What to do if you meet a...

2:48 p.m. on April 29, 2010 (EDT)
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I know that there are many animals in the outdoors that are kind and cuddly. There are also some that you'd rather not meet. I'm interested in knowing how to deal with the ones that can cause harm.

I remember that some you should yell at others you should not. For some a big stick is all you need and for others you just hope to never meet.

If you could post a picture for identification and how to avoid death/injury it would be a great resource. And lets avoid the whole "just bring a gun" argument. I know it is valid, but don't want to open that can of worms...

5:27 p.m. on April 29, 2010 (EDT)
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While encountered only on occassion in the back country, beware the cougar. Men are this creatures prefered prey. Run if you see her!

On a more earnest not, there are many threats that may fit your consern, the best thing to do is consult with park service employees for the area you will be exploring.
Ed

5:42 p.m. on April 29, 2010 (EDT)
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The Chigger, or Redbug is one of several I fear.


Treat your outer garments (never socks, underwear, etc) with a soak in Permethrin treatment.

Here is the type I use, made by Sawyer:

8:23 p.m. on April 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Had a close encounter with this creature on my last trip in the desert.

I resisted the urge to lie down and play possum. Took a sip from my water and continued on.

randy

9:50 a.m. on April 30, 2010 (EDT)
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Whatever you do, don't turn your back on it.

6:14 p.m. on April 30, 2010 (EDT)
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Here is a video spot to help avoid cougars in the wild:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zG7LejcRm4


Mike

12:33 a.m. on May 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Hahahahahahahah!

:D

Oh man, I forgot who I was asking!

2:16 a.m. on May 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Hmm, tough crowd. The serious answer is try to avoid confrontations with bears and mountain lions. There is a lot of stuff online about what to do if you do come across one. Not sure what else is dangerous. Wild hogs (no kidding, they can be mean), snakes, moose (really big and fast), probably a few I've left off, but usually all I've seen while out hiking are a few deer and some squirrels.

7:58 a.m. on May 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Had a close encounter with this creature on my last trip in the desert.

I resisted the urge to lie down and play possum. Took a sip from my water and continued on.

randy

just keep moving and they won't think you're food! ;-)

8:36 a.m. on May 3, 2010 (EDT)
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I knew a guy in California who actually flopped down on the ground with his Nikon in hopes of getting a close shot of a turkey vulture.

Apparently, large critters moving alone slowly in the wilderness pegs a vulture's inborn "lookie, somebody's about to croak" meter. Next thing you know there's a dozen circling overhead, regardless of your condition. I always want to yell "I'm not dead" like that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

12:12 p.m. on May 4, 2010 (EDT)
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But you will be dead soon.

4:03 p.m. on May 4, 2010 (EDT)
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We have quite a number of turkey vultures in my town. One of my regular trail runs near my house briefly skirts a small cliff near a turkey vulture hang-out. One day I stopped to check out the view and in less than a minute noticed a very large bird circling rather closely over my head. It was soon joined by another. I resumed running back into the woods and also considered yelling "I'm not dead!"

No one seemed very impressed when I got home and tried to explain how closely the turkey vultures were circling me (usually they're so high up in the thermals), but it got me moving that day.

6:30 p.m. on May 4, 2010 (EDT)
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Alicia, the story just isn't the same if you're not there sometimes I guess, but it sounds cool to me, I can relate

I spent several mornings on the plateau of a large canyon called Savage Gulf watching vultures start out near the bottom of the canyon and ride the thermals up past the plateau and just keep on going without ever flapping their wings for the most part.

The coolest part was when we were at eye level with them, us on the plateau, and the vultures several hundred feet in the air already.

4:03 a.m. on May 6, 2010 (EDT)
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I gotta agree on the cougar comment... but children scare me more than anything. It means no rest or sleep at the shelter or campsite. I understand 99.99% of the posters here have well-behaved children, but hearing them play their ipods/psp's all night in the shelter is just not, well...

I'll take a bear any day of the week over kids.

