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I used to live up in Alaska, and one day I was out working under the back side of the house. I was so content with my work that I didn't notice the Mommy Moose walk up to me all pissed off because her baby was nearby while I was making all kinds of noise. Needless to say as soon as I noticed a pissed off moose coming to get me (about 3 feet away) I RAN inside the house!!!

 

(to grab the camera of course ;p )

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Does this count?

 

My sister and I were geocaching at Oak Hammock Marsh - north west of Winnipeg this past summer and we got into a nest of wood ticks. Between her, her dog and I we must have picked up about 150 ticks. It made for interesting driving back to the city - picking off ticks and throwing them out the window. I think I was finding ticks for hours after.

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I was caching with my family at a park in Florida. My wife and 8 year old son were a few yards ahead of me on a trail beside a lake. I was very startled when a 8-10 ft alligator suddenly bolted out of grass about two feet away from me and into the lake. Yea, startled, not scared. Then I realized that my wife and young son had passed the same gator just a few seconds before me. That is what scared me.

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Raccoons, quite a few times. They live in our neighborhood, Old Southwest Reno (basically the middle of the city). They nest in the sewers and early mornings it's quite common to see them entering / leaving.

 

A buddy and I came upon mountain lion tracks last fall. Another buddy did see one just a few miles from where we found the tracks. Just west of Caughlin Ranch (foothills west of Reno). :)

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Dangerous....YES! More people are killed in this country every year by White Tailed Deer than by bears, cougars or any other large predator. Especially Dangerous because you were betwen a Mother and her young. .......

 

I suspect any numbers you may have seen regarding people killed by deer include lot of traffic related deaths. Largest number of one on one encounters with animals resulting in a human death over the years seems to be bees, followed by dogs and horses in that order. Everything else is less than 10 deaths per year. Bears and cougars each get about 1 person a year. Just a little ahead of fire ants. :)

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I’m not a big fan of city caches, so most of my caching (both hiding and seeking) is done in the desert, canyon lands and mountains of Southern Idaho. Quite obviously, spending very much time in those settings is bound to increase a person’s chances of having ‘close encounters’ with wild critters. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing numerous deer, elk, antelope, coyotes, and other four-legged creatures both large and small; sometimes, when I’ve been lucky, a very close quarters.

Unfortunately, your chances of encountering the not so pleasant critters is just as great. I’ve had very close encounters with rattlesnakes of all sizes. The picture I’ve added is of just one such encounter. While searching for a benchmark I stepped within inches of this rattlesnake as it was headed ‘somewhere’ and was in a hurry to get there, fortunately. It picked the closest hiding spot, which didn’t go deep enough for the snake to really hide, affording me the opportunity to get a couple of pics after my pulse settled back down.

One other encounter with a ‘huge’ rattlesnake came just after hiding a cache near a spring in the desert north of the Gooding City of Rocks. I was on my way back to my van when I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake estimated to be about 6 feet long. Part of the snake was in the brush and the rest on the game trail I was walking on. I don’t think any 64 year old man could have one-foot hopped as far as I did to avoid stepping on that snake. I think I covered ten feet in that one-footed hop. After my heartbeat got back to normal, some minutes later, I thought about trying to get a picture of the snake; but, common sense won out and I went on down the road to hide another cache.

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In the Australian bush just about everything wants to kill you. I've been bailed up by deadly snakes. Chased by an angry Goanna. Menaced by giant bullants, and bitten by redback spiders. But the worst was a tiny tick. The Sydney Paralysis Tick is very dangerous and very painful once they take hold. I hate them.

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While out looking for a cache at the Orlando Wetlands Park, I encountered several small alligators in the water by the path. Most were under 4' and posed no threat to me. Eventually, I did encounter this one, which was about 6-7' and was about 4' from where I was walking.

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I kept a close eye on him to make sure he wasn't about to wake up and start chasing me, also snapped a couple of pictures. When I was certain to be out of danger, I focused again back on the trail. That's when I saw I was about to step on a 5' gator laying on the other side of the trail.

