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4 Legged Threat Level in the Western States

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of RonW farmer 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #43600
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    The family and I are going to spend 5 weeks this summer touring the US with the focus being on states greater than one day’s travel from SC.
    We will be spending a lot of time in WY, CO, WA, SD, ID, MT, ID, AZ etc.

    We will be doing some camping and other than some day hikes, we do not plan on going into the backcountry. Camping will be at organized campgrounds maybe even in Yellowstone.

    My research indicates that most violent encounters with animals are either in the backcountry or tourists who lack common sense (bears don’t do selfies).

    .
    .
    .
    Without listing all my preps here (bear spray, 12 ga, etc.). For those who have first hand knowledge of that area, what is the 4 legged threat level? (or 8 legged, 20 legged, no legged, etc?)

    It’s obviously not very high, or else I wouldn’t be going. Just looking for input from people who have first hand knowledge to see if I missed anything in my threat assessment/thought process.

    Appleseed.
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    #43603
    Profile photo of wheelsee
    wheelsee
    Participant

    From a Yellowstone website – http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/wildlife.htm

    Seems to be bison – “Bison can exceed over 2,000 lbs and cause more human injuries than any other wildlife combined in Yellowstone Park.”

    From several websites comes the info of falls into boiling water/mud, falls from heights.

    NEVER underestimate the stupidity of a human. As a traveller, you’ll have ample opportunity to teach the kids what NOT to do…..

    ENJOY THE TRIP…..the scenery is absolutely breath-taking!!

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #43605
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    From a Yellowstone website – http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/wildlife.htm

    Seems to be bison – “Bison can exceed over 2,000 lbs and cause more human injuries than any other wildlife combined in Yellowstone Park.”

    From several websites comes the info of falls into boiling water/mud, falls from heights.

    NEVER underestimate the stupidity of a human. As a traveller, you’ll have ample opportunity to teach the kids what NOT to do…..

    ENJOY THE TRIP…..the scenery is absolutely breath-taking!!

    I’ve only seen them in zoos and read the warning about them.

    How much of an issue are the bison in Yellowstone?

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43608
    Profile photo of wheelsee
    wheelsee
    Participant

    From a Yellowstone website – http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/wildlife.htm

    I’ve only seen them in zoos and read the warning about them.

    How much of an issue are the bison in Yellowstone?

    Keep in mind I’m from and in The Republic. Have visited that area several times and NEVER get tired/bored.

    Keep in mind EVERY wild animal is WILD. People look at a bison and think cattle – NO!! Still wild. They can run 30 mph. While you can push through livestock and they’ll move for you, bison could care less and may/will head-butt your vehicle – so 4k vehicle versus 2k bison, you’ll lose, even at speed. Plan on having to stop SEVERAL times daily while in the park due to wildlife, either directly or from others stopped.

    From my observations, Asians seemed to do the most stupid things, i.e. selfies with elk and bison, walking off the wood walkways around geysers/mudpots, crossing over barriers around cliff edges, etc. While we did not see any actual incidents, the odds were certainly against them (again, I would point out and ask my daughter what do think could happen with their decisions??)

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #43609
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    Good info on planning to stop. I will have to add that into my time calculations on my itinerary.

    One reason I am asking these questions is that the various state’s departments of wildlife do NOT report all encounters with animals. They only report deaths and serious injuries (sometimes only deaths). This artificially lowers the statistics and doesn’t include the unreported encounters.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

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    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
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    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
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    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43610
    Profile photo of Idaho Cajun
    idahocajun
    Participant

    Hey Duane,

    Here are my recs for what they are worth (I live and practice emergency medicine in Boise, ID) and spend time in Yellowstone every year:

    1. Bears-grizzly’s continue to expand their territory outside of Yellowstone each year. Bells, bear spray and adhering to appropriate warning signs should be good. Just be bear aware. Taurus judge .410 is one of the best bear guns, just make sure your CCW has reciprocity within the states your traveling.

    2. Bison- every year some jackass gets flown out of the parks after approaching one of these beasts. Incredible to see in the wild, but powerful. I’ve seen them take bumpers off cars in the park.

    3. BIGGEST THREAT