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Old 11-17-2017, 11:47 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
15,130 posts, read 12,267,061 times
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Got to thinking a bit about some of my encounters with wildlife while WAY out in the booneys. In my much younger days and well into adulthood we lived butted right up to very wild places. I remember one encounter with a porcupine that still makes me laugh today. My son and I were out in the mountains looking for strays.


We came up goose egg the first day out and decided to spend the night. So we found this really nice lillte clearing right next to a stream and rolled out our bedding. Right at twilight we had our fire going and were munching on various stuff we brought with us, made some biscuits and a little bacon, had some dried fruit and such trail mix. This porcupine just comes waddling in bold as brass and sidles up not ten foot away.


He sits back o his haunches (something I'd never seen a porky do) and proceed to chitter and chatter at us as if we should just know what he was saying. Well, we figured he was just letting us know this was HIS place and it was OK if we wanted to stay, but...


LOL, seems we were right cuz he took our offerings of dried apples and apricots ( occasionally dashing off with some in a most amusing waddle) and then returning for more. He cleaned house on our dried fruit, sat for a spell and passed the time (occasionally eyeballing our dog who knew way better than to antagonize a porky and stayed put) then rolled himself off we know not where with a parting slew of the most interesting noises.


Had never heard a porky talk before either. But I like learning new languages. We laughed about that critter all the next day and managed to push six head out of the scrub. We still talk about it all this time later.


I've had lots of encounters like this in places where you would think the critters would be more skittish. Do please share folks. Critter encounters in the wild places? Passed the time at the fire with a squirrel or two or maybe even something that comes a little bigger?
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:40 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
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Quote:


..... were munching on various stuff we brought with us, made some biscuits and a little bacon, had some dried fruit and such trail mix.

I think he was attracted by the smell of bacon cooking. Probably if you'd offered him some crispy cooked bacon he'd have been crawling right into your laps begging for more. Porcupines love cooked salted bacon, the crispier the better. Mind you, I think they like anything crunchy with lots of salt in it, even wood soaked in salt brine is a delicacy to them.

When I was a kid our family was homesteading up in northern BC and we had a really big smoke house. In the autumns when we were smoking up our annual supply of sausages, brined hams and slabs of salted pork bellies for making bacon we could be guaranteed the smell of it would attract porcupines from miles around. They'd be hanging around outside the smoke house trying to find ways to get inside, all chittering and yacking at each other and often squabbling with each newcomer that showed up. It was the funniest sight to see a group of porcupines together in one spot because porcupines are not social with each other, they are loners, and so they scolded and squabbled a lot.

One year we had a troupe of boy scouts camping out for the weekend on our property down by the river. The first night there they cooked up a huge cast iron skillet full of over-cooked bacon with molasses beans. While they were sitting around their camp fire eating their supper a couple of young porcupines showed up sniffing out the bacon and approaching those boys where they sat and nattering at them. Their behaviour scared those boys because they were afraid the porcupines were going to "shoot quills" at them (a myth that they believed) and some of the boys ran up to the farmhouse begging my dad to come with his shotgun to shoot those porcupines. Dad went back to their campsite with them and reassured them all that porcupines don't shoot quills and explained it was the cooked bacon they wanted. He didn't shoot the porcupines but he did scare them off and chase them away.
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Last edited by Zoisite; 11-17-2017 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:02 PM
 
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We once lived on a very "catty" ranch. Lots of mountain lions.

We had a foster daughter living with us who had always lived in large metropolitan areas, but was infatuated with the whole 'cowboy' mystique. The first night we were at cow camp, she had finished her shower (it was deluxe for a camp) and combing out her hair. A mountain lion stood on its' hind legs and looked in the window at her. Oh, the scream!!!

At that same camp, one of the younger children called me to watch how fast they could run in the back yard. As she ran I saw a mtn lion flattened out behind a sagebrush. Wow. Can they flatten out. I called to her to get to the house, which she did, and I went yelling like a crazy woman waving a baseball bat. The cat fled.

We had porcupines living under that house, too. I let them be figuring they discouraged skunks.

At another ranch there was a coyote den not far from the house. No people had lived in the house for several years. The pups would come up almost nightly and look in the glass front door.

A friend had a black bear pass through his front yard every day for a week. One morning his wife woke up to a terrible smell and found the bear sleeping on the sofa. They chased him out and discouraged the bear from coming through the yard after that.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,710 posts, read 18,073,124 times
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I'd love to have a close encounter like that with a porcupine. I've kept my eyes open for them for years, wanting to get some good photos of them.

