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My wife and I were geocaching today in Lazo Nature Park woods on Vancouver Island, Canada. We were walking a trail and she was walking some distance behind when suddenly something big growled at her from above and in a tree beside the trail. We both heard it! She quickly caught up with me and we both walked briskly back to the car. We didn't see what it was but suspect it was a cougar. It was a very loud and deep growl. I think it was probably just a warning but if I had been alone maybe things would have been different. I just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention. Take care out there in the woods and always go with another person. Good idea to carry a pocket knife. It has kind of put her off wanting to go geocaching in remote areas any more! Actually as fairly new geocachers we are finding the GPS doesn't work well at all under a heavy tree canopy anyway!

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I had a similar instance happen to me a few weeks ago here in Texas. I had just emerged from a wooded area and was passing thru a small clearing and in some bushes to my left I heard a low gutteral growl. :surprise: I have no idea what it was...Feral Pig, Feral Dog, or a Coyote? But I have a carry permit so I always carry if I'm in a remote area by myself, I either take my .38 or my .22. I haven't had to use it yet, but it's nice to know I've got it. What ever growled at me never showed itself. Normally I take my Dogs with me also, but it has been so hot here I decided to leave them home when I made this cache run.

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I would not even begin to think that I could fight off a cougar with a pocket knife. If I thought a cougar encounter was a likely scenario I would likely carry a gun (can you even do that in Canada?) or at least some of that pepper spray they make for bears. I think that would be far more effective than a knife.

 

Ever try to pick up a feral cat that wants no part of it? You'd get cut up pretty good. Now multiply that cat's size 30 or 40 times 😳

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I once saw a black bear while geocaching- parents and I were in New Hampshire and they went ahead on the trail, I went a little off and saw something big and black in the distance... then the little black thing running. Started yelling loudly and we got the hell out of there!

 

Never saw a black bear in NH except that one time, even though we go there every summer. What amazed me is we were really very close to the village, like hadn't walked in more than 5 minutes from the trailhead.

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If I thought a cougar encounter was a likely scenario I would likely carry a gun (can you even do that in Canada?) or at least some of that pepper spray they make for bears.

Apologies in advance, because I know this is a serious topic, but all I could think of when I read this was this warning sign:

 

aaah.jpg

 

--Larry

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Never hearing a cougar I can't say if it was or not. However if it was-Cougars really don't like people, and would rather run away. If attacked; Back away and keep eye contact. Act big-wave your arms shout. Throw rocks, sticks, other stuff. Just don't turn your back and run away.

 

Most cougars won't attack, and are usually curious, or the ones that attack are the old grumpy ones. If they were humans they would be the ones yelling "GET OFF MY LAWN" Or at least that's how they are in my area. I've heard the cause a few more problems in BC

 

Anyway in Canada you can't carry a gun. You can't carry anything labelled pepperspray or mace, and a knife won't do much good. But you CAN carry dog spray(which I am told is strong enough for cougars) and Bear Spray (Which is definitely strong enough)

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snip%< ...

 

Anyway in Canada you can't carry a gun. You can't carry anything labelled pepperspray or mace, and a knife won't do much good. But you CAN carry dog spray(which I am told is strong enough for cougars) and Bear Spray (Which is definitely strong enough)

 

Actually it varies... handguns are generally a NO NO, but there are cases where one can get a permit. Not sure if the prospectors licence (for handgun) is still around, but it allowed for a large handgun in lieu of say a carbine or rifle for people in harm's way from predators. Most people simply carried the long shotguns/rifles for survival purposes. All the newer restrictions, made even that difficult. You need the Possesion and Aquisition Licence as a start. (I hear the Possesion and Ownership Licence went away, but could be wrong, at least they don't issue them.). The PAL allows purchase and having a long gun. To take it in the bush, well you need a valid hunting licence (with or without tags) and an area that permits firearms to be carried (in or out of season) etc.

 

Just a short while back two guys up Mt.Proctor near Fernie were attacked by a grizzly sow and had a shotgun. They were commended for 'going prepared' by Conservation and RCMP. Local's claim anyone going into bear country should carry a rifle/shotgun. I assume that not everyone here shares that opinion though. But if it's legal you can. There was a time when I could and did, but I don't have any of the requirements any more.

