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Favorite Backcountry Animal Sightings (Pictures If Possible)
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Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Favorite Backcountry Animal Sightings (Pictures If Possible) on 03/22/2012 01:14:22 MDT Print View

This is inspired by Ed's mountain lion sighting thread, but I didn't want to derail it. So, how about posting (with pictures if possible) stories of your favorite backcountry animal sightings?

I have two: First, the lynx in 2007. We were on a day hike (ha!) about a mile from the trailhead in Two Medicine in Glacier when someone in our group saw something move in the brush. We were making quite a racket (it was eight people after all). So, we stopped, and then someone in our group of about eight pointed out the lynx. He (she?) was about a hundred yards away, just staring at us, long enough that we got a couple of pictures off. After a few minutes, he turned dismissively and walked away. What I remember most are the size of those paws--big enough that I thought it was a mountain lion when I saw them. Here he is--the guys who got the pics forgot to shut off the flash. It gives him a nice demon look, though.

Lynx in Two Med

I've also run into wolverines twice in Glacier. Once, that same summer as the lynx, we were coming down from Gunsight Pass to Lake Ellen Wilson when we spotted something plowing up the slope above the lake. It was smallish and dark with tan stripes down its back. I quickly realized it was a wolverine, but it was gone before we could take a picture.

The next summer, in Cut Bank, I hiked into falling September snow when I came across some very fresh tracks. Wolverine again. I knew he (she?) could only be a few minutes in front of me with the rate of snow fall. Given their fierce reputation, I couldn't help but feel a gnawing nervous fear, especially from being solo. I got pictures of the tracks this time.

I count myself lucky to have seen these beautiful creatures, especially since I'm often too focused on the trail to see the wildlife around me (I once walked past a bull moose 30 feet away from me without seeing him).

David Affleck
Re: Favorite Backcountry Animal Sightings (Pictures If Possible) on 03/22/2012 08:08:36 MDT Print View

Ahhh... Never mind. Appears inline image posting isn't supported. Too much hassle to upload them to this site just for one post, don't think I have them on this laptop anyway.

- Dave

Edited by UtCoyote on 03/22/2012 08:10:30 MDT.

stephan q
(khumbukat) - F
RE:Favorite Backcountry Animal Sightings on 03/22/2012 08:24:37 MDT Print View

h2o ouzel
Ouzel at Merced Lake, YNPtahrHimalayan Tahr near Phortse, Khumbu. stephan

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Favorite Backcountry Animal Sightings (Pictures If Possible) on 03/22/2012 08:50:59 MDT Print View


Actually not in the backcountry. A herd of 25-30 of these bighorn (transplanted from the Wheeler Peak Wilderness) wandered down fromt the Latir Peak Wilderness, and were grazing on the highway.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Favorite Backcountry Animal Sightings (Pictures If Possible) on 03/22/2012 08:56:15 MDT Print View

The little guy walked up to me within 5 feet and then bolted. I wonder if he had fangs?


Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Back country Animal Sightings on 03/22/2012 09:08:33 MDT Print View

Bob Cat Mt. Diablo

**Plenty of animals in UL Creatures in photo section/Community

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Favorite Backcountry Animal Sightings (Pictures If Possible) on 03/22/2012 09:54:13 MDT Print View

Bear eating grass or flowers on Yocum Ridge.

As good a picture as I can get with cheap-o camera and cheap-o photographer:


I snuck up on it and it didn't see me.

A couple hours later it snuck up on me and got within 30 feet before we saw each other and then it ran away.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Back country Animal Sightings on 03/22/2012 10:15:37 MDT Print View

Jay--I thought about that, but I was more interested in the story than just photos--especially since it always seems like you don't have a camera ready when you run into the fun stuff. Hence not in the photography thread.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 03/22/2012 10:17:03 MDT.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Latir Peak Wilderness on 03/22/2012 11:25:18 MDT Print View

Funny you mention Latir Peak Wilderness.

Mrs Mags and I saw this big horn on near the summit of Latir Peak

Big Horn

This herd of rams was seen in the Pecos:

Big Horns

I think this is one of my favorite ones, though. On top of Fancy Pass in the Holy Cross Wilderness, saw this little guy:


Edited by PaulMags on 03/22/2012 11:37:57 MDT.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Grey Wolf on 03/22/2012 17:45:05 MDT Print View

Grey wolf in Michigan's UP just South of Big Bay. Came around a turn and saw about 4 of them in the middle of the trail, this guy jumped 10' off the trail and stayed there until we were all past him. This was snowmobiling, so not as scary as it sounds, but being within 20 ft of that big male, he showed no real fear of us at all, unnerving and awesome at the same time.

It's difficult to tell w/o anything next to him for scale, but he made my 85 lb German Shepherd look like a lap dog.

wolf 1

wolf 2

Edited by arttyszka on 03/22/2012 17:46:57 MDT.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
American Marten on 03/22/2012 20:16:26 MDT Print View

American Marten at Graveyard Lakes

Saw this American Marten at Graveyard Lakes...After reading up on them I guess they are very rare.

Ryan Tucker
(BeartoothTucker) - M
Mountain Lion on 03/23/2012 05:12:44 MDT Print View

In mid October 2009 I saw a Mountain Lion in the Stillwater drainage of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. I was up early and getting some water from the river. Looked about 200 yards up stream and saw the largest house cat I had ever seen cross the river. :) I was amazed at the grace in which that cat moved. It was huge. When I went back to tell my buddies about it in our shelter I saw the mountain lion had passed by us at about 30 feet some point during the night. Tracks were in the snow.