What Animal Worries You Most in the Utah Backcountry?

What Animal Worries You Most in the Utah Backcountry?

  • Black Bear

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Mountain Lion

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • Moose

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • Coyote

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of them really bother me

    Votes: 10 38.5%

  • Total voters
    26

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Tyson

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Dec 5, 2012
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Just curious as to what other people think about wild-life in the back country. To be honest, the thought of a mountain lion stalking me is by far what scares me most. I go trail running quite often with my dog beau, and I think that I have just read way too many stories about lone hikers and what not being attacked. I have kept the list down to animals that might be found in the Utah backcountry, as we are quite unlikely to encounter a Griz or pack of wolves here (I think :rolleyes:). So what worries you? (if anything!)
 

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DAA

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Jun 14, 2012
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I voted "None of them...".

Although, I actually HAVE been stalked by a mountain lion, for 45 minutes. And I actually maintained eye contact with that bad boy for most of that time. It WAS a bit disconcerting, I'll admit. But when all was said and done, I just thought that was literally like the coolest experience EVER and I'm thankful for it.

Of the animals you list though, definitely, by far, the one that gives me most pause is the moose.

Black bears... Bah... Whatever... Always glad to see them. I know, they can, do, have and will again attack and even kill, but they simply do not concern me very much. Put it this way, I had one in my bowhunting camp last year that woke me up one night. After I yelled at it and threw stuff and my dog ran around barking at it and it still was just kind of sniffing around the edges of camp, I went back in my tent and was able to go back to sleep fairly quickly. I have had equipment damaged and food stolen by black bears a few times, I had one scare the bejeezus out of me when we surprised each other at close range on a pitch black dark night once and I don't think I've ever run so fast for so long in the mountains, I do respect them, don't want to sound like I don't. Just they don't worry me much.

Coyotes... harmless.

Moose... unpredictable, potentially dangerous, but generally not something I worry about at all.

People are by FAR the animals that worries me most! I don't carry a gun backpacking simply because I don't see enough people when backpacking to make me feel like I need one.

- DAA
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
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Rattle snake which was not on the list would be my first choice. Almost stepped on one in the dark. Moose is next riding up at Snowbasin I came around a blind corner to find one in the middle of the trail munching on grass. I froze! He was undisturbed and I just held my ground until he moved on because I didn't really know what to do. Now had that been a momma moose and me between her and a baby.... ug!
 

Tyson

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Dec 5, 2012
Messages
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I don't know why I didn't think to include rattle snakes:facepalm:.
 

jonmessina

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Sep 26, 2012
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Although not much worries me, I put down Moose. Been a little to close to some in the Uintas that have scared me.
 

Tyson

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Dec 5, 2012
Messages
10
Really crappy picture (taken with an old iPhone), but I came across a moose and her young last year when heading up to abes lake in the uintas. I saw the same moose on the trip there and back, and she didn't seem bothered at all (I have a very moronic brother that has no boundaries with bothering animals too lol). So I don't know if that has given me a false sense of security, but moose don't really bother me all that much.

Photo Aug 04, 12 54 53 PM.jpg
 

DAA

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Bulls during the rut are the ones to be particularly concerned with in my experience. Any moose deserves caution, in my opinion, but a rutting bull deserves a wide berth!

Have witnessed some down right aggressive behavior towards people and various other objects both natural and machine from them at that time of year. Although, thinking about it, the most aggressive bull moose I ever saw - it attacked a car repeatedly for about 10 minutes on Mirror Lake hiway; dang near totalled the car and tremendously frightened the poor little Japanese tourist couple inside - that was early in the summer well before the rut. That was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life too. Just about pooped myself I was laughing so hard. I don't understand a word of Japanese but I was getting the gist of the loud communications going on between husband and wife inside the car. And with the moose doing his thing the whole time, rearing up on his hind legs and bringing both front hooves down together on the hood and windshield and roof of the car, basically caving in the roof on top of them. It all sounded like a Godzilla movie there for awhile... I was just starting to think about shooting the moose for them or trying to push it away from their car with my truck or something like that when it lost interest and wandered off.

