Something charged at me!

Old 11-18-04, 06:40 PM
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Something charged at me!

OK. I am no nut and have used this board many times. I live in Ashland, MA and have woods in the back yard but homes all around otherwise. I just stepped out onto my deck (which you guys/girls helped me build) and was clipping my nails. The only light was on me and the deck. I heard rustling in the leaves at ground level at my back yard edge (approx. 60 ft away). I turned to look and something bolted from the woods and ran wicked fast right toward me. All I could see was like a greyish blur and it had quick footsteps like a large cat possibly. It was making a good deal of noise when rustling and then running. It scared me and I started to go for the door. When I moved to the door, it stopped somewhere around 15ft from me and when I turned the look at it, it bolted away into the neighbors yard. Now what the hell was that? A crazy cat or a small coyote or what? I am 6ft 2" and 230lbs. Not an easy meal for any small animal, so what had the gonads to come after me? I must have lost mine too but I did not want rabies or whatever. Any thoughts on what would cause an animal to come quickly after a human on his land? I wish my rear motion light was connected so I could have seen it better. Peace: e3
Old 11-19-04, 06:06 PM
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I live in the middle of nowhere NC. It took my wife (a Conneticut city girl) a while to get used to the things running through the forest and our back yard.

Deer, raccoon, ground hog, skunk and squirrell are pretty common. Behind the house I've seen black bear, bobcat and my neighbor saw coyotte/wolf.

So far every time someting saw me, it ran away. If it was heading towards me, it was just because it did not see me. If you make a noise it (even a bear) will run away. If it doesn't run get a gun, and if it's big get a big gun.
Old 11-20-04, 03:23 PM
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Wildlife charging

I have a remote mountain cabin in West Virginia and all the wildlife, too. Usually, the critters are just as scared of you as you are of them. But, any sudden move may result in their charging you.

It helps if you are out climbing the hills to let the animals, especially bears, know you are there. Talk to yourself, occasionally clap your hands, or do like some forest rangers do, yell out, "Hey, bear!" Bears have very good eyesight.
Avoid direct eye contact. It is often interpreted by bears and other animals as a challenge or threat. If a bear is on its hindlegs, it's usually trying to get a better look. When on all four legs, if agitated, it will swing its head from side to side and huff and puff and clack its teeth. It may charge or retreat. If ears are flattened, you can tell if it's going to get aggressive. A stiff, bouncing gait is a sign of a false charge. Never run from a bear. Back away slowly. And, that's a pretty good rule when it comes to most animals. You don't want to be chased. If you have bears in your area, stay tuned to bear alerts. Keep all garbage in sealed cans to keep animals out.

I've only encountered one bear. It was downstream from me. He spied me about the same time as I spied him. Of course, I was trying to yell over the sound of the waterfalls, "Bear!" As I tried to fake being calm and slowly cross the road back to the cabin, I saw him crossing the road, too, and heading for the woods. I was excited and relieved.

Many animals have become accustomed to people and unfortunately will allow people to come very close before responding. I once walked very slowly up to two young deer and got within two feet of them on my river road. Suddenly, I heard the mother's snort from the underbrush and my fantasy of being St. Francis of Assisi ended.

The safe distance between animals and people has decreased. Sometimes it is too late for people to retreat to safety. If an animal feels threatened, it may decide to fight rather that take the option of flight. Moose, deer, and big horn sheep don't require much to get their antlers and hooves in an uproar. Always keep a safe distance.

Chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, and other small animals can carry rabies and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They also can inflict painful scratches and bites prone to infection. If rabid, they are senseless, and can charge. Birds can also be threatening and may attack, especially during mating season. Hawks, swans and herons are very protective of nests and young.

Because children are small and often the size of natural prey for many animals, special precaution should be taken with them. Keep children within easy reach. Don't allow them to play near brush or run along trails where there is dense brush. Do not allow them to make animal sounds. Train them to never approach animals, especially babies. Never pet or feed wild animals and never let children do so or pose for photos with animals in the wild.

I once stayed at a mountain resort where signs were posted everywhere to not feed the bears. I saw people feeding them anyway. About a month later, I read in the paper where a child had been mauled by a bear while parents were taking a photo of the child feeding the bear at that resort.

We must remember that the animals inhabited our landscape long before we built homes in their territories. We are the intruders. Not they.

And, you ask what is gray and may have charged you? Wonder if it was a bobcat?