 

Another scary moment was when I was hunting for a cache in some woods, I heard a snort from a wild hog about 50' in front of me. I didn't stick around to see it.

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I was going after a cache in a hole in a tree, about 8 feet off the ground. I stood on a lower limb, pulled myself up to the tree, looked in...and saw the biggest 'possum ever coming after me, teeth bared. After peeling myself off of the ground, I chose to DNF (went back later to get the find). I needed to change my drawers anyway.

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Not an unusual animal, but the one that scared me the most was the dog that attacked, and bit, me a couple of weeks ago whilst I was walking back to my car after finding a cache series here in Oxfordshire, UK.

 

Wound is still healing... :anicute:

 

Lucky we don't have rabies here in the UK!

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Boomslang in the hidey hole right after a friend had signed the log and was about to put the cache back. I moved the cache to a different spot a few days later and what do I find.... a different kind of snake in that spot.... so it ended getting moved even further away. It is is a much safer spot now... I hope.

 

Came across a Puff Adder coiled up in a rock crevice while looking for a cache... I thought it was in front of the cache at first... thankfully not. Also came across a baby puff adder while hiking and some seriously scary spiders on a few caches. One of my caches almost always has a scorpion or 3 underneath it...

 

Also came across a large lizard once... It came tearing through the grass behind me... cold shivers down my spine and a rock jump like you won't believe had me out of there.... eeeeek

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I've only encountered a porcupine so far. He was very lazy and let me take a bunch of photos of him. He had chosen the underneath of a cattle guard to make his home and was sunning himself as we drove over him.

 

I don't count the spiders and scorpions as those are part of everyday life here in New Mexico, so much so that when caching I try to find a unique bug to photograph.

 

I haven't seen a rattler yet while geocaching, but I've been within a foot of them more times than I care to count. I was a "free range" kid growing up in the desert, so rattlesnake, coyote, and bobcat sightings were just part of life. I once witnessed a fight between a coyote and a bobcat. Cat must of been injured, cause the coyote won. Then the coyote howled. That was cool.

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Rattlesnakes. We're from West Virginia, but love caching in the desert. I've lived out in California before and had a healthy amount of fear about caching in brush in the desert (I wore proper protection on my legs despite looking completely ridiculous) but he was barelegged in shorts when he stepped right next to a coiled rattlesnake right on top of the cache. Needless to say, we got the heck out of there.

 

I also learned that regardless of how confident you are that your legs are adequately protected from snakes, actually running into one can really shake you for the day!

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Yesterday I went to hide a cache with a friend and today discovered something really icky and scary behind my knee. A tick! It was already filled with my blood after 24 hours. I hate snakes but this was far more scarier than all those snake encounters ever. Fortunately I'm vaccinated against TBE but I'm more concerned about Lyme disease. I've already had it once and really don't wish to have it ever again.

 

I thought last year's "snake cache" (two adders near one cache and me wearing flipflops) was scary experience but this is now far worse.

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I'm in Florida. I've seen inumerous gators, a pod of dolphins, and a manatee while kayaking. Plus some huge banana spiders on Juniper Creek.

 

I've seen a deer and spoked a wild pig while walking in a local rural park in my pre-caching days. Heard a pack of wild dogs in the distance camping once at Jonathon Dickinson State Park. Once spotted a vulture fly away from a dead carcass...which was a few feet from a park trail sign about "raptors" (the birds of prey variety, not Jurassic Park).

 

I've had an unpleasantly large number of encounters with spiderwebs, but the biggest spiders (other than the Juniper monsters) have all been when I wasn't caching. Fortunately never bitten by one.

 

The worst thing in Florida is so often hearing loud rustling in nearby palmettos, only to find the cause is merely a gopher tortoise or armadillo.

 

Got stung on the shin by a wasp while caching at the 10 Year geocaching celebration in Jupiter, FL.

 

I did see a black crow sitting on a sign for a park on my way back from caching. What's special about a crow? He was sitting on the sign for Oak Hammock Park in Port St Lucie, home to 4 geocaches but more infamously The Devil Tree. Thought that was amusingly omimous.