 

Bear Attack

 

Just two days ago (6th) I was walking on a trail around the golf course in Sparwood in between a few joggers.

However I was the one who spooked a black bear cub into breaking cover and running away. That startled me of course, but what concerned me was that I could not see/hear any sign of mama... and it wasn't old enough to be on it's own normally. I freely admit to drawing and removing the safety on my Bear Spray just in case she could see me and choose to react in defense of the cub. Remember talking to it (and any mama nearby), not to mention any other walker/joggers in earshot as warning. As I was walking away a jogger came along and I mentioned the cub situation, but like most of us, she considered it normal for that trail and went onward, but cautious. I was going to turn around anyway and did so a few hundred feet early.

 

Point is that there are different bears and situations even within small communities, take what gear you can and need, and keep aware of your surroundings all the time. I was distracted by looking at something else while I walked, and was probably being way to quiet for a short bit while walking the trail and got a bit closer than desired while doing so. The bear was doing young bear things like sampling the thimble berries which are ripening. I can vouch for the fact that both it an myself were quite startled and probably both over reacted on the safe side... it ran and I backed away loudly. Mama was probably watching and chuckling to itself knowing nothing was going to happen! Or not! This was about the fourth time I've spooked an unseen critter. And umteenth for coming across them with some warning. Being a city boy at heart, I'm a little more uptight than some of the locals, but not stupid at all. BTW those guys in Fernie shot at the bear, but there was no evidence they hurt it at all. They survived as well with a good story.

 

Doug 7rxc

Edited by 7rxc
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snip%< ...

 

Anyway in Canada you can't carry a gun. You can't carry anything labelled pepperspray or mace, and a knife won't do much good. But you CAN carry dog spray(which I am told is strong enough for cougars) and Bear Spray (Which is definitely strong enough)

 

Actually it varies... handguns are generally a NO NO,

 

*Snip

 

Doug 7rxc

 

Ok. As my understanding-in Alberta. Firearms may be carried for protection from wild animals. Depending on the circumstances a handgun may be uses-but not concealed-but this is generally not the case as a long gun would be a better choice, for obvious reasons. But to get the permits, you have to be out in the wilderness. Northern AB/Sask and most of BC. I do believe you have to be on a jobsite as well. Oil rigs, powerlines, remote areas of that nature. Therefore the chances of you being able to carry one while caching are low. Now if you are caching on a remote mountain trail a CO (conservation officer) probably won't tell you you can't have a gun, but if you use it there may be consequences. When the gun is used you have to contact a Conservation Officer. They will investigate, and part of that is seeing if there are any other measures that could have been taken, such as bear spray. This is especially true with cougars as they are not as numerous as they once where.

 

Now this all relates to Alberta. I know Canadian gun laws fall under federal law, but each province has a Chief Firearms Officer, and as such they may have different laws and rules. Also in Alberta you may kill any animal on you rural property that is a threat to the livestock, and presumably humans.

 

As for the PAL-it has not went away. It actually replaced the old system. Three classes. The most common is for average long guns. Hunting, trap shooting and such. The next is for handguns. Usually target shooting, occasional self defense-as above- and security guards/police. The last one-which is rarely if ever issued anymore is for restricted weapons. Full auto AR-15s, other machine guns, and other firearms that do not meet legal requirements, such as too short. I know one person who has this class and he is an armourer for City Police. This is usually only for businesses and he is the youngest, person to hold this. And he is retiring.

 

This is all from memory and may be outdated. But there is one important piece of info. The OP was caching on The Island-I believe the whole island is incorporated, meaning it is a city, even in the park. Therefore firearms would not be permitted to be used in this nature, and possibly not even be allowed to be openly displayed in public.

