Dangerous Animals You May Encounter While on the Trail

Animals present the biggest dangers when you go on an adventure in the great outdoors. Whether you’re on a well-known trail or a secluded campground, it always pays to be wary of your surroundings and know what kind of animals you may encounter.

The camping grounds aren’t just home to cute squirrels and birds after all; there are beasts lurking everywhere, and knowing how to deal with them during a confrontation can save your life.

Going through Bear Country

Black BearOf all the animals you can potentially encounter on the trail, bears are among the most dangerous. Our ancestors were so terrified of these hulking beasts that they believe the mere utterance of the word ‘bear’ would summon the creature.

Our ancestors were rightfully afraid of these beasts. Bears are omnivores and are opportunistic feeders; while they have no qualms foraging for berries, they can take down larger prey. Two species of bear inhabit the untouched wilds of North America – the black bear and the brown bear.

While you may think they only differ in color, these two bears have very different temperaments. Black bears are smaller compared to their brown counterparts and are actually more aggressive and predatory to an extent. If they confront you, they’re out hunting. Don’t play dead cause that’s a signal you’re easy prey. Instead, stand your ground and make yourself appear bigger and louder. Black bears are hunters, but they know better than to injure themselves if the prey fights back.

Brown bears, on the other hand, are a different matter. They’re larger and you’ll really have no chance ‘fighting’ back unless you carry a gun. Unfortunately, you may not always be carrying your rifle with you and even a shot from that isn’t guaranteed to bring down a hulking grizzly. Most of the time, a grizzly will only confront you if it’s protecting its cubs. Avoid direct eye contact, keep your voice down, and walk away slowly from their presence. Don’t scream or yell because unlike their smaller cousins, they can and will fight back.

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Other Dangerous Animals

mooseYou may think that the only dangerous animals you’ll encounter are carnivorous animals such as bears, wolves, and cougars. Peaceful herbivores are equally deadly, however. Moose, in particular, may even be more dangerous than bears since they can charge faster and can literally stomp people to death if they feel threatened.

Wild boars are equally dangerous. Although they look as comical as their domesticated counterparts, they are very territorial and can easily overpower and gore a person.

Whether you’re camping or hiking, it’s important to respect the animals you may encounter on the trail. You’re intruding into their territory after all, and you are entirely at their mercy.