Questions about animals likely to be encountered outdoors, whether from the perspective of food (hunting, preparing, eating), shelter (skinning), for avoidance (bears, lions, other dangerous animals), or enjoyment (bird and other animal watching, care, understanding of behavior).

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63
votes
9answers
12k views

Should I run if I see wild dogs?

Wild dogs appear to be dangerous. Should I be running if I come across one, or should I stand fast and defend myself? They are a social animal, so they will be in a pack almost all the times.
23
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
604 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. ...
19
votes
5answers
297 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

When/Where do foxes attack humans?

There is an area that I would like to explore at daytime and at night time. I have seen only two foxes in that area during the day time. One of the locals told me not to go out at night because foxes ...
10
votes
3answers
559 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
339 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 ? ...
9
votes
1answer
152 views

Does it help to play a fake sound when confronted with a wild animal?

I think this might be a silly question. I was thinking about heading to a place where there is a chance to confront a coyote. It worried me a lot then..this question popped up. If I have big enough ...
9
votes
2answers
371 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
73 views

Why do Sandpipers show off their catch?

I noticed a couple of Sandpipers today who, after extracting a larger-than-normal morsel from the sand under the receding waves, "strutted their stuff" and dropped the morsel they had discovered for ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
490 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?
7
votes
2answers
61 views

What can I provide to help a robin build her nest?

We went away for five days and came home to find a robin building a nest in the crook of the downspout of our gutter. I live in Massachusetts, in Northeast United States, so she's probably an American ...
7
votes
1answer
387 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
203 views

How to deal with Serbian scorpions?

I always wanted to visit Balkan region, but I'm affraid of scorpions. As far as I searched there's plenty of those terrifying creatures, but none of species I found was poisonous. So I have two ...
6
votes
2answers
530 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Are the seagulls begging or contentedly sighing?

For any Dr. Doolittles out there, when a seagull makes a "cooing" sound, is it more like the "miaow" of a cat, or the purring of a cat? Specifically, when the seagulls "talk" to each other, it is ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

How to react to a fox in furious phase (rabies)?

So, I had this question. The answer was that we should kill a fox with rabies to help it. Rabies has a phase called "furious phase". The infected animal has symptoms which can directly affect ...
5
votes
2answers
99 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
557 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
912 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
405 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Can you tell the gender of a chipmunk from a distance?

We have a number of chipmunks in our yard in Massachusetts. There are different sizes and a large variation in markings. The behavior appears similar, so the sex isn't obvious. They all have names, ...
3
votes
3answers
143 views

Where exactly would be the kill of this squirrel?

I've a target face with an image of a squirrel. However, I'm not sure where the the kill exactly would be. I assume that it's the little brown spot beneath the arm, on the edge to the white ...
2
votes
3answers
131 views

Things to consider when approaching deer

I often approach deer to see how near I can get and to watch them (just for fun - not to hunt). I take care for the wind and of course to be silent enough. What else should one consider ...
2
votes
2answers
315 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

How to behave when there is a wild boar in your way [duplicate]

I ask this question because I met them often in the forest. In the most cases they only run away but in one case the boar blocked our way through a valley. It only looked at us. It did not attack but ...
-2
votes
1answer
101 views

What large mammals have become extinct or rare in the Colorado Rockies and Sierra in the past 100 years? [closed]

In decades of hiking and backpacking in the Sierra and Colorado Rockies, I have seen only six species of large mammals: black bear, coyote, moose, big horn sheep, elk and deer. If I had been hiking ...