As Spring creeps into the New Hampshire’s lakes region our animal friends begin to make themselves more apparent. Generally, in March we are visited frequently by deer who have shown a particular fondness for our yew bushes. We assume that following months of slim pickings deep in the woods they’re ready for some luscious greens more readily accessible now that the snow has largely melted away. For some reason our neighborhood deer didn’t show up this March, so we’ll wait for the summer to see if the patterns have really changed or if perhaps they found a better menu elsewhere.
This is the time we start taking our bird feeders in at night to avoid losing them to the recently awakened and currently hungry black bears. Seeing a black bear lumbering through the yard is always an exciting moment – more or less exciting depending on whether we’re inside or outside at the time they decide to appear!
It’s estimated that there are close to 5,000 black bear in New Hampshire. Females weigh in at 125-150 lbs with males being larger, in the 200 – 250 lb. range. They cover a lot of ground as they forage for food. Females usually have a territory of about 10 square miles, but males can range up to 120 square miles. With all that walking no wonder they’re so hungry! They’re not aggressive, in fact they tend to be skittish around humans, but like all wild animals they can be dangerous. This is especially true when a mother is still in a protective mode with cubs. So when we see bear we watch with respect and appreciate being able to witness some of the wonderful wildlife all around us. Our guests who miss the opportunity to see bear in the wild can see them at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center located just down the street.
Certainly seeing black bear in our yard is not a daily occurrence, but we’ve seen them at all times of the day including during our breakfast hour. Always a thrill we’re happy to share with our guests!