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Old 02-17-2011, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Land Of Moose, Blueberries, and Chickadees
10,063 posts, read 5,467,287 times
Reputation: 12729

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Hi everyone.

I've been reading this forum for a few months now and try to absorb as much as possible so I am at least somewhat prepared for things I'm not used to when I get up there.

One thing that has been on my mind lately, after looking at the pics of doggehs runnin' around in the woods, reading about bobcats being 6' from MW's face in their yard, moose, and other assorted creatures is, what pointers can you give me on some of these?

To give you a glimpse in to my thoughts, I'll tell you about what we have here. Here we have alligators. Now, alligators don't tend to come towards humans, they tend to go away from them. But if you're walking along and have a dog on the end of the leash, the alligator will forgo that fear for a moment to try to eat your dog, right off the leash. I do know not to be near the water's edge, anywhere, not to let my dogs play in lakes, rivers, canals, etc. I know to stay away from thicker brush and we sure as heck don't walk around a night time. It's not a 100% solution but it works pretty well.

We also tend to stay away from those areas and big rock piles because of snakes. So I know what to do around alligators and snakes...I have no clue what to do, look out for, what to avoid, when it comes to bobcats, moose, and anything else you might have.

For example, say I'm taking my hoodlum dogs out for a walk in the woods, in the snow, like in the pics, (I can't wait to do this), and a bobcat comes racing out of the woods. I would assume I'm allowed to protect myself and my dogs in this instance? (This may sound like a ridiculous question but some places in this country are weird about guns and protection.) Or are you all laughing because I clearly do not understand the way of the bobcat in the winter time?

Are there telltale signs to look for to let me know one might be in the area so we can get out of the area before we have this encounter?

What about moose? Do they make some kind of sound, besides thundering hooves through the brush? Do they tend to leave people alone as long as you're not near their young? What about dogs, do they leave them alone?

I'm wondering if bobcat or moose or any other animal up there acts in a similar fashion to the alligator or if they all just try to get away from you, dogs or not.

And let's say, I'm walking along, and I DO accidentally come up on a moose and her young....what are the rules for protecting myself? If I were to protect myself, am I going to face charges or some other sort of trouble? (Again, some places are weird in this country.) Granted, I'm going to protect myself and face whatever consequences I come by later because it's better to be alive than dead but I'm just wondering if there ARE any consequences if you can prove you were protecting yourself.

If you've lived in Maine all your life or have been there awhile, I'm sure this sounds silly to you but for those of us who have not had the experience of these animals, would be nice to hear any bits of knowledge you have.

Thanks.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:09 PM
 
669 posts, read 1,128,834 times
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I can't say I remember any issues between human and moose. There have been cases of a moose charging a car at night, but it was probably the lights of the car that were the problem. I'd have no fear of moose or bobcat. There could be an issue with a bear if it's a sow with cubs. You would have plenty of opportunity to diffuse the situation, but don't ever get between a bear and her cubs. Another bear problem arises with a wounded bear. They have been known to charge the hunter. You can avoid that by not wounding a bear! Coyotes are the critters I wouldn't trust. Even though they are about the size of a dog, they hunt in packs. There was a jogger actually killed by Coyotes in New Brunswick a few years ago. I'd be more concerned about coyotes in winter than summer since that's when they are stuggling most to find food.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:44 PM
 
Location: New England
738 posts, read 1,152,900 times
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One of my good friends dad was attacked by a cow moose with 2 calves. He was fending her off with his aluminum fly rod case. The case was destroyed and luckily she only charged him twice. I was chased by one when I was a kid. Moose do not like dogs since they don't know the difference between them and a coyote or wolf and will go after them if they feel threatened.
Another thing you want to be careful of with your dog is around beaver ponds. If your dog chases them into the water, the beaver has an upper hand in the water and will drag a dog to the bottom and drown them.
I always carry a good knife or have a gun on me when I go in the woods. One plus is you don't have to worry about alligators or snakes in Maine.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:04 PM
 
11,030 posts, read 11,045,312 times
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an encounter (in most places in maine) with a bobcat or moose is very rare(while walking a dog)

even if you do, they are more scared of you, than you are of them.

Ive been in the woods for 30 years and never seen a bobcat and very rarely a moose.


If someone was ever nervous about an animal encounter,,,just carry one of those air-horns,
if you dont think that is sufficient, bring pepper spray or a pistol, tho i dont think it is necessary
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Maine
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I think that by far the most dangerous encounters with wildlife here are with moose, but only in moose-vs-car accidents. DH is an emergency room doc and has seen first hand the carnage that can cause.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:32 PM
 
Location: God's Country, Maine
2,052 posts, read 2,872,343 times
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An encounter with bears is uncommon. If you see a sow with cubs, just avoid them. We used to feed them at the dumps, but those days are gone.They will tumble back into the woods. If you make a habit of throwing your bacon grease out of the camp window, well that's another story.