I don't like to drive to the mountains after dark because I don't see too well. But I drove in late one night and was heading to the cabin on my river road. I spied a cat running alongside the road. I thought, "There's a cat." Then, "Geez, that's a big cat!" Then, "Oh, my! That's a bobcat!" It was a big cat with a short tail. I had only heard them before while in bed at night. They chase the rabbits around the cabin at night. Although I have a spotlight/flashlight for spotlighting animals at night (I don't hunt and don't own a gun. Just a curious person.), I could never spotlight a bobcat chasing rabbits.

Being the curious person I am. I hit the research: Although bobcats do hunt in the day, they do their best hunting at night because they have a special light reflector behind the retina. I did not know they were tree climbers & expert swimmers. They are powerful fighters. They scent mark their territories and travel the same territory daily. Bobcats know their major enemy is humans. We have been trapping them since the 1700s. Some parts of the country still allow trapping. Bobcat sightings are usually rare. They usually run up a tree or run away because they are very speedy. Hunting and loss of habitat have taken a toll on their population. They are most likely to be seen in remote, rugged country during early morning or late day when feeding. They tend to be elusive and are rarely seen. They have adapted to humans invading their territory. Most folks don't know if they have bobcats nearby. It is best to learn to share your landscape with bobcats because they keep down rodent populations.

As with other wildlife, don't feed them. Don't leave pet food outside. Keep garbage cans sealed. Eliminate bird feeders because bobcats are attracted to both birds and rodents that feed on birdseed. Eliminate water sources like drip irrigation, fish ponds, and bird baths because bobcats get thirsty. If you live near a river, pond, or lake, then there is nothing you can do about water sources.

Keep shrubbery & brush cleared along perimeter of property to eliminate cover for bobcats and their prey. You can use fencing to keep out bobcats and other animals. Note: Deer will jump fences. Fence should extend down beneath soil level to keep out digging animal pests. Loud noises and rock throwing are fairly effective to make bobcats leave. Motion sensor lights and motion sprinklers tend to keep bobcats and other nocturnal animals at bay. Keep cats and small dogs indoors so they do not fall prey to bobcats. Chicken wire will not keep bobcats out of chicken, rabbit, and other small animal cages. Cages should be sturdy and in well-protected areas and heavy gauge wiring used. Trapping and relocation of bobcats is not recommended. As with most wild animals, they tend to be very territorial and tend to take over an area.

Remember that in the eyes of the wildlife, we have intruded their territory. And, yes, they have the gonads to charge you to protect it.
Old 11-20-04, 10:11 PM
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I know it's a real rush even armed to have something run at you in the dark. However there are three reasons I think it was a male Deer. Time for the RUT now, Deer hurt more people in the US than any other animal, & the abrupt stop to the charge when you seemed bigger. Deer in RUT look at size first & will not fight a larger deer.

Deer are very active at night, we also have a glut of Deer that are costing East Coast Farmers millions in damage. I was once on the recieving end of a Buck in RUT. I don't suppose having that ooh so good smelling Doe in Heat juice hanging from a nearby branch helped. I was smelled first as a possable date I believe, then when I stood up & waved my arm & rifle the Buck stopped cold in his tracks.

I believe what he did next was a teratorial thing to the Deer, he lowered his head & came running full out right at me. At less than 20 yards it was pure instinct to sholder my weapon, & fire hitting the deer right where the neck meets between his sholders.

There is no doubt in my mind this Deer would have attacked me, the noise he made & look of his eyes were those of an enraged animal. I would advise some light's of course, but it may not hurt to get some Pepper spray as well just in case. We have Bucks going through plate glass windows at this time of year, & last year a homeoner in a development fought a small buck off with a leaf rake during the RUT.

Those who survive a Bear our Couger attacks say they never heard them coming, their feet muffle the sound of walking.

Stay safe!
Old 11-21-04, 06:20 AM
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At my previous house I had a large telescope that sat on a large steel column permanantly mounted in the yard. One November night I had been quietly observing, not making a sound for about half an hour. It is common to hear animals moving about and rustling the leaves so hearing something moving about was not unusual. I accidently bumped a metal eyepiece against the metal telescope making a dull clank... Then I heard a 3 or 4 sets of hooves running right towards me in the dark (it was a moonless night and pitch black except for the stars). Knowing what was coming I "hunkered down" and tucking in close behind the telescope. The herd split and passed a few feet to either side of me and kept on going. I don't think they were attacking, but in the dark (and I was wearing all black, standing next to an all black telescope) I'm not sure how visible I was and did not want to get run over.

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