Animal Encounters

Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
136
Location
Ottawa, Canada
I might have posted this before but I can't find it so I copied this from my website about a sea kayak trip in Georgian Bay this summer.
At 05:30 this morning I had the urgent need to get out of bed to find plants in need of watering. Just as I unzipped my tent, I heard several rather large snorts and woofs from behind me. I rolled out, stood up and there, about 30 feet away, was a mother black bear and her cub. Momma really started to woof sending the cub straight up the nearest tree breaking branches in its rush to safety. My first thought was "Where's my camera?" then "Where's my bear spray!"
She stared at me and I stared at her. She finally got the hint, backed away and disappeared behind a large rock outcropping that horseshoed the camp. A few minutes later she reappeared about 180 degrees from where she had disappeared. Again a short stare-off competition. Finally, a few minutes later, momma snorted once more, the cub smashed its way down the tree and they were gone for good. It was then that I remembered that I was buck naked! Not a stitch on, not even a fig leaf. Perhaps, I should leave out the part where I turned around and bent over to pick up my camera.

cheers Ted
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
My scariest was just across the lake from home. In May met a moose browsing new shoots of striped maple on the trail. She or he had no intent of moving nor did it want me going by. It put its head down and splayed feet in front and the hairs on the ridge of its neck were raised. So I went off trail and bushwhacked about 100 yards to one side.. there it was again clearly indicating NO trespassing.

I went home to do housework.

I was clothed.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
I'm pretty sure I've told this story on this forum before, but the young bear whose print is now my avatar was pretty assertive in trying to come into my campsite a couple times one night... Lake Lila, site 21. I learned a lot about myself and others during the encounter, and it has had a pretty significant impact on my self-confidence and attitude toward solo tripping.

I've also had 'something' (probably a fox) run under my hammock and bump me in the back while I was hanging.

Close encounters are always special.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
2,435
Location
Colrain MA
I ran into that girl yc, hiking in the Whites. She stood unlike a giant toll gate and I didn't have the fare. After the second head lowering, I said, "OK, the woods are fine."

I ran into a bull hiking in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. My son was rolling up his sleeping bag so I figured I'd got the Bear Bag from the tree. I rounded a small stand of fir and came face to face with one of the biggest bulls I've ever seen about an arm length away. We stared at each for a second and then I threw my hands over my head and yelled. Fortunately we BOTH did a 180 I was looking for something to get behind and away from the tent. When I realized it was safe we went back the spot of the encounter, my reach is just short of 8', a full four feet above that was a nick in the tree from his rack, and he was about 200' away grazing.
 
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One canoe trip to Algonquin with my young son and some pals, we were sitting around the campfire quietly talking, when a shadowy blur moved past us and through the night. We were a little spooked, but determined to sit calmly and quietly until we figured out what was happening. Over the course of an hour, the shadow revealed itself to us gradually, as it became bolder and bolder. Eventually our son could leave cookie crumbs right next to him on his bench log, where our nighttime visitor would nibble and flee. It was a flying squirrel. It was marvelous to see it glide down through the trees to our fire lit circle, and timidly steal away crumbs. What started out spooky, wound up cuddly and cute! Ever since then, whenever we’re spooked in the dark, one of us will say “I hope it’s a squirrel!”
 
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I’m struggling to wipe out the image of your bare bear encounter Shearwater. I know that close encounter would’ve puckered me up! That’s the kind of encounter I hope I never have. With the bear I mean. No, maybe both.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
3,460
I've had bear and moose encounters galore, but none that scared me. I've tussled with a few bears around my house, the primary emotion being anger and the urge to commit bodily harm. However, my weirdest experience involved a swarm of toads. I was camped with my wife (2nd one) at a nice spot on an overnight trip. Just before dawn, there was multitude of things jumping on the tent. I had visions of a Hitchcock experience. As i crawled out of the tent, i realized that we were surrounded by hundreds of toads, ranging from little guys to medium sized ones. It was very freaky and surrealistic.
 
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I have had lots of unpleasant animal encounters in the wild while canoe tripping-food taken,gear damaged,sleep interupted,scared silly,knocked down,,and bitten. This was all by other trippers dogs. I have never had a serious problem with a wild animal.
Turtle
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
425
Location
Maryland, USA
The most bizarre encounter: My buddy and I were camped about 150 feet from the water on the tundra of Northern Baffin Island at the end of July 3 years ago. We were rudely awakened by raucous honking. We poked our heads out of our respective tents to see a herd of snow geese ( I know----flock----- but there had to be at least 300 to 400 of them so it seemed more like a herd) waddling down the hill, past our tents, down to the water, hung a left face, and continued on down the beach. We were so stunned neither of us got a picture! They were apparently in molt and couldn't fly.
 
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Think your old man was demanding?

From an article in the POCAHONTAS TIMES(WV).

The incident occurred in the 1870s.



"The first bear I ever killed was when I was a boy hunting with my father. We tracked a bear in the snow into a hole in a rock. My father told me to get after him and bring him out. I went into the cleft in the rock. It was dark and I couldn't see the bear, but I heard him and (as) he passed by me slobbered on me. I shot him while in the cave, back of the ear and killed him. The bear didn't attempt to hurt me, but he slobbered on me.".
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Well there's no question that you've all had interesting experiences with wildish sorts of critters; but just this morning I've been repeatedly mauled, bitten, scratched and slobbered on by the most ferocious, take no prisoners, animal of them all!!!




"You wouldn't dare tickle my tummy!!"



"Now you've gone and done it!"



