How close have you been to a wild animal that could eat your lunch (marmots don't count)?

gnwatts

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I almost got stepped on by a moose - does that count? :)
A black bear walked right by us in Crested Butte a week ago, walking through town.
 

Dave

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Came within about 25-30 yards of a mother grizzly and two cubs last year in Glacier. I've been closer to other large mammals, but not carnivorous ones.
 

Rockskipper

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Got up one morning on Cedar Mesa and found cat tracks circling my tent in the sand. I took photos, but they're lost to the annals of time at this point.

Here's one my brother tells. He was camped at Ice Lake (above Silverton, CO) when he woke in the night to a strange sound. He finally figured out it was something ripping up an old log near his tent, and it was a big log, so he knew it had to be a big bear. At that point, all reason left him and fear moved in, didn't even have time to change the locks. He had to do something - he realized later that the bear had to have known he was there and had no interest in him, but at the time, he felt his life was at stake. He quietly got up and slipped on his boots, grabbed a fork and metal pan, then slipped out of the tent, turned his headlamp on and started spinning in circles yelling and banging on the pan. He did this for a few minutes, then went back to bed. The bear left (I would've, too, when confronted with such insanity). :)
 
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Shirt357

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Most of the time (so afar anyway) it seems like I see plenty of wildlife but its either benign animals that could care less, they are too far off, or they scat before I can even say boo. However, two times do come to mind. First was hiking near the Buffalo river in Arkansas and I nearly stepped on a 5 ft timber rattler. Scared the living s*** out of me and spooked him I think. I honestly think I scored the highest vertical jump of any potential Olympian that day. Other time was hiking in the Cohutta in Georgia and was not paying attention going down the trail admiring the view when some bark dropped down on my head. I looked up in the tree right next to me on the trail to see a black bear up there a ways foraging. I just tried to act casual as I sped up to give him some room in case he wanted to drop and run for it. When I turned back around though, he was still up there and did not even pay me any mind. So... nothing too special. Personally I'd prefer to not get close enough to touch something bigger like a moose or grizzly. I am fine with a telephoto lens for that lol...
 

Jackson

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2 very close run-ins with moose in the Wasatch. Nothing carnivorous.

One was at dusk as I was headed down the trail from Lake Blanche in a hurry. I came to within 5-10 feet from a mother and her calf, and I froze. I gave them a very wide berth and got pretty scratched up by bushes as I did so. But the moose never came at me, so it was a success.

The other was when I was snowshoeing Little Water Peak up Mill D North. A moose was eating stuff in a bush right next to the trail, so I waited a few minutes for it to go on its way. It had no intentions of moving, so I walked by it, trying not to startle it. Made it by with no problems. I probably shouldn't have gotten that close though, in hindsight.

Moose in the Wasatch must be more accustomed to people because neither ever seemed agitated by my presence.
 

Rockskipper

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I'm more afraid of moose than I am bears. They've killed or hospitalized a number of people here in Colorado in the last few years. I read where an outfitter in Alaska came upon a grizzly that had been stomped to death by a moose. He saw evidence that it had been stalking her baby. I'll see if I can find it, but it's been a long time...
 
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Rockskipper

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I was a good five feet from a big huge hungry terrifying scary omnivorous grizzly once in Yukon Territory. It kept opening and closing its mouth with green stuff running out, and I can tell you for sure that the sight of those big sharp yellow teeth (with green highlights) made my blood run cold.

I finally rolled up the window and drove off. It was eating tubers or something along the Alaska Highway and had grazed right up next to my car as I watched it and took photos. It had no interest in me at all.
 
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Shirt357

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I might be the only AT thru-hiker in history never to have seen a bear. Not one.

How in the world did you make it the entire length of the AT without a single sighting?? Heck, I'e only done a few chunks and saw plenty. I guess in a way that is a good thing?? I've heard in certain sections they are pretty tough to deal with (like Jersey bears).
 

Shirt357

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I'm more afraid of moose than I am bears. They've killed or hospitalized a number of people here in Colorado in the last few years. I read where an outfitter in Alaska came upon a grizzly that had been stomped to death by a moose. He saw evidence that it had been stalking her baby. I'll see if I can find it, but it's been a long time...

Great... you have me paranoid to meet up with one on the trail. Other than bears, biggest thing I have run into was a few bull elk. The number of stories of people talking about the temperament and unpredictability of moose makes me think if I ever do, I give them a very wide berth.
 

Lincsco

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I generally don't suffer from stage fright but I admittedly had trouble in the Enchantments when there was a mountain goat standing a few feet away waiting for me to finish so he could lick the pee salt!
 

Eric O

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Within a few feet of black bear in CA and tons of moose in Utah. I've never seen a big cat despite seeing tracks all winter but I came across a large bobcat once while Mnt Biking in CA and it was not a happy kitty.
 

Rockskipper

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I had a little Beagle that jumped out of my FJ in the forest near Ouray and started chasing a young buck before I could grab him. It wasn't ten seconds before he jumped back in with the buck at his heels. It stopped about five feet from my door and I thought for a moment it was going to come right on inside.
 

Rockskipper

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I generally don't suffer from stage fright but I admittedly had trouble in the Enchantments when there was a mountain goat standing a few feet away waiting for me to finish so he could lick the pee salt!
The visuals there are pretty entertaining.
 

LarryBoy

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How in the world did you make it the entire length of the AT without a single sighting?? Heck, I'e only done a few chunks and saw plenty. I guess in a way that is a good thing?? I've heard in certain sections they are pretty tough to deal with (like Jersey bears).
I know people who were five minutes ahead of me or behind me who saw one, in VA, NJ, and ME. I hike alone, and relatively quietly, so you'd think my chances would be pretty good. Perhaps I'm just not that observant. To be fair, I did hike fairly early season, so perhaps I missed the peak of bear activity in the south. What chunks of the AT have you done?

Headed to the Absarokas in a couple weeks so hoping to change that!
 

Deleted User

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4 black bear encounters in Utah. 1 really close in the Wasatch.

1 really big Grizzly that walked up on the overpass we were waiting on to catch the camper bus at the Toklat stop in Denali to exit the park after 4 days of backcountry bliss. Had the Bear spray ready, luck did not have to use it.

Moose I see all the time. They are terrifying. Too numerous to count.

Seen 1 cougar in Hogum Fork.

1 big ass black bear on the trail to Lost Lake in Oregon. Bear Spray required. It worked, bear retreated. Blood pressure went up a notch that day.

Rattle Snakes- I do not like them. At least 20 or more.

Mosquitoes- kill them all!
 
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