Tell about your "TRUE LIFE" encounters with wildlife!! Here's Mine!


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I still remember this like it was a few months ago! ..................

1972, I was a junior in high school. I lived on a ranch 18 miles northwest of Dubois, Wyoming between the Wind River and Absaroka Mountain Ranges at an elevation of 7500 feet.

Needless to say, it was always cold in the winter with a lot of wind and snow. -30F and -40F below was common in January & February.

I was staying with the family who owned the ranch because at the time, I was not getting along well with my parents.

Now the ranch was about 1/4 mile off the highway and had a long narrow gravel road from the highway to the lower ranch buildings where it opened up to a large area which contained the barn, guest cabins, a lower lodge, shop, and other out buildings. From there, we had to travel uphill another couple hundred yards, to the A-frame that we lived in.

This year, the snow was quite heavy with about 3 feet on the ground. When we plowed the road each time it snowed, it built up a wall on each side of the road to about 5 feet!

There was just enough room for our vehicles, but from the highway to the lower ranch building, the plowed snow on both sides was so tight that you couldn't fully open the truck doors on either side.

One night, two of the brothers I stayed with, and myself came home from town. It was a very cold, bright moonlit night. The moonlight reflecting off the snow made it very easy to see.

We pulled Dodge 4X4 off the highway onto the gravel road. As we approached the lower ranch buildings, we noticed a large bull moose right in the middle of the compound.

As soon as our headlights hit him, to our stunned surprise, he turned and started trotting right towards us!! The older brother Chad,  who was driving immediately stopped the truck. We were still in the narrow part of the road so we were completely hemmed in!

When the moose got about 15 feet away, he quit trotting but still walked right up to the front grill of the truck so that his chest was right up against the grill, and his nose was virtually right up against the windshield!! And here's the part was freaky!! The moose was so close that when he breathed through his nostrils, it steamed up the windshield!!

Now we were all pressed up against the back of our seats as far as we could get. Chad slowly reached down to his holster and slowly pulled out his 44 magnum that he always carried. (This is not unusual. Everyone packed a revolver in Wyoming back in the 70's) He slowly cocked and lifted the revolver right up to the windshield.

We all just sat there as quietly as we could without moving a muscle. The 3 of us in the truck, and the moose, literally only 3 feet away from us in a "Mexican Standoff". After what seemed like 5 minutes, the moose slowly turned and walked away. Chad slowly lowered the revolver and holstered it. You could hear the 3 of us exhale all at the same time from relief!!

The moose didn't leave immediately. He meandered around the compound for about 15 minutes before finally jumping over a low snowbank and heading back to the woods. We finally were able to drive up to the A-frame and spent the rest of the night telling the story to Chad's parents who said "we wondered what you were doing down there".

So anyway......that's the true story of my moose encounter!


If any of the rest of you have a "Wildlife Encounter" story.... I hope you'll share it!!

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Most of my wildlife encounters are pretty tame by comparison.

Had a coyote cross the road in front of me this morning as we were heading to the grocery store . . .

A mallard hen is currently incubating at least nine eggs in a nest up against my garage, just inches away from the driveway pavement . . .

I've had six close calls with deer while driving, two actual collisions, and one female moose that took her sweet time strolling across the highway (that one was in Washington State, along Lake Crescent). 

I used to volunteer in wildlife rehabilitation when I was in college - took care of dozens of baby songbirds and not a few owls and sparrow hawks.

I assisted with a tiger dentistry - a canine tooth removal. Her paws were bigger than my hands!

I've been kissed by a baby giraffe.


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A few weeks ago my friend and I went on a canoe trip on the Ticino in Switzerland. The instructions we had for finding an access to the river were very vage and there was no way to climb down to the river which was about 15m below the road, guarded by thick covert which we could not get through. My wife drove us along the road in the car while we were looking for a path or trail that would lead us down to the river and suddenly I saw an opening.