I never had a bad encounter with a cow with calves. I have found them to be more like hams for the camera. We regularly canoe up to a couple of feet to bulls and cows. I did have a friend who had to shoot a bull during the rut when he was charged, again very rare. He was summonsed, but got off with the game warden's report.

Bobcats and coyotes will run faster than you will ever draw a handgun or rifle. Bears to, for that matter. I haven't had a shot at a standing or walking dog in three years.

The Fish and Wildlife Dept. offer a free survival handbook in hunter orange. One of the first tips says "Nothing in the Maine woods can hurt you." It still dosen't hurt to carry a small caliber handgun for the occasional treat of red squirell, woodchuck or porcupine. We had some beaver tails lately. Tell you what, mistah man, some good eat'n!
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,820 posts, read 28,403,224 times
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I was once outside trying to light a bonfire, no moon and over-cast, it was no dark you could barely see your hand in front of your face. I was kneeling, arranging kindling and newspapers by touch, when a hot blast of moist air hit the back of my neck. A moose had walked up behind me, and was standing with his head right above me, trying to see what I was doing. Caught by surprise like that, I was at a loss for words, but once my lungs began working again, the moose ran away. He knocked down trees and make a great deal of noise in his escape from me. That was nearly the most frightened I have ever been, except for a few times underwater.

I sometimes see moose beside the roadway. Once a calf ran alongside my car, pacing me for 100 meters.

I have walked up onto black bear, a few times I have seen them crossing the road.

Twice I have had to stop for beaver dragging logs across the road. If your concerned that the log would total your car, and if the beaver don't mind. The only logical thing to do is to get out, grab a few branches and help the beaver to drag the log clear of the pavement. Both times I have done this the beaver never stopped pulling. I guess they were grateful for the assist.

I see eagle now and again. This past fall I was driving along, when I saw an eagle swoop down right in front of my truck, there was roadkill was on the pavement in front of us. The eagle grabbed the roadkill, pealed it off the pavement and made it back up in the air just as the roadkill scraped the top of my truck. I thought he seemed kind of dumb to do that. No other vehicles in sight, he could have easily waited for me to pass by and then gotten his roadkill.

This last summer I was digging a trench and laying a pipe in it, overnight the trench had filled with water and snakes. There were dozens of little bitty snakes in there. [I think that it had first attracted frogs, which in turn had drawn the snakes] But the pipe connection had came apart. After much head scratching, I had to go in there, wading in water up to my thighs, to fit those pipes back together. Good thing that Maine snakes don't usually bite. Always remember to carry snake bite medicine in case of emergency [and like my grandfather would say don't forget to bring your own snake just in case].

Last summer we had issues with a fox here stealing chickens.

Sometimes fisher-cats too.

Usually when these things happen I tell about it here on C-D.

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Old 02-17-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: God's Country, Maine
2,052 posts, read 2,872,343 times
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I have a friend up here who traps beavers for relocation, for the IFW and FS. He uses live traps. At first I thought he was joking when he told me he baits the traps with popple twigs!

We have several places just minutes away where we can watch the beavers and otters for hours. If you go swimming, sometimes the otters will come right up to you. They have this strange little grasp to their front paws, just like hands. When the kids come out and play, its a riot. The otters swim on their backs and crack freshwater clams and crawdads on their bellies.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:47 PM
Status: "Older and decidedly wiser!" (set 11 days ago)
 
8,759 posts, read 11,613,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmyankee View Post
I have a friend up here who traps beavers for relocation, for the IFW and FS. He uses live traps. At first I thought he was joking when he told me he baits the traps with popple twigs!
We have several places just minutes away where we can watch the beavers and otters for hours. If you go swimming, sometimes the otters will come right up to you. They have this strange little grasp to their front paws, just like hands. When the kids come out and play, its a riot. The otters swim on their backs and crack freshwater clams and crawdads on their bellies.
The fresh willow twigs that sprout every spring are a favorite for porcupines. We get several in our tree every spring.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,667 posts, read 7,713,045 times
Reputation: 4678
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorMama View Post
One thing that has been on my mind lately, after looking at the pics of doggehs runnin' around in the woods, reading about bobcats being 6' from MW's face in their yard, moose, and other assorted creatures is, what pointers can you give me on some of these?
I see a lot of wildlife because I live in the woods and spend a lot of time outside. The bobcat was starving to death during a very hard winter. It killed a rooster. I bent over to pick up feathers by the wood pile. The bobcat and dead rooster were under the tarp that covered the wood pile. It wasn't intent on hurting me, it was protecting its meal. If I hadn't bent over to pick up those feathers I'd have walked a few feet from it and not known it was there. I've been nervous only twice. There really isn't much in the woods here that you have to be worried about.
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