Montreat Minute 09/23/22

Become Bear Wise at the BearWise Presentation September 27

Fall traditionally brings more activity in our bear population as they actively forage and eat in preparation for their winter “nap”, called turpor. This means they will be out and about more than usual. So, improve your bear awareness.

Join the Montreat Landcare Committee on Tuesday, September 27th, at 5:30 pm in the Montreat Town Hall for a Bearwise presentation. Landcare sponsored the Bearwise presentation a few years ago and it was extremely popular. It will be led by Ashley Hobbs, a bear biologist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Ashley will share facts about bear behavior, tips on staying safe, and ways we can live in harmony with our bear neighbors. So, mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 27, at 5:30.

Be Deer Wise Too

Bears aren’t the only wildlife in Montreat. There are more than one million deer in North Carolina- with a large share in WNC. This means deer collisions are a possibility, especially from October to December when mating and hunting season make deer go on the move. According to national sources, deer-vehicle collisions are the top animal-related insurance claim in the U.S. Here are some tips on how to avoid hitting those beautiful but abundant creatures:

  1. Know where the deer are likely to be. Deer tend to graze in both woods and open fields. When driving, be attentive to areas where you’ve seen deer in the past – they are likely to cross there again.
  2. Be alert at sunrise and sunset. Deer are more active during dawn and dusk hours.
  3. Use your high beams. When possible, use your high beams for better visibility. The extra light will help make it easier to spot a deer, or other animals, lurking alongside the road.
  4. When you see one… you’ll probably see more. Deer travel in groups. If one comes across your path, proceed with caution in case there are more.
  5. Don’t swerve. Swerving isn’t always the safest option. Hitting a deer might often cause less damage than swerving to avoid it… and then hitting a more dangerous obstacle, like a vehicle in oncoming traffic.
  6. Wear your seat belt. If you do hit a deer, wearing a seat belt decreases your chances of injury.
  7. Spread the word. When friends or family head out on the road, let them know to be careful and alert. Even a simple reminder can help prevent deer collisions.

Information courtesy of Erie Insurance

A Goal Achieved

Last Saturday brought another “first” to Montreat- a monster pumpkin! “Farmer” Walter Somerville had been toiling since spring to achieve his lifetime goal of growing a 100 pound pumpkin. Last year, he grew one at his “Tiny Farm” at Kanawha and Holston, but it tipped the scales at only 95 pounds, five pounds short of his goal. This year, he spent a great deal of time researching seed stock, treating the soil, watching for insects and other damaging critters, and generally coddling his growing monster.

On Saturday, he was convinced he achieved the goal he set when he was 10 years old. As neighbors and friends gathered for the special moment, they made their guesses as to the pumpkin’s weight. The gigantic squash then was muscled onto the scale. With great expectations, the digital readout showed the monster coming in at a whopping 314 pounds! The closest guesser, without going over, was Cindy Young, who lives on Tennessee Road. Cindy received a very special trophy of Captain America holding high a giant pumpkin, which she will treasure for years to come.

It was an exciting afternoon for everyone, but created yet another challenge for Walter: will he be able to beat 314 pounds next year? Stay tuned.

Updates and Reminders

  • The Tree Board will meet on Tuesday, September 27th, at 9:30am in the Town Hall Community Room. CLICK HERE for streaming instructions.
  • The Town Council will meet on Wednesday, September 28th, at 1:00pm and will go into closed session for the purpose of interviewing candidates for Town Manager.
  • A virtual meeting of the Montreat Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee will be held on Monday, October 3rd, from 6:00 to 7:30pm. CLICK HERE for streaming instructions.
  • However, the Board of Adjustment will have a special called meeting on Wednesday, October 5th , at  5:00pm in the Town Hall Community room. Details of the meeting can be found HERE. The meeting will not be streamed.
  • Montreat Landcare Committee will meet on Wednesday, October 5th, at 9:00am in the Town Hall Community Room. Streaming instructions to come.


Do you have Town-related questions you would like answered? If so, please send them to Angela Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great fall weekend!