I jumped out of the car and went down the narrow trail to check if we can enter the river from here. When I reached the bottom I found myself facing a fox which was surprisingly big, about the size of a one year old german shepherd. He cocked his head, looked me in the eye (by then I was almost expecting a Fluffy barking lol), turned around and strolled away. It took me about a 3 seconds to climb back the trail I came from lol, I can't remember when I ran this fast the last time.

Ironically about 2-300m further down the road there was a big opening leading down to the river...

In two days we go on a week long trip on the italian part of the Ticino which is notorious for having lots of wild boars and some snakes around, I have a feeling that I will post again in this thread :D

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I got attacked by a swan once. No, I'm not kidding, these beasts are hardcore. Once they're in ragemode, there's pretty much nothing scaring them off, so you can run or try to kill it, but good luck doing that with your bare hands, because they pretty much transform into a white cloud of feathers, a beak, claws and pure, unadultered chaotic rage. Had to visit a hospital after that due to infection risk etc. Little bugger got some pretty good hits on me. Even left two scars.

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51 minutes ago, Wastelander said:

I got attacked by a swan once. No, I'm not kidding, these beasts are hardcore. Once they're in ragemode, there's pretty much nothing scaring them off, so you can run or try to kill it, but good luck doing that with your bare hands, because they pretty much transform into a white cloud of feathers, a beak, claws and pure, unadultered chaotic rage. Had to visit a hospital after that due to infection risk etc. Little bugger got some pretty good hits on me. Even left two scars.

lol classic, ive heard geese are good at defending themselves as well, apparently lots of farmers use them as guard dogs / guard geese :) they also will scare of foxes I have heard, if enough of them.


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I have a few stories but I'll tell this one in the spirit of @cowboymrh's story.

I was vacationing at a remote backcountry lodge near Denali with my father, who was 74 at the time.  We'd gone for a day hike and wandered up onto a 700m ridge to get a better view of the mountain on a rare sunny morning.  And then some rain dropped by for a short visit.  It was heavy enough to drive right through my synthetic hiking pants, run down my legs and fill my boots. :D

A slow hike back.  My dad was pretty sure-footed for an old fart, but we were hiking over loose (and now very wet) scree and he wanted to go cautious.  Then we couldn't find the trail back down so we took a "short cut" through some very close-growing alder, which amounted to launching ourselves from one bush down into the next one, over and over.  It took a while but we finally got back down to the creek -- the lodge was just the other side.  The creek, which that morning had barely wet the soles of our boots, was now about hip deep and swift.  So we grabbed each other's belts for stability and started to carefully work our way across.  

Suddenly, a commotion in the camp!  A black bear had wandered in and folks were chasing it off with air horns and clanging pots.  It ran out of the camp and straight at my dad and me.  We just stopped and stood there in the rushing creek-- not a lot of maneuverability in a situation like that.  A few meters away the bear finally noticed us (probably because we were yelling our lungs out), executed a sharp left turn and ran off.  

Dinner was exceptionally tasty that night.  :coffee:

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I have a story to share, not my personal experience but what a neighbor told me. I do believe that this may have happened from some stuff that I read, but a grain of salt and all that jazz.

My neighbor told me about his sister's family experience with crows and a coyote. They had moved to a new location due to her job, and the house they moved into was more on the rural side of things. Well, her daughter loved sitting outside and she would feed the birds. Mommy and Daddy weren't too concerned until some crows showed up and she started feeding them too. They tried to discourage her from feeding them and to get the crows to leave. They had failed in this, and the daughter kept feeding the crows.

About 2 months later, Mom was doing something or other (I don't remember what my neighbor told me) and Dad was preparing dinner. They heard this horrible screeching from the backyard and both of them rushed out to check, fearing for their daughter's life. What they saw was the murder of crows savagely attacking a coyote that mistook the daughter as easy prey and got to close for the crows' liking. The coyote had died since the crows were relentless, and after getting their daughter back inside the house, dad removed the carcass and since then, they welcomed the crows to stay for protecting their daughter.

What surprised me was that my neighbor's niece wasn't screwed up by witnessing this. She understood that the crows were protecting her. And from what I've read on their behavior, the crows saw her as a food source that needed protection from the coyote. They're very smart creatures, seen placing nuts on roads for cars to break open, using tools to secure food, and they can even remember faces.