Edited by T.D.M.22
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On a recent kayak trip in Maine we first spotted a seal who was splashing and poking his head up at us. Sometime later a dolphin came up out of the water 10 feet away. It was kinda odd, the wind was kicking up real bad and I started singing a silly song, then this dolphin pops up out of the water very close and I could hear it breathing through its blowhole. We watched as it came up a few more times as it went downriver towards the ocean. Then when we went back to the parking lot and we caught a wolverine going through the dumpster. Funny looking thing. The next day or so we spotted a moose, and I nearly ran over a bear cub bolting across the road while driving back.

 

I doubt that it was a cougar you were near, as there are plenty of other critters that it could be. Crawl into a nest of baby vultures in a rockpile for some real excitement sometime. :D

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Actually, black bear mothers aren't all that protective of their cubs. It's grizzly mamas you have to worry about.

 

I'd read of a case (Herrero's book?) where some jerks were throwing rocks at a black-bear cub or two in a tree, and mama was just sitting off in the distance, looking annoyed.

 

And in a personal experience, I saw an adult black bear run away from me, leaving its cub - which was in the tree right above my head - to fend for itself. (Once I realized I was standing under a cub, I scrammed. No point pushing my luck.)

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Ok. As my understanding-in Alberta. Firearms may be carried for protection from wild animals. Depending on the circumstances a handgun may be uses-but not concealed-but this is generally not the case as a long gun would be a better choice, for obvious reasons. But to get the permits, you have to be out in the wilderness. Northern AB/Sask and most of BC. I do believe you have to be on a jobsite as well. Oil rigs, powerlines, remote areas of that nature. Therefore the chances of you being able to carry one while caching are low. Now if you are caching on a remote mountain trail a CO (conservation officer) probably won't tell you you can't have a gun, but if you use it there may be consequences. When the gun is used you have to contact a Conservation Officer. They will investigate, and part of that is seeing if there are any other measures that could have been taken, such as bear spray. This is especially true with cougars as they are not as numerous as they once where.

 

Now this all relates to Alberta. I know Canadian gun laws fall under federal law, but each province has a Chief Firearms Officer, and as such they may have different laws and rules. Also in Alberta you may kill any animal on you rural property that is a threat to the livestock, and presumably humans.

 

As for the PAL-it has not went away. It actually replaced the old system. Three classes. The most common is for average long guns. Hunting, trap shooting and such. The next is for handguns. Usually target shooting, occasional self defense-as above- and security guards/police. The last one-which is rarely if ever issued anymore is for restricted weapons. Full auto AR-15s, other machine guns, and other firearms that do not meet legal requirements, such as too short. I know one person who has this class and he is an armourer for City Police. This is usually only for businesses and he is the youngest, person to hold this. And he is retiring.

 

This is all from memory and may be outdated. But there is one important piece of info. The OP was caching on The Island-I believe the whole island is incorporated, meaning it is a city, even in the park. Therefore firearms would not be permitted to be used in this nature, and possibly not even be allowed to be openly displayed in public.

 

Not wanting to make this a debate on guns... but... I said it was the POL (Possesion and Ownership Licence) that was likely obsolete. The POL was a transitional item during the onset of the new rules. My understanding is that they were closed after allowing existing owners who were not purchasing more, to register there existing long guns etc. The PAL definitely exists.

 

Correct on the first category,non-restricted, Long guns. Restricted is the second category last I looked, handguns and underlength carbines, some semi auto military stuff. The highest level was the Full Auto (and other things).

It was mostly poplulated by military arms collectors. Many are still in force, but new ones were closed way back. Not sure if any get issued now, but the armourer would be a possible one for sure. There are of course the Prohibited weapons category, things like sawed off shotguns etc. Back in 81 the liberals even made it illegal to possess a soda straw... or at least did if you did anything but suck back a soda. See blowgun, prohibited weapon, definition of: Any closed cylinder through which a projectile could be launched using lung power only. Included beanshooters. 5 years mandatory sentence if caught. Think it got changed a bit.

 

I'm not sure if you mean Vancouver Island, but it is just a hunk of BC. Has towns, parks and crownland like anywhere, I don't know of any special cases there. But I have been out of hunting for a long time. Use a camera now. I only got into the discussion because you made the blanket statement about 'we can't'. More interested in the 'scary incident' part. BTW I had all three levels permits.

