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Winding down from a long day, Black Mountain carpenter David Bryan was nodding off in his yard on Third Street when he felt something rub against his leg.

Although lighting was limited at about 10 p.m., he immediately realized his visitor was a black bear.

"He was about three feet to his back," Bryan said. "And maybe 250 pounds."

Bryan got a pretty good look. "Eye to eye," he said. "We were standing less than two feet apart."

Bryan's reaction to the bear's attempt to get to a friend's half-empty beer was predictable.

"I hollered and jumped up," he said. "(The bear) took off as well."

The bear has been hanging around the neighborhood for a few weeks, Bryan said. Just a few nights before, a bear blocked Montreat Road. They're attracted to garbage, he said.

"When people leave their trash outside, the bears get domesticated," he said. Once they start prowling neighborhoods for trash, they become a problem for drivers.

Bryan said he wasn't sure which way the bear left when it ran away because he was running himself. But that wasn't the first time he's encountered a bear in Black Mountain.

"I've been living in that house for 13 years," he said. "There was a momma bear and her two cubs that came around for awhile until two houses were built in what used to be the wooded lot behind me."

One of his most memorable sightings came after the longtime musician finished playing a show downtown and saw what he describes as a "big 500-pounder" walking down the middle of Montreat Road.

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