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Old 08-24-2017, 09:50 AM
Location: Colorado
1,022 posts, read 566,497 times
Reputation: 2081


Many, many times, but I live in Colorado, where suburbia is still right near the Rocky mountains. I have had so many fox encounters I couldn't even count them, we used to have a ton of foxes in our neighborhood & I had one that would sleep curled up in my treeless little suburban yard in the middle of the day. I have encountered them walking in the hood so many times, but only once almost tripped over one, b/c I was walking at night & we didn't see each other, came out from under a bush in a neighboring yard & scared us both LOL. They aren't interested in us though, they just run away. I have seen a moose in a university neighborhood along the creek that ran between the university & the freeway. He was a lost jr moose & actually spent about 6 weeks in that location.

Rattlesnakes on many occasions, but on popular suburban hiking trails (like at Garden of the Gods), not in the hood. Coyotes, surprisingly only twice, also on a popular trail, but at dusk, about 8 of them. They were just passing through, but I did warn the guy near me who had his small dog off leash. Good thing I warned him, as he was from out of state & had no idea what they were. Another time 2 crossed in front of me while hiking. The coyotes here are a real oddity. There are so many of them, but they really do avoid humans & they are SO smart! I lived in a typical suburban neighborhood, but we had a detention pond across the main road near me. I would hear them every single night, but I lived in that house for 15 years & saw them a grand total of twice. Sometimes when I'd hear them really close, I'd open up my sliding glass door. They always heard that noise & immediately shut up.

The best time though, was while hiking in Boulder, at the busiest, most popular trail in Boulder. So this was in a park, but the park is adjacent to a neighborhood & we were only about 1/4 mile in from the parking lot. We could still see the parking lot & like I said this trail starts in the city. It was in the early evening & it had stormed, so the trail was quiet compared to most days. My friend says "I smell coffee" & I agreed that I smelled it too, but since there was a couple walking behind us, I didn't think anything of it, assuming they had Starbucks. Suddenly the source of the scent is in front of us, about a football field away - a very large black bear, just lumbering along! We think it was a female, as others later mentioned seeing a momma with 2 cubs. We actually hung around for a few minutes talking to the couple behind us & in awe over the experience. No one had the instinct to run, we all really enjoyed the encounter & actually had the instinct to stay, hoping to see her again, but I was concerned that there may be cubs & so we walked back to the car slowly. The other couple continued their hike. I had started that hike that day, like I do all of them saying "today's the day we're gonna see a bear" & it was finally true.

A few years ago, I was hiking with a new friend, she was giving me a bit of a hard time b/c she hadn't prepared for the hike the way she normally does since it was a last minute thing. I thought she was being a bit over the top, as we could still see our car, we were only 1/4 mile out on a very popular trail, but it had stormed & very few people were on it that evening. Nothing happened except a great story & no proof b/c she screwed up the video & I messed up the photos LOL, but we got a good reminder that you just never know what Mother Nature is gonna throw at you, even 1/4 mile out on a popular trail in the city.

My parents live in another state, also in suburban neighborhood, but nearby is a national park. They have had a variety of wildlife in their yard, the best being a bobcat!
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:00 AM
Location: New York Area
18,431 posts, read 7,287,451 times
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In July 1973 I was on the Lake Rendezvous trail in Grand Teton National Park. I saw a moose and stepped about 5 yards off the trail to get a better picture with my Kodak Instamatic. Larry May, the counselor, ran, grabbed me and yanked me back to the trail. I got my better pictures of moose in July 2013, 40 years later, near Rocky Mountain National Park.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:52 AM
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 751,685 times
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We live on lands that wild creatures have owned from long before humans came along. If we don't see them anymore, it's because we have been rather poor stewards.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:59 AM
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,669 posts, read 2,260,178 times
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Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
Anyway, don't turn your back. Make yourself big and make noise. Don't turn away until it's gone.

Once while walking our dog I turned around and discovered two coyotes were trailing not far behind us, perhaps 100-200 feet. They would stop if I stopped to face them, but it did take some considerable yelling and "woofing" to get them to stand down. This was in a semi-wild suburban park, and I was perhaps a quarter mile from an area where there would usually be more people around.

Last edited by hikernut; 08-24-2017 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:59 AM
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,894 posts, read 12,695,051 times
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Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post
Fortunately people usually do their level best to avoid skunks. However bats are the critter most likely to carry rabies - but fortunately in the continental US people are seldom exposed to bats. Our bats are mostly insectivorous with some fruit-bats thrown in in warmer areas. They don't much go for biting people.

