I spent a number of years in pastures in Colorado. It is a beautiful state with many things to offer residents and tourists alike. Skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, festivals of all kinds in the spring and then there is autumn. There are three sure signs that autumn has arrived in the Rockies. Football being thrown, leaves on the aspen trees turning and dumpster diving … by bears.
Of course the reason why bears are heading for dumpsters this time of the year is to prepare for the season of hibernation. Actually bears need to get more than what is on the berry bush. They need in the neighborhood of 20,000 calories a day to prepare for their long winter's nap. And when those calories are high in sugar content, oh baby, do we have a happy bear? Bears have been known to search up to 20 hours a day for their supply of food. And while they are eating, bears are generally not aware of anything other than the next bite … of food.
The scary part about those characteristics is that I know people like that.
Bears are looking for the thing that most humans skip over. They like the fruits and vegetables. Actually 90% of their diet falls in that category. And after eating 18,000 calories of veggies, can you really fathom a steak?
This year, the problem could be larger than normal for homeowners up against the mountains. Bears are being forced to limit their hunt for food because humans continue to invade their land. And because of that dumpster diving begins.
If you live near the hills, it is best to keep the garage door closed and the trash cans hidden. Homeowners are encouraged to bear proof their residences in those areas by keeping windows and doors closed and locked and if they have pets outside, protect them with electric fencing.
With upward to 12,000 bears in Colorado, the chance of seeing one in your back wooded area is pretty good. But don't panic. Experts say they are just as afraid of us as we are of them.
Just don't interrupt their eating if they are still on their first 19,000 calories.