A homeowner thought he had a problem with feisty raccoons, but when he put up a trail camera, he learned that the culprit that had been raiding his bird feeder was a hungry black bear. Credit: Courtesy of Arthur Ahrens

Arthur Ahrens had a pest problem. He knew that much. But he was a bit surprised to learn exactly who — or what — was causing the problems at his Branchport, New York, home.

“My bird feeders were trashed early in the season by what I thought were rambunctious raccoons,” Ahrens said. “Then it happened a couple of weeks later. So I set up my camera.”

That’s a common solution nowadays, as trail cam enthusiasts can often figure out exactly what’s going on in their backyards in a short time, if they’re lucky.

Ahrens was lucky, but what he learned was a bit alarming.

“I got the culprit on film a couple weeks after that! Was I surprised!” Ahrens said.

The frequent visitor was a healthy-looking (and well-fed) black bear, and Ahrens captured an image of the bear standing on two legs, chomping away at its feast.

And this isn’t one of those “bears in nature” photos. Ahrens said the feeder is just 10 feet from his back deck.

That’ll make you less eager to head outside after dark to find out what’s causing a ruckus, that’s for sure.

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to jholyoke@bangordailynews.com and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...