Questions tagged [animals]

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

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52 votes
1 answer
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Why would a seal be flinging an octopus around above the water and then slapping a kayaker with it?

There is a video of a seal sucker punching a kayaker with an octopus, Source I suppose the seal wasn't exactly trying to hit the kayaker, but why would it be flinging the octopus around above the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
36 votes
7 answers
154k 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 ...
Don Branson's user avatar
  • 3,697
34 votes
6 answers
107k views

How dangerous are kangaroos?

After watching this video of a man punching a kangaroo to rescue his dog, I am wondering how dangerous a kangaroo is to a human on foot? I am sure that there are a lot of other things in Australia ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
5k views

"Due to the sheep in the settlement the surrounding area has no mosquitoes"

I was surprised by this Visit Greenland statement on Qassiarsuk: Due to the sheep in the settlement the surrounding area has no mosquitoes. Does that make sense? Is there any reason why the ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
27 votes
6 answers
37k views

What animal could strip all the bark off the lower 7 feet of this tree?

I was out in the woods the other day and I came across a tree. It had all of the bark around the bottom removed, and a good layer of wood removed as well. I estimated the damage was a good 7-8 feet ...
Jance's user avatar
  • 370
26 votes
4 answers
12k views

What is wrong with the rabbit living under my shed?

So there is this rabbit that lives under my shed, and I've been watching it through my window for the past few days. It comes out in the mornings, and sits next to its hole crouched in a tight ball, ...
chris takagi's user avatar
25 votes
8 answers
4k 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 ...
Aravona's user avatar
  • 15.4k
25 votes
9 answers
53k 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 ...
user avatar
23 votes
1 answer
1k 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. ...
hippietrail's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is this weird mechanical thing I found in the woods?

I hope this is the right community. I was walking through the woods and found this weird thing, it was in front of a hunting tower, and a wildlife cam was pointed at it. There where traces of deer(?) ...
gries's user avatar
  • 313
20 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Lost's user avatar
  • 19k
18 votes
5 answers
5k views

What are the benefits of saving bats?

I'm fascinated by bats. I love to watch them fly around, although I've never seen more than a few at a time where I live in a suburban area in Massachusetts, Northeastern Unites States. I'd love to ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
8k views

Dozens of earthworms came on my terrace and died there

We've had a harsh weather turnaround lately in central Europe. It went from a pretty warm late summer to a pretty cold autumn in nearly one single night. As this happened, earthworms started to come ...
OddDeer's user avatar
  • 23.4k
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

When is it a bad idea to follow a game trail?

If you are walking on trail, and a game trail heads off in an interesting direction is it ever a bad idea to follow it? If so how would you know when it is OK to follow a game trail? This question ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
16k views

Why do you not aim for the head while archery hunting?

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: ...
OddDeer's user avatar
  • 23.4k
14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why do predators seem as abundant as prey in trail camera footage?

From basic thermodynamic principles, I would normally expect prey species to be much more abundant than predators. Applying that to North American species like deer, wolves and bears, I would expect ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 1,691
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Wildcats in Scotland

I know there are a limited number of wildcats still roaming free in Scotland but is it ever very realistic to see one? and are there any places that are particularly good to spot them? I also know ...
EmmaL's user avatar
  • 365
14 votes
3 answers
973 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?
Magneto's user avatar
  • 151
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

How can I avoid an encounter with a tiger?

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 ...
Vikrant Chaudhary's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
46k 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 ...
C_Z_'s user avatar
  • 241
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

What to do when a snake blocks a narrow trail?

Some time back I was on a very narrow mountain trail with a cliff rising to my right and a steep gorge dropping to my left. The trail was blocked by by the viper below (with the gorge just out of shot)...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

What breed is this very large, black, turtle/tortoise found in the Northeast United States?

My husband found this very large turtle (or tortoise) crossing a road from an industrial park towards a wooded area. It was in June, in Massachusetts, USA, at 8:00 in the evening. He didn't touch it, ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are these round, spiny, puffy, green things from the ocean in Northeast United States?

