Animal Danger

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MVS

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Feb 17, 2015
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Is it just me? It seems like I m coming across more and more stories fatal and other serious encounters with wild animals, bears and mountain lions particularly. This is more true out west, where I prefer to travel. When I do I take all the right precautions, but I am starting to wonder if hiking solo in places like Yellowstone, Glacier, etc. is such a good idea. Does anybody else feel the same, or am I worried needlessly?
 

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Nick

Spiral out.
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I think it’s just you. You’re far more likely to fall off a cliff or even get struck by lightning than be killed by wildlife in the west. Being extra stupid can always tip the odds though. Just be smart.
 

Bob

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No, I am not to concerned about myself or family ..... And I step out of my door everyday in grizzly habitat.....
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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There may be more encounters now, but it's probably a linear increase with the number of people who are going into the woods to hike and camp. I'd doubt the risk is any higher.

As a general rule, I'd just avoid hiking alone in high concentration grizzly areas whenever possible. Obviously you can't always, but the risk of getting attacked (and dying) drops a whole lot when you use the buddy system. You make more noise, you're more intimidating in a group, and if someone gets attacked, there's someone else there to help.
 

LarryBoy

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Also, media is more ubiquitous than ever, so you hear more stories that probably would have gone unreported in years past. Unless I see hard data that bad encounters are on the rise, I'm going to chalk it up to the human tendency towards worrywarting.
 

IntrepidXJ

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Also, media is more ubiquitous than ever, so you hear more stories that probably would have gone unreported in years past. Unless I see hard data that bad encounters are on the rise, I'm going to chalk it up to the human tendency towards worrywarting.
I hear the wildlife is really bad out there and recommend that more people stay home and out of the backcountry to be on the safe side.
 

Shirt357

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I have yet to go solo into grizzly country and honestly I think I prefer to go with others there. Otherwise I prefer solo trips and nothing I have seen so far would change my mind. I do think that alot of this can be chalked up to both higher numbers of people getting outdoors (and many in my opinion unprepared or not using common sense) and also the 24/7 news coverage.

One example I can give of the unprepared is actually a friend of mine and his wife. While they do not live out west it is a good example still. He took her to Raven Cliff Falls in GA last weekend. It is a place that is well known to have alot of black bear encounters. They did not keep a clean camp, did not hang their food, etc. Because of that they had 3 visitors in the night that destroyed their entire campsite and gear and they walked away with their lives and their car keys and cell phones.

Sorry for the extra ramble :)
 

Jackson

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Rockskipper

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OK, here's the answer to safety in the backcountry from bad bad critters (except maybe people, esp. those who like Metallica)):

 

Yvonne

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I always hike solo in Yellowstone backcountry and am not worried at all. When I go on a hike, all wildlife runs for life at least half a mile before I come. So I'm sort of a wildlife repellant, lol.
I'm more worried to fall off a cliff or get hit by a tree or lightning.
 

regehr

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Like, cancer and heart disease are going to get most of us, and for the very few of us who die due to outdoor trips it's going to be car accidents while driving to the TH, or even less likely a fall or something like people are saying. We should all be smart and careful around wildlife but they just don't even rate on the danger scale.
 

MVS

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Part of me gets spooked but I take all the reasonable precautions. I go between the two, which reflects some of the answers here.
 

Carcass

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Desert hiking brings you to rattlesnakes. Sneaky bastards that don't always rattle. Then the Occassional fresh mountain lion tracks you notice on your way out next to your footprint walking in.

Most anywhere you go, there will be animal issues. All you can do is educate yourself and be observant of your surroundings. Yea, some are more dangerous than others.
Just bring a friend who can't run as fast as you.
 

Yvonne

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Desert hiking brings you to rattlesnakes. Sneaky bastards that don't always rattle.
not when you're out with me. I'm a wildlife repellant, I've never seen a rattlesnake out here. They hide at least half a mile before they see me, lol.
Same with everything else.
In the summer, I often hike at night. Because they hide or escape before I come anyway, all trails and off-trail areas are clear and I can hike everywhere without worrying too much about them.
 

zionsky

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not when you're out with me. I'm a wildlife repellant, I've never seen a rattlesnake out here. They hide at least half a mile before they see me, lol.
Same with everything else.
In the summer, I often hike at night. Because they hide or escape before I come anyway, all trails and off-trail areas are clear and I can hike everywhere without worrying too much about them.
Are you for hire as a guide?:lol:
 

Carcass

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not when you're out with me. I'm a wildlife repellant, I've never seen a rattlesnake out here. They hide at least half a mile before they see me, lol.
Same with everything else.
In the summer, I often hike at night. Because they hide or escape before I come anyway, all trails and off-trail areas are clear and I can hike everywhere without worrying too much about them.
I've come across them quite often. May be I taste like chicken or something.
 

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