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Animal Encounters

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After have two VERY close (~25ft) encounters with 2 different wolves while caching today, I was wondering if anyone can offer up some expertise as to what to do when dealing with the different animals one may encounter while caching. Normally this would not freak me out TOO much, but I was going solo today and was quite a distance from the car. In both cases I froze and waited form them to take off, but too much more of this and I am going to have to pack some Depends. For now, I think urban caches is where you will find me if I am going solo.



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Generally, canines in the wild [Wolves, Fox, and Coyote] will avoid humans. This isn't necessarily so with feral dogs. Don’t show any fear. Standing and facing them may be your best defense. If you raise your arms in a spread eagle fashion, it may spook them and drive them off. If you would feel more comfortable, carry pepper spray or a walking stick. A rap on the snout with a stick will often send them whimpering. More drastic measures include a poke in the eye with the stick or carry a 9mm semi-auto if the law will allow it. My personal preference is to use the more benign remedies.


Keep on Caching

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What a great experience BullZie! I've seen wolves about 4 times in my life but not quite that close.


I did see a bear real close while doing a cache called Where/What/When near Orleans Ontario east of Ottawa in the early summer. He used cover very well when I spooked him unknowingly. Then a rushing sound, to my right and then behind a hill about 20 meters away. He poked his head up briefly to see what had scared him and that's when I saw his huge head. He continued on and so did I to the cache. The area was full of wildlife near Green's Creek and near it's entrance to the Ottawa river. Bears are seen fairly regularly in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, so it wasn't too surprising.


Luckily *most* of the time wild animals run away when encountered. Hopefully, we won't encounter the rare *other* time.




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As someone mentioned earlier, most animals in the wild will avoid humans if given the choice ...so the trick is to do just that - give them the choice. A way to do this is to attach a simple 'baby bootie' bell to your pack (or wherever); the high pitched tinkling noise made as you walk will be easily heard by most animals long before you see them, giving them plenty of opportunity to skedaddle and avoiding the chance of your taking them by surprise (...especially important if the situation involves a mother and her young). I hiked Vancouver Island's West Coast Trail a few years back ('Beware of Cougar' signs a'plenty), and a couple of our expedition's members employed this tactic at the recommendation of the Pacific Rim National Park's staff. Oddly enough, the tinkle of the bell becomes almost unnoticed to the hiker after a time.


Of course, you could just get into the habit of whistling Shari Lewis's 'The Song That Never Ends' as you hike... icon_smile.gif



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I do a lot of solo hiking so invested in a can of bear spray (Bear Repellent). I haven't had to use it yet but it's reassuring to have it with me. It's about $50 for a can. I recommend getting the optional holster so you can attach it to your belt and have it ready to use. It will shoot a stream about 20'.


The bells on the pack is a good idea. I used to talk to myself but ran out of things to say.


Did I ever tell you about the time I was chased by a bull moose?


Every hour spent geocaching is added to the end of your life

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The two caches I had encounters at are 'Hey, I like you "stile" GC200C' and 'Spooky Woods GC3369'. I am surprised to hear that pepper spray is illegal for civilians, may have to make a trip across the border to get some...that or make friends with the lettercarrier. The little trinket idea is also interesting, but I have not graduated to a true outdoorsperson yet and do not carry a pack, just GPS in hand and fresh batteries in my pocket is all I head out with.



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Could be. It was my Social Director who made the inquiries of the Halton Police. Maybe they were referring to using it on people? Anyway, I'll get some if it's available. I just noticed where the sender is. I wonder if it's a question of provincial jurisdiction? Anyway I'll ask at our local CT.

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My friends and family that live near the remote destination type area's of Vancouver Island and BC coast get a chuckle out of some of the urbanites that visit. Bears have been know to come out and meet kayakers as they come ashore.


It seems the bears have associated the smell of Gortex(?) and the tinkle of 'bear bells' with a free meal. Some have even aquired a taste for pepper spray.


If you encounter a bear, cougar or wolf, please stay cool and access the situation. 99.9% of the time you are in no danger. Even if the encounter is close. Instead of freaking out, enjoy what may be a rare encounter.(especially wolf and cougar)


The critters you have to worry about are the ones you don't see first. If they REALLY want you, your toast!

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Originally posted by PDOP's:

Yorelken it must be a regional thing with Canadian Tire. I'm always amazed at the super sized fishing equipment in their stores when I visit the west coast icon_biggrin.gif

The funny thing is,at least to me, the local one here has a very comprehensive inventory of GPSr's in the sports department. Future Shop doesn't carry them. Go figure.

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It was my Geocache where Bullzie saw the wolf - but I've never seen one on this trail - honest! I like the idea of the bell on the walking stick option. However the downside is you're not likely to see any other wildlife. On a several occasions 'caching I've seen, up close and personal, deer, turkey-vultures, wild turkeys, raccoons and foxes, all of which would likely be spooked by the bell (with the possible exception of the raccoons!). I find also that if you're mountain biking you can come up on unsuspecting animals so care should be taken there as I've surprised a couple of foxes this way. Haven't bumped into any feral dogs or cats though.

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What about carrying a small dollar store or CTC bike horn or even a goose caller on a lanyard on your pack then if you see a critter that is getting to close you can give it a toot and scare the offending animal away without spooking the wanna see bush dwellers, latter not recommended during hunting season LOL.


I have been looking for a belt attachment to holster a skunk for a legal pepper spray alternative, but every CTC employee I inquire about this to , looks at me really strangely and asks me to leave the store quietly...STRANGE EH!!


GPSr's...A step in the right direction!

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