Last year, with the help of Stanley Dudkin's welding we built a couple of 55 gallon drums to keep corn in and gradually disperse it when needed. They worked great last fall and it kept the mice and chipmunks from eating half of it when it was stored in the neighbors garage.
However this Spring the bears decided the corn was not coming out fast enough. First one broke the back of the wooden feeder. Then he came back and pulled one of the drums out and I assumed rolled it over and over trying to get the corn out of it. I think this worked well for him until he rolled it into the pond and sunk it about four foot deep 100 feet from the feeder.
Unable to get the other drum out he just pushed the whole feeder over.
I was driving by the other day when I first noticed the feeder was tipped over. Upon closer inspection I was surprised to find one of the drums missing. It took me a while to locate it and I was not happy to find it submerged in the pond and full of water.
The water temperature is barely above freezing and even with the waders on your hands go numb in a few minutes messing with the cable and bolts holding the lid on.
I was able to use a blocked four-wheeler(not wanting to pull myself into the pond) and hook
barrel. As soon as it started to rise above the water it let go and I had to make another trip into the icy water. This time I managed to unbolt the lid which was on the lower side of the barrel. This allowed the water out as I pulled the barrel up onto the bank. I was able to do this by hand from the pond with Lee grabbing it as it got to the edge of the bank.
Once we retrieved the barrel from the pond we had to upright the feeder. Using the blocked four-wheeler I again ran the winch slowly until the feeder was standing. This went without a hitch.
Lastly, I pried the other barrel out of the feeder.
You can tell from the last couple pictures the bear tried hard to get it free of the feeder. In fact, he tried so hard he bent the metal rod coming out of it and didn't leave an inch of it without a muddy bear print.
We have decided there is no way to keep the bear from repeating the process without more work, concrete, and steel than it is worth. So the barrels will stay inside the garage and be used to keep the mice and chipmunks out of the corn. If one of them throws the drum into the pond it is time to get a bigger gun.
So much for a day at the office in Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, drying off, warming up, and