My only excuse is she IS going to be my canoe camping dog.
Sorry for the semi-hijack.

Best Wishes,

Rob
 
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I can attest that dogs can be the most brutal.

Our last attempt with a new dog resulted in two years of constant terror and destruction followed by a bitter end when he ran into the street and was severely injured and had to be put down. Some dogs aren't meant for this world.

I hope you have better luck Rob! Next dog I get is NOT going to be a puppy! (she is cute though)
 
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On my first solo canoe trip after taking my scout troop to a camp with a lot of bears around I got a real scare-funny now. I learned at the scout camo that bears feet make quit a loud thumping noise when walking on packed dirt. Soon after seting up camp when solo,I heard loud thumping footfalls comming down the trail towards me! I was certain it was a bear comming. Suddenly it come into sight not 20' from me----- a snowshoe hare!
Turtle
 
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With a cuteness factor off the charts, your new paddling partner sure isn’t taking any prisoners Rob. Even the most hardened and petless person would want one of those bundles of energy. Is she a Border collie?
I’ve only met friendly dogs on portages, but have had some close calls while day hiking and cycling. It’s helpful to know appropriate body language, but there’s no guarantee you won’t encounter a canine trouble- maker.
A couple of summers ago I met a Golden Lab on a portage. It was complete with packs. She looked pretty thirsty, so I gave her some water before carrying on. She decided to go my way, so when her owner showed up, I was in the proverbial doghouse for messing with their portage. Oh well, at least I made one friend that day.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
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Hi Brad, My new pup is a Collie, she ought to grow to 35-45 pounds. At present she's nine weeks and except when she's wound up, is as sweet as can be, judging by her parents she ought to mature to a calm and loving dog, not near as hyper as a Border Collie. At present we're somewhat restricted in that she hasn't her full sequence of parvo shots and I won't let her get outside the yard.
That lab you gave the water to; the owner was at serious fault for letting the dog range away from him, nothing good can happen to the dog away from the master.
If you're interested, the breeder has some pups left..... the freight would be a fright though!
I was trying to think: do you in Canada have Thanksgiving or something similar? We just got up from the table and I was thinking about all my friends on this site for whom I'm thankful and wondering how you spent the day.

Your friend,

Rob
 
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Ah ha, a Collie, but not the Border type. I’m not very good at distinguishing breeds, but I sure know a friendly face when I see one. She’ll be a constant delight, whether paddling or puttering. My younger brother is mourning the loss of their faithful companion, bless all their hearts. His family had 14 happy, yappy years up till yesterday. We’ve been heating up the e-mail miles since yesterday, walking down memory lane together with their lovely old dog. I only just shared their front stoop this past fall with that dear old girl. I’m gonna miss her. I’m afraid I don’t have the temperament to get myself a dog, as I haven’t the self -control. My wife has enough trouble getting me to do stuff around here, as I’d never leave the floor, with all that puppy wrestling to do. Your dear little new addition’s littermates will no doubt find good homes. Our home will remain dogless, and besides, we have 3 cats. Dogs provide unconditional love, while cats have more conditions and opt-out clauses than a complicated Constitution. Sheesh! My friends’ dogs greet me with “You’re back! Hooray!” Our cats glower at me, as if to say ”YOU again! I thought you just left?”
Yes Rob, we enjoy Thanksgiving here in Canada, albeit in October. We took our grandkids to a local fall fair. We did the usual country fair things; carnival rides, school exhibits, livestock barns, and 4-H small animal areas “Can I have one of those to take home Grandpa? As much as I’d love to, Grandma would never forgive me for giving you a piglet.” We hosted a big dinner, with as many family members as could attend. I gave thanks for two family members safely delivered back to us, in good health once again, and also a soon to be brand new member early next year! And yes, I’m thankful for good friends like you, near and far.
Your cat harassed friend,
Brad
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
2,435
Location
Colrain MA
So you've heard all the moose and bear stories, how about the other end of critterdom.

I walk in the back door of the house from the woods and my wife says to me, "There's a Hummingbird stuck on the porch." It's an 18 x 8 porch with an open doorway in one corner. So I walk out and herd the bird back towards the door. She goes by the door and is now on the side. I stretch my right hand out to keep the bird from going past the door and herd it with my left around a hanging plant. But the bird doesn't move and advances to my left hand. I stuck my finger out and the bird lands on my finger. So I bring the bird in and have it about a foot in front of me. Slowly I work my hand toward the door, the bird flies off, AND... misses the door. I herd the bird back towards the door and it ends up at the hanging plant again. This time I just stuck my finger out towards her and she lands on it again. This time I'm not taking any chances, I slowly walk out the door and she flies off.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
287
Location
Rochester, NY
Two noteworthy stories from my hammock.

First, Forked Lake in the Adirondacks. I awoke to a bear sniffing and pushing up against my shoulder. She quickly left when I gruffly expressed my displeasure with a few expletives. I found out the next AM the group in the nearby site was also visited.

On the other end of the spectrum, this time along the Finger Lakes Trail. I had just gotten into my hammock and closed my eyes. The night was very still and quiet. I then heard what can only be described as a slow scraping sound. It was faint and right below me. I switched on my headlamp and looked below my hammock and saw nothing. A minute later I could hear it again. Rinse and repeat. After a few more times, I rotated myself to be face down and allowed my eyes to get accustomed to the darkness. I soon noticed a small leaf begin to move, ever so slightly. I reached down and moved the leaf to expose a worm digging its way to the surface.
 
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