I own a shotgun, though I don’t hunt. I bought it from a friend when I was about to retire to live in Rye, Colorado, in order to chase bears away from my trashcan-tote. Using non-lethal shells, it was pretty effective until one young bear learned how to get out of sight before I could get to my porch with the gun. He (or she) would wait until I was in bed in the back of my tiny (650 square foot) house. He would then attack the trash tote located just outside my attached carport at the front of the house. Now, I had secured the lid of the tote with two six-foot bungees stretched across the lid and secured at both front and back. I thought I was pretty clever. The bear became adept at chewing through bungees.
When my bear would attack my trash tote, with me in bed, the first sign that I was about to interfere was my dog, Buffy, barking in the living room. I would get out of bed and pick up my shotgun on the way to the front door. I would go out onto the porch, stick the shotgun over the railing and not see a bear. I would wait. The bear waited. Eventually I would go back to bed and the process would repeat, sometimes not until the next night.
When the bear first arrived, I did get to shoot it in the rump once or twice with a non-lethal round. But he was persistent. I could have baited it, and slept on the porch. Then Buffy would have been insulted not to be in on the action. But I respected that bear. He was cool and smart. Rye was a special spot for bears. It’s located just inside the edge of the forest leading up to Mount Greenhorn in the Wet Mountains. We had bears up a couple of local Ponderosa pines, once while people were moving into a house within three feet of the tree. A bear with cub was once on the porch across the street. Another time, while trying to find our two dogs at night, my headlights illuminated a bear running across someone’s front lawn. My partner Annie, and friend Jim, retrieved the dogs perhaps a hundred yards away. On the last day I was in the house, we cleaned up the mess the bear had made the night before.