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Sun Jan 7, 2018, 06:40 PM

Most unusual encounters with a wild animal (any kind that isn't someones pet)

One happened in 1973. I was driving one morning in South Dakota, in a state park. I was on the way to the mountain with the Presidents on it. Maybe 8am and in the middle of the road were a group of wild buffalos. One was seated in the middle of the road, you couldn't get around it. So I got out with camera, and got within two or three feet of it, and took a picture, which I still have. It just sat there, and there was a line of cars and it eventually got up with the rest of them and left.

Another happened in Yellowstone Park in a campground that I was spending the night. (1979) I had a tent and was with a group of people. We were involved in some drinking or smoking of stuff, when someone said, "It is over there by the fence" It was getting dark so there was a crowd over by a 3 or four food fence with this huge head hanging over it. Yes, HUGE....It turns out that it was a large moose, that came there often, and stuck his head over the small fence and waited for the crowd to feed him/her. And they did. Most of what was fed to this large critter was fruits and vegetables that obviously were ok, but the crowd gave it other food. And he didn't mind. He ate it. Evidently it was a regular feeding place for him/her and quite easy pickings if you please. I got pretty close, but didn't feed it. I don't think I touched it but others were.

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Reply Most unusual encounters with a wild animal (any kind that isn't someones pet) (Original post)
Stuart G Jan 2018 OP
lapucelle Jan 2018 #1
Stuart G Jan 2018 #4
uppityperson Jan 2018 #29
applegrove Jan 2018 #2
Skittles Jan 2018 #3
Stuart G Jan 2018 #5
silverweb Jan 2018 #17
Skittles Jan 2018 #20
lastlib Jan 2018 #25
Skittles Jan 2018 #27
silverweb Jan 2018 #26
Skittles Jan 2018 #28
silverweb Jan 2018 #35
catbyte Jan 2018 #6
silverweb Jan 2018 #18
shanny Jan 2018 #7
BigMin28 Jan 2018 #8
doc03 Jan 2018 #9
lastlib Jan 2018 #32
uppityperson Jan 2018 #56
Stuart G Jan 2018 #10
TlalocW Jan 2018 #11
Texasgal Jan 2018 #12
silverweb Jan 2018 #19
Stuart G Jan 2018 #13
sinkingfeeling Jan 2018 #14
DBoon Jan 2018 #15
handmade34 Jan 2018 #16
GreenEyedLefty Jan 2018 #21
Comatose Sphagetti Jan 2018 #22
lastlib Jan 2018 #23
TubbersUK Jan 2018 #24
hvn_nbr_2 Jan 2018 #40
TubbersUK Jan 2018 #41
greatauntoftriplets Jan 2018 #30
Jarqui Jan 2018 #31
2naSalit Jan 2018 #36
Jarqui Jan 2018 #43
2naSalit Jan 2018 #44
Jarqui Jan 2018 #48
PufPuf23 Jan 2018 #54
jpak Jan 2018 #33
uppityperson Jan 2018 #34
2naSalit Jan 2018 #37
PufPuf23 Jan 2018 #51
uppityperson Jan 2018 #53
PufPuf23 Jan 2018 #55
uppityperson Jan 2018 #57
PufPuf23 Jan 2018 #62
csziggy Jan 2018 #38
2naSalit Jan 2018 #46
csziggy Jan 2018 #47
2naSalit Jan 2018 #49
Nictuku Jan 2018 #39
dewsgirl Jan 2018 #42
pansypoo53219 Jan 2018 #45
PoindexterOglethorpe Jan 2018 #50
2naSalit Jan 2018 #52
Duppers Jan 2018 #58
jberryhill Jan 2018 #59
fNord Jan 2018 #60
jg10003 Jan 2018 #61
LWolf Jan 2018 #63
Duppers Jan 2018 #69
LWolf Jan 2018 #70
zanana1 Jan 2018 #64
bullsnarfle Jan 2018 #65
marked50 Jan 2018 #66
Orrex Jan 2018 #67
Luciferous Jan 2018 #68

Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 06:46 PM

1. Not sure if goats count,

but a hungry one head-butted me, knocked me over, and then ate the dollar bill I was holding in my hand.

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Response to lapucelle (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 06:51 PM

4. Yes, wild goats count.. Met a mother goat and its child on a trail in Glacier National Park once

The trail I might add was a "mountain trail" and these were mountain goats...but any wild animals are good for this group of posts..any and all. (got to be wild though)

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:03 PM

29. A friend was gored and bled to death by a mt goat. I wasn't there, but they are not small tame goat

Last edited Sun Jan 7, 2018, 11:37 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 06:48 PM

2. I brought my kitten sam up to the cottage. I put food out for her at night. She was inside

with me when I heard some scurrying. I opened the door and a family of raccoons bolted. Mama raccoon was HUGE. They ran down the steps and into the woods and up a tree. Sam the kitten was right behind them chasing. At one point Mama raccoon looked back and saw Sam was her foe. Sam was 10 times smaller than her. Mama raccoon stopped running up the tree right then. I kept Sam inside for the night.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 06:50 PM

3. taking a walk near where I work

I rounded a corner and there was a beautiful bobcat, which stopped me dead in my tracks.........she was just sitting there looking at me calmly......I said, "Wow, you're beautiful.......why are you not moving?" Then I heard a couple of squeaks and slowly looked back to see.....two adorable bobcat cubs about ten feet behind me......so I slowly looked back at the mum, still eyeing me calmly......I said, "I'm backing away now" and backed away from them.......the cubs got back with mum and trotted off

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 06:54 PM

5. Thank You for sharing ...great story..wonderful.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:32 PM

17. Lovely!

That's the kind of encounter that stays with you forever.

