Forum Index » Post-Trip Reports » Critter Tracks On and Around Nick Eaton Ridge


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Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/22/2013 15:43:21 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:06:04 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/22/2013 17:31:44 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:08:10 MDT.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Thanks on 04/23/2013 08:28:39 MDT Print View

Daniel,

Thanks for the photos - the prints in the snow show just how big that kitty is. You say that the photos at night are scarier than it was being there, but he was still closer than I would have liked.

It reminded me of a dog sledding trip I did years ago in the Yukon. We had three teams running along at night and I was at the end. I kept looking around behind me - looking for the glint of eyes - because I felt that if anything attacked me and knocked me off my runners the two guys in front of me wouldn't know it until they looked back and didn't see my headlamp. I know it was all in my head - I had a team of 18 dogs that were making so much noise that we really didn't get to see any wildlife up close, but it felt very real at the time.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/23/2013 10:49:00 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:12:07 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/23/2013 11:01:57 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:07:39 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Snow Tracks were bear, I think on 04/23/2013 11:05:49 MDT Print View

There are Cougars and Bears all over. I see tracks occasionally. Sometimes they're on top of my tracks. I saw a bear on the PCT out of Cascade Locks. Lolo Pass. etc.

I think by the time you write your report, hunter reads it and goes out there, the bears and cougars are probably somewhere else. Hunters know generally that they're there regardless of your report.

I saw some green eyes go by me at night on Yocum Ridge, was a bit freaked out the rest of the night but eventually just went to sleep, and here I still am.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/23/2013 11:49:14 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:05:24 MDT.

Ian Van Halen
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Standard Precautions on 04/23/2013 12:24:36 MDT Print View

We have had two cougars shot in town in the past year. Most people should be aware of them in the PNW but you could add "Saw evidence of bear and cougar activity, please use standard precautions."

The hunters already know where to go so I'd expect this warning would benefit novice hikers and pose a minimal liability to the animals.

My head is always on a swivel looking for these elusive kitties. Dealing with one at night would be extra creepy!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Is a campfire a deterent? on 04/23/2013 12:33:59 MDT Print View

I had a campfire that was buring out and when green eyes went by I put a bunch of wood on, but I don't know - makes me feel better

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Is a campfire a deterent? on 04/23/2013 12:36:29 MDT Print View

In well used areas, bears probably see campfires and associate it with food.
In more remote areas, it should scare away animals.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
critter diets on 04/23/2013 12:41:42 MDT Print View

Cats are carnivores and bears are omnivores. Would a cat even go after a food hang or canister that didn't have meat smell on it?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re critter diets on 04/23/2013 14:17:31 MDT Print View

I'm unaware of any succesful attempt by hunters to bait Mtn. Lions. So if hunters who WANT to see a Mtn. Lion can't do it I would not worry about it. Bears are another story.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Is a campfire a deterent? on 04/23/2013 15:22:17 MDT Print View

Well, depends. Most wild animals fear fire. But I fear fire, too. I would not want to get burned. They will not get close to a campfire, but it is really no big deterance when it comes to food.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Critter Tracks On and Around Nick Eaton Ridge on 04/23/2013 15:51:46 MDT Print View

A lot of those nocturnal green eyes turn out to be deer or various other animals. At least that's what I've found when I focused my headlamp directly on the source of the eyes. I remember the time there was lots of nearby noise of campground garbage cans turning over and I went to investigate--it turned out to be raccoons! Another time my dog started barking, and I stuck my head out the tent door only to see three lovely does bounding away in the moonlight! (The courageous canine had to protect me from those dastardly deer!) I would love to see another cougar in the wild; the only one I've seen was over 60 years ago and that was just a long tan tail quickly vanishing into the trees. I've seen plenty of bear, of course, but only twice outside a national park.

On the other hand, there's plenty of wildlife out there in the Columbia River Gorge, especially away from the tourist areas, and most of that area is now designated wilderness. I haven't seen bear or cougar tracks in the Gorge mostly because I don't get that far back in. I certainly have seen them numerous times in various areas around Mt. Hood.

Lots of these animal track pictures get posted on Portlandhikers.org all the time. Go ahead! The animals will have moved on before any hunters get there. If you're worried, just wait a couple of days before posting your trip report.

No need for panic, unless you indulge in activities that mimic prey, such as running or bicycling, or like to keep food in your tent. I would worry if I were a trail runner! As a hiker, I just check my back trail frequently (more for navigation ease on the return trip) and watch for reactions from my dog (who generally alerts me to wildlife before I see it and is almost all the time on leash).

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Critter Tracks On and Around Nick Eaton Ridge on 04/23/2013 16:46:26 MDT Print View

Here is your big kitty cat.

mountain lion

--B.G.--

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Critter Tracks On and Around Nick Eaton Ridge on 04/23/2013 17:12:49 MDT Print View

Aww he is so kewt i just wana snuggle wif him!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
mountain lions in general on 04/23/2013 18:13:17 MDT Print View

These are not from the Pacific Northwest, but if you are interested in mountain lions closer to the Santa Cruz Mountains (south of San Francisco), do a search for the Santa Cruz Puma Project. They have GPS tracking collars on a couple of dozen of the animals, and the map is online. It is quite fascinating to see where the males operate, versus where the females operate. Some of the land is very woodsy, and some is quite suburban. Wherever deer are found, some big cat is going to show up.

--B.G.--

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Critter Tracks On and Around Nick Eaton Ridge on 04/23/2013 18:31:36 MDT Print View

Has to be a squatch.