Last October, we were on a road above a beach in a small town near Bar Harbor, Maine, in the Northeast United States. We looked down and saw two fishermen loading their trucks with piles of something ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
33k views

Is "scat" used to describe the droppings of any animal?

I understand that when you see animal droppings in the wilderness, it's referred to as "scat." I have heard scat referred to when referencing bear, coyote and mountain lion droppings. Is this the ...
steelersquirrel's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
463 views

Do animal trails have switchbacks?

When hiking in a rarely frequented area, trails may be very faint to the level of being essentially invisible. In such situations, it has happened more than once that I accidentally followed an ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
12 votes
1 answer
1k 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. ...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 1,932
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do wolves hunt on moonless nights?

Wolves have better night vision than we do, enough that they can quite happily hunt on moonlit nights. But what about when there is no moonlight? Intuitively it seems to me that with no moon or nearby ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 1,691
11 votes
4 answers
12k views

Are elk and deer colorblind to blaze orange/pink clothes?

During rifle season, hunters are required to wear blaze orange (some states also allow bright pink). I have heard that deer and elk are color blind to blaze orange, is there scientific evidence to ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
19k views

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

We have a large number of chipmunks, probably mostly Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus, in our yard in Massachusetts. There are different sizes and a large variation in markings. The behavior appears ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
525 views

Is sunscreen toxic to marine life, especially coral reefs?

As part of an effort to be a responsible user of the world's waterways, I've been thinking about ways to reduce marine pollution. A friend told me that certain chemicals in common brands of sunscreen ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
OddDeer's user avatar
  • 23.4k
11 votes
1 answer
16k views

What determines whether the young of a cat is called a kitten or a cub?

The young of cats are called kittens or cubs, depending partly on how large the cat is, and apparently partly on informal custom. Wikipedia, kitten says: The word "kitten" derives from the Middle ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
11 votes
1 answer
201 views

Why should lights be turned off on beaches where turtles breed?

I have a friend who lives in Orlando, Florida. She and her husband are avid sailors and travelers. They also hunt lighthouses, and have seen over 100 different ones. They're currently on a trip from ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which types of animals would peel bark off this tree?

I'm just curious which animals would peel bark off a tree like this: It's a riparian setting in the Mid Atlantic region. I was thinking maybe a beaver?
amphibient's user avatar
  • 4,053
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Butterfly Migration over Lassen Peak

Roughly 10 years ago I hiked up Lassen Peak in Northern California, and there was a huge (hundreds of thousands) butterfly migration going right over the top of the peak around this time of year. It ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 9,648
11 votes
1 answer
324 views

What should I do when I find a dying dog?

A few years ago I was on a cycling holiday - on my own - in remote mountainous countryside in the north of Greece. One day, I came across a dog lying by the side of the road. I had passed quite a few ...
threesixnine's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
3k views

Protecting Food Supplies from wild animals While Backpacking

A group of 4 plan on hiking across Michigan's UP's Ottawa National Forest. We are finishing up our plans and have one last issue with food that we aren't sure how to handle. We know you are supposed ...
Ryan Welsh's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to keep away animals from my camp without setting a fire?

I'm new in Camping, and recently I have camped in France, in the Vosges region, in the locality called "Le bonhomme". Well it's not the pure wilderness but it was very unusual for me, as it was ...
Dipiks's user avatar
  • 335
10 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is Germany or any of Europe really rabies free?

Answers at a recent question say that Germany has been rabies free since 2008. My first response was how could that even be possible, must be some significant border protection that keeps wild ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
318 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, ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
10 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Blackbear's user avatar
  • 1,892
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Where do white tigers live?

We saw this magnificent white tiger in a wildlife rehabilitation center in the United States. I don't like seeing animals out of their natural habitat, but all of these animals were rescued from ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
12k views

Worm catching with electricity?

I have heard about people using electricity to catch worms, mostly around catching worms for fishing. How does this work? Is it safe?
James Jenkins's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
21k 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
229 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 ...
Aravona's user avatar
  • 15.4k
9 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Vince's user avatar
  • 653
9 votes
3 answers
15k 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 ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k