I did spend a few hours with a beaver several years ago. It was just south of Yellowstone NP. I was alone and doing some sight-seeing on back country trails when I came across a beaver pond, so I stopped and sat on the bank for awhile. One youngish beaver was working the pond, swimming from one end of the pond to the other with a branch in his mouth, placing it on his dam, then swimming back for another branch. This went on for hours, until it was dark. But after awhile he started diverting over to where I was sitting. He'd just stop about 5' off shore and look at me for a minute or so, then continue his trek. EVERY trip was the same. It was like we'd become friends.

I've spent a lot of time in the mountains over the years and seen 100's of critters up close, from deer, elk and moose to black and grizzly bears. That beaver was the most fun.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,880,207 times
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On coastal SC, I was wandering in the wooded maritime forest and decided to sit down and observe the pond for a bit. Nice rest but no creatures.

Stood up to move on...when I did a bobcat stood up too, not 6 ft from me. I froze to watch...he stayed for a bit. No talking but it was a like a spiritual experience for me. He walked around close to me...did not seem frightened.

I had all-over tingles as he moved slowly on his way...
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:30 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
15,130 posts, read 12,267,061 times
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The cat encounters posted really are interesting. (loved the bear on the couch stinking up the place) . Cats around here are VERY skittish. They don't venture to close to people unless they are old or hurt and looking for easy picking of stock or domestic animals like dogs. I have had people from like upstate NY and back in the NE tell me that Porkys do like chewing on smokehouses. To the point of being a nuisance.


It was probably the bacon smell that brought our visitor in, but I never took Porkys for being partial to meat. Learn something every day. I don't think having him in my lap would have been to fun. lol.


Deer. Oh wow. Had lots of deer wander close. A couple friends my son and I went on a back country trip just for grins once outside of Susanville CA. We pitched our dog tents and put up our horses Indian style with everybody having their horse picketed next to their tent.


I got startled out of a really good dream just before first light by my mare snorting and stomping. That means cat to me and I grabbed my revolver and stuck my head out. We were literally surrounded by deer. I couldn't count them all. Seems we pitched smack dab in their favorite breakfast munching.


They weren't a bit spooked but my mare had ever seen deer before. The other horses weren't near as excited as she was but they were pricked up and looking. I just sort of rolled over, tossed my gun back on my bed roll, got up and calmed her down. The deer just looked at me chewing their munchies with contented looks on their faces.


If you go in to the back country on horseback, lots of critters will venture in. The presence of the horses seems to make them unafraid. This can include cats who are generally considered not so welcome. Horses will go pretty zerk if a cats around. And the nose knows. Golden rule, always trust your horse.


The bobcat story posted I find truly fascinating. THAT is cool. A Bobby won't even do such a thing here. We have lots of them, but they are rarely seen. Some people shoot them on sight as a nuisance predator, but not me. I have never had bobcats be a pest and have never heard tell of any actual incidents of it. Coyotes, oh yea, but not Bobbys. They are more shy that mountain lions and as long as I've been here I've never seen any issues with them.


They sure are pretty critters. And FAST. They can jump like they're rocket propelled. So can mountain lions. I would love to have a up close like the one posted with a bobcat. That would be a welcome visit to the fire.
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,880,207 times
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Had no camera or phone that day...just enjoyed the bobcat experience as it went along.

I think he wasn't terribly scared as I sat down for at least 15 min., so he had to know I was there but I was not making noise or really moving at all. Since I didn't see him until he and I both stood, had no idea I was that close to a bobcat...just beautiful.




[/b]
Quote:
Originally Posted by NVplumber View Post
The cat encounters posted really are interesting. (loved the bear on the couch stinking up the place) . Cats around here are VERY skittish. They don't venture to close to people unless they are old or hurt and looking for easy picking of stock or domestic animals like dogs. I have had people from like upstate NY and back in the NE tell me that Porkys do like chewing on smokehouses. To the point of being a nuisance.


It was probably the bacon smell that brought our visitor in, but I never took Porkys for being partial to meat. Learn something every day. I don't think having him in my lap would have been to fun. lol.


Deer. Oh wow. Had lots of deer wander close. A couple friends my son and I went on a back country trip just for grins once outside of Susanville CA. We pitched our dog tents and put up our horses Indian style with everybody having their horse picketed next to their tent.


