Questions discussing region-specific as well as generic practices about venturing in wildlife, safety precautions for us as well as inhabitants (animals), legalities and restrictions, etc should be tagged with this tag.

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64
votes
9answers
13k 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.
30
votes
9answers
4k views

What should I do to avoid ticks other than wear particular clothing?

Today I've learnt that one can't vaccinate against Borreliose, also known as Lyme Disease. I've thought that I can't get that (yeah, that was stupid) and so didn't really care about ticks. However, ...
25
votes
1answer
467 views

What sort of rock climbing grade can a goat do?

It is quite well known that goats are into free solo rock climbing. Is there any evidence (even if anecdotal) of the highest grades they are able to climb?
23
votes
7answers
14k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
615 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. ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

What do you do if you see a cougar?

Hiking on the west coast of British Columbia, there are likely to be cougars around the trails. What do you do if you see one?
20
votes
5answers
3k views

What to do when a moose blocks the trail?

We were hiking in Colorado a couple of weeks ago (i.e., mid-June). One day, I took Trail A and my husband took Trail B. As he rounded a bend, he saw a moose on the trail about 50 feet away. He ...
19
votes
10answers
6k views

How to humanely kill an injured rabbit?

My girlfriend was walking the dogs this am when she came across what she thought was a road kill rabbit. One of the dogs ran over to the "dead" rabbit and tried to take a bite out of the stomach. The ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Meeting an unknown snake on the trail; what is the best thing to do?

The newsletter from the Virginia Wildlife Rescue League reported the following incident. A man, his partner and her 4 year old daughter were walking in Farquier County (a rural county), when they saw ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?

And what situations should I try and avoid in regards to wildlife and areas prone to hazards in the UK? Edited my question to cover the other answers more as they were very good additions to the ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What should you do if you see a rattle snake?

In the area where I live, I have periodically seen a rattle snake when hiking, occasionally at the ready to strike pose. What should I do?
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

Bears are mostly attracted by smell of food. That is why we are supposed to keep the food items in airtight and sealed packs or preferably finish up all the food (cooking and consuming) far away from ...
15
votes
2answers
290 views

How can I recognize a game trail?

I've been out hiking in wilderness areas when I came across an unmarked trail. It wasn't on a map but it appeared to lead in the direction I wanted to go. I decided not to take it in case it was a ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
14
votes
6answers
24k views

How to humanely kill an injured bird?

Last night I was walking my dog when I came across an injured racing pigeon. I've reported it to the owner who's coming to pick it up today, providing it's survived the night..... I was thinking ...
13
votes
3answers
903 views

How effective are portable electric fences?

I am worried about bears and wolves when camping so I'm looking at portable electric fences. Are they effective and more importantly just how dangerous are they?
13
votes
7answers
6k views

What are the odds that I stand a chance against Wild Boars?

I have been trekking and camping since last 6 yrs. I have over 600 hikes and about 30 technical rock climbs under my belt. We often tend to camp up in forests, and at our sides, wild boars are pretty ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Frogs in pond attacking one reddish coloured frog?

In my garden pond I saw a bundle of frogs seemingly smothering one reddish coloured frog. Being British and always favouring the underfrog I sprayed the "attackers" with the hose until they all went. ...
12
votes
1answer
173 views

Precautions when walking through area of crocodiles

Unlike other places, in India, the region where I stay and trek, we don't have warning boards stating the crocodile threats/warnings. I have been wandering in the region for almost a decade now and ...
11
votes
2answers
606 views

How can I avoid an encounter with a large feline?

I'm backpacking through a national park in India, which also happens to be a tiger reserve. I understand that chances of even spotting a Bengal tiger are slim, but still, what precautionary measures ...
11
votes
1answer
357 views

How frequent are polar bears inland in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador?

I am considering a trek in August/September in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador (Canada's newest National Park; for info see 1, 2, 3). However, I am worried by the prospect of ...
10
votes
1answer
179 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
5answers
4k views

Why do you not aim for the head?

In 3D archery and while hunting we're aiming for the lungs and the heart most of the time. At least this is true for bobcats, lynxes, deer and other similar animals. See this target for example: ...
9
votes
4answers
531 views

How to encourage birds into the garden of a rented house?

I live in a relatively rural area of North Wales in a new build house. I've been trying to encourage birds into our garden with limited success. There are plenty of birds in the area just not many in ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Staying safe from hunters while hiking in France

This question is specific to France, as different countries have different hunting cultures and regulations. There have been a number of highly publicized accidents in France this year (1, 2, 3). ...
8
votes
2answers
308 views

Any dangerous animals attracted to fire?

While we are out in the wild it's good practice to keep a fire up to hold back several kinds of dangerous animals, isn't it? I wonder if there are any (for humans dangerous) creatures out there which ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Could smoking pipe tobacco or a cigar attract bears and/or other wildlife?

Bears and other wildlife are attracted to unusual scents, especially anything that could potentially be mistaken as food, such as often-sweet-smelling, aromatic pipe tobacco or cigars. However, you're ...
8
votes
2answers
268 views

Should I run if I come across Hyena?