 

Doug 7rxc going back to 'scary incidents'

Edited by 7rxc
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.......She quickly caught up with me and we both walked briskly back to the car. We didn't see what it was but suspect it was a cougar. It was a very loud and deep growl.

 

Moving quickly away is what triggers them to attack... that's when they chase you down. You both lucked out, glad you both are OK! Next time you are bored check out what to do during encounters with big critters and what you should do.

 

Thanks for sharing your story!

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I doubt that it was a cougar you were near, as there are plenty of other critters that it could be.

That was my first thought. Cougars will generally try really hard to avoid encountering humans. They usually don't consider humans prey, and actually consider us more of a threat to be avoided. Running away or playing dead can make the cougar think of you more like prey and can get you into real trouble. The best thing to do is make yourself appear large and menacing to make them think you're a predator to be avoided.

 

I'm thinking it's more likely it was a raccoon. Wolverines haven't been reported on the island since 1990, and we don't have badgers. I guess it could have been a bear, but I'm not so sure. I can't think of any other animals on the island that would growl at you from up a tree. Maybe it was just the world's most ticked-off eastern grey squirrel?

 

While out on my own, I've only ever had one encounter with a large animal on the island, and that was with an adult black bear just west of Victoria. I was walking down a logging road, came around a bend, and there was the bear in the middle of the road about 75 m ahead. As soon as I saw it, it saw me and took off into the bush. As much as I didn't want to be around it, it didn't want to be around me.

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Running from a cat... bad idea! Any big cat, really.

 

They are hard-wired to chase anything that moves fast. It is instinctual and they do it without thought.

Watch a house cat when you use a string or shoe-lace to entice them. If it moves slowly they usually just watch it, but give it a burst of speed and see what happens.

 

As stated earlier -- make yourself as large and as threatening as possible. Cats do not like confrontation, they are a stealth killer.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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I live on Vancouver Island also and am not at all afraid of going out into the woods alone. I bring bear spray and a poky hiking stick for protection against humans only.

 

I seriously doubt you encountered a cougar. They are afraid of people. Same goes for black bears. It probably was a raccoon. I would stop worrying and just go out. You're much much more likely to get in a car crash than get attacked by a wild animal.

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I doubt that it was a cougar you were near, as there are plenty of other critters that it could be.

That was my first thought. Cougars will generally try really hard to avoid encountering humans. They usually don't consider humans prey, and actually consider us more of a threat to be avoided. Running away or playing dead can make the cougar think of you more like prey and can get you into real trouble. The best thing to do is make yourself appear large and menacing to make them think you're a predator to be avoided.

 

I'm thinking it's more likely it was a raccoon. Wolverines haven't been reported on the island since 1990, and we don't have badgers. I guess it could have been a bear, but I'm not so sure. I can't think of any other animals on the island that would growl at you from up a tree. Maybe it was just the world's most ticked-off eastern grey squirrel?

 

While out on my own, I've only ever had one encounter with a large animal on the island, and that was with an adult black bear just west of Victoria. I was walking down a logging road, came around a bend, and there was the bear in the middle of the road about 75 m ahead. As soon as I saw it, it saw me and took off into the bush. As much as I didn't want to be around it, it didn't want to be around me.

I have lived here long enough to know that is definately wasn't a raccoon. As I said in my original post It was a very loud roar, raccoons and squirrels don't roar!

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In the past month I have seen a black bear, cougar, rattlesnake and skunk. None that were close enough to make me worry but the rattlesnake was quite large and I can't recall seeing one that large in the wild so it has made me a bit worried about some areas.

 

One of my longtime friends saw a copperhead recently.