I haven't had much interaction with crows, but seagulls man. They should of been called vultures, don't walk out of a McDonalds where I'm at with a bucket of french fries or those damn things will swarm your ass. I'm talking 30+ birds and I'm 2+ hours away from the Jersey Shore. It is pretty entertaining to take said fries and toss them in the air to be caught by the seagulls. Did feel bad for the one missing a leg though, made sure he got a few. Pelted one with an onion ring when it tried to steal those fries from One-Leg. I hate getting an onion ring that hitched a ride with my fries.

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Just this early morning, around 3am, i saw a moose with a baby... its actually a dangerous combination... but i was driving so nothing to be scared.. they were chilling on the grass like 100-130 feet away, while i was driving on a dirt road. I dont really stopped and looked, because i knew i will be back in same location in 3 minutes, but when i came back they were gone.

two mornings ago i saw a sea pig or whatever its called, decorative thingy that some people owns... it was 1am, a bit darkish but it does not get fully dark here In Norway in summer. The thing was hoping on the road, like a bunny... few hours later when coming back, i saw it again, was chilling on the side of the road, seemed like sleeping. it probably escaped someones house.

i often see mooses, bambis etc due to working at midnight/very early mornings in a rural area... with lots of woods.

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I'm in the UK so anything I could post about my experiences would be tame!  Three of the most potent memories I have are:

A sponsored walk when I was 8/9 in mid wales, we were doing a route called the roman steps, and came across a cow struggling in labour, I was walking with my best friend Emma, and her mum.  The vet was already in attendance and we stood and watched a calf being born by c-section. I had never seen anything like it, it was awesome.  Im a horsey person and my ex was a farmer - so now I have seen many calving's and foaling's both natural and c-section, but this is the one that sticks in my mind the most.

It was a cold winter - by our standards, I live in Cornwall - last winter we didn't even have a frost, but that winter and morning, the ground was frozen solid - When we let the horses out to the field, we would open a gate and send them up the track they would take themselves up the field.  It was my morning to turn everything out, When the last two went through the gate, for some reason I followed them up.  Half way up the track was a fox cub, eyes still closed and so tiny.  Very lucky to have escaped the hooves of six horses!  Knowing that the mother was probably still around, I backed off, went up to the field, waited... but she did not come back - the little man would not last too long on that ground so eventually I picked him up and took him home.  We called the local wildlife support, he stayed with us for two days and I called him Stitch, it was the year of Lilo and Stitch and he sounded so similar!  They came and picked him up and he was taken to the next county along raised and eventually released on national trust land.

Riding home on my mare (who was very sharp and flighty) a few years later, I came across a baby rabbit in the road, again eyes still closed, should not have been above ground yet and something had attacked it, it had a chunk of ear missing and was bleeding. So I jumped off my mare and picked him up, put him in the pouch of my jumper and got back on my mare.  Have you ever heard a rabbit scream?  Its ungodly - sounds like some kind of screeching demon!! Just as Im putting my leg over the saddle - he lets out a scream and my mare bolts forward!  I stayed in the saddle but I've never seen her so unimpressed!!  Our cat had had kittens that had just been weaned and was such a sweet thing, for the first couple of days she stuck close to the baby rabbit, curling up with him!  We popped him in a hutch and when he had grown a bit allowed him free run.... we took great care to not domesticate him and one day he took himself off for good... At the end of the summer I got a call from my mum to come over to the main house, there he was, chunk out his ear looking all grown up, he died in my arms an hour later. :( 

Finally, and a little more in keeping with dangerous encounters, my father used to do a lot of expedition kayaking in his younger days, he was off the Scottish coast with his friend, and a pod of killer whales surfaced next to them, his friend said 'what do we do' to which my father replied 'there is nothing we can do, we are dinner or we aren't!'   He said it was awesome, humbling and petrifying all at once.  The pod stayed with them for a while then disappeared - there was a photo, but it got destroyed in a housefire years ago now. 

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