Among the Wild Things

Republished here with permission of the Abiquiu News. Check out the Abiquiu News at for more stories related to Abiquiu.

Among the Wild Things

Any time of the year, the howl of the coyotes remind us that we are living among the wild things. This time of year, bears begin to visit the area. Along the Chama valley, particularly for residents with bees and fruit, bears are putting in an appearance. Last week, a mother bear (a blonde or palomino color) and her two dark brown cubs paid a visit to the apiaries at Las Parras de Abiquiu. The Bader’s beehives were hit several nights in a row. Game and Fish were called.  A trap was placed and one of the cubs was caught and relocated. The cub was likely around three years old and close in size to the mother. Bears have also made their presence known near the western end of 155 on the river. They travel freely along the river corridor.
From New Mexico Game and Fish “Black Bears of New Mexico”

1. Garbage – Store it in closed, sturdy cans kept inside a sturdy metal shed or garage. Do not put out garbage the night before a scheduled pickup. Periodically, clean cans with hot water and bleach.
2. Pet food – Feed pets indoors. Store food in sturdy metal cans inside a secure shed or garage. Make sure your garage door is closed at night.
3. Bird feeders – Set out only enough bird seed to last through the day. Bring in bird seed, suet, and hummingbird feeders at night. Hang them from wires between trees instead of on your deck or porch.
4. Clean your barbecue grill after each use. Store them in a closed, secure shed or garage.
5. Compost piles – Do not put fruit, melon rinds and other tasty items in mulch or compost piles except in winter. Keep them away from the house.
6. Fruit trees – Plant fruit trees away from your house. Pick and remove fruit from trees as it ripens and clean up fallen fruit.
7. Surround beehives, chickens, rabbits etc. with a 5-strand electric fence. Livestock should be kept away from the house.


1. Stay calm. Do NOT run. Chances are the bear is just afraid of you as you might be of it. Move children and pets indoors or to a vehicle.
2. If the bear has not seen you, calmly move away and leave the area. As you move away, talk to the bear to let it discover your presence. A surprised bear is a dangerous bear.
3. Do NOT approach the bear, back away slowly while facing the bear. Do NOT make any sudden movements. 4. Look for cubs. Do not come between a mother and her cubs.
5. Bears often run from humans, but if it feels cornered or threatened, it could attack.
6. Fight back aggressively if a bear attacks you. Black bear attacks have been driven away when people have fought back with rocks, sticks, binoculars etc. Spraying cayenne pepper at close range at the face of an attacking bear can stop an attack.

If you see a bear, report it to Game and Fish in Chama at 575-756-2585 or the Bear Emergency hot line 505-827-9376. Be a good neighbor and let your neighbors know of the sighting so they can take protective measures.


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