Wildlife Encounters

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking' started by BareFootHeath, Jun 14, 2019 at 11:16 AM.

  1. BareFootHeath

    BareFootHeath
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    1. Canada

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    The majority of my barefoot trekking is in the mountains. I follow a lot of game trails in addition to more established routes- the game trails are easier on the soles of my feet and typically get me to elevation much quicker.

    Yesterday’s trek gave me a couple of interesting encounters.

    The first was a pheasant. I’ve startled several over the years but this was the first time one made a noise other than flapping its wings- it made a whimpering noise like a scared puppy! I tried to record it but couldn’t get my phone out in time (really need to invest in a small camera that will ‘instant on’ for moments like this).

    Later on I got scolded by a couple of hawks. I’m guessing I was a little closer to their nest than they were comfortable with. I wasn’t dive bombed by them but they did somewhat close flybys and escorted me about 1/2 a mile to be sure the threat was gone.

    There’s a lot of wildlife where I go- bears, elk, deer, mountain sheep, skunks, porcupines, and the occasional cat (large and small). I’ve never had an issue or felt threatened by them.

    It saddens me that the only times I’ve had to use my bear spray is with dogs- too many irresponsible owners out there. I typically have a couple of encounters a year with off-leash and aggressive dogs and have been bit a few times. Most dog owners are in denial that their dog is aggressive- I’ve heard ‘he’s never done that before’ several times. That gets old fast. I’m at the point now where’s the sight of a dog has my hand near my spray bottle. I’m not a dog-hater, just a bite-avoider.
     
  2. Barefoot TJ

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    My closest, most memorable encounter was with some deer. I was rounding a curve and they were grazing. I scared them, and they startled, but stayed still just staring at me.

    People should keep their dogs in check, I agree. Either you will get hurt or their dog will.
     
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  3. Tedlet

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    I have a dog that’s quite nervous of other dogs and therefore appears outwardly aggressive.. whenever I take her out she’s on a leash and wears a muzzle- that helps make others aware that she might not be instantly friendly but at the same time stops her from ever hurting anything.. works well until you encounter another aggressive dog that is unleashed and not under control...:rolleyes:
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

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    Scary for your doggo, I'm sure. But you are one of the responsible pet owners out there, and I thank you for that.
     
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  5. Jon from PDX

    Jon from PDX
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    I like this topic. This is one of those things that I all too easily forget about, just how many other creatures are out there sharing the world with us.

    I saw the smallest/youngest deer I’ve ever seen a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was a cat, but cats don’t hop like that. Then I saw the mother, who seemed to wonder what a human was doing on that trail around 5 AM.

    Earlier this year, I had a squirrel run into me. I saw it run into the bush next to me, then I felt this soft, furry smack against my ankle. It freaked out a bit then continued on its way. I’ll admit that I freaked out a bit, too, just from sheer surprise. Second time that’s happened in exactly the same location, too, but my first time without shoes.

    I need to get out of the city more often. :)
     
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  6. Random

    Random
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    :joyful: It sounds like a squirrel crossing or like a squirrel that never learned to look before running across the "street".
     
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  7. Barefoot TJ

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  8. Jon from PDX

    Jon from PDX
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    Not unlike motorists, the squirrel had learned to look for cars but simply assumed nobody would be so contrarian as to actually use the sidewalk for transportation. Or, in her words, “chitter chitter,” accusatory stare, “chitter,” then she ran away. Although, she might have just been expressing barefoot solidarity.
     
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  9. Barefoot TJ

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    20190618_174446.jpg
     
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