An Uninvited Dinner Guest, AKA The Bear Who Came to Dinner

Have you ever had an uninvited dinner guest? Recently I mentioned in a post about some critters who were trying to take up residence inside the grill out on one of my decks. Since I so rarely used my grill and this wasn’t the first time that had happened, I ended up giving the grill to a friend.

Linda, a BNOTP reader, occasionally has uninvited guests visit her deck, too. What would you do if you looked out your breakfast window and saw this?!

Bear on Deck


Oh my gosh!

Bear checking out deck in Tennessee


During his visit, he stopped long enough to enjoy Linda’s view of the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Bear enjoying the view from Tennessee Home Deck


After that long climb up the hill, he’s thinking Linda’s deck furniture looks like a nice place to take a snooze.

The Bear Who Came to Dinner


Yes, this will do nicely!

Bear enjoying deck furniture


Linda said, “Mice, chipmunks, raccoons, are a piece of cake!!! We’ve got bears! They come and sit on the patio furniture, lift the grill lid and lick the grill grates. They will look in the windows at me while I cook in the kitchen. I close every window when I cook and never grill outside without my dogs at my side. Life in the mountains!”

Is this not a hoot? He looks like a big dog patiently waiting to be let in! lol

Bear wants inside house


Thanks so much to Linda for sharing these photos of her uninvited dinner guest. I’m not feeling quite so bad about the mice who were invading my old grill!  Have you had any uninvited dinner guests to your patio or deck?

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  1. Lol, he (she) looks so cute gazing at the view, standing on the chaise and peeking in the window. Black bears are cute, but they are still bears!

    I’ve had mama moose with their calves in the back yard. Moose are so huge! And mamas are protective. It’s more than a bit unnerving when a huge moose is gazing at you and all that separates you is a thin pane of glass. I’ve not had a bear though, thankfully. It sounds like Linda has gotten used to her bear friends, but more importantly, her bear friends have gotten very used to Linda and her home. Stay safe, Linda!

  2. In the infamous words of John Candy…bear…BIG BEAR!! That looked too close for comfort!! We had a bear earlier last year swim across the lake and run through our yard…stopped at the blueberry bush and, thankfully, traveled on. Franki

  3. What a cute story! When I was 12 years old, back in the 60s, camping in the Great Smokey Mountains with my family, a black bear walked in front of me (about 5 inches), as I exited the women’s bathroom. I screamed, jumped out of my flip flops and ran back to the campsite. The bear and I crossed paths and my scream scared him/her, so it ran off towards the parking lot. A woman retrieving items out of the back of her station wagon, saw the bear running towards her, she jumped on top of the roof of her car. The bear was more interested in the trash can contents. I imagine the national park service has the trash containers underground now or a different type of secured container for bears.

    • Linda Montgomery says

      At the houses in the area the garbage cans are in cages with a lock that the
      garbage men open. But occasionally you will see a large bear on top of the
      cage shaking it with all his might. Hoping to open or break the latch. They
      are awfully smart. Where there is a will, there is a way!

      • In Yellowstone National Park, in the 70s, a 400 pound bear figured out that if she sat on the windshield of the car and bounced up and down, the window would cave in, and she got inside the vehicle with the food. One night she did this to a row of vehicles parked overnight. The park service guys transported the bear to another area of the park away from the tourist areas. You’re right Linda, bears are smart!

  4. Snowflake281 says

    As a new seasonal resident in Southwest Florida, imagine my surprise one Sunday morning this past January when after my husband had reviewed the overnight security footage of our front yard, as he always does each morning, saw a panther about 4-5 years old, nonchalantly walk right past the camera. And after speaking to our neighbor about it was informed about an incident of a bear who found his way into the garage across the street from him sometime in the last year or less. I love my critters but I love them even more at a safe distance!