7:04 a.m. on May 6, 2010 (EDT)
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We have quite a number of turkey vultures in my town. One of my regular trail runs near my house briefly skirts a small cliff near a turkey vulture hang-out. One day I stopped to check out the view and in less than a minute noticed a very large bird circling rather closely over my head. It was soon joined by another. I resumed running back into the woods and also considered yelling "I'm not dead!"

No one seemed very impressed when I got home and tried to explain how closely the turkey vultures were circling me (usually they're so high up in the thermals), but it got me moving that day.

Our acreage backs up to railroad right of way. Vultures follow the tracks looking for "train kill" all the time. They often follow me or my dogs around the property before they move on. Have to admit I'm fascinated with how they glide through the air, but are not the easiest critter to photograph.

1:08 a.m. on May 8, 2010 (EDT)
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travelnate said:yeah, thats about it.

I gotta agree on the cougar comment... but children scare me more than anything. It means no rest or sleep at the shelter or campsite. I understand 99.99% of the posters here have well-behaved children, but hearing them play their ipods/psp's all night in the shelter is just not, well...

I'll take a bear any day of the week over kids.

2:14 p.m. on May 30, 2010 (EDT)
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I once did my best MMA moves on a chipmunk that still managed to eat a hole in my food bag and make off with some goods. Don't get too close to the cuddely buzzards while they are on their roosts (sometimes right around ground level on cliffs) They can projectile vomit on you for defense! What comes out of them is much worse in my opinion than what comes out of a skunk. I know because I ran up on one while training for a race (only time to train was at night after the scarriest of all woodland creatures (my kids) were asleep. I scored sleeping outside even in the middle of the burbs for that one. I was also accosted by feral dogs once at Fall Creek Falls state park. That one was probably my scarriest critter experience yet.

4:10 p.m. on May 30, 2010 (EDT)
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Worst things I have ever encountered in the wilds are mother cow moose with calves. I had one in Alaska in 2006 chase me after I came around a corner to find her and her calve standing beside the trail. Apon sight of me she bolted towards me at top speed, chased me about a 1/2 mile across the tundra in Denali Nat'l Park. I ducked under a tree with branches sticking out and huddled around the tree. When she caught up to me she ran into a pond and stood there for 20 minutes, before wandering off. I waited another 20 minutes before coming out from the tree. She was about a 1/4 mile away and as soon as she sawme gave chase again. I ran back towards the park dirt road, where luckily there was some cars, I got between a car and her and they honked and she ran back to her calf.

Another time while hiking along the south end of Yellowstone Lake in Wyoming I was walking thru a dense forset of dead tree's, some many of which were laying down every which way about 4 feet above the ground. It was hard to walk as to cross all the fallen tree's. I met a Bull moose who immediately gave chase and while I stumbled and fell over the dead tree's he seemed to gracefully ran over them and I finally had to duck into a denser stand of trees to avoid him.

Another time In Denali Park in 1978 a cow moose chased me, first seeing me from across a pond, swimming towards me but I got away from her too.

I have had so many encounters with moose that all I ever think about is being stomped to death by these tall massive animals.

I saw one in Glacier that stormed a stationwagon with two dogs in the back for a half hour. Afterwards the side of the car looked like a motorcycle had rammed into the car and the dogs were hovered down in the back.

8:11 p.m. on May 30, 2010 (EDT)
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"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly; "'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy”

I am very afraid of these little creatures. One bite and you can die or loose a hand. I use my shovel on them. Bear spray may be overdoing it.

1:04 p.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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For bears It is easiest to deal with the smaller black bear, They scare pretty easily and are extremely lazy animals. Just stand up tall throw your hands in the air (like you just don't care) bang pots whatever and it will most likely go away. Grizzlies are another issue. They still are only likely to attack under extreme circumstances such as a mother protecting a cub, if it feels surrounded or intense human habituation or hunger has occurred. If you are traveling in Grizzly country a can of bear spray can be extremely useful.

Also remember to never climb a tree. You can always use the old boy scout method to bear identification. Climb the nearest tree, if the bear climbs up the tree and eats you it is a black bear, if the bears knocks the tree down and eats you it is a grizzly. If the bear climbs the tree and then starts eating the tree check and see if you have actually climbed bamboo if so it is probably a panda (not in the ursus genus but still in the bear family). If there are no trees you might be in the arctic in which case you may be dealing with a polar bear.

