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 Encountering Wild Animals 
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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:39 pm
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Post Encountering Wild Animals
I wanted to ask you guys about your encounters and experiences with wild animals. (and where was it)
Any scary moments? I love animals and don't have a fear of them but i don't want to be foolish either.
Also, wondered what to expect/do when running into the following animals....

Mountain Lions
Bobcats or any other 'Cats'
Bears
Wolves/Coyotes
Rams/Mountain Goats
Foxes
Hyenas
Reptiles


Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:20 pm
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Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Deer are easy, just don't try to touch them.

I deal with coyotes often when doing astrophotography. Generallyy I like to see 2-4. If it is just one it could be rabid. Over 5 and they get awfully brave.

Ran Into 3 bears. First time I nearly crapped my pants, came around the corner and it was less than 20 feet away and at least 150lbs

Turns out though black bears almost never attack. Brown bears can be territorial, my advise is don't run into one. If you are alone put a bell on your backpack,if they hear you they will avoid you. You DO NOT want to suprise them. And never EVER run.

If it is a prey animal they can easily be frightened away if they consider you a predator. Make sure they have an escape route.

If it is a predator don't run you WILL trigger thief chase instinct and they will probably kick your ass maybe kill you.

Honestly most mammals are not gonna mess with you. I worry more about rattlesnakes. Seen aa few of them

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Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
i had a raccoon come toward me when doing a night traffic shot (I believe raccoon's don't have the best vision) and I made a sound like a scared cat and the raccoon looked up surprised and then it ran off.

timt

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Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:27 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Couple days ago, i was about 8 ft away from some black tailed mule deer. I was surprised they didn't run away.
There were about 16 of them.

http://photos.jamesthorpe.com/Other/Cat ... cpkDD-A-LB

If i go 'deep' into the woods, i'm thinking of carrying a weapon. If its less dense, monopod should
be good enough. Just thinking worst case scenarios. I don't believe there are any Grizzlies in
California parks from what i heard. I wish i could run into some Ram/Mountain Goats next time in
Nevada.


Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:35 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:29 am
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Location: La Crescenta, Ca
Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
TSJames wrote:
If i go 'deep' into the woods, i'm thinking of carrying a weapon... I don't believe there are any Grizzlies in California parks from what i heard.


Nope... The only Griz in Cali is the extinct one on the flag. They were hunted into extinction in the early 1900's.

One of my old friends did his Masters on Cali black bear populations, territories, and migrations, and he said there is no verifiable record of a black bear ever directly attacking a human in Cali, and he has never heard of one in the US and A, but that doesn't mean I'd advise smearing peanut butter all over yourself to prove me wrong.

That is not to say they don't go for human made objects, cuz I watched a mother ear drag a whole 32Gal ice chest out of a fully populated camp site near me, and while being followed by her cub, took it over a 1/4 mile up the paved road to ransack at their leisure.

I've also been hit by coyotes when I walked 50 yards out of my camp to check a camera at J-Tree, I was gone for less than 3 min and when I came back around the rock, the bastards had stripped the campsite clean... I could hear them as they left a trail of trash across the desert that took hours to clean up.


BTW, from the Cali state parks site: LOADED FIREARMS and HUNTING are not allowed in units of the State Parks System. Possession of loaded firearms or air rifles is prohibited.

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Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:55 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
While doing night time lapse I have run into coyotes, raccoons and possums on several occasions, but as others have suggested I try to make enough noise that they will avoid me. I would be more worried about shooting in an urban/suburban area where feral dogs have less fear of humans.

While light painting a group of flowers on night I saw about 7 pairs of glowing eyes, and the group walked towards me and I then realized that it was a family of raccoons and they just walked right by me and heading off behind me.

My scariest encounter is running into a feral sow and her small family on evening, she was huge, but I must have scared her since she ran the other way and my heart was pounding for about 15 minutes afterwards. I also decided that setting a light up within the small oak motte may not be the best thing to do in the dark! I did see these feral hogs quite frequently while I was photographing a ranch on the coastal bend of Texas, and some of these hogs were huge and the coyotes would run from them!

Be smart and you'll not have any problems!

Scott


Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:08 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
The penguin photo I use for my avatar was one that came over to see me while I was filming. He stood right beside me for about 20 minutes before he got either bored or hungry and wandered off.

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Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:11 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
BerthaDUniverse wrote:
BTW, from the Cali state parks site: LOADED FIREARMS and HUNTING are not allowed in units of the State Parks System. Possession of loaded firearms or air rifles is prohibited.


That law was changed a couple years ago...the firearms part, not the hunting.