  5. A bear would be a bit scary, but a panther? In Florida? OMG! About the scariest wildlife we have here in northern CAL are cougars or wildcats, which prowl the hillsides. They mainly come out at night, though, and don’t really like to come in contact with humans. Lots of owls and many other birds, raccoons, squirrels, coyotes, foxes too. It’s nice to be near wildlife.

    • Yes…there are Florida Panthers. They are tan in color. We’ve had a bobcat in our yard in Fl. and a family of black bears in our yard in NC.

  6. Darlene Gardner says

    Our deck is one story above the ground and we have had an opossum and a snake! The snake was definitely the worst! I don’t think I would want to see a bear sitting at my back door though!

  7. No bears please! My son has had them in his yard in central Virginia. We have some stray cats in our neighborhood. We and several neighbors feed them. The raccoons and opossums also eat that food on our patio. Hubby has pictures of them. Last spring we saw a fox hanging around. We bought a trail cam and watched her. She had her babies under our shed steps. We live about 20 miles south of DC in a heavily populated area!

  8. Glass does not seem enough security for me. But great pictures though, especially with commentary!

  9. Linda Nixon says

    We live a short distance from the Cherokee National Park, Smokies, via Tellico Plains, Tn. Bears are often sighted in our community. At times it seems food is not plentiful and they come down from the mountains looking for food. We see pictures in our local paper of bears in garbage cans around stores , homes and restaurants. The rangers return them back to the mtns. and turn them loose.

    • I’m a sucker for animals so I’d be tempted to feed them but know that’s a mistake. It’s why I have 4 rescue dogs. The strangest was when I lived on St. Thomas and had a condo on the side of a hill. There was a walkway (sort of like a bridge) to my door. Right in front of my door was a HUGE iguana and he didn’t want to leave so we stared at each other for ages. Finally I picked a bunch of red hibiscus and left a trail of them away from my door and he ate his way to some bushes allowing me to get inside.
      Loved seeing the bear visitor. Adore bears, giraffes and elephants.

  10. I have never had a bear come around but we have stray cats that I feed and the raccoons, opossums and sometimes skunks partake. I also see rabbits and fox. We also have a lot of deer. We live on 5 acres in a rural, small town in central Maryland. I have heard of Black Bears and Coyotes not far from us so it wouldn’t surprise me to see either on our property. We have lived there 30 years and last fall saw wild Turkeys for the first time. More and more of the land is being developed pushing the wildlife closer to neighborhoods and causing human and animal conflict. It is quite sad. I feel bad for the animals who are losing their homes and doing their best to survive.

  11. Happens all the time here in the foothills of the Alleghany Mtns. Now all bird feeders in town outlawed and likely grills, fish ponds will be too. Bears have even shown up at ATM machines!! and they are not famous for sharing !

  12. Bet that was a surprise! He looks young and curious. I have had squirrels, possums, raccoons, deer, tarantulas, lizards, snakes, skunks and cougars, at various homes, but never bears!

  13. There are bears in the area of N. GA where I live, I’ve seen a few and am sure one visited my porch a couple of years ago. We don’t put any trash outside and take bird feeders in at night if we have them. I’m happy NOT to cross paths with them.

  14. I’d be afraid if that bear breaking thru
    That glass pane!
    Maybe she should install a door with an iron
    Lattice on the glass.
    Good Luck and stay safe!
    Do not feed those bears!

  15. No bears in my neighborhood but we did have a big red fox run through the back yard in my last one. I thought it was a dog at first but quickly realized my mistake. I don’t guess we can complain much since we are encroaching on their homes.

  16. My mom and dad years ago had a cabin in the woods and mom left groceries over there and the window up, well she had a visitor and that bear tore stuff off the walls, strode flour all over, it took her canned beans and bit holes in it getting the juice out and her syrup bottles but it did not touch the canned sodas. I guess bears know sodas are not good for you. This was a hunting cabin nobody lived there just spent weekends there. Also a bear came up on my aunts porch she called 911. Btw I love the smokies.