 

Surprisingly, I have yet to see a rattlesnake in the wild. I have seen some black racers.

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Lucky we don't have rabies here in the UK!

 

That is actually incorrect. It may be true that rabies has been eradicated in ground animals in the UK there is a similar virus (European Bat Lyssavirus 1 and European Bat Lyssavirus 2) that exists in bats. Wile the virus is different from regular rabies it still has the same effects and is just as deadly. Infact there was a Scottish bat handler who died of it back in 2002.

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I couldn't retrieve a cache because this bird kept trying to attack me, or at least scare me off. I think it was defending a nearby nest, or something. At any rate, I got it on video and posted it on youtube. Check it out here:

 

Geocache Guardian

Edited by pinkled5
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I couldn't retrieve a cache because this bird kept trying to attack me, or at least scare me off. I think it was defending a nearby nest, or something. At any rate, I got it on video and posted it on youtube. Check it out here:

 

Geocache Guardian

 

That's pretty funny.

You know you are no match for the bird but the bird did what it was trying to do. It was trying to get you to leave.

 

Cool video.

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I couldn't retrieve a cache because this bird kept trying to attack me, or at least scare me off. I think it was defending a nearby nest, or something. At any rate, I got it on video and posted it on youtube. Check it out here:

 

Geocache Guardian

 

That's pretty funny.

You know you are no match for the bird but the bird did what it was trying to do. It was trying to get you to leave.

 

Cool video.

when i was a little kid i recall seeing this beaver-- i thought how cute so i called for it "here beaver here beaver" and it started swimming twards us... Than when hubby and I were out on or first cache hunt we saw another one and i stated to tell hubby about the time i called out to one .. so again i went 'here beaver here beaver" and low and behold the thing started swiming towards me and than came up on the bank, Well, i backed up a bit and was getting ready to run when i looked back to see my hubby crouched down with his pants around his ankles looking behind him and begin to fall and did a roll with his bare butt in the air!! i couldnt stop laughing and he yells (as hes buttoning up his pants) DONT EVER CALL STRANGE ANIMALS" I said honey i told you i have seen him b4!!! i guess you had to be there.

Edited by chai_latte
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Pretty Mallards swimming in the creek near where I found my first puzzle cache.

 

IMG00244.jpg

 

And you find them scary...? :lol:

 

While searching my first cache in Austria, I met this Grass snake. I knew she wasn't venomous and she was obviously busy - so I took my time to take some pictures. Usually I am afraid of snakes, but I thought, she wouldn't bite me, when she is aready eating :grin:

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Snakes, the 2nd time I found them while geocaching I was stepping over a bunch of wood brush to get to a cache and two of them went almost right by me into the wood.

A turkey also. Seriously. I was walking towards a quick find and this thing just ran off at lightning speed into the forest.

 

Also a deer but it was more cool than scary.

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I ran in to a rattlesnake once. He was cool so I placed a cache where I met him and dedicated it to him. Check it out: Acid Tongue

 

 

At another cache, I was stung by a scorpion. It wasn't that big of a deal though for I have been stung quite a few times before. Here's the story:

 

Part 1

 

Part 2

 

I think those are what scares me most about caching here in the woods. I have never seen one personally, but I know they're someplace. I carry a snakebite kit in with my first aid kit and hope I'll never have to use it.

 

The strangest animal I've ever come across were some wild pigs. We were doing a night event cachea few years ago and while they didn't bother us we could hear them pretty close. When we saw some of the others from the event, they said that that's what they were. I'm glad we were out of there before they came too close!

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I was solo caching in the Ocala Natl Forest (ONF) in Florida. I walked into the woods staring at my GPSr. I stopped at GZ to begin my hunt then felt a bump on my boot. I looked down and there was a pygmy rattle snake coiled an inch from my boot. He struck but only hit my boot. I bought snake gaitors after that and always wear then when caching in the woods.

 

Another time solo caching in the ONF I got out to hike to a cache. It had just stopped raining. About a half mile from the Jeep there were fresh bear tracks on the trail going away from me. The coolest thing though was where it made a big slash on a pine tree to mark it's territory. I kept going to the cache but I was whistling so as not to sneak up on the bear. I never did see it.

