There’s bears out thar | NevadaAppeal.com

There’s bears out thar

JIM SCRIPPS

Louis Giomi looked out his back window last week and saw what he described as a 10-foot bear pawing through his garbage, apparently looking for an easy meal.

It has become a common occurrence in the neighborhood of houses below Ash Canyon, where there have been several calls to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office in the past couple of weeks

“We’ve been here 22 years and all of the sudden we have bears,” Giomi said. “It’s getting ridiculous. Something has to be done about it.”

This comes after he installed 7-foot fences around a portion of his property to stop intrusive deer from jumping over and munching on the foliage. But now Giomi has to match wits with a more clever species.

After his uncomfortably close call – Giomi said the bear was only a few feet from his wife – he plans to keep a loaded rifle at arm’s length in case he has another bear encounter.

“They (Nevada Division of Wildlife) were emphatic that I didn’t have the right to shoot,” he said. “But if it does anything threatening, I’ll put a slug in him.”

Chris Healy, Wildlife Division spokesman, said a property owner who lives in bear habitat is limited to self defense when it comes to handling the bear situation.

“If it is attacking, then yes, you can shoot it,” he said. “If it’s going through the garbage it’s the house-owners responsibility to make sure the garbage is secure. It has to be an act of aggression.”

Healy said the Division of Wildlife has been receiving reports of bear activity in Giomi’s neighborhood for several weeks. They believe a sow and her cub are causing most of the problems.

“When it gets cold, bears have an elevated level of appetite,” he said. “Hopefully, the weather will put them in the den soon.”

Healy said bear catchers have placed traps in the area.

“If we catch him we’ll take him up in the hills and release him,” he said. “We’ll try to teach him aversion.”

Aversion training is used to turn the bears off to the neighborhoods that they have become accustomed to raiding in their search for food. A common aversion practice is rubber bullets and pepper spray, Healy said.