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:32 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Antz wrote:
The penguin photo I use for my avatar was one that came over to see me while I was filming. He stood right beside me for about 20 minutes before he got either bored or hungry and wandered off.

:o
Now that is just damn cool.

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:06 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Drew599 wrote:
BerthaDUniverse wrote:
BTW, from the Cali state parks site: LOADED FIREARMS and HUNTING are not allowed in units of the State Parks System. Possession of loaded firearms or air rifles is prohibited.


That law was changed a couple years ago...the firearms part, not the hunting.


Drew599, sorry, but I remain cautious (as I don't want a concealed weapons charge on my record).

The above quote was directly from the current Cali state parks site. Your comment might be concerning the 2009 federal law changes, but even there, you should know this (from the Forest Service site):

Laws Regarding Firearms on National Forest Lands:
"First, the primary laws governing possession of firearms and other weapons on National Forest are State Laws. These laws were developed by the states following establishment of our Cooperative Wildlife Management Agreements. Most notable of the state laws concerns controlling firearms on the National Forest are “cased gun laws”. "

Further, on cased guns:

Cased Gun Laws:
As the name implies, this law requires that all firearms on National Forest be unloaded and kept in a case.

Finally, in the case of hunting, the permit issuer is the state agency, not the fed, so hunting weapons restrictions/allowances in the case of Cali are under control of Cal Fish and Game...


I am willing to guess the same restrictions hold for BLM and NPS lands...

So in Cali, you are probably better off getting a written statement from an area supervisor the area you intend to carry a loaded weapon in/upon any area w/in Cali.

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:34 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
My in-laws in New Hampshire had a bear come tear down a cherry tree outside their kitchen window to get to the fat balls they'd tied up there for the birds.

Scared the crap out of my father in law when he sat down to eat breakfast and saw it starting at him through the window. :)

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:22 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Thanks for the education all. I don't think i'll carry firearms. I just needed to hear from you guys to make sure
with what to expect from different animals. Have any of you seen Mountain Goats/Rams in the Sierras or places in CA?


Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:16 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
These guys are BIG and can be quite nasty (this one just says "nyah")
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Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:35 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
wouldn't be a bad idea to carry bear mace, depending on where you will be. When back country I carry that and try to make a lot of noise so as not to surprise anything


Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:35 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
I've encountered Bobcats and a Cougar (mountain lion) while hiking in Northern California. Bobcats are very shy and I spotted them before they saw me. Once they realized I was there, they took off. The Cougar was on a berm about head high to me when I spotted him, a young adult. I was wearing a jacket, I opened it and yelled at him, he left the area. The trick there is to look bigger and not like something easy to kill.

It is a bad idea to run from a predatory animal, but if you have to run and are on a steep hill or mountain, run downhill, most four legged animals have difficulty running steep downhill grades. (at least, so I have been told)


Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:22 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
A bear climbed into the cab of my truck while i slept in the back a Whitney Portal.


Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:20 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
I had a bunch of marauding mice invade my van one night, about 7 of the little blighters.
I ended up sleeping outside in a sleeping bag while they ransacked the place.
Not that i am afraid of mice but i did hear a story once, that a friend of a friend woke
up one night to find he was choking on one :shock:

But if you have ever heard a Koala at night, defending its territory......or looking for a mate, now that is bloody spooky.
In the dark they sound like they are 10' tall with glowing red eyes with razor sharp teeth, not to mention the foot long claws ;)
During the day they are fury and cute....but come the night oooohh !


Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:13 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Here in Belgium we don't have a lot of big animals in the wild, the only "dangerous" kind are wild boars.
I ran into a few of em in the Belgian Ardennes and although it's nothing compared to bears or hyena's, when you run into a wild grumbling boar in the middle of the night, you freak out :D

One time I had an encounter with one, but it was a loner, it just kept on doing it's thing and didn't even pay attention to me.
Another time I encountered one with her baby, that was not so pleasant. I stood still and if I even moved an inch it would start to make a horrible noise and wanted to attack me haha.
I just kept still untill it lost interest in me, I guess it was just protective of her baby and saw me as a threat.

We don't have snakes or other big reptiles here (that I know of), so usually it's like a walk in the park hehe

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Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:44 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Snakes can be a problem here in Exmouth, WA. However it was an emu that chased us on Sunday evening. We took our dog (OK, 6 month old fluff ball) Indie to a local field for a run round. There was an adult male emu with one young (unusually it's the males who raise the young) and Indie had to set off to investigate. The emu was not ammused and started running at her. My wife Christie picked up the dog but the emu kept coming, so we ran back to the car and waited until the pair had wandered off into town!


Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:23 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Found this on one of my clips, i left the camera about 50' away from the car.
Could almost be a new post, "I didn't Know that was there " ?