 

Another place in Florida I was walking to a cache and saw two bear cubs about 200 feet from me. I never saw mama bear but I went back to the car. She must have been sleeping. I was pretty lucky on that one.

 

On a kayaking trip this spring on Juniper Springs Run in the ONF I passed a big gator and didn't even see it. My friends were behind me and told me how close I was. I had pulled off the stream opposite the gator and wanted to get it's picture. I walked to the bank and it moved to where it was facing me. Suddenly it lunged into the stream and came right at me. The water is very clear there so I could see it under water coming at me like a torpedo. I've been tromping through the Florida woods and swimming in streams and rivers for over 50 years and this was a first. It was very cool to see. There's an ammo can hidden by my friends there now called kleetus and the Gator.

 

Two days ago a friend and I were going to get a new hiking cache. We were following a white blazed trail when we came to some caution tape wrapped around some cabbage palms. We were talking about what they were there for. I figured a hole in the ground. He was ahead of me about ten feet when all of a sudden I had a lot of burning pain on my back. It took me a second to realize it was bees and then I started running. My friend was looking at me and told me later he was about to laugh because he thought I had walked into a spider web. As I passed him the bees that were following me found him and I heard him yell behind me. I was running and swatting but they were tearing me up. My friend passed me and I was trying to get him to stop and swat my back. I saw a bunch of bees on the back of his knee and swatted them but I don't remember if he swatted any on me or not. We took off running again and I was still getting bit. I was afraid they were Africanized bees and was preparing myself for a long run. We broke into a clearing and there weren't as many bees but I still got bit one more time. We swatted a few before they bit and smashed them. Then it was over. We had ran about 600 feet. Turns out they were yellow jackets. I was kind of numb but my friend was already heading to find the cache. I followed after all that's what we came for. A walk through the woods for a ways and we found the cache. I was not feeling too good. Well over a mile from the parking area I was wondering if I was going to make it. One foot in front of the other to the Jeep. At home I counted 34 bites: 19 on my back, ten on my hands, four on my arms, and one on my face.

Edited by kleetus
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Back in the winter a cache buddy and I were out on a cache run in a backwoods area here. We were roughly a half mile from the truck and stumbled upon a pack of ferel dogs with a fresh kill. They didn't much seem to like company and a couple began to posture at us. We started to back out to where we came from when two of them (both at least part pit bull, BTW) charged, teeth bared.

 

I am a concealed weapons instructor for the state, and travel no where without backup. So as my buddy was urinating down one leg and pooping down the other trying to run away, I made quick work of dispatching both animals. The others scattered with the wind.

 

I hate to kill any creature like that, but i was not going to be mauled by ferel dogs in the middle of nowhere. That was probably the worst day we have had critter wise. This also put an end to our cache run that day. We informed the local Fish and wildlife officers about the pack and later learned that they pretty well wiped them out for the safety of the community.

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Flying down a logging road on my bike after grabbing a cache way out in the bush.

Going around the switchback at like 40kmh and had to jam on the brakes

 

Missed slamming into the side of a moose by about 5 ft.

The thing was taller than i am standing up.

Thankfully my two dogs who come with me added to the intimidation.

Takes a look. Considers. And runs off into the bush.

 

The other time is in the same area i scared a mother blackbear and two cubs. Knew they were coming though, b/c the dogs were sticking close to me and barking. The blackbear and cubs decided to take to the bush.

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We use our Blackberrys to cache with, and apparently the GPS can be off (quite a bit sometimes) and we got WAY off the path of our intended find. Next thing we know we hear a bunch of crashing thru the brush and standing within about 10 feet of us were two bucks. I thought we would scare them off, but NO...these were obviously not skittish deer. We must've had about a 10 minute stare down before we quietly (and quickly) backed up and left the area. Kind of scary because usually when we encounter deer in the woods, they scamper off as quickly as they appeared. Not these guys.....I didn't want to be one of those people that you see on "When Animals Attack"

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I came across a baby rattlesnake in Riverside State Park near Spokane, Washington. I was going for a cache that hadn't been found in a couple years. I reached around a tree trunk, I should have looked first, because when I did look it was not even a foot from my hand. Luckily, I did not get bit, it would have been one bad day if I had.