  17. I’m a believer that we can co-exist with wild animals so long as common sense on humans’ part is practiced. As many have stated, we have encroached on their homes and so owe them the benefit of our kindness and patience. They need to eat and we need to stay safe. It can be done.
    The community cats I feed share their food with raccoons, possums, squirrels and even birds and get along just fine. How can we do any less?

  18. it took a bit of talking to convince my then 4 year old grand daughter that there weren’t coyotes in my neighborhood in town. they are frequent visitors at her other nanas’ ranch. some time latter i saw a coyote trotting down the side walk across from my house!!

  19. Not my day for critters. My formerly feral cat lives on the screened porch and when I went out today she was afraid. Last year we trapped two raccoons who torn my screens and walked onto the porch looking for food. Animal control will not pick them up. Looks like they tore my screen again. I think opossums are having babies in my hedges again. I live in FL and we have had coyotes in our neighborhood. I can’t feed birds in my yard anymore because of hawks, squirrels, raccoons and opossums.

  20. Oh yes! We live in the Ocala National Forest in Salt Springs, FLorida, and we have bears frequently visit our yard. We’ve also had an opossum totally lick our grill drip pan clean! He climbed up under the grill cover, (and we had forgotten to take out the drip pan and clean it), and we could actually see his tail hanging down under the cover, and could hear him out there…he literally licked every last piece of grease/drippings off of that pan…it was so clean I thought it had been scrubbed!!

  21. Cyndi Raines says

    He does look pretty cute peeking in the window, gazing at the view and up on the chaise. Hope his long claws didn’t cut the cushion. It would always make you think twice about going outside! In our back and side yard, we just get chipmunks, racoons, and once in a while a deer cutting across our front lawn and that’s enough for me. Great pictures and fun story.

  22. We’ve had mice get in our grill too. It’s so upsetting to open your grill to find a mouse and babies in there! Thankfully my husband always takes care of the situation. Bears are neat to see but I would be uncomfortable having one visit so closely. They tell us around here if we have a problem with a bear to not put out bird feeders. I have had a lot of turkeys visit and I saw a fox walking right up the steps of my back garden area. I’ve caught Raccoons on my bird feeders, found holes that skunks dig, and we photographed opossums it back with our trail camera. Of course we have deer around too. There’s a lot of wildlife out there!

  23. We have bears come down from the mountains in Albuquerque….for those who may not know, the whole east side of Albuquerque are mountains, called the “Sandias,” which means watermelon in Spanish….when the sun hits them in the evenings, they turn pink and look like watermelon. The bears come to Albuquerque to search for food when we have a dry summer and not much has grown. Nobody has ever been attacked and they take the bears back to the wilderness. Mainly we have coyotes that show up. We are told to watch our animals because they can be a meal to a hungry coyote.

  24. I think it was looking for booze, hahaha.

  25. That looks to be a very young bear. The mama may have just recently booted him out. So, so cute. (There’s a funny video on You Tube of a cat scaring a young bear — and it’s funny to see him running for dear life!)

    In Virginia we had a regular racoon visitor. He looked in the window too just like this bear.

    Animals are so cool. Thanks for the Thursday smile! 🙂


  26. Haha ! I know he’s a bear, and I wouldn’t necessarily want him on my deck – but boy ! Is he ever cute ! What an amazing view Linda has – I could get used to seeing that view every day in a minute !

  27. Linda Gomoll says

    Linda, as long as your bear stays outside it’s probably ok – but once they decide to enter your home…..not so cute. Sure does get your heart to beating when you see them up close! #bears in Tahoe, oh my!

  28. Oh my yes…we have had racoons, mice, opossums, fox and for several days a bear
    He stood up at the kitchen window and scared the daylights out of me. We live in the woods in Wisconsin!!!

  29. Just possums & raccoons (who can get food out of the squirrel-proof feeder & turn around to glare at me when I tap on the window). Have no idea who else visits during the night.

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