A young bear that shut itself in Babette Dickson's garage on Blue Sage Circle early Monday escaped by pulling back the corner of a metal door and wriggling through the open space near the floor.

Babette Dickson/courtesy

A young bear that shut itself in Babette Dickson's garage on Blue Sage Circle early Monday escaped by pulling back the corner of a metal door and wriggling through the open space near the floor.

Bear trashes metal door to escape Steamboat garage

Homemade jam untouched in Monday incident

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— The bear that destroyed Babette Dickson’s metal exterior door early Monday morning wasn’t trying to break into her garage. It was trying to escape it. And in its haste, the bear left behind 10 jars of homemade boysenberry jam.

“What he did to that door, it’s like, ‘wow!’ The guy was mad and frustrated,” Dickson said. “It was a door with metal (skin) and filled with insulation. He peeled metal off the door and bent the lower left corner like it was a sardine can. He wrecked the thing. It’s like a piece of surrealist art now.”

Because it was a small bear, her neighbor spied it and estimated it stood 3 feet tall, she concluded it was able to squirm underneath the gap between the floor and the edge of the door, where it had been bent sharply upward.

Dickson lives in the Blue Sage subdivision north of Fish Creek Falls Road, where her duplex home borders the natural area along Spring Creek Canyon. She and her neighbors have seen a young bear wandering the neighborhood in daylight this month. But Dickson didn’t open an interior door at 3:30 a.m. to glimpse her intruder, preferring to remain on the other side of a wall.

District Wildlife Manager Danielle Domson said she thinks the same bear likely was responsible for damage in a second Blue Sage home Sunday night. That brings the number of incidents involving bears in garages to six or seven in July, she said.

By the middle of Monday morning, Dickson had surmised that although she keeps her garage doors closed, the side door must not have fully latched the last time it was shut. Her large green trash container was kept near the door, and the bear, wile tussling with the can to open it, must have banged it against the door latching it behind him, she theorized.

“The guy was playing football with the thing, banging it against the wall and trying to open it,” Dickson said.

Dickson and her son, Louis, 10, listened to the bear rampage in the garage for 40 minutes. Another son, James, 14, slumbered through the entire event even though he was in the next room.

“Louis said, ‘Mom, maybe it’s not a bear. Maybe it’s an alien,’” Dickson said.

It was at about that point that Dickson decided to call the police. They arrived, shotguns in hand, five minutes after the bear made his escape, she said.

Domson renewed a plea for people to look after the security of their homes and garages. Most of the bears that damaged garages this month came in through wide-open garage doors, she said. Dickson’s side door has a doorknob that typically is a bear-proof system. Bears that enter side doors most often have learned through trial and error to operate lever-style handles, Domson said.

With the arrival of hot summer weather, people should resist the temptation to leave first-floor windows open and covered only with screens, she said. That amounts to an invitation to a visit from bears. If a sow cannot squeeze through the opening, she’ll send her cubs in.

Dickson observed that the bear that banged up her side door added insult to injury by leaving a little pile of scat a few feet from a shelf where 10 jars of her own homemade boysenberry preserves sat unmolested.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

kathy foos 3 years, 1 month ago

Where do you get your boysenberries Babette?I like making jelly's.I've never seen any wild ones around ,but maybe I just don't know what they look like.It should be a record year for all of the wild berries and chokecherry's.Last year they were just huge and dripping off of the branches,Pretty soon they bears will be enjoying them heartily ,This year the Sarvice Creeks Bears will have pavement while enjoying themselves in a fine feast.

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Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 1 month ago

I love your son's comment ‘Mom, maybe it’s not a bear. Maybe it’s an alien.’” That is adorable. Nice chuckle to start the day with. Kids are so awesome with their perspective on things. These days ya just never know - glad it was just a bear though.

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

I dunno, a good alien story would perk up these forums. The fur coat is often a disguise.

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Jeff_Kibler 3 years, 1 month ago

Proofreading seems to be a thing of the past, along with grammar checking. Hell, we all make mistakes, and I'm guilty as charged for spelling/grammatical errors.

Here's a reprise of an earlier comment vis-a-vis the above: (hummed to Dancing Queen by ABBA, aka Lady GagMe with a spoon)

You are the grammar queen Old and tart, IQ of seventeen

Grammar queen, Keats and Yeats Would have split a spleen

You can't spell, or punctuate Better than those you berate

Here's advice, get a life Become a banking queen

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 1 month ago

Everybody depends on spell check these days. "Wile" is a word, so spell check can't catch it. It can't tell that it's out of context. I guess we just expect a higher standard from the paper and there's an evil satisfaction in pointing out their mistakes. Speaking for myself ... noe mattr HOW meny times I preafrood my one stuff, sumtihng alweys gets bye meee.

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jk 3 years, 1 month ago

"District Wildlife Manager Danielle Domson said she thinks the same bear likely was responsible for damage in a second Blue Sage home Sunday night"

It seems this lady should be questioned about her skills of managing wildlife!.

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babette dickson 3 years, 1 month ago

@ Kathy Foos / Sun: I meant to say "serviceberry" jam, not boysenberries....

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