 

Those pictures above are pretty crazy, I am not a snake person.

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Well living in the UK there aren't exactly MANY scary animals about (unless you believe the rumours about big cats in the South East) but I was caching the other day with two friends when we came across a field with a footpath through it and a sign that said 'Beware of the Bull'...

 

I freaked out; I'm pretty sure a bad goring can be fatal! We crept into the field and discovered several cows, a couple of calves and what was either a cow-with-horns or a bull. Ali was adamant that some cows had horns, I was sure that a bull wouldn't be kept in a field with offspring, but we couldn't be 100%. Everything was fine until the cow-with-horns went still as a rock and fixed us with a death stare as we snuck along the fenceline. Luckily it was happy that we were geocaching and not stealing its calf, so it soon returned to chewing the cud.

 

Shortly afterwards, we discovered that I had managed to enter the co-ordinates wrongly into the GPS, and we needn't have walked through the field at all. Typical me!

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I was in the Sun Lakes park in Washington state. I had just gone up a trail to retrieve a cache (which I determine to be too dangerous to get on my own) and was heading back down the trail. A very large rattlesnake was coiled and sitting in the trail. Startled, I fell on my butt backing up and was looking at the snake eye level. Fortunately, he crawled off but that was too close.

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So last weekend, caching around the neighborhood. ran into a dead bear. Not a big deal had I not had children with me.

Next day, Sunday, went to an area that needed litter patrol in the middle of know where. Tunes on, bear spray on one side of me, foot long knife on the other, my dog repeatedly froze in place. Stopped for a sandwich and watched the live bear and cub over the Tanana River. Turned to leave and realized I was being followed by a young moose. It watched me as I watched it. Followed me about a half a mile.

Kept one hand on my knife!

Edited by ArcticWonder
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With as many rattlesnakes as I’ve seen while out and about doing other things, I’m constantly amazed that I haven’t seen any while caching. I know my day is coming; though, and am wishing for a Christmas walking stick for double-checking certain containers.

 

My closest wildlife encounter (other than ticks and chiggers) was last weekend. I was in the middle of an 8-hour drive to Denver, and stopped to get a couple of County and DeLorme pages along the way. I picked this one cache in western Kansas that was in a city park, and since my arrival was on a Wednesday afternoon, all the kiddies were in school, the park was empty and I didn’t have to worry about being “that old guy lurking around the playground equipment”…if you know what I mean. The hide itself was pretty easy to figure out from the description and the hint…matchstick container in the only pine tree in the park. Found the scraggly little tree easy enough, and did a glance hoping for a quick find. I didn’t see the cache right away, and spent the next couple of minutes going round and round, looking at every branch, looking for any odd pinecones, etc…just couldn’t seem to find it. On about my third trip around this little tree, I finally decided to pay a little more attention to this “something” that I had been ignoring while hoping for an easier find. It didn’t look like part of the tree, but it didn’t look like a camouflaged cache, either. It was there, but it just wasn’t “right”. I looked at it for a few seconds, then looked around it, then at other parts of the tree again, then back at this “something”. Couldn’t figure out what it was! I finally thought that it was either the cache, or one part of the tree I wouldn’t have to worry about, so I should just go ahead and figure out what this thing really was. I reached up with my GPS and gave it a light tap. I both heard and felt the “thump”, so it was at least partly solid, and maybe it was the cache. As I switched the GPS to my other hand, I remembered thinking that "I'm just not getting the camo theme here, but I’ll go with it"; and reached up and grabbed myself a handful of a now very much awake and lively Mexican free-tailed bat!!! :):P:D:P He only stayed in my fingers long enough for me to feel the warm soft fur, and then shot outta there like a bat out of…well, you know! Now I’m not squeamish about bats or anything, but having a live bat in my bare hand was the last thing I was thinking about at the time, and besides jumping back a few feet, I let him have it with a long string of “language”!! After making sure I hadn’t wet myself, spent a couple more minutes before making the find. The end of my log reads:

 

TN,

L-a long strings of words that I’m glad there were no children around or I would’a been apologizing to parents,

SL

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Fire Ants, hands down.

