Questions about animals likely to be encountered outdoors, whether from the perspective of food (hunting, preparing, eating), shelter (skinning) or for avoidance (bears, lions, other dangerous animals)

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6
votes
2answers
227 views

Solo-backpacking in mountain lion country

I've read that to take precautions in mountain lion country, people should hike and camp in groups. Does that mean solo-backpacking is not advisable in mountain lion country (Rocky Mountains in my ...
8
votes
2answers
205 views

Should you avoid handling lambs?

On a recent walk we ended up with a lamb following us. I picked it up and took it back to its mother. As I walked past someone else on the trail shouted that I shouldn't touch the lambs as "it ...
7
votes
2answers
460 views

What is the most effective way to flee from an alligator?

I've heard that running in a zig-zag pattern makes it more difficult for the alligator to keep up with you. Is that true?
5
votes
1answer
455 views

How to clean bones found outside?

On a recent walk my girlfriend and I discovered a decomposed horse carcass, nothing but bones left. We took some photos and moved on. She's now decided that the bones would make great ornaments and we ...
10
votes
3answers
368 views

How can I prevent animals from marking my camp as their territory?

Often, when I leave my tent during the day, cats and other animals come and pee in the corners and on the carpet. They probably do this to mark it as their territory. They don't come at night when I ...
2
votes
2answers
220 views

Scat Identification in Southern NH

Walking along my property today I came across some very fresh scat. I'm comfortable with identifying deer and black bear droppings, but beyond that I am lost. Can anyone identify these droppings so I ...
5
votes
2answers
84 views

Safe looking for caches in hollows

Caches are very often hidden in hollows. Generally any tree with more or less visible hollow is a very probable geocache hide. Often you can't easily look into that hollow because it's deep or ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

Should I expect reptiles in Southwest USA deserts in winter?

I'm aware there is a huge generalization which will have a lot of exceptions both in species as in microclimates, I'm looking for a general answer, yet specific for the region and time of year. I'm ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

How dangerous is a band of coyotes to a lone, unarmed human?

There's a delightful thrill to the call of a band of coyotes when you're alone in the dark woods. Do they present a danger? That is, have healthy coyotes (that is, not rabid) been known to attack or ...
5
votes
3answers
903 views

Is playing musical instruments like Harp/Harmonica, Flute unsafe during backpacking trips?

Along with trekking and camping, I am too involved in musical instruments that I play. And, I always have had a thought of carrying my six-string with me on some long hike for entertainment during I ...
9
votes
2answers
290 views

Moose: How to decrease the risk of being injured?

Based on Wikipedia: Moose injure more people than any other wild mammal and, worldwide, only hippopotamuses injure more. In this case, what should I do to decrease the risk of being injured ? ...
4
votes
2answers
425 views

How do people safely trek in polar bear country?

For hiking in polar bear country, this answer cites a page that advices to avoid camping under the stars at all times. Yet people do go trekking on Svalbard, and I don't think the density of huts is ...
6
votes
1answer
284 views

Does camping in polar bear country require someone to keep guard during the night?

Some animals are big and dangerous and, when hungry, may realise that humans contain a pretty decent amount of meat. I've never hiked in such areas, but they do exist. Photo from Wikipedia, ...
19
votes
1answer
407 views

Do I need to worry about feral dogs or even wolves if I camp in random areas while hitchhiking in Georgia (the country)?

After almost half a year working in a hostel in Tbilisi, spring has come and it is far warmer than anywhere further west in Europe so I'm going to hitchhike around Georgia with my tent in warm areas. ...
17
votes
4answers
251 views

Where can I find help identifying an owl by its call?

I am in a semi-rural area of Aldergrove, BC Canada--close to the US border. From our house we can hear the call of what we think is an owl, but would like to know what particular species. We were ...
11
votes
2answers
990 views

Should a hiker be concerned about wolves in the back-country?

In this question, it was asked whether bear-spray was effective against other animals, such as wolves. I know the old adage that "there has never been record of a healthy wolf attacking an adult" is ...