Question prompted by: Should I run if I see wild dogs? Since Hyenas physically resemble Wild Dogs, more or less, is the advice in that discussion applicable for encounters with Hyenas too? Are there ...
8
votes
1answer
285 views

When is the midge season in Scotland?

What time of year are the the dreaded midge's in Scotland at their worst? I've only really been into the Higlands in Winter and I would prefer to avoid the worst time for these if possible.
8
votes
1answer
61 views

What is the best time of day to view Bison in Oklahoma?

I'll be visiting Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma which is known, among other things, for having free-roaming American Bison. I've never seen any in the 'wild'. Is there a specific time ...
8
votes
2answers
247 views

Storing food in the desert

I'll be doing some backpacking in sections of desert in Eastern Washington, U.S. and I was wondering if anybody has tips on food storage while hiking? There will be no trees to hang the food in. I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
119 views

Guy Ropes and Wildlife

A few years ago camping in Dorset, England we had an issue with the wonderfully cute local wildlife nibbling away at our guy ropes. At the time, we didn't have a replacement. So with a guy rope ...
7
votes
2answers
997 views

Camping with a tarp, what are risks about animals?

I have never camped using a tarp (and just a sleeping bag under), and I am wondering about it. I am thinking about camping in Canada, and the animals around there are apparently mostly bears and other ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

How can I tell if a opossum is truly dead?

I saw a opossum (the North American kind) on a golf course the other day. It looked pretty dead - there was foam coming out of its mouth and flies buzzing all around it. However, I know opossums can ...
7
votes
2answers
106 views

From the point of view of wildlife, what is the most dangerous component of roadside litter?

As my other litter question stated, I live on a semi-rural road, and about twice a year pick up litter from the verge. Others pick up litter too, but there are swathes of floodplain land, ...
7
votes
1answer
92 views

What is a safe distance for large, non-predatory wildlife?

When visiting areas with free-roaming wildlife such as American Bison and Texas Longhorns, there are numerous signs warning about keeping a safe distance. They don't, however, actually specify the ...
7
votes
2answers
204 views

What nocturnal animal in Massachusetts skitters around and grunts loudly?

I live not far north of Boston, up against some conservation land. Last night I heard something that, from its movements, sounded about the size of a raccoon but didn't move like a raccoon. It was ...
7
votes
1answer
276 views

What should I do if I get sprayed by a skunk?

There are times when I just barely miss getting sprayed by a skunk (there are a lot of them in my area). I haven't actually gotten directly sprayed, but I would like to be ready in case that happens. ...
7
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the Chincoteague Pony Swim on Assateague Island in Virginia and Maryland?

Ever since I read a book called Misty of Chincoteague as a child, I've wanted to see the Wild Chincoteague Ponies, on the Eastern shore of the United States. I believe there are two herds on ...
7
votes
2answers
87 views

Snowshoe hare migration patterns through changing seasons

I asked this question in the Hunting BC forum but so far it hasn't received much attention. I'm very interested in the answer(s) and will cross-post any useful information. Over the last three weeks ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?

What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
6
votes
2answers
729 views

A skeleton with elfish ears - which animal was that?

As we wandered through a valley in a South-German forest, we stumbled across this skeleton: A few key-facts: Big eyes It had two sharp "ear like" bones coming out of its skull The pictured ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

Can urinating around camp attract wildlife?

As far as I know, it's generally a good idea to pee a fence around your camp. Don't know if it makes any major differences but ... It is true urinating around your tent will keep some critters ...
6
votes
2answers
418 views

How can I tell if a wild animal has rabies?

If I am in the wild and encounter an animal that I think might be rabid, how can I tell if it has rabies? An animal that has been running hard, or any number of other things could cause it to be ...
6
votes
1answer
336 views

What are Miner bees, and how do they differ from other bees?

While walking in a state park in New Jersey last week, my husband and I came upon what looked like anthills. This small sign was posted on a nearby tree: "Please don't step on the mounds of dirt. ...
6
votes
2answers
80 views

Is it possible to identify the sex of a caribou without a pair binoculars or a spotting scope?

Both male and female caribou have antlers. Last year we saw a large herd cross the road we were traveling on, but had no way of telling which ones were male and which ones were females. Unfortunately, ...
6
votes
1answer
347 views

What are the dangerous animals in Southern Nevada

I'm from Florida and I've only ever hiked in the Southeast US. I don't know if I'm blind, but I can't find a listing of dangerous animals and their profiles. I tried Nevada Dept of Wildlife and ...
6
votes
1answer
72 views

Is “dynamically soaring” suitable as a bird identification feature?

I've never heard of a bird besides the Albatross which is able to use "Dynamic Soaring". Am I able to draw any conclusions out of this behavior? Like, can I say "it's definitely an Albatross" or "it's ...
6
votes
0answers
30 views

How far does a nursing squirrel travel from her nest?

It's obvious by her belly that we have a nursing gray squirrel in our yard in Massachusetts, USA. I assume her nest is in one of our large evergreens, not too far from the bird feeders, especially ...
5
votes
3answers
512 views

Can I get away with less advanced food storing methods if backpacking in areas where meeting bears is unlikely?

A page like this one, as well as a number of questions on this site, discuss how to pack food safely from bears. What about other animals? This post advises a pretty sophisticated way to protect ...