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It could have been a wolf, fox, wild boar, ect. We even spotted a porcupine a month ago or so. If it growled at you it's probably because you were near its babies. I had a Canadian goose attack me once because of that. I inadvertently parked next to its nest, which was in a well used parking lot, and the male and female were across the way, digging in the grass. It apparently thought I was going towards the nest, and not the car, and it hissed and flew right at me, pecking my neck. It didn't hurt at all, but instinctively I took a swing at it, and sort of pulled my shoulder out of whack. Since it was at work, I tried to file an OSHA recordable accident report, but was not taken seriously enough. :mad:

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There are worse ways to die then being attacked by a cougar while goecaching. My ex girlfriend that I have known from Jr high just died of lime disease. She was not a geocacher and didn't even know she was bitten by a tick and that is why it took them to long to figure out what it was.She was only 37. I think being attacked by a cougar would be a cooler way to go. I would still cache the area and just keep an eye out for anything growling.

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There are worse ways to die then being attacked by a cougar while goecaching. My ex girlfriend that I have known from Jr high just died of lime disease. She was not a geocacher and didn't even know she was bitten by a tick and that is why it took them to long to figure out what it was.She was only 37. I think being attacked by a cougar would be a cooler way to go. I would still cache the area and just keep an eye out for anything growling.

 

I'm sorry for your loss. I know two people, one a co-worker and another a former co-worker that contracted Lyme disease this years but in both cases it was caught early.

 

Several years ago I went to an animal sanctuary that had a bunch of animals that were injured (in many cases intentionally) including black bear and cougar. The black bears were impressive in size but could almost be described as cute. The cougar however looked downright scary and more like an all-business killing machine.

 

 

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I once saw a black bear while geocaching- parents and I were in New Hampshire and they went ahead on the trail, I went a little off and saw something big and black in the distance... then the little black thing running. Started yelling loudly and we got the hell out of there!

 

Never saw a black bear in NH except that one time, even though we go there every summer. What amazed me is we were really very close to the village, like hadn't walked in more than 5 minutes from the trailhead.

 

You're lucky! I live in North Jersey, and we have over 2000 black bear. (Probably more than New England.) In twenty years of hiking/geocaching, I've met 20 or 30 black bear. (Since my geocaching partner claims to be a bear, we know them by their names...) Most either run away, or stare at you until you go a different direction. On the AT, I've met bear in Maine, New York,New Jersey,Pennsylvania and Virginia. Three miles north of where I live is a park where I have a few caches. The resident bear there is Amparo Oso. I've met her a few times. We even had a bear walk through town one day. (I think he was headed for the flea market.) The cops chased him out of town. (I don't think the next town west was happy about that.)

Scariest encounter was when I came around a bend in the trail and missed stepping on Stumpyby about four feet. Fifteen minutes before I could move again, I felt sorry for Stumpy. He took off through the mountain laurel (which is really a nasty bush to try to bushwhack through!)

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I once saw a black bear while geocaching- parents and I were in New Hampshire and they went ahead on the trail, I went a little off and saw something big and black in the distance... then the little black thing running. Started yelling loudly and we got the hell out of there!

 

Never saw a black bear in NH except that one time, even though we go there every summer. What amazed me is we were really very close to the village, like hadn't walked in more than 5 minutes from the trailhead.

 

You're lucky! I live in North Jersey, and we have over 2000 black bear. (Probably more than New England.) In twenty years of hiking/geocaching, I've met 20 or 30 black bear. (Since my geocaching partner claims to be a bear, we know them by their names...) Most either run away, or stare at you until you go a different direction. On the AT, I've met bear in Maine, New York,New Jersey,Pennsylvania and Virginia. Three miles north of where I live is a park where I have a few caches. The resident bear there is Amparo Oso. I've met her a few times. We even had a bear walk through town one day. (I think he was headed for the flea market.) The cops chased him out of town. (I don't think the next town west was happy about that.)

Scariest encounter was when I came around a bend in the trail and missed stepping on Stumpyby about four feet. Fifteen minutes before I could move again, I felt sorry for Stumpy. He took off through the mountain laurel (which is really a nasty bush to try to bushwhack through!)

 

We did the entire AT and only saw bear in New Jersey. It was a mother and two cubs. When they spotted us, a cub went up a tree and screamed but the mother and the other cub ran away. So the first cub came down from the tree and followed mom.

 

They say to make noise to scare bears but don't bang pots and pans together because in NJ that means COME AND GET OUR FOOD.

 

PAul

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If it were a cougar, I kinda doubt that a pocket knife would do much good, especially considering retrieval and getting it into play.

