Camping this week, so my theme for my posts is…..CAMPING! of course.
A couple of months ago, while taking a beautiful and scenic walk in the foothills near my neighborhood, I ran into a mountain lion. Let me just say I was terrified! Now, I didn’t really run into it physically and I wouldn’t have even known it was nearby had Mr. LH not turned around and said, “Hey, look at that.” As I caught the back end of the cougar my heart started pumping extremely rapidly. I froze. I thought, “Maybe if I don’t move, he won’t know we’re here.” Then I looked around the canyon and realized he was probably above us keeping an eye on us. Keeping this story short, we left and headed back to the car.
After getting home, I looked up mountain lion sightings and realized we probably weren’t in any danger. He wasn’t approaching us nor was he even interested in us, he/she just kept on walking at a very un-threatened pace. We could have continued our walk without being bothered, but I was too freaked out to go on.
This week, while camping, I wouldn’t be surprised to run into some wildlife. However, I’d really prefer not to – deer and raccoons are fine, bears and cougars are not!
While searching camping infographics, I came across this one “Be Ready for Your Next Wildlife Encounter.” Now, I’m not sure how accurate these instructions are and I’m no nature or animal expert, but this made me chuckle a bit….. from the safety of my own home, that is. (Click on the graphic to see it in its entirety.)
P.S. If you’re hiking or camping anywhere in grizzly territory, I’d recommend asking the rangers what you can do to avoid seeing any! Watching one Discovery episode of Wild Alaska has made me never want to see a grizzly in real life!
Have you ever encountered wild animals and had to use any of these techniques?
Advice I’ve read about dealing with strange dogs tells you to avoid eye contact. Yes, wolves are not dogs. But staring just doesn’t sound right to me.
Personally, I’m more afraid of the wildlife who drink beer and carry guns. Especially since a friend’s partner was killed while camping on the Appalachian trail.
@Pamela – This trip we saw quite a bit of wildlife, but nothing dangerous. Raccoons, ground squirrels, and bats – but I liked the bats, they ate the bugs! As for staring at wild animals, I’m not so sure I’d do that either. Sounds like you’d be challenging them!
We only saw a rabbit when we went camping. We saw cows, yaks, chickens, ducks, and a bunch of other farm animals at the cheese factory though.
@Midlife – We saw more wildlife than normal, this trip. The extreme dry environment and lack of rain brought out the critters. We had two raccoons try and get INTO our tent. One was trying to open the zipper, and the less intelligent one was pawing at the corner. 😉 Good thing they are still frightened of humans.
That’s funny (and scary at the same time), but your story reminded my of an old joke: “When going to a wilderness, take a lot of little bells, hang them all over your body and have enough pepper sprays with you to avoid bears. How do you find out that you are already in the wilderness? You will be finding a lot of bear crap full of little bells and pepper sprays.”