The dogs loudly woke us up to let us know that a couple of black bears, probably last year's cub and mom, passed by the house about 3a.m. morning.
A couple of years ago we had what turned out to be a family of four bears, mom and three cubs, in the trees next to the house. That time too, the dogs woke us up in the very early morning, and turning on the outside spotlight, we saw two of them. A smaller one ran off in the dark, but the larger bear wouldn't leave, so Howard shot off a round into the air from his shotgun to convince it to leave. Later that morning we were having coffee on the deck, and noticed that both dogs were staring intently up one of the trees on the North side of the house. We looked up too, and finally saw two bear cubs in that tree, and looking further out, saw mom and another cub high up in another tree. Mom was anxiously clacking her jaws and growling, and the scared cubs were making their little whining noises. We got the dogs back into the house, and eventually the two lone cubs, a black and a cinnamon, screwed up their courage, climbed down and scampered as fast as they could to mom's tree. The dogs spent the rest of the morning in the house to give the entire family time and space to climb down and leave.
After not seeing any bears last year, I guess it was about time for some to come by.