7:07 p.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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http://www.hulu.com/watch/97813/howcast-how-to-survive-a-cougar-attack

Video on Hulu on how to survive a cougar attack. Warning, its kinda funny.

7:50 p.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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In Alaska the tree's are so small there's nothing to climb. Sitka Spruce in Denali are about 5-10 feet tall, a griz stands taller than that.

Only Grix that I have ever had problems with was the one that destroyed my 27 year old TNF VE24 in the Gros Ventre in 2004. Guess he was habituated to seeing a tent and thinking "FOOD". it tore my tent down trying to find his way in and out. I was away on a dayhike from where I had left it.

The next morning while sleeping in what I could make of the tent, a young yearling bear wandered into camp, following the exact path the bear the day before had used when he scattered my stuff. I layed still thinking he would see me, but when he got 10 feet away I said Good Morning to it and he ran off.

In Yosemite I had a bear eat my Tshirt that I had left in a tree near my tent. All that was left when I came out was the collar still looped around a limb. In Alaska during my bicycle tour across the state I lost a spare tire to a bear in the early morning hours. Must have needed it for his mtn bike? Sound's like a Far Side cartoon!

8:44 a.m. on June 6, 2010 (EDT)
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The reason I will never sleep out under a tarp again.........

 

I woke up with one of these in my ear. Kind of ironic that it is called an earwig.

Give me a well sealed tent thank you very much.

9:30 a.m. on June 6, 2010 (EDT)
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I heard if you meet an angry bear, out run your fellow hikers.

6:36 p.m. on June 6, 2010 (EDT)
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I heard if you meet an angry bear, out run your fellow hikers.

That is some awesome advice! Just make sure you don't smell better than your fellow hikers.

9:58 p.m. on June 6, 2010 (EDT)
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Or, better yet, bring your freind that smells like bacon!

11:31 p.m. on June 6, 2010 (EDT)
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"Jeff? Yes I know. We are at the trail head with a grueling hike ahead and in bear country. I can assure you that this pork grease lotion will keep the flies away....... Mosquitoes as well." "Here, use it liberally my friend"...........

2:45 p.m. on July 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Noodlehead, there was a OuterLimits episode way back about a person who wanted to kill another person, so he paid a native to put an earwig on that person's pillow. Problem was the native got the two mixed up and put the bug on the wrong person's bed. The would be killer went to hospital (having unbearble pain) and the bug eat through his brain and came out the ear on the other side. The guy thought he had made it, then the doctor said there was just one problem, the bug was a female. And the show ended.

12:52 a.m. on July 10, 2010 (EDT)
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While encountered only on occassion in the back country, beware the cougar.

Well not all cougars are as frightening. Personally I wouldn't mind meeting one but I'm hard up for a girlfriend... ;-)

12:55 a.m. on July 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Had a close encounter with this creature on my last trip in the desert.

I resisted the urge to lie down and play possum. Took a sip from my water and continued on.

randy

A turkey vulture hissed at me once in Brown County State Park in Indiana. I think it was because the trail ran very close to her nesting site. I felt bad about disturbing it so I walked away quickly.

1:13 a.m. on July 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Birds are great! Just look at that featherless head. Just made for carrion diving. Easy clean-up.

2:16 a.m. on July 10, 2010 (EDT)
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Birds are great! Just look at that featherless head. Just made for carrion diving. Easy clean-up.

Thanks fopr the inspiration, Noodle, it gives me a whole new paerspective on my baldness.
Ed

6:42 a.m. on July 10, 2010 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

While encountered only on occassion in the back country, beware the cougar.

Well not all cougars are as frightening. Personally I wouldn't mind meeting one but I'm hard up for a girlfriend... ;-)

Pete,

Just a hint but I started this day hiking group........... Most of the members are women............ :)

6:45 a.m. on July 10, 2010 (EDT)
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noddlehead said:

Birds are great! Just look at that featherless head. Just made for carrion diving. Easy clean-up.

Thanks fopr the inspiration, Noodle, it gives me a whole new paerspective on my baldness.
Ed

Eddy,

Just proves you are adaptable in your old age.


:)

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