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Best wildlife encounters?
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Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Gators... on 03/20/2013 15:56:07 MDT Print View

I moved to Georgia from Ohio and was invited to canoe in the Okefenokee Swamp. I had my 7 yr old with me and my buddy had his 9 yr old with him. Long story short, the boys counted 72 gators crossing our path over the course of the day, all of them small but thrilling for his land-locked Midwestern. That was before digital cameras or I would post some pics...

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Best Wildlife Encounters on 03/20/2013 16:59:25 MDT Print View

I have gotten a few wildlife encounters over the years.

Thousand Island Lake
Darwin Lakes
Mt. Diablo
Mt. Diablo
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Mt. Diablo

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
BG on 03/20/2013 20:13:51 MDT Print View


Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 03/20/2013 20:15:08 MDT.

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
Best wildlife encounters? on 03/21/2013 21:42:45 MDT Print View

Hard to say best....I saw a mountain lion in the San Mateo wilderness, that was pretty awesome just because they are so rare to see, but it was brief. Next was a long encounter in SEKI with a momma bear and two cubs. I was nervous because of the cubs, but they at least pretended not to notice me, and mom didn't seemed concerned. They were cute and full of antics. Another couple memorable ones was a deer in yosemite that wanted to beat me up, and a fox that hung out in our campsite in Anza Borrego. Bald eagles are pretty memorable also because they are just so damn big! Wales too.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
This might not count... on 03/22/2013 13:08:34 MDT Print View

... becuase i guess it wasn't technically whay you'd call backpacking (although I did have on a backpack, and there was nothing lightweight about it; but this is definitely my all-time #1 wildlife encounter... so far!

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Rick, Friend to Whale Sharks on 03/22/2013 14:59:21 MDT Print View

That was wonderful and thank you for posting it. I know they're docile creatures, did you get the feeling it knew you were trying to help? They're such beautiful animals. Well done, Rick! You really made my day with that one.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Best Wildlife Encounters on 03/22/2013 15:23:26 MDT Print View

King Snake in Kings Canyon National Park.
A wild backpacker (Kyle) and a bear in their natural habitats. Kings Canyon.
Rattlesnake, also in Kings Canyon.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
Re: Rick, Friend to Whale Sharks on 03/23/2013 16:18:47 MDT Print View

Thanks for the kind words! That was on Chrisatms Day, 2000, when I lived on Utila Island, Honduras, at a dive resort where we were partners with the Shard Research Institute. Most of the time I was just trying to keep up with him, but there was a point after I gave up on trying to pull the net free and started cutting, that it became very passive and turned for the surface. So I hate to anthropomorphize, but yes.

David Erickson
Sasquatch on 03/24/2013 20:12:55 MDT Print View

While backpacking the Three Sisters Wilderness in early 80's I was awoken during the night by screams of which I can only imagine to have been sasquatch.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: This might not count... on 03/24/2013 21:28:07 MDT Print View

It counts as far as I'm concerned! Thanks for posting Rick, and good on ya!

my take on 03/24/2013 23:21:56 MDT Print View

Living in Australia, Huntsman spiders (which are bigger than US huntsman) would invade my house (which was something of a shack with lots of holes in it)whenever the weather changed. I eventually learned to live with them, as trying to kill them was far creepier. They move too fast and sort of 'stand up' on their back legs when threatened. Decimated my kitchen trying to kill one that was a foot wide.

James Cahill

Locale: Suthern Carl
most surprising encounter on 04/15/2013 17:42:12 MDT Print View

I went out for a quick overnight last night (GoT would have to wait until today) and was lounging under my tarp after dinner around dusk. I rolled over and was quite surprised to find a large cat sniffing at my head. How i didn't hear it approach is beyond me. It didn't seem too strange at first, because I was in a small canyon preserve surrounded by houses, but then I realized that this cat was as large as a labrador, and had spots and a short stubby tail.

Despite my mildly profane exclamation, the bobcat continued sniffing at me and explored the rest of my site. I hadn't been expecting anything exciting so the camera had stayed at home, and by the time I got my fancy flip-phone out to take a picture he had sauntered off a bit, but continued to hang around for the next 10 minutes. My best cat-coaxing would not bring him back to me, and I suspect he was offended that I even tried. Even though I am not a cat person, I spent the rest of the night wishing he would come back and snuggle at my feet.

jungle cat

Jason Torres
(burytherails) - F

Locale: Texas
wildlife encounters on 04/15/2013 19:40:30 MDT Print View

A friend and I were out hiking Peekaboo canyon having a good time taking pics and really just enjoying the perfect weather. We went back and forth on how laid back it was and we put it on cruise control. About half-way through, the canyon walls close in. Suddenly, it got a little more real for my buddy as he is claustrophobic. He began to get uneasy to which I laughed and sprayed the usual banter that happens amongst best friends. During my laughing I stopped paying attention to the canyon floor and where I was stepping. I realized this and looked down to find a nice grey snake one foot away and exactly where I was going to place my next step!

I nearly peed myself as I am deathly afraid of snakes. I jumped back so fast I fell on the floor (the floor constricts to about six inches in that section), jumped up and stemmed the canyon walls up about ten feet! My buddy comes around and is like what are you doing? He laughed so hard once he figured out it was a snake (and not a big one at that). We both stemmed up the canyon walls and over the snake not knowing if it was venomous or not. Either way I wasn't going down for awhile lol.

here's apic of my buddy using his telescope in the canyon:


Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Great Horned Owl "Attack" on 04/15/2013 22:42:30 MDT Print View

I was camping in the Grand Canyon, on the ground in the open. I had my jacket on (since this is BPL, after all, I will tell you it was a Golite Coal, LOL) and I had one arm outside of my bag. So I started out of a dead sleep about 2 am by a giant clawed thing that just suddenly went THUNK! down on that arm, and was holding onto it. I had time to move my other had up (only half awake, but convinced I had just become part of a monster movie) and actually felt one very strong, boney leg before it flew off. It tore two set of rips, one for each foot, in my coat. from the multiple holes in may jacket the length was about 7 inches apart between the legs and the front and back toes wrapped most of the way around my arm. I guess I was lucky, as I figured out later. It never drew blood, and seemed to have realized almost immediately that the arm outside of the bag was not what it thought/hoped it was, and took off. Anyway, I got a very good perspective on what it might be like to be prey that night. A ranger I talked to later said she thought it might have been a juvenile that was not too wise in the ways of the world yet. Anyway, I sewed up the rips with bright orange thread (I still have the jacket) and got a good story out of it. I like to think the Owl had its own stories to tell as well.

Its not in any way special except for situation, but I saw a coyote backpacking in a remote part of Henry Coe SP (big wilderness-y park in the bay area). The funny part, which is pretty rare, is that I saw him FIRST. He was obviously looking for rodents on the side of the trail, but was just trotting along merrily looking off to the side. I stood still and watched him approach for a while, not a care in the world, looking off distractedly. When he was about 20 feet away from me and heading straight toward me he suddenly looked up and did this huge double take. He didn't even run right away, he just did one of those kind of cartoon skids and got what can only be described as an embarrassed look on his face. He froze for a second with this expression, then did an abrupt 90 turn and flew at light speed off the trail into the forest and disappeared.

Edited by millonas on 04/15/2013 23:06:05 MDT.