Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

That's no guy in a bear costume

 


A hungry brown bear made Halloween a bit scarier for residents at the end of Mud Bay Road.

The bruin dragged Melina Shields’ Halloween monster costume and a bag of sawdust out of the bed of her truck and stomped on them. It also stood outside a bedroom window, banging on it and looking in.

It climbed onto vehicles, broke into sheds, and overturned a canoe, according to residents.

“He’s run amok the whole neighborhood,” said Sharon Svenson, whose car near the intersection of Chilkat State Park Road was sat on by the bear.

The mischief lasted a few days.

“He was just kind of a menace. Then, he left,” said Elissa Dobbins. The bear wandered the Dobbins’ 6.5 Mile property on the nights of Oct. 30-31, destroying their composter, rummaging through empty aluminum cans, and leaving paw prints on the vacant cabin next door.

As their little dog growled, Kent Dobbins stepped outside, where he saw a large bear sitting, looking at him.

“That’s when Kent got a couple of bottle rockets out and said, ‘Enough is enough. You can leave now.’” The Dobbins haven’t seen the bear since.

Viking Cove homeowner Sally Andersen said that based on how fast the bear tore a metal lock off a shed at her home, the bruin had experience getting into things.

The family awoke at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 1 to the sounds of the shed door banging and the family dog barking. The shed contained a freezer of caribou meat. Paw prints were left on the shed door and car window. A motion-sensor alarm the couple got from Fish and Game went off the next night, but not since.

Burl Sheldon’s car got “mauled” on Halloween or a few hours after. Sheldon discovered a driver’s side mirror torn off his Honda Element. Multiple dents in the vehicle were accompanied by “big old bear prints” neatly pressed on the back driver’s side window and top of the hood. Muddy fur imprints were smeared on the sides, back and front. Sheldon said a couple banana peels were inside the car.

At her 6.5 Mile property on Halloween, Sharon Svenson found dents and prints that indicated the bear had sat on the hood of her car. The passenger’s side mirror had been ripped off, and there was minor damage to the fender.

A small dog treat was the only food item in the car. The legs of the Svenson’s round, Weber charcoal grill were also ripped off, and their gray water line was dug up.

Svenson thinks the bear is hungry and anxious about hibernating. “I think they get a little panicky near the end. I hope he doesn’t meet its demise. If he gets too bold, he just might.”

Svenson hasn’t seen evidence of the bear since Halloween. “What a trickster. I guess he tricked, but couldn’t get a treat.”