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Response to silverweb (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:43 PM

20. it does; what gorgeous creatures!

she was only about 10 feet in front of me.......very calm......I think she was just used to seeing the work folk walking around in that area - I had heard people talking about the bobcat family but had never seen them

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Response to Skittles (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:55 PM

25. (see #23 below...)

n/t

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Response to lastlib (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:57 PM

27. see that would freak me out

my encounter was evening during daylight hours and with no growling....she was very calm

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Response to Skittles (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:55 PM

26. I'm so jealous....

I've had close encounters with deer, squirrels, skunks, possums, raccoons, rabbits, and snakes, but never a big cat. The closest I ever get to a "wild" cat is my little house-lynx, Anissa, who has tufted ears just like a bobcat.

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Response to silverweb (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:58 PM

28. the tufted ears are very cool indeed

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Response to Skittles (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:15 PM

35. Yeah, they are.


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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 06:58 PM

6. About 20 years ago, my late husband & I went whalewatching on a zodiac in the AuAu Channel

between Maui & Lanai. There were 12 of us on the boat & we were going at a pretty good clip looking for Humpback whales. All of a sudden we were completely surrounded by a pod of about 24 Pacific White Sided dolphins. As I leaned over the side to get a better look at them, one cruised right up to me, rolled on his/her side & suddenly we were eye-to-eye. S/he stayed there for at least a couple of minutes and I was frozen, mesmerized. Nobody can tell me that they aren't sentient beings. I saw intelligence, curiosity and even a hint of amusement in that eye. Too soon, the pod broke off & were off on other adventures. I will never, ever forget that very special encounter.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:33 PM

18. What a memory!


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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:01 PM

7. "...got out with camera, and got within two or three feet of it...."

 

Sweet Jesus, what were you thinking? That beast could have stomped you into dust if it felt like it, and they are REALLY agile if motivated. Not to mention fast.

Oy.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:04 PM

8. I take my dog Max

walking every night at a park down the street. It has a creek running through it with woods that have been left natural. One night last summer we were walking after dark because of the heat. I saw something move in the field in the darkness. When I turned on the flashlight I saw two pairs of golden eyes running across the field in front of us. We got a little closer and I could see two coyotes at the tree line. Amazing.

Also have bobcats in the neighborhood. Have seen these on several occasions hunting rabbits.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:06 PM

9. I was squirrel hunting one day and fell asleep sitting on the ground using a

tree for a back rest. I woke up and there was a skunk headed straight towards me. When he got a few inches from my feet
he stops, sniffs and did a 180 and ambled away with his butt aimed right at me but didn't spray. Apparently I smelled bad to him.
I had a close encounter with a beaver in the steel mill I worked at one night. I am making my rounds after dark and took a short cut
between a water tank and a building. It was pitch black and only about a 2 foot wide, up ahead about six feet I see something big coming the other way. I get out my flash light and it is a huge beaver coming straight towards me same there he made a 180 and ran away.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:05 PM

32. another one--dead of winter, out in woods looking for a cow about to have a calf....

walking through abt. 4 inches of snow, when I saw a mother skunk and three babies, marching in a perfectly straight line--straight toward me! Well, I remembered the old dictum, "Skunks ALWAYS have the right-of-way", so I stopped. Stood perfectly still. Mama skunk marches right up to me, walks OVER the toe of my boots, and just goes on her way, like this was an every-day thing. Babies, of course, followed right behind her, in her footsteps--again, over the toes of my boots! No spray, no noise, no fuss! On their way, and that was that.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 11:39 PM

56. That's quite cute

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:08 PM

10. Oh...I forgot one..I was walking on a trail in the Everglades National Park once.

Maybe 30 years ago. It was a cement trail. Sunny and hot. Now, I really don't know what was in my mind, but these alligators were sunning themselves, not moving..kinda laying there. Their snouts were partially on the trail..I walked as far as I could away from them, maybe 8 to 10 feet away. Others seemed to be walking past them too.

Well it was 30 years ago, and I am still here.......not to smart....

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:09 PM

11. I think it was more of an unusual encounter for it

In college, I was walking back to the dorms from class, and there was a part of a tree branch spanning the sidewalk about 6.5 feet off the ground. Right in the middle was a squirrel who had decided to remain motionless in hopes of not being seen. I noted its position then looked down so as not to catch its eye. As I was passing under the branch, I jumped up, lightly touched its nose, saying, "Boop!" and continued walking. I turned after about 3 feet, and it was frozen as if it were trying to figure out what just happened. I said, "Boop!" again, and it quickly turned around to look at me for about 3 seconds then scrambled back to the main part of the tree.

