FRANKLIN, Maine — For the second time this week, a hunter has shot to death a bear that has been harassing domestic animals in this Hancock County town.
Roy Warren Jr. of Franklin shot the bear at the home of his cousin Bobbi Jo Jordan on Friday night after it tried to get into the barn that housed her two paint quarter horses.
“This was the third time I’ve seen him, but he’s probably been out here other times,” Jordan said Saturday. “Each time he never got anything to eat. I don’t know why he kept coming back except to get at the horses.”
The male bear, estimated to weigh around 200 pounds, had been trying to get into the horse barn since early this month, Jordan said. On his second visit last weekend, he was about a foot away from scaling the bottom portion of a double barn door and getting into a stall with one of the horses, she said.
He was scared off when Jordan’s father fired a shot in the air. Jordan had beefed up the fencing around the barn, and they had a live barrel trap set up near the barn
On Friday night, Jordan went outside with her dog on a leash.
“I was a little skittish,” she said. “I had a flashlight and I shone it around and I saw some eyes through the brush. He was just sitting there.”
Jordan went back in the house and called her cousin. Meanwhile, the bear had gotten through the fencing, but he left the paddock area and was circling around the barn. He wandered into the area between Jordan’s home and the barn. That’s when Warren shot him.
The bear is the second one shot in Franklin in recent days. Jordan lives just about three miles from the home of Jeff and Becka Gagne, where on Wednesday a hunter shot a female bear suspected of killing two goats in separate attacks at the farm over the past few weeks. That bear also was suspected of killing another goat at the farm of John Roscoe and Jennifer Minard in Sullivan, located about two miles from Jordan’s place.
Roscoe and Minard hoped to compare the DNA from the meat from that bear to scat taken from their farm in an effort to determine whether it was the same bear.
There have been reports of other bear-related incidents this fall in the area, although no additional reports of animals being killed. While the attacks may seem more frequent than is ordinary, Game Warden Dave Simmons said it is not abnormal behavior for bears and is not unusual in an area where there are a lot of bears.
Simmons said he didn’t like to see the bears killed but noted that all of the farmers had taken nonlethal measures in an effort to capture the bears.
“They exhausted the nonlethal methods,” he said.
Jordan said she is relieved that the bear won’t be bothering her horses anymore. But she said she remains on guard. Although her cousin shot one bear on Friday, he said he heard another one off in the woods calling.
“I’m relieved, but we think there’s another one out there,” Jordan said. “I’m keeping my horses locked up at night.”
That’s the advice Simmons offers to area residents. Bears are attracted to the smells of trash, birdseed and farm animal feed, he said, and he urged people to keep those kinds of things covered well. He also said that doors and windows on barns should be kept shut.