 

Actually, it is possible to fight off a cougar with a pocket knife. I read a news story of a man, a few years ago, who was attacked by one and successfully killed it with just a pocket knife. He later led the rangers back to its carcass. It's not my preferred defense, but it has worked. Cougars have been warded off successfully with some unlikely objects, and there has been a case of someone fighting off one with no weapon. I think, considering cat psychology, the ones who get eaten are the ones who run. You kind of have to play mind games with the creature.

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If it were a cougar, I kinda doubt that a pocket knife would do much good, especially considering retrieval and getting it into play.

 

Actually, it is possible to fight off a cougar with a pocket knife. I read a news story of a man, a few years ago, who was attacked by one and successfully killed it with just a pocket knife. He later led the rangers back to its carcass. It's not my preferred defense, but it has worked. Cougars have been warded off successfully with some unlikely objects, and there has been a case of someone fighting off one with no weapon. I think, considering cat psychology, the ones who get eaten are the ones who run. You kind of have to play mind games with the creature.

 

Mind games are fine. Just don't scratch their bellies, that drives 'em crazy.

:)

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Had a interesting (but could have been much worse) experience on Sunday. I was attempting to access GZ as shown by my GPSr at the time. Coordinates were clearly away from the side of the road, and for a long way in either direction from the closest approach point on the road there was really dense vegetation in the way. I finally found what appeared to be a less dense route and started clearing things aside (not cutting down) with my walking stick. Got about two metres or so into this and took one more step. Found myself sitting on my butt some distance down the slope and at the top of another drop. I knew there was a bank there, but didn't count on the edge dissappearing under me. I was able to stand and saw that I had only gone down about 1.5 metres and proceeded to climb out, since down looked much worse. My careless fault, since I should have been using the walking stick to probe downward as well as moving plants aside so I could see... Several other spots over 100 metres in either direction also provided almost impassable routes, either due to the steep bank or blowdowns or both. This is a 2/2 cache? Quickly decided not to follow that direction any more and just think it out. Never did find it though and yes I DNFed it. The most obvious thing was a nice little spot that sort of fit the description and name better not to mention the DT. But didn't see anything (a regular). Will go back with a newer GPS, think the Glonass sats might help.

 

Anyway, the point is that I was trying to be careful about this, and there was no harm done except to my pride (my buddy was laughing hard). You think about that scene in Romancing the Stone except no Jean Wilder ha.

But do be careful about where you are stepping and put the GPS down when doing so. That might have been a fast flowing creek of cold water, or I might have hit something sharp. No doubt I was lucky again.

 

On the next cache, I had strong evidence that the coordinates were off the same direction, since again they went off one direction, but again down that bank, but we spotted a more likely spot (a micro this time) and I did turn up the cache this time, over 30 metres the other way. Some time spent validating the coordinates better so no one ever tried the bank needlessly would have saved me here IF I hadn't spotted the flaw based on the previous on and deciding to think first (hungry and tired I think). The differential in distance and direction was a fair bit more than two newer GPS would ever create. It has to be the valley and trees. My map60cx predates having Glonass in it. But I was still showing between 2 and 4 EPE with 3 most of the time. Multipath or simply blocked paths could do it for sure. But I've never been that far away with it. My old 45xl yes... map60cx no.

 

At least there were no sneaky bear cubs this time... but no lady joggers either. There were lots of fresh raspberries though. I have to go back there real soon, I suspect the bears are confused by this summer timewise.

 

Doug 7rxc

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Growling isn't typical behavior for felines that aren't actively in the process of fighting with or eating you :) - they're pretty stealthy if you look delicious. Canines are much more likely to growl as a warning. I think I'd be more worried about a wolf. The coyotes here will run right past you in the dark - I hear them yipping a lot in our parks, but I've never heard one growl. What a fun and scary mystery!

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It could have been a wolf, fox, wild boar, ect.

Seriously doubted it was either of those as they cant generally climb trees

 

I also live on Vancouver Island and if you keep your eyes and ears open you would be surprised just how many times you see bears and yes, even cougars. Although the latter is generally watching you but not making any noise. I myself have had numerous encounters with bears and have seen several cougars over the years but with only one close up.