Other than that - which animal is most likely to be a carrier of rabies depends on where you live. Check out this map from the CDC:


All the animals that carry rabies - bats, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and skunks - are normally nocturnal. If you see them out and about during the day that's a warning sign. DO NOT APPROACH. If you see a bat on the ground - do not approach. Do not touch. That goes for all sick animals, including domestic dogs and cats.

Fortunately rabies is pretty uncommon, and in particular rabies transmitted to humans is pretty uncommon. If you exercise common sense around animals, particularly wild animals, you really aren't in much danger - outside of the range of vampire bats, at any rate, LOL!
Just a few years ago I heard of three cases of rabies in beaver. Here are two of them: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...abid/87080544/ and https://www.cbsnews.com/news/scouts-...-after-attack/. There was one further one that where a 83 year old woman was attacked while swimming: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...=.9fce50bddbcb.

Beavers do not even place on your CDC rabies list. Neither did the muskrat that came after me many years ago. People just have to be aware that not everything is what it appears to be. Also more animals come down with distemper that has the outward appearance of rabies. Right now skunks, foxes, and raccoons predominately account for the most cases. There was a period that woodchucks accounted for the majority of cases. Woodchucks, beavers, muskrats are not nocturnal creatures. But, yes, the odds are very low. However it always pays to pay attention to your surroundings and shy away from wildlife that is too 'friendly' - most wild animals do not want us anyplace close.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:30 PM
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I think any mammal is susceptible to rabies. Many years ago I had an uncle who owned a dairy farm & one of his favorite cows acted aggressive. He had to slaughter it & take its head to the Ag Dept. of the local university. Sure enough, it was rabid, & uncle had to go through the very painful series of shots.

So, I've never forgotten that, strange as it was.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:51 PM
Location: Bakersfield, Ca
1,929 posts, read 1,477,129 times
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I HATE rabies . That was another thing we had it out with in Tx and OK . Not so much here in Wa state and none on the western side of the mountains that I know of . Back home they still do the rabies snack drop from helicopters for the mammals down below and my neighborns CAT went off on him out of nowhere had it and had the vax . It's just a really bad ,tricky, STRONG virus, nearly impossible to kill . Our horses were vaxed for it and I have seen cows get it .
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:54 PM
Location: New York Area
18,431 posts, read 7,287,451 times
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Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
We live on lands that wild creatures have owned from long before humans came along. If we don't see them anymore, it's because we have been rather poor stewards.
Let's get a few things straight. We are a keystone species and have the ability to arrange many things to our liking. Personally I like wildlife such as wolves, coyotes, cougars and eagles. I want areas set aside for them to exist in the wild. That does not mean that humans can't engineer other areas to their satisfaction or needs. We are not poor stewards of Manhattan Island because there are not top-level predators interested in us as food on say 79th Street and Madison Avenue. This idea of worshiping mother earth borders on idolatry.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:34 PM
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,021 posts, read 13,471,619 times
Reputation: 33271
I used to fish near a dam on the Ohio River between Kentucky and Indiana. Was fishing one night about midnight and was walking back to my car. This is out in the middle of nowhere, with no lighting. Had been listening to the coyotes howling on both sides of the river all night. But when I was walking back to the car, you could hear them running through the brush on either side of me. I never walked so fast in all my life. Like an old man I used to work with would say, "you couldn't have driven a toothpick up my (where the sun don't shine) with a sledge hammer!"
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Old 08-24-2017, 04:03 PM
Location: Eugene, Oregon
10,269 posts, read 3,539,172 times
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Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Coyotes will usually leave humans alone. They're ambush predators and don't normally attack prey larger than themselves unless it's otherwise impaired (a deer stuck in a snow drift for example).

Carry a walking stick.

If you're out in the woods then it's a bit different where you are, what with (four legged) cougars.

My neighborhood is just a couple of stone's throws from the wild hills, that go unbroken, all the way to the crest of the High Cascade Mountains. We have cougars, bobcats, coyotes, deer, elk and turkeys roaming the area, sometimes in daylight. Many people who don't venture out after dark, are mostly unaware of the predators. But there are disappearances of dogs, cats and chickens from our yards.

Once, I was walking on an abandoned logging road near my house, at twilight. Someone had scared a very large cougar out of their yard and it came sprinting right by me. For those who read tracks, they are everywhere. I never worry much about my safety, as no one has ever been attacked around here, although once a mother cougar and her two half-grown cubs stalked and threatened a woman out hiking. It was probably just for their amusement.
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