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Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:18 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
After NAB, i ran across a family of Mountain Goat/Ram. I was amazed. There were at least 12 of them.


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Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:32 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
I had a very close encounter with a black bear at Glacier Point a few years ago. I was shooting a timelapse of half dome, and listening to Led Zeppelin full blast on my iPod. The bear literally walked right up to me and I did't notice him coming from the side until he was right on top of me, eyeball to eyeball. I slowly stood up, made myself look bigger by stretching my jacket out with my arms, and I slowly walked backwards, away from him. He was very calm. Maybe about 200 or 250 lbs. As soon as I got up, he sniffed my chair, then checked out my timelapse camera, then shuffled off up a hill.

I always carry a pistol with me (I sleep with it under my pillow on my cot), but I'm actually more worried about humans than I am about animals. My concern is with people who are drugged out on meth, deranged, or just desperate for one reason or another.


Sun May 13, 2012 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
timescapes wrote:
I had a very close encounter with a black bear at Glacier Point a few years ago. I was shooting a timelapse of half dome, and listening to Led Zeppelin full blast on my iPod. The bear literally walked right up to me and I did't notice him coming from the side until he was right on top of me, eyeball to eyeball. I slowly stood up, made myself look bigger by stretching my jacket out with my arms, and I slowly walked backwards, away from him. He was very calm. Maybe about 200 or 250 lbs. As soon as I got up, he sniffed my chair, then checked out my timelapse camera, then shuffled off up a hill.

I always carry a pistol with me (I sleep with it under my pillow on my cot), but I'm actually more worried about humans than I am about animals. My concern is with people who are drugged out on meth, deranged, or just desperate for one reason or another.



This time of year I see a bear almost weekly in tahoe, but park bears (specifically yosemite) scare the shit out of me. I watched one rip the door off a minivan a few years ago.

Tahoe bears usually run if you say 'boo' but I don't even think about messing with the ones around the valley. That would have freaked me out a bit. They tend to take what they want.


Sun May 13, 2012 9:37 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
timescapes wrote:
I had a very close encounter with a black bear at Glacier Point a few years ago. I was shooting a timelapse of half dome, and listening to Led Zeppelin full blast on my iPod. The bear literally walked right up to me and I did't notice him coming from the side until he was right on top of me, eyeball to eyeball. I slowly stood up, made myself look bigger by stretching my jacket out with my arms, and I slowly walked backwards, away from him. He was very calm. Maybe about 200 or 250 lbs. As soon as I got up, he sniffed my chair, then checked out my timelapse camera, then shuffled off up a hill.

I always carry a pistol with me (I sleep with it under my pillow on my cot), but I'm actually more worried about humans than I am about animals. My concern is with people who are drugged out on meth, deranged, or just desperate for one reason or another.


Eyeball to eyeball....thats crazy. :shock:

I was in the Sierras over the weekend and ran into a couple Rattlers and a King Snake.

http://photos.jamesthorpe.com/Other/Cat ... t&lb=1&s=A


Wed May 16, 2012 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
My greatest experience so far with wildlife.

http://vimeo.com/44690800


Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:56 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Once I was doing time exposures of lightning at night on a rural property in South Australia. There was a medium size kangaroo that was walking along, heading my way. I was crouched down by the tripod and this roo was getting closer and closer. It didn't seem aware of my presence. With my hand still gripping the cable release in mid-exposure, I stood right up. At this point, the kangaroo also stood up, looking quite surprised. Then it hopped away.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:06 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
I was in the water with Sperm Whales, Pilot Whales, White Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Sea Snakes, Leopard Seals. White Shark was in a cage though :-). Most sharks are harmless anyway. (don't rely on what these crappy Jaws movies tell you).

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Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:22 am
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
No native animals down here :-( only introduced ones for farming or hunting !

So public enemy #1 the possum, knocked over my tripod trashing an old Canon G3 onto the patio.

In the bush only wild boars and deer would be a problem?

Also no snakes so pretty safe unless you believe Hollywood, then watch out for Orcs, Gobblins and Dinosaurs !

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Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:13 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
Seen a few deer but nothing really scary up here in Canada. But those damned mosquitos....bring lots of repellant and careful NOT to get any of this repellant on your gear....can cause damage to lenses, and many other parts of your gear.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:27 pm
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Post Re: Encountering Wild Animals
DENNIS JACIW wrote:
Seen a few deer but nothing really scary up here in Canada. But those damned mosquitos....bring lots of repellant and careful NOT to get any of this repellant on your gear....can cause damage to lenses, and many other parts of your gear.


:oops: I forgot about the sandflies, they will eat you alive!

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Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:59 am
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