 

Knife? Don't knock it. There was an incident on the north end of the island where a guy managed to pull his penknife out of his pocket and do severe damage to a cougar before getting away and going for medical help

 

This is all from memory and may be outdated. But there is one important piece of info. The OP was caching on The Island-I believe the whole island is incorporated, meaning it is a city, even in the park. Therefore firearms would not be permitted to be used in this nature, and possibly not even be allowed to be openly displayed in public.

Vancouver Island is actually very large and has several cities on it. Lots of public land...Firearms should not be concealed and handguns are not permitted to be carried unless you are a police officer or a conservation/fisheries officer. Firearms inside of any incorporated area or park is not allowed.

 

I would hope that the OP contacted the authorities since said park is within city limits and could potentially be a concern. On that note there is a major deer population there

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After a long day of Geocaching I sat down to log my finds. I heard a few muffled sounds, but wasn't sure where they were coming from. I was seriously thinking my house was haunted. I got up from my computer chair and I hear my name, "Steve?" coming from behind me.

 

I looked around and no one was here! I know I locked all my doors! Must have been my imagination.

 

I head down my hallway, and clear as day and right behind me I hear "Hello?"

 

I head in the direction of the voice. "You OK Steve?" WTF! Behind me again!

 

This went on for about 10 minutes until I figured out what was happening. Yeah, I'm never putting my cell phone in my back pocket again. Butt dialing is scary!

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I was looking around and right by GZ I see a person wrapped in an old blanket that literally looked like how they put sheets on bodies in the morge.. Oh crud a corpse. I walked over to it and yelled are you OK? a few times. No movement, no breathing. I decide to give a light tap with my shoe. "GAWDDAMMIT!" I decided calling 911 to complain about a cussing corpse would be odd so I signed the log and left.

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and don't forget that in some areas and at certain times of the year -- there is the possibility of snakes (both poisonous and non)

 

As far as bears -- it has been suggested that you wear bells to scare and ward them off. While walking in bear country keep a look out for signs of bears -- bear poop is a good indication. Now for the tough part, telling Grizzly Bear from Brown Bear poop. Just remember that Grizzly Bear poop will have bells in it.

 

Actually the best defense is geocache with a friend that you are able to outrun.

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My wife and I were geocaching today in Lazo Nature Park woods on Vancouver Island, Canada. We were walking a trail and she was walking some distance behind when suddenly something big growled at her from above and in a tree beside the trail. We both heard it! She quickly caught up with me and we both walked briskly back to the car. We didn't see what it was but suspect it was a cougar. It was a very loud and deep growl. I think it was probably just a warning but if I had been alone maybe things would have been different. I just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention. Take care out there in the woods and always go with another person. Good idea to carry a pocket knife. It has kind of put her off wanting to go geocaching in remote areas any more! Actually as fairly new geocachers we are finding the GPS doesn't work well at all under a heavy tree canopy anyway!

 

That probably WAS a cougar! This article and video is of two dogs chasing a cougar off of a property only a few miles from where you were.

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I live in North Jersey, and we have over 2000 black bear. (Probably more than New England.)

Off topic query for the geographically clueless.

Isn't New Jersey part of New England?

I've always thought of all those northeast states as New England.

 

Good Lord no!! :D

 

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, & Connecticut are New England. :)

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I once had a very long stare down with a large groundhog on a narrow trail. I was the one who finally first blinked, and then took a small step in its direction.... whereupon it let out an unbelievably ferocious growl before disappearing into the brush. Seriously impressive noise volume - and stopped me in my tracks long enough for it to make a dash for safety, which was clearly its intent.

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I was out caching in a big wilderness area in Houston earlier this year, and I head many animal noises I never heard before (being on a short visit from Europe). I guess many strange rattling noises were just crickets and not rattle snakes. Birds make all sorts of funny noises. I did hear one really strange noise though, and then heard something really big running away. I'd rather not know what that was. :laughing:

 

Mrs. Terratin

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