This is Surely the Year for Bears!
A friend called me to get the phone number for the Wildlife Officer who deals with bears. I went to their home down in the Highway 34 canyon on the way to Loveland. A bear had tipped over a birdseed container they had chained to the tree and he was feasting. I got there just as the Wildlife Officer fired a shot of rubber pellets from her shotgun. The bear, very black and bigger than the bears we have right in Estes Park, took off running and she fired a second shot at him. Boy, did he run fast! It is amazing after usually seeing them waddle along in their slow, ambling walk - to then see them take off at top speed and realize how fast they can really move! So we spent a half an hour cleaning up birdseed, and then pepper sprayed the area around th container in case he comes back. We warned the family to stay away from that are for at least a couple of days until the residual pepper spray wears off (or a good rain washes it away). That is nasty stuff!
Being out in the dark with a flashlight checking to make sure the bear was gone, one does not have any trouble staying alert! Every little night sound of the forest sounded like the bear was right there. In truth, he was probably a mile away and still running...but the mind is not ready to accept safety....yet.