I got startled out of a really good dream just before first light by my mare snorting and stomping. That means cat to me and I grabbed my revolver and stuck my head out. We were literally surrounded by deer. I couldn't count them all. Seems we pitched smack dab in their favorite breakfast munching.


They weren't a bit spooked but my mare had ever seen deer before. The other horses weren't near as excited as she was but they were pricked up and looking. I just sort of rolled over, tossed my gun back on my bed roll, got up and calmed her down. The deer just looked at me chewing their munchies with contented looks on their faces.


If you go in to the back country on horseback, lots of critters will venture in. The presence of the horses seems to make them unafraid. This can include cats who are generally considered not so welcome. Horses will go pretty zerk if a cats around. And the nose knows. Golden rule, always trust your horse.


The bobcat story posted I find truly fascinating. THAT is cool. A Bobby won't even do such a thing here. We have lots of them, but they are rarely seen. Some people shoot them on sight as a nuisance predator, but not me. I have never had bobcats be a pest and have never heard tell of any actual incidents of it. Coyotes, oh yea, but not Bobbys. They are more shy that mountain lions and as long as I've been here I've never seen any issues with them.


They sure are pretty critters. And FAST. They can jump like they're rocket propelled. So can mountain lions. I would love to have a up close like the one posted with a bobcat. That would be a welcome visit to the fire.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:47 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
15,130 posts, read 12,267,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Had no camera or phone that day...just enjoyed the bobcat experience as it went along.

I think he wasn't terribly scared as I sat down for at least 15 min., so he had to know I was there but I was not making noise or really moving at all. Since I didn't see him until he and I both stood, had no idea I was that close to a bobcat...just beautiful.




[/b]

Bobbies can certainly hide with pride. Blend in like their digitally camouflaged. Kinda like the movie Predator without artificial help. Cats are incredible. I have actually seen a mountain lion go up a shear rock face carrying a deer. Jaw dropping.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:16 PM
 
Location: NW Nevada
15,130 posts, read 12,267,061 times
Reputation: 13985
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
I'd love to have a close encounter like that with a porcupine. I've kept my eyes open for them for years, wanting to get some good photos of them.

I did spend a few hours with a beaver several years ago. It was just south of Yellowstone NP. I was alone and doing some sight-seeing on back country trails when I came across a beaver pond, so I stopped and sat on the bank for awhile. One youngish beaver was working the pond, swimming from one end of the pond to the other with a branch in his mouth, placing it on his dam, then swimming back for another branch. This went on for hours, until it was dark. But after awhile he started diverting over to where I was sitting. He'd just stop about 5' off shore and look at me for a minute or so, then continue his trek. EVERY trip was the same. It was like we'd become friends.

I've spent a lot of time in the mountains over the years and seen 100's of critters up close, from deer, elk and moose to black and grizzly bears. That beaver was the most fun.

Lol, yea. I've had a couple visits with Mr Beaver whilst fishing. Beaver dams are great fishing spots. When I was in my early 20s I lived in Reno for a spell and used to fish the Truckee river not to far from downtown at Fishermans Park. It wasn't uncommon at all to have beavers cruise up and say howdy. I remember one quite sociable visit where this critter cruised right be me just a few feet away going right under my line. Then he sninnied out of the water just a few yards away, shook himself and just decided to be neighborly.


I think that folks have a tendency to underestimate how big beavers get. This particular fellow was well over 40 pounds and closer to 50. Haha, I remember watching this guy who was in the water with waders on, totally engrossed in his fishing and this beaver slid up behind him and slapped the water with its tail. Bout scared him straight out of his waders. Oh my....I couldn't help but just roll around laughing.


The beavers have been declared a nuisance on a wide scale because they chew up trees and block up water intended for irrigation and other uses. One of those issues that causes wide division amongst folks as to how to ...deal with it. Ranchers and farmers shoot them, in more urban areas the city hires out trappers. It's something I have mixed feelings about. The water must flow but beavers are just so...mellow. Unlike badgers who tear the hell out of ditch lines and will come after you with little or no provocation.


Don't get me wrong, I thinks badgers are cool to but there's no reasoning with them. I believe beavers could actually be negotiated with if we could just speak their lingo. Badgers on the other hand tend to see things one way. Theirs. They're born with an attitude issue that just grows worse with age. They are quite dangerous if you happen to stumble up on one while he's doing his thing. They are meaner than all get out and wicked scary fast to boot.


They can be on you chewing and clawing (they have SERIOUS claws) if you are just a little to slow. Not really ....sociable...types.
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