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 Post subject: Animal Encounters while hiking, pets on hikes, Safety Tips
Post Posted: May 16, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Animal Encounters while hiking, pets on hikes, Safety Tips


Hiking is one of our favorite activities, and I know many of you feel the same way. Of course, communing with nature can lead to encounters with wildlife and, while thrilling, it can also be dangerous. Deterring an attack, or surviving one, requires different behavior depending on the animal you encounter. Before you head out, make yourself familiar with the wildlife that lives in the area you are hiking, and follow these tips to be prepared.

General Tips
Avoid surprising animals by making noise and staying aware – especially on sections of trail with limited sight lines.

Putting bear bells on your dog’s collar will alert wildlife to your presence and give the animals time to avoid you.

Don’t wear headphones. Instead, tune into your surroundings so you can hear approaching animals.

Don’t jog on the trails known for animal encounters – it stimulates a predator’s instinct to chase and attack.

Be sure someone knows where you’re going and when you plan to be back.

Carry a first aid kit and a cell phone.

Follow leash laws. They are there to protect you and your pets from predators.

In places where off-leash hiking is allowed, keep pets close to you and within sight at all times. If they run ahead, they may bring the predator right back to you.

If you are hiking in bear country, keep in mind that bears tend to be more active at dawn and dusk, so plan your hikes accordingly.

Keep an eye out for tracks, fresh scat, digs, other signs that animals are active in the area.

Carry bear spray and be sure that you have practiced using it before an attack.

If you see a mountain lion

Stop – don’t run, and stay calm.

Talk loudly and firmly to the lion in a low voice.

Face the lion and maintain eye contact.

Back away slowly if you can do so safely.

Make yourself look large – raise your arms or hold a jacket or
backpack above your head.

Pick up you dog (if it’s small enough) so it does not run.

If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches, or your belongings at him.

If You Are Attacked by a Mountain Lion

Don’t run – fight back.

Use what ever is available to you – your backpack, jacket, sticks, tools, keys, knife, or even your bare hands.

Protect your head and neck.

If You Meet a Coyote

Coyote Coyotes typically hunt alone or in pairs, so keep an eye on your surroundings.

Calmly, but slowly back away and maintain eye contact. Don’t turn your back.

Don’t run.

Raise your arms or hold a jacket or backpack over your head to make yourself look bigger.

If You Are Attacked by a Coyote

If the coyote shows signs of an impending attack act aggressively – yell loudly, and throw rocks, sticks or your belongings at it.

Throw dirt, gravel, sand – anything you can find – in its eyes

If You Encounter a Bear

If you see a bear but the bear doesn’t see you, detour quickly and quietly, but do not run.

Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you’re too close so back away.

If the bear sees you, remain calm and avoid sudden movements.
You want it to know you’re human so talk in a normal voice and move your arms.

A standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many times, bears will stand to get a better view.

Throw something onto the ground (like your camera) if the bear pursues you, as it may be distracted by this and allow you to escape.

Never feed or throw food to a bear.

If a Bear Charges You

Remember that bears charge as a bluff, running toward you then veering off or stop abruptly. Stand your ground until the bear stops, then slowly back away.

Never run from a bear! They will give chase, and bears can run faster than 30 mph.

Don’t run towards or climb a tree. Black bears and some grizzlies can climb trees, and many bear will be provoked to chase you if they see you climbing.

If a Grizzly Bear Attacks

Play dead!

Lie face down on the ground with your hands around the back of your neck.

Stay silent and try not to move
Keep your legs spread apart and if you can, leave your pack on to protect your back.

Once the bear backs off, stay quiet and still for as long as you can. Bears will often watch from a distance and come back if they see movement.

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