Anyway... Just my opinion but moose are just so dang big and stupid that they have the potential for being dangerous and deserve caution.

All that said, moose don't actually "worry" me at all.

- DAA
 

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blueeyes

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Great mental picture DAA. Distraught Japanese couple.....disgruntled moose acting as Godzilla. :roflmao:
 

wnorton

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Jul 28, 2012
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Not sure I'd say I was afraid, but I did have a skunk climb into my sleeping bag with me once. Interesting experience to say the least.

Wade


From wnorton using an iPad and Tapatalk HD.
 

Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
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I once had a skunk walk across my back as I was lying in my sleeping bag.

I WAS afraid that it would spray me and my friends wouldn't give me a ride back home!
 

Artemus

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I voted "None of them...".
- DAA
Second everything DAA has said here. Not afraid of any of these, nor snake, nor scorpion. Just humans. I have been charged by moose, encountered Ursus Horribilus and black ones on the trail, had scorpions under my tarp, taken up close and personal pics of midget faded rattlers coiled up and defensive and I cherish all those encounters. In fact I go out to see these creatures and rue the loss of the days when they were truly common.

I dream of the day of looking a mountain lion in the eye as Dave did.

It is amazing how alive you feel walking backcountry Yellowstone off-piste. You stay alert. You notice everything. With proper precautions and, better yet, in a group none of these encounters need be extremely dangerous. Disclaimer: I may accept more risk than some but I am not Grizzly Man or whatever the Alaskan nut case was called.
 

Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
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I'm with many of the others: I don't really worry about critters. I keep my awareness up when I backpack in grizzly country up in Wyoming and Montana, but it doesn't keep me from going. After doing my year-long "study" about causes of death in the backcountry a few years ago, it just reinforced my idea that there are far more likely ways to die, and I can't worry about them all. :)
 

Nick

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I think moose are definitely the most unpredictable and dangerous, but I don't really worry about them unless I'm with a dog that I think might be a bad puppy and go antagonize it. Nikita once chased one into a lake in the Uintas and that did not go very well at all.
 

HomerJ

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Jan 19, 2012
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Not sure I'd say I was afraid, but I did have a skunk climb into my sleeping bag with me once. Interesting experience to say the least.
So how did you get out of that situation?
 

gnwatts

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I woke up once in the Tetons with a moose eating moose food out of a stream, maybe 30' away. He was enormous from a laying on the ground perspective. He left me alone and walked up the stream. In hindsight that was a pretty dangerous situation. But Mountain lions scare me the most. I have seen one twice, once at my house near Carbondale, the other time (I think it was a female) watched me for a while hiking up Dark Canyon. I was getting ready to stop for the night, but I realized I was a little too close to a water hole, so i kept on going, as I think she was warning me.
 

Nick

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I woke up once in the Tetons with a moose eating moose food out of a stream, maybe 30' away.
I've never experienced anything like that, but one morning I awoke to the sound of screaming and a thundering of hooves when a friend I was camping with was awoke to a moose sniffing her face through the mesh of her collapsed bivy sack (the pole was broken). That moose had been sort of stalking us in plain sight most of the evening after my pup had chased it into the lake.

Story here:
http://backcountrypost.com/forum/threads/ryder-mcpheters-lakes-uintas.545/

The scene of the crime, moments later.
 

Artemus

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I woke up once in the Tetons with a moose eating moose food out of a stream, maybe 30' away. He was enormous from a laying on the ground perspective. He left me alone and walked up the stream. In hindsight that was a pretty dangerous situation. But Mountain lions scare me the most. I have seen one twice, once at my house near Carbondale, the other time (I think it was a female) watched me for a while hiking up Dark Canyon. I was getting ready to stop for the night, but I realized I was a little too close to a water hole, so i kept on going, as I think she was warning me.
Greg, I just got done with my third or fourth trip into Dark Canyon. Still looking for Felis Concolor. What waterhole (where) were you at in the canyon when you saw her?
 

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