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23

I actually had a site bookmarked for this very reason that provided some good, sound advice. I've always heard that a cougar (mountain lion) generally doesn't let you see it unless its considering attacking. 100 yards away or more that is unattentive to you Avoid rapid movements, running, loud, excited talk. Stay in groups; keep children with adults. ...


9

A fuller history: They were approved for a few years (2004-2007) for use in Yosemite, which is a proving ground for bear-resistant containers. In 2007 I believe there were a couple incidents where bears were able to puncture an Ursack and "suck" food out of it. This led Yosemite to ban them from the park (and ultimately some other national parks followed ...


9

First of all, you are more likely to hear the rattlesnake than see it. They tend to camouflage themselves quite well, and unless you are paying very close attention, they are easy to miss. I have actually stepped less than a foot from one and not noticed it until I was passing it (It was coiled in a circle, hence my lack of rattle snake bites...) If you ...


7

There are several concerns Rodents. Unlike the eastern US, rodents in the West are much more likely to carry Hanta virus and Bubonic plague. These are not common, but unlike the Eastern US, they are also not unheard of. Scorpions. Scorpions in the east are a minor annoyance. Some of the Western ones kill. Wild Horses. Again, unheard of in the east, ...


7

Are you sure this is a good idea at all? If you need an electric fence to keep animals from your camp, then (in my opinion!) you must have done something wrong. As for wolves, did you ever hear of a single case where wolves would attack a camp site? Bears are a different beast, but again: I suggest doing everything to prevent the situation, not to solve it ...


6

Actually, electric fences with an attached alarm are pretty common when camping in Svalbard (lots and lots of polar bears). Yet, this unfortunately has the sole purpose of buying you some extra time to get your rifle and can only be considered the last of last resorts. Additionally the failure rate seems to be rather high. In any case I don't think you'll ...


6

To get an official answer to this question, I decided to email the National Park Service at Yosemite NP. The park ranger said: Bears are attracted to "food" odors. When talking about food storage, anything that has an odor regardless of packaging is considered "food." For this reason, cigarettes and other tobacco products are considered food. ...


5

You propose packing food deeply in your backpack. I'd specifically recommend against that. Bears (and other wild animals) have vastly more acute senses of smell than humans, and they won't hesitate to chew through your pack to get at anything buried there. Even if there aren't bears in an area, there are likely to be some kind of varmints (squirrels, ...


5

In the test report of 2004 according to Ursack: Bears carried inadequately-secured Ursacks short distances suggesting that users should be able to locate most bags that might get carried off by bears. Distances carried during the four tests were 0.3m, 1.6 m, 5.8 m, and somewhere between 41 and 67 m. In those cases, the sack did prevent the bear from ...


5

I have come across wild boars about a dozen times (I admit, not that much), in numbers from a single male, mothers with young upto groups of 30-40 and I've never felt threatened. Sometimes the leading (fe)male might approach you aggressively just long enough for the rest of the group to run away and then retreat too. I usually stay silent and try to observe ...


4

Bears are not naturally attracted to smoke - except for Smoky the Bear. Same goes for mountain lions, wolves, etc - they will generally avoid smoke (actually, all mammals will) for obvious reasons. I suppose there is always some incredibly unlikely scenario where a bear (or other animal) has become habituated to smoke and associates it with food, somehow, ...


4

It's always best to back off and walk around it. Rattlesnakes can strike very fast and far. I find that the bigger problem with snakes in common is that you step close to one unexpectedly. Most of the time they strike out of reflex when you almost stand on them, like for instance in bushes or below large stones where you step over.


4

The other answers have great information. I would add some specifics that I have learned from living and backpacking all over Arizona and the white mountains for most of my life. Don't have everyone pee on the same rock/place at night. It will dry out and the salt can attract deer. If they get brought in to camp for the salt, they might smell something else ...


4

I've taken the liberty to bold 2 questions I believed where the main questions of your post. Are there animals that are simply not afraid of much bigger humans? Yes. A variety of animals have adapted to our societies/cities and have adapted, other species may have no other choice than to look for food near or in our ever expanding cities and towns. May it ...


3

The best recommendation is to take all necessary precautions for yourself, wildlife and the fauna. What measures make sense depends on the area you are visiting. For example, in more remote parts of the east coast (Maine, New-Brunswick, etc.) you will only find black bears and they tend to be pretty shy. In these areas, many people rely on hanging their ...


3

"Unlikely" is not the same as "won't happen." You're going to the White Mountains in California, so call the ranger station in Bishop and ask them. They will probably tell you that bears do exist there, so the probability is not zero. "It seems quite difficult to me to keep food at least 15 feet above the ground and 10 feet horizontally from a tree trunk. ...


3

I live in the northeast US, but have done a bunch of hiking in the desert of AZ and NM. Big animals aren't really the problem. Most everything like that will run away from you. Camping with bears around is something you have to think about, but that is not really different from New England. In fact, you're quite unlikely to bump into a bear in the ...


3

According to @mojzis' link, there is a chance of wolves: So perhaps the most useful recommendation would be to speak to locals in each area you travel to, to understand what areas are considered safe, and whether they have local guidelines on food storage, proximity to open areas, gun permits etc. And of course that guidance would hold for any such ...


2

The protectiveness of sow bears towards its cubs is generic across all the types of bears. There might be a difference in the aggressiveness of a type of bear but this is purely based on how comfortable a bear is with a human and how threatened it feels. eg. a black bear has a smaller circle of fear and hence one can get closer to a black bear than a grizzly ...


2

They stop my horses and cows just fine. My chickens, not so much :) In all seriousness, small critters will just get through, and could be as much of a nuisance as a bear. Also, I'm not sure I'd want to test an electric fence against a bear. Remember, part of the effectiveness of the fence is the shock that deters - but bears can be pretty persistent when ...


2

This video is quite a good instruction. :-) This article is quite interesting, though not really useful. Read the discussion though. But beware! This strategy might not be valid for other beasts of prey, such as lions. In this video, the man instructs to be quiet and stay low not to agitate the beast. Also, man in this video is staying low (in fact, he's ...


2

As others point out, avoiding them is key, and because they're so aggressive it's generally the better stance to take. That said, if you find yourself unavoidably coming up against one then being aggressive can work (though of course this isn't guaranteed.) Often if you attack one and the rest see that you're capable of that, then they'll run away (as seen ...


1

It all depends on where you are hiking (you may want to edit that into your question) as to the type of wild boar one may encounter. I have backpacked extensively around the Southwestern U.S. and I've come across as many as 7-10 javelina and they are of little threat to hikers. I had edited that I had never heard of a single attack but then found a ...


1

Bears in California are a huge problem in certain highly impacted areas such as Yosemite Valley. They are almost not a problem at all in less traveled areas such as the White Mountains. Rattlesnakes are fairly common. Keep your eyes open and don't step on one that's basking in the sun on the trail. They're not aggressive. If you get bitten, don't try to do ...



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