We have lived in our home 26 years through floods, blizzards, and black bear sightings in the neighborhood. [We do live in a small village, though, not out in the forest.]
The most dramatic thing, however, was when a prisoner walked away from a work detail just outside the state prison about a mile up the road. The police acted as if Jack the Ripper were on the loose. Cop cars were all around the area, moving fast, sirens and lights on. They put up checkpoints all over, checked passengers in cars, and made everyone open their trunks for inspection. I got stopped several times just collecting my children from daycare. With all the care that law enforcement was taking I assumed that the missing man was a homicidal maniac.....or much worse! When we finally got home I checked the house, and kept all the windows and doors locked on a stifling day. Of course I didn't let my children out to play. We were all rather frightened.
After a short time I wondered why my husband hadn't come home early to protect us, because he worked in another branch of law enforcement. I called his office in Nearby City to ask why he wasn't coming home early to... save our lives. He told me not to worry, that the escapee was a *forger* of documents, not dangerous at all. What a surprise to me - I wasn't sure whether to believe him or not, but he was very reassuring.
Apparently the absconder was a white collar criminal who was frightened of some of the other prisoners. It was presumed that he skipped out so that he would be transferred to another prison away from the men who were threatening him. I guess that the local authorities were just bound and determined that he wouldn't get completely away.
Well, I still kept the kids in and the doors locked, but I did open the windows to let the breeze in. I think that the guy gave himself up to searchers by the time DH got home, and life was back to normal.