The bears don’t care if you’re the governor.

Bear goes after a bird feeder. Photo: and

WCAX reports that Vermont governor Peter Shumlin was chased by 4 bears in his back yard. The bears were feasting on his bird feeders Wednesday night,  and it seems the governor interrupted their midnight snack.

Here’s the play-by-play:

“Shumlin says he ran out barefoot in an attempt to rescue his birdfeeders.

He says one of the bears charged him on the porch.

Shumlin told the Valley News editorial board Vermont ‘almost lost the governor.’

He says he was within ‘three feet of getting ‘arrrh.'”

The Burlington Free Press brings us further details:

“On the negative side, the governor said he wasn’t exactly dressed for an outdoor tangle with wildlife. ‘Real Vermont boys don’t wear pajamas,’ he said.”

At the end of March the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department said it had received reports of black bears emerging from hibernation and looking for food. The department advised people to take down their bird feeders, secure garbage containers, and refrain from leaving food outside.

I must say, I chuckled a little when I read this. But I am very glad the governor is okay.

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11 Comments on “The bears don’t care if you’re the governor.”

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  1. laurie says:

    I chuckled too. The mental video of the event that played in my head was highly entertaining. Glad everyone (and everybear) escaped unharmed!

  2. dave says:

    I’m hoping it is not VT’s policy to now hunt down and destroy these “dangerous” bears. Does anyone know if that is the case?

  3. Pete Klein says:

    So the bear did a bluff charge and the gov did a buff charge?
    Birdseed must be very expensive in Vt to start arguing with a bear. Just be glad it wasn’t an ostrich. I hear they kick pretty hard.

  4. Michael Greer says:

    I went out one summer night to tangle with a porcupine who was chewing on my cabin. A flashlight makes a damned poor weapon, and not much better light. When the critter disappears in the dark…well he could turn up anywhere couldn’t he?

  5. Steve Pelkey says:

    DUMB-DUMB-DUMB—and this man was elected??? It’s a birdfeeder for God’s sake!!!!!!!

  6. Walker says:

    Great lead photo! Oh them wily bears!

  7. Paul says:

    That is a neat picture. I guess if you feed birds in NY you are violating the law, right?

    I don’t do it but the rule seems to prevent the practice. As these guys spread this is more of a problem.

  8. Paul says:

    Dave, Bluff charge? Yes, it looks like that is the case. Does this animal have the normal fear of humans that I see of wild bears? Maybe not? Even sows with cubs are usually very scared of humans when you encounter them in the woods (and I have seen several run off very quickly). This is scary bear behavior. The scariest bear I have ever seen was one near chicken coop brook (near john’s brook) in the high peaks wilderness. These are not the “wild places” that some think.

  9. Snowflake says:

    Rule #1. Never interrupt a feeding bear. It will defend its meal even if it’s on your back porch. That being said. A pellet gun will do the job without harming the animal. And, it usually won’t return after a couple of times. Try not to leave them food and they will go elsewhere.

  10. Paul says:

    Perhaps, but my experience with bears is that they have an innate fear of humans that is even strong enough for them to abandon the best food they can get. We only have an issue with bears in areas where they interact with humans and there is no negative consequences. Once they realize that you are unlikely to try and hurt them they lose that innate fear. Deer in human populated areas are a great example. They will sit right there and let a dog back at them if they know it can’t get over the fence. Once they learn that there is not the negative consequence that their instincts have taught them should be there you have a problem. That is why close interactions with humans is really a death sentence if it isn’t immediately negative for the bear. A fed bear is a dead bear. That is why you will see bears shot at with very painful plugs in some areas to try and reinforce their good instincts when it comes to what they can expect from humans if they try and interact. This is the only way that you can maybe save the animal. The way you see people interact with bears in places like the high peaks is terrible. Many of these people think they are great nature lovers, quite the opposite.

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