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

April 26, 2014

Bears on prowl for springtime meals

INTERLOCHEN — Paula Dreeszen knows it’s springtime when her bird feeders turn into bear feeders.

Black bear sightings aren’t unheard of in Dreeszen’s secluded Interlochen neighborhood. Several residents called Grand Traverse County’s dispatchers one evening this week and reported a bear not quite skulking around the Melody Lane and Tenor Drive environs.

Dreeszen believes this same bear yanked down her bird feeders and scarfed their sunflower seeds and peanuts.

“Luckily, it didn’t destroy the feeders,” she said.

Katie Keen, a wildlife technician at the Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s Cadillac office, said dozing black bears burn through fat in the winter and wake up hungry in the spring.

“They’re looking for the quickest, easiest source of food,” she said.

This means that bird feeders, outdoor pet food, garbage bags and even barbecue grills can offer welcome snacks for bears. Keen said they often return to the same easy pickings year-after-year.

“The things about bears is they can remember,” she said. “If they got a meal last spring, they’ll remember it.”

Dreeszen said she’ll put away her feeders for a couple of weeks, but she’s not afraid. Black bears seem more like scaredy cats than vicious man eaters.

“The year that we did see the bear, we opened up the door and hollered and the bear took off,” she said.

Keen said making noise is exactly what homeowners and hikers should do when they encounter a wandering bear. She said air horns, car alarms and other noises might make bears rethink their jaunts into yards for free bird seed and scraps.

“You just want to make noise and not be a peaceful situation,” she said.

Jason Torrey, deputy director for Grand Traverse 911, said Interlochen’s recent bear sightings didn’t require a law enforcement dispatch. He said people should just be mindful.

“We have more bears than people realize,” he said.

People interested in learning more about black bear behavior and avoiding spring encounters can watch a DNR video at



Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl