Home » News » Waupaca News » Nuisance bear running amuck

Nuisance bear running amuck

Waupaca neighborhood on edge

By James Card

Bear print photographed in yard in Waupaca neighborhood. Submitted Photo

A black bear is causing problems in a Waupaca subdivision.

The neighborhood is at the end of South Western Avenue, past Little Wolf Automotive and the street branches off into three smaller lanes: Mead Drive, Charles Wright Drive and Sunridge Drive.

Ald. Dmitri Martin, on behalf of Joni Radley, brought the troublesome bear to the attention of city council during their Dec. 6 meeting. Radley has family members who live on Mead Drive.

As Martin looked into the bear problem, his own garbage can was ransacked.

“In the meantime, my own garbage was knocked over when I set it out Wednesday for pickup. Two garbage bags were taken out. One was destroyed in my front yard and the other was hauled around the back of my house and destroyed in my backyard,” said Martin.

His neighbor, Troy Penney, took a photo of a bear track in the snow on Nov. 21. Next to the track was a human boot print. Both tracks were about the same length.

Another neighbor on Sunridge Drive captured video of the bear skulking around on a patio. The bear is medium-sized—not a bruin but much larger than a cub.

For the past month, the black bear has prowled the neighborhood at night and roots through garbage cans. It has attempted to get into houses by beating on garage doors and windows. It comes up onto porches and decks and tries to open up barbecue grills.

Radley reported that people in the subdivision are nervous, have trouble sleeping and are careful of letting pets go outside at night.

She reported that a neighbor called a game warden and was told that there was nothing they could do because it was a “nuisance bear.”

Living with black bears

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the state’s black bear population is more than 24,000 bears and the DNR and USDA-Wildlife Services receive more than 700 calls related to nuisance black bears.

The DNR has fact sheets about living with black bears in Wisconsin and how to handle nuisance bears.

First, is to remove all food sources: bird feeders, food waste in garbage, grills and pet foods.

The DNR advises residents to harass the bear by honking horns and banging pots or pans to discourage it from visiting.

As a final measure if these actions do not work, the USDA-Wildlife Services will conduct an investigation for bears that are “demonstrating abnormally bold behavior.”

The black bear has plenty of forest cover to retreat into and take refuge. Behind this subdivision is a large wooded area that reaches to Waupaca Bowl, the Waupaca Recycling Center, Lakeside Memorial Park and the St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery to the southwest.

To the north, the wooded area extends up to the Waupaca Woods restaurant and Calvary Chapel. It is an undeveloped area of a few small lakes, sloughs and wetlands.

To the northwest, the wooded area extends to Culver’s and Pick ‘n Save. It holds a small lake visible from U.S. Highway 10.

Scroll to Top