 

I am a Canadian boy born and raised. We have nothing like fire ants up north. I was in Rockingham NC on my way to the coast for a vacation and stopped for some caching. I got to GZ and felt some bites. I looked down and my shoes were covered with dozens of little ants, and I was standing on a huge mound, and I could see hundreds more ants heading my way. Apparently they release a hormone that causes the entire colony to swarm when one ant feels threatened. It freaked me out how fast they swarmed. Its been 10 days and the bites still bug me.

 

Nasty things those ants. Bleh. Give me a bear or an enraged moose anytime over those nasty bugs.

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A couple of years ago at GCHVKE, I put my foot down right next to a copperhead who was not pleased to be disturbed. What I didn't mention in the log was that I was wearing open-toe shoes, having not planned to be rummaging around in the woods that afternoon...

 

Just a couple of weeks later, on the way to GC1BFB2, me and my wife were charged by a group of six wild horses (these ones!). They weren't being aggressive towards us, they'd been spooked by the galloping arrival of another group and took off for cover - right towards us! They went around us, fortunately but they got very, very close.

 

At the moment, the copperhead was the scariest encounter - mere inches from a very venomous snake - but in retrospect, given the availability of anti-venom with major hospitals nearby, it was probably less dangerous than the horse encounter which could have been very bad in a place with no medical help available without calling life-flight!

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My log about a Coyote.(It was Dark out)

 

FTF shortly after 9pm. Got the notify for this at 6:08 this evening. Figured it was a little far for an FTF attempt, so didn't run out for it. Well, after the Packers had a nice lead at halftime, figured I'd run out and try to find it, as it hadn't been logged as found yet.

 

Made the drive to the park, and parked in the campsite nearest to the cache. As I got out of the car, I noted my GPS reading was about 130' into the woods or so. I don't recall the exact #. As I started into the woods line, I noticed a reflection from a spot. It was there, then not, then there again. Figuring it was a deer, I proceeded, as I've run into them at numerous different caches after dark.

 

Keeping an eye on my surroundings, I didn't see the eyes anymore, once I was to GZ. The spot I had spotted the eyes, would be about 70' further than my GZ. And initially, my GZ before the GPS settled was a little further than the cache. Although, once it did settle, the coords were really good. Matter of fact, I missed the geobeacon as I walked in, but spotted it immediately as I turned around. Grabbed the cache, and signed the log, while occasionally checking my surroundings.

 

Got the cache put back, and took another look around. Spotted the eyes in the exact same spot as I saw them initially. We were in a deadlock staredown for what seemed like a couple minutes, when in reality was probably 30-60 seconds. Whatever it was, turned it's head, as I had my light locked onto it's eyes. This was NOT a deer! As it turned it's head, it started to turn it's body. It was too small to be a deer, and once I saw the silhouette of the body, that blended into the browns of the fall colors, I could tell it was a relative to the dog family. UH OH!

 

Now, I was slightly nervous. I was probably 70' from a Coyote, or a Wolf. More than likely a Coyote, as wolves are pretty scarce. I never cache in the woods without my knife, and out it came for safety(1st time ever). Armed with that in one hand, and a 3 cell Maglite(or baton) in the other, I made a retreat to my car. Keeping a look behind me. Got back to the safety of the car, and never did see it after it turned and I was able to make out what it was.

 

Weird, this is my second animal run in while caching after dark within' the last month. You can read my other experience on cache GC2AKJC. What's even weirder, is that that experience was EXACTLY a month ago......

 

TFTC TNLN SL

 

I should add, that seeing wildlife, and nice areas are why I geocache. So don't take my log the wrong way. I did VERY MUCH enjoy the cache, the area, and the sighting of a rarely(at least for me) seen animal. You just need to be careful, and prepared for the unknown..... So, I shared my experience as best I could.

Edited by isjustus4
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