FAWN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — It was 7 a.m. Thursday when Patrick and Mardelle Kopnicky in Fawn Township got a guest for breakfast – a 200-pound black bear who had climbed a deck.

The Kopnickys, who are naturalist guides, say they don’t fill their ground feeders this time of year when the bears are gearing up for hibernation, but didn’t think the bear could climb up an 8-foot deck with no steps to get to the high feeder.

“We stop in September and then we start again in mid-November when we think they’re gone,” Mardelle said.

They called the police chief who threw a cup of ammonia near the bear, which took off.

“As soon as that bear sniffed it, it shot out like a deer straight into the woods, and you know they say you can’t outrun a deer, I mean a bear, that’s how fast that bear was going, same speed as a deer,” Patrick said.

A conservation officer says ammonia will work, but it’s only temporary.

“Yeah that can deter most wildlife – raccoons or bears, whatever – but the biggest way to keep them away is to cut off the food supply,” Dan Puhala with the Pa. Game Commission said.

The Kopnickys say they will continue to fill their feeder and say they really wouldn’t mind a return visit from the bear as long as he stays off the deck.

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PA Game Commission