TlalocW

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:11 PM

12. As a kid we vacationed

in Port Aransas, TX every summer. I was swimming in the ocean with a float when a dolphin swam right next to me. It nudged my leg! At first it scared me.. but then I noticed that it kinda swam around me in a circular motion almost like it wanted to play!

It swam off just as quickly as it came on! No one believed me when I got back to shore. I was 12 or 13 at the time. It was amazing!

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:43 PM

19. What a thrill.

When I moved to California and saw a pod of dolphins "surfing" for the first time, I thought I'd never seen anything so beautiful. As they frolicked and played, the dolphins were momentarily suspended in sunlight that poured through each early-morning, blue-green wave.

A small group of young men was surfing at the same time and I was amazed at how utterly normal it seemed to them. For me, it was something never to be forgotten, as I'm sure that swim was for you.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:15 PM

13. Oh...just about wild animals...disclaimer.....we think that the ones discussed here are extremely

dangerous ..not to be a spoils sport, .but the most dangerous animals to humans are...mosquitoes

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:17 PM

14. Two in 2017. First was at home. Went out my back door and came

face to face with an eight-point buck white tail. We were about four foot apart. He leaped over my garbage can and fled into my woods. Could only think of that song: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer".

Second was in November on an island in Antarctica. I was walking to our meeting point to take a Zodiac back to the ship and almost stepped on a young Fur seal. It shot up from where it had been sleeping in tall grass, roaring. I backed away as fast as I could, saying. "Sorry".

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:20 PM

15. Coyote sighting in the middle of Los Angeles

right in the Hancock Park area.

Dude looked like he knew exactly what he was doing.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:25 PM

16. wow

encountering both buffalo and moose can be risky... I have been near both but either in a car or with a barrier between us...

my experience... scary because of my ignorance... I was geocaching in the wilds near New Orleans and the GPS took me off the trail and towards a tree with some low hanging branches about eye level... I had my eyes down, looking for the cache and about an arms length away from the tree I looked up and was eye to eye with a very large speckled kingsnake lounging on the tree limb... not knowing anything about this snake (and he is a scary looking thing) I froze for a second and then slowly backed away until I could no longer see him... once back at the hotel I researched and discovered than I wasn't in that much danger



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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:45 PM

21. A squirrel bit my finger.

The squirrels were pretty tame in my neighborhood and one got particularly close. I held out my hand, it approached then promptly chomped the tip of my index finger. It bled like crazy. I got a tetanus shot and a band aid and that was it. I was about 8 at the time. Needless to say I keep a respectful distance from those fluffy tailed rats and pretty much all wild animals.

They may be cute, they may look docile but wild animals are unpredictable and therefore dangerous. We have traveled West many times and there is no way on earth I'd get within 20 feet let alone 2 or 3 of a buffalo. Those suckers are fast and BIG. When we were at the National Bison Range, a big fella came out of the woods and casually crossed the road in front of our car. We all held our breath as he crossed. He could have turned at any moment and made a crumpled tin can of our car. But he took a nice roll in the dust and continued on his way.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:48 PM

22. Last July I reached into a bag of mulch

and wrapped my fingers around an unseen, 4' Blacksnake. Gently picked him up with a shovel and placed him in the cornfield behind the house.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:52 PM

23. Middle of the night. In the woods. In my sleeping bag........

Had been hiking a wilderness trail near Ft. Leonard Wood, but didn't make it to my expected campground before dark. Didn't want to be wandering around in the dark, so I just found a spot off the trail, threw down a ground tarp, rolled out my sleeping bag, and off to lala-land. During the night (no idea what time it was), I heard leaves rustling a short distance away. Shone my flashlight that direction and spotted two bright yellow eyes, probably twenty feet from me. And the body attached to them started growling rather unhappily when my light hit them. It was a bobcat, at least a thirty-pounder--that's a good-sized kitty! And he was open for business! So I started talking to him in the most pleasant voice I could muster. "nice kitty, pretty kitty, I won't hurt you, kitty, please go away, kitty...." Made a deal with him: he could stay there and I would stay here, and we won't hurt each other. He kept growling for a couple minutes (seemed like hours!) but I guess eventually he figured out that I was neither good to eat, nor a threat to him, so he finally wandered off. I kept talikng nicely to him until he was out of sight, and that was when all the air (and a noticeable amount of urine!) left my body. Whew! That was an experience I don't care to repeat any time soon!

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 07:53 PM

24. I was peed on by a tiger

A very wet, very smelly experience.

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Response to TubbersUK (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:45 PM

40. I was peed on by an ourang-outang

but it was a baby. I got to hold it while on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Philadelphia Zoo.

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Response to hvn_nbr_2 (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:47 PM

41. That sounds almost cute :)

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:04 PM

30. Some years ago, I was visiting my father's grave on his birthday.

While standing in the family plot, I looked up and saw a coyote eyeing me. This was before coyotes became fairly common in the Chicago area and this was in a heavily built up area of the city. I slowly backed away and headed to the car.

Another time, leaving my niece's house in an older suburb that has a creek flowing through it, there was a fox standing on her front lawn.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:04 PM

31. On a canoe trip, we drank a lot of koolaid before bed

Middle of the night, I woke up needing to take a leak.

Outside the tent, it's very dark but with a little moonlight, beyond the edge of the camp site, I see what looks like a tree stump. So I go over and start to relieve myself. The tree stump moved ... and then kind of growled/grunted and turned around. It was a black bear.

You know how hard it is to stop in the middle of a piss? No problem that night. Scared the heck out of me.

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Response to Jarqui (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:33 PM

36. You were very fortunate to get away unscathed!!

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:55 PM

43. Bears usually do not like noise

I made quite a fuss and was clanging pots and the others getting up scared him off.

I was even luckier here:

At a camp, I jogged around a path in the woods and fell over a black bear cub in the path. Momma bear didn't like it.

I ran back towards the main camp. Normally, a person wouldn't stand a chance trying to outrun a bear - they can run like a horse on flat ground. But I was in really good shape. And, most importantly, it was downhill. Bears can't run fast downhill. But according to others who saw it, she snapped her mouth at my heels as she ran after me. In short, when I got to the dining hall, a park ranger had already been alerted and he shot the bear coming after me.

That time, I was really fortunate.

A third time, I was having a nap in a sleeping bag. I felt something roll me over. A bear smelled peanut butter on the sleeping bag and was licking it off. When he finished, he just wandered off.

A vast majority of the time, black bears don't want any part of people. They like their food and garbage but usually will run off before getting into a confrontation.

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Response to Jarqui (Reply #43)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:03 PM

44. I wouldn't bet money on your last statement....

but I will say again that you were very lucky. As a bear safety specialist I can tell you that too many people don't take black bears seriously enough and the idea that they will usually run a way is not really true. They are just as likely to beat you up as a grizzly, we have both right here in my back yard, and black bears are more likely to feed on you than a grizzly. (And yes, I know that some guy was partially devoured by a griz and her cubs a couple years ago but that is not common for griz.)

I've had too many close encounters myself but after the first one I made damn sure I have bear spray on me and ready to use when I go out in the out there. I heard so many close call and actual accounts of being mauled by a bear that I have no silly ideas of getting out of the vehicle in bear habitat if I don't have the spray with me.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #44)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:20 PM

48. This stuff happened many years ago and maybe we were naive.

Maybe more is known now.

One of the things we did was get on horseback and chase them out of the dump - routinely, trying to encourage them to live off the land and not off human garbage. We perceived it as an act trying to help them. I doubt we accomplished much but I was following orders.

I was at that camp for four years and mine were the closest calls we had there during that time. I never heard of anyone getting mauled in that park.

I saw a number of times where a group of people clanging metal pots would get them to run off. We were in the middle of the woods with no firearms. What else are you going to do? Can't invite them for dinner.

In the Rockies, we were pack horsing through and cooking bacon on an open fire. A grizzly charged, lumbering up the hill. The 80+ yr old lady of about 80 lbs who was cooking the bacon pulled out an old musket and dropped the bear and carried on with her cooking like nothing happened. That's the most aggression I ever saw. Poor bear was just plain hungry.

Most of the time, like many things in life, things happen for a reason.

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Response to Jarqui (Reply #43)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 10:07 PM

54. Bears can move much faster than a human but not for as long a time.

Blacks bears can run plenty fast downhill.

Once I was driving very slowly on a grown over road on steep terrain.

A black bear came barreling down a cut back for the road and slammed into the driver's door and left a medium bear sized dent.

Bear didn't expect a pick up truck.

After slamming into the truck, the bear sat on its butt about 20 feet away on the road and looked very stunned and disoriented.

We got out of the truck but did not approach the bear but watched for several minutes.

Suddenly the bear got to feet and sped off into the brush and forest.

Your bear story seems slanted to drama.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:06 PM

33. Camping in New Zealand

Last edited Mon Jan 8, 2018, 07:04 AM - Edit history (1)

Near Milford Sound - which is one of the most wettest rainiest places on the planet.

I set up my tent and it started pour.

Right next to my tent was a large hollow tree - I thought "Hobbit Hutch!!"

and took my bottle of wine and entered.

I looked down and there was a little New Zealand "robin" that had the same idea - a foot from me.

We shared the tree but it was not interested in the wine.


http://carolinabirds.org/People/CookDavidLG/Robin,_New_Zealand_DavidCook.jpg

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:10 PM

34. Walking down a trail in SE AK bush when I came to a sudden stop because something unseen was

watching me. I said loudly that I was just passing by and went on. I came back through 5 min later after finding my friends weren't home and down the muddy path were really big bear tracks going the way I was then going (they weren't following me but ahead of me). I kept talking loudly, saw no bear but the tracks disappeared off the trail a bit later.

"Good Yogi, I'm just walking by, nothing to get concerned about, Yogi Yogi yogi. Good Yogi. Just walking on, thanks for sharing the trail with me."

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:35 PM

37. That's

the way to do it, let them know you're coming, they'll move away unless they are on food most of the time.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:52 PM

51. Black bear or brown bear? nt

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #51)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:56 PM

53. There were lots of black, but I was near the ocean where there are also brownies

I don't know, could've been either. Good sized tracks though.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #53)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 10:24 PM

55. There is a big difference.

Brown bears are much larger and more aggressive.

I worked on federal contracts in SE Alaska and were required to have bear safety plans.

In black bear areas we carried pepper spray and had option of bearing a gun.

In brown bear areas crews (or individuals) were required to be accompanied by armed security that did security only, not other work as well as pepper spray by some a gun).

The work was gathering ecological and engineering data for EISs.

We were ferried back and forth to work areas by helicopter mostly with some along the shore in Boston Whaler type boats.

Part of the studies was a bear census and mapping various high use habitat so had good idea about location of brown bears.

Brown bear fishing areas were not entered.

I have worked and lived in areas where black bear are common; they mostly avoid confrontation but are curious and will follow humans around just out of sight. Not a good thing to get black bears around garbage as garbage becomes habitual. I have several fruit trees and in the Fall rake the windfall into piles so the bear have an easier time cleaning up the mess. Occasionally they get in my garbage cans and there is just about always some bear poop on the lot, mostly berries in the Summer. Old and injured or a fenale black bear with cubs should be avoided. Sometimes black bear huddle down in my garage / shop. It is open air on one side. I have know a good number of situations where black bear have taken up residence of a seldom-used cabin or even made themselves at home when the human who lived there were gone for just a day.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 11:51 PM

57. I know there's a big difference, just don't know from those tracks that time

We had a black bear get into our cabin one summer. I wasn't there, but my partner left food " the stove and went to visit a neighbor. Came home to a mess and the dogs behind the couch being very quiet. The bear came in, and exited, through a maybe 16 inch square window. It ended up being aggressive over the next yr and I think it was killed.

This was after I was long gone. I had pepper spray and a gun available. 10 yr old huge clear cut, lottery land that grew up into berry bushes and alder. Yummy for black bears who avoided us, except for that one.

Brownies were down by the river and I avoided that area.

Are you still in AK?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #57)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 02:08 AM

62. Not in Alaska and have not been there since 1997.

Never have been to mainland Alaska but made about thirty-five work trips to SE Alaska as a consultant in 1990s.

I accepted a USFS job transfer in Fall 1981 but after accepting the job, exe2b decided she did not want to go to Alaska.

I dislike seeing bears killed. Usually when a bear becomes a nuisance or dangerous, it is because the bear is being a bear and a human or humans have disrupted the routine.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:37 PM

38. Years ago a wild turkey nearly knocked my off my stoop

Back then for the back entrance of the double wide trailer we just had a set of concrete steps with a 4'x4' stoop at the top which was about four feet off the ground. One afternoon, I saw some turkeys passing by from the window, grabbed my camera and stepped out the back door to take a shot.

Apparently the turkeys I saw were the larger group but there were two that were dallying. When I stepped out the big group panicked and ran off, then the two slow pokes freaked out and FLEW to catch up. One of the turkeys flew close enough that its wing hit me and nearly knocked me off the stoop.

It was kind of cool, but I didn't get any photos of those turkeys.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the same time period, one afternoon I was at the barn feeding the horses when I heard an animal making distressed noises. I followed the sound and in the lower pasture there was a new born fawn - so recently born it was still damp. I could see the doe across the fence at the edge of the woods. I didn't want to try to catch the fawn so I eased past it and opened the gate at the corner of the field that went into the woods. Then I circled back around the fawn and gradually eased it towards the woods, as the doe also moved away from me towards the gate. When they got to the open gate the doe rushed to get between me and the fawn and then led her newborn into the woods.

After that all our new fences got hung so there is a space UNDER the fence. The full grown deer and turkeys can chose to jump over or duck under, but their youngsters can get underneath without a problem.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Most recent:

Last weekend my husband and I drove down to St Marks Wildlife Refuge for a hike. He took a longer track but I took a short trail through the woods, along the edge of a pond. I saw some birds as I hiked out. On the way back I met some hikers new to the refuge, gave them some help with directions, and reassured them they didn't need to worry about black bears attacking.

Not very long after I saw a large black animal cross the trail headed uphill from the pond. I'm thinking, "Shit I just told those nice ladies not to worry about bears!" I picked up a palm frond and started hitting bushes and yelling for whatever it was to get out of there. I hadn't gone more than a couple of steps when the creature ran back DOWN the hill towards the pond!

Then I had a dilemma - if I continued along, would the beast feel trapped between me and the pond? On the other hand I was too tired to hike back to the parking area the long way - this was my first outing after my last surgery. So I beat the bushes and ground with my palm frond, talking loudly, keeping this up for the next hundred yards or so.

I drove up to the headquarters and talked to some of the people there. It turns out that in the area where I had been (the fire tower) there have been two wild hogs, one reddish and the other black. Frankly that scares me more than a bear would. The size of the beast I saw had to be a full grown wild hog and they are very dangerous.

I'm not hiking that track alone again and next time I will take a walking stick with me!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:08 PM

46. get some bear spray, it works on more than just bears...nt

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #46)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:15 PM

47. Big problem for me with bear spray - it is capsaicin

I blister when I am exposed to capsaicin - every part of my body. It would do me more damage than the bear or wild pig would!

My theory is that I was walking too quietly and sort of snuck up on the pig. I do have a bad habit of walking very quietly so I can watch the birds but that is not a good idea if there are large possibly dangerous animals around.

When I am with my husband it is not a problem - he makes more than enough noise for a large band of people. When I am alone outside my own territory I need to remember to make enough noise to warn the wildlife.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #47)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:26 PM

49. That would be a problem...

I am allergic to mint so I have to watch out for several plants in the wild since there are so many types. And then there's the sundry world of mint, I'll save that for a good rant day.

I must confess that I may be carrying the spray, I probably don't make enough noise when I'm out alone. I did public ed/outreach regarding wildlife safety for years and I would say that avoiding the surprise element is a top o' the list strategy, predators don't like it for certain.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:42 PM

39. Not a Happy Ending, unfortunately

I went camping in Trinity California ... must have been late 60's early 70's. It was with some skydiver friends of my mothers and I was under 10 years old myself. The most fun camping I've ever had in my entire life!!

The drive on a dirt road to get there to meet up with the family that had already been there for a week took us longer than we thought and we arrived after dark. It was mystical, and we were amazed that we were actually able to find them.

This is because it was off-season, and there were no other campers in the park. We had notified the Park Rangers that we were there so they came to collect the rubbish once a week.

It was total freedom. Me and the other kids ran around nekid (it was the 60's afterall), and us girls were amazed at how easy it was to pee that way... We played in the streams and crawled on the beaver dam. Nature (and only nature) was our beautiful world.

Anyway, we had been putting veggie scraps in a circle of rocks, and at night the deer would come to feed. And the first night there, I heard this LOUD snorting sound that woke me up and standing right over my mom (who was on a cot) was a 10 point Buck! It was scary, but exhilarating.

The sad part of this story is that one evening, when we were talking story and singing folk songs and making smoors over the campfire, up on the road above our campground we saw a truck or car, with very bright lights! We hadn't seen another human in over 2 weeks (other than the park ranger guy who came to collect the rubbish) and we were all wondering who the heck it was.

Then we heard the Shot!! Motherfuckers were hunting (it was not deer season) at night with spotlights (totally illegal!) and they shot one of our magical deer.

They "gut" shot a pregnant doe, so she suffered (for probably 15 hours or so) before she died. We found her the next day, I'll never forget it. She was one of the deer that had come around the camp during the day.

It broke my heart, and made me hate hunters (with a fiery passion). The night of the gunshot, the father in the family we were camping with ran up the hill and was able to get the license plate number of the illegal hunters, and you can bet your sweet bippy that we reported them.

I don't know if the law ever caught up to them, but I sure do hope so. It really soured one of the most magical times of my youth.

I love nature. Through the years, I have seen many animals in the wild, Bighorn Sheep at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (they really can climb up incredibly steep cliffs), Beavers slapping a warning when they saw us fishing, Strange little creatures that squacked at us and hid in the holes in a rock slide at a mountain top lake... probably more than I can relate here.

I want to thank Stuart G for posting this, allowing me to stroll down memory lane. Reminding me of how much I love nature. I sure do hope the law caught up with those illegal hunters, but I'll never know one way or the other.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 08:54 PM

42. We let manatees drink from our house at the end of

The dock they come right up to us. It must be have been funny to see us from the road, the first time there were nine of us adults laying on our bellies getting as close as we could to a momma and her baby.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:05 PM

45. i speak chipmunk. would sit out on our lake cottage 'patio' w/ seeds + being a food station.

fed a coon from a chair on same patio. pet a flying squirrel.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:34 PM

50. Reading through this is reminding me of several encounters I've had.

One was about twenty years ago at my son's elementary school. I was waiting to pick him up and a couple showed up with a young chimpanzee in their arms. I was totally mesmerized, and looking into her eyes (her name was Savannah) it was so clear that I was looking into the eyes of someone nearly as intelligent as I am. Yeah, the chimpanzee will never learn to read or write or speak, but it is so obvious that they are close cousins.

The other encounter happened about six years ago. I now live in New Mexico, in a small townhouse that backs onto an arroyo. I was in the room I'm in now, typing on my computer at this same desk, with the french doors to the back yard wide open. It was summer, mild weather, and I wanted the fresh air. To my left is a bookcase. At some point I noticed something moving on the bookshelf and looked. It was a snake. My first terrified thought was, OMG a rattler. I listened and watched carefully as it slithered across the shelf. No rattles. As it happens, I spent my childhood in rural northern New York State and we were always capturing garter snakes, so I knew how to grab a snake. Which I did now and transported it to the far end of the yard and let it go. A quick internet search showed that it was a corn snake, harmless and a good friend to farmers. Oh, and the cat that was curled up on the couch never noticed the snake.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 09:55 PM

52. I have tons of stories

but I think I have one selected now. I'll start by admitting that I probably had far more opportunity to interact with wildlife since I have lived at the edge of one wilderness or another for several decades and worked in and around national parks and national forests during these years. I started a list of unusual wildlife interactions between either the animals and me or two species interacting in unexpected ways.

I like this one:

One October afternoon I wanted to go out to a lake nearby and just enjoy one of the last warm, sunny days of the year. This lake was actually created by a small dam further down the river, both famous for fishing. Being out in the wilds, there were bald eagles nested along the river and at this point in the year I liked to go out and watch the chicks of the year working on their skills they will need through the winter as they may or may not migrate out.

I arrived at a favorite spot on a bluff overlooking the lake, river and a wide, panoramic view. There were some trees there so I parked in the shade, got out with my binos and camera and walked toward the edge to see what might be on the water. I saw the migrating rafting birds out there, several large groups... coots, I think, and a few swans.

Then I felt like something was watching me, I looked around and saw above me a young eagle circling and eventually landed on a snag about thirty feet from me but there was a pine tree between us and the bird lit in a spot where its view was mostly obscured. After it landed it started peeking through openings in the needle fronds to catch a glimpse of me but hiding behind the trunk of the tree. I made eye contact and slowly started edged my way to the side so I could get a clear view of it, I had a great picture if I could get beyond the tree branches between us.

I made sure to make no sudden moves and got into position without spooking this magnificent creature as it watched me the whole time. I took about fifty pictures when the bird decided it needed to change position and performed a sort of pirouette on the branch then actually sat down on its tail, now looking out over the lake. We watched the rafting birds and the ravens and gulls passing by for almost an hour before I decided to go to another spot. When I got to the next place, a couple minutes after I parked, the eagle came flying over and found a spot to sit near me. I have quite a few pictures of that one.

The odd thing about it all was that I went back to the bluff several times that season before the FS road was closed for the winter and every time I showed up at that place, a young eagle would come sit with me and follow me all along the shore until I went home.

Some of my buddies said that it may have thought I was fishing, some fishing-folk will toss a fish or two to the birds so that could be the reason. I just thought it was cool to have so much opportunity to watch just one bird up close like that.


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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 12:41 AM

58. Great thread. Mine's not exciting...

Too tired to relate my encounters except this one fr 3 weeks ago.

Big dog and I had just slipped out the front door for a midnight walk & had paused for a second on the front porch to peer into the darkness. Dog was still and quiet and my eyes had just adjusted when along came a beautiful little fox strolling not 12' in front of us. We both stayed frozen as watched it cross the driveway, the lawn, and then disappear into the woods. Why did it not sense or smell us?
Never knew Dog took her signals from me so seriously - not even a twitch from her! Such a good girl. We had seen foxes in our front lawn before but never been that close.

I had a bear "bluff charge" me once in the GSM National Park and have had many encounters with with poisonous snakes and I see deer off my back deck most days. But I've never been that close to a unsuspecting fox. I love living in a nature reserve.


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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 01:27 AM

59. Porcupine

 

Yes, it was unusual.

No, I donít want to talk about it.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 01:58 AM

60. I got carjacked by a bear....

It was my own fault...... I live on a mountain, I should know better than to leave leftovers in my backseat....

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 02:00 AM

61. A raccoon stole my lunch.

I live in Broward county, Fl. I was working in an office building that had a small pond and nature preserve in the back. A nice place to sit and have lunch; lots of tropical birds, iguanas, and a colony of raccoons. So I'm sitting on a bench with my sandwich on the bench besides me as I take a drink. A raccoon appears like a bullet out of nowhere, grabs my sandwich and runs off.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 09:01 AM

63. My encounters

have mostly happened while out riding my horse. Here are some:

Jogging up a fire road to the top of a butte, I looked down, and saw a bobcat jogging alongside us, about 10 feet away. My horse didn't even blink; we continued on for maybe 30 or 40 yards. When we reached a curve, I stayed on the road and went around the curve, the cat disappeared into some brush on the downgrade.

Same horse, different day, different fire road: came around a corner and there was a downed cow; a rancher had a lease on this public land, and had cattle turned out, so seeing them wasn't a surprise. The surprise was the golden eagle perched on the carcass. I stopped about 10 yards away; the eagle fluffed, flapped its wings, and stared at me. We stared at each other for some long moments, and when I didn't move, it went back to feeding. I stayed there for about 10 minutes, and then took a detour through the scrub to get around it with plenty of space. It ignored us.

Same horse, different day, same road as the eagle: Came around the bend, riding with a friend who also had her boxer alongside, and there was another cow, further off. The cow was surrounded by coyotes, standing over her dead calf, defending it from the hungry pack. While coyotes were ubiquitous in our area, I'd never seen so many together, circling that poor cow. We immediately moved off to another trail before the coyotes sited the boxer. Coming around the bend on the new trail, we found a few more coyotes milling around, wanting to get closer to the pack around the cow. The spotted the boxer. My friend jumped down, threw her dog into the saddle, and headed back to the ranch on foot. I stood guard. My horse was a known coyote-hater, and had been known to stomp them to death if they trespassed into her pasture. When she stamped her front feet, all but one took off. That one was determined, though, to get around her and go after the dog. My mare proceeded, out there all by ourselves, to give a text book demonstration of cutting, except she wasn't cutting a cow from the herd, but a coyote from its chosen path. It didn't want to give up, even when she started moving it in the opposite direction; we ended up pushing it down the path for about a mile before it gave up.

There have also been deer, raccoons, many, many snakes, and birds of all kinds. I used to carry binoculars and a field guide out on rides.

And bears, but not while riding my horse, thank goodness. While hiking and camping.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #63)

Tue Jan 9, 2018, 05:38 AM

69. Wow. Carried a weapon with you?

Besides your smart horse?
Very interesting stories. Thanks for sharing.

Hubs and I did carry a 45 while backpacking for days in the highcountry, back areas of the GSM National Park. Mainly for the cougars (park officials say they don't exist but even homeowners have caught them on trail cams). We didn't really fear the black bears..much. They don't attack ppl unless they're starving.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #69)

Tue Jan 9, 2018, 09:14 AM

70. No weapon,

other than my mare's hooves and attitude, lol. None of those critters, other than a few rattlers, threatened. I did once start to ride down in a canyon, but my mare threw a hissy fit and there was an odor...I never knew, but my instinct said "cougar," so we went somewhere else. THAT is a critter I did not want to encounter.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 09:08 AM

64. I lived in a cabin in the woods and...

It was a cabin in the Berkshires, isolated and without electricity. (I was young). There were tall wild blueberry bushes in the woods near the cabin. One day I went to collect some berries. There was a pond on one side and thick woods on the other so I had to stick to only one side of the bush. Suddenly I heard rustling and the branches started to move. I peeked into the bush to find a black bear helping himself to the same bush.
I backed away slowly and quietly. I guess he was more interested in the berries than he was in me.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 09:45 AM

65. I was in the back part of the house when I heard something hit the front of the house.

"BANG!"

I ran out the front door and looked, there was a big beautiful hawk on the ground, as well as a pigeon beside him (her?). The hawk had apparently attack-dived on the pigeon and misjudged, hitting the side of the house. Hawk was breathing but stunned by the hit. Pigeon was croak city.

We have a lot of cats in the area, so I sat down, fairly near, and kept a watch on the hawk. I figured if it turned out to be injured I could take it to the local bird rescue folks. After a few minutes it came to. It looked at me for a bit, but I was stock-still and I guess it figured I was not going to hurt it. It finally took stock of itself, seemed to be ok, then it poked the pigeon a few times with its talons (to be sure it was dead I guess). Then it got a good hold of the pigeon in the talons and flew off. Pretty cool.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 10:21 AM

66. Great OP and threads

One of my most unusual experience with wild critters was on an amateur caving trip in central Missouri many years ago. Me and a couple of friends would go caving on the weekends and we decided to explore a cave called Tunnel Dam Cave. This cave was sort of unusual in that it wasn't real big or with many branches. It was just a meandering cave of somewhat a circular diameter shape ranging between 8 to 15 feet in diameter and a small stream flowing down the middle.

About maybe a tenth of a mile into it we could hear a muffled roar up ahead. It was a dropped hoard of little brown bats that had decided to leave the cave at the same time we were in it. Don't really know why because it wasn't evening but it might have been from sensing our arrival.

They started a virtual storm around us in their efforts to get out. We are talking thousands of bats flying past us in a somewhat confined space. Me and my more seasoned caving friend just stood there, while the third friend ( who hadn't been in any caves) laid flat into the stream. Can't tell you which decision was better. None of the bats directly hit either myself or my standing friend but we were pelted head to foot with bat piss and guano, but our other friend was soaking wet and likely also covered with bat droppings. It was a really interesting experience and lasted for about thirty seconds.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 01:14 PM

67. Returning home after a late shift years ago...

I lived in an apartment complex in State College PA. Nearing my building, I noted a distinct smell. As I rounded the corner I found a skunk casually sniffing at my front door.

I was struck by how cute it was, having never met one in person. Also, although I'm not a nature expert, I was instantly 100% certain that I knew what I was seeing.

The skunk turned very calmly to look at me, at which point I backed very slowly away. I took a long path around the complex and approached from another angle, by which time the skunk had left.

Not exactly a life-or-death moment, but it could have ended much differently!

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 02:41 PM

68. My cousin and I came across a cougar while we were hiking in Wisconsin.

It came out of the woods about 15 feet from us, stopped on the path and looked at us, and then kept on walking back in to the woods. Everyone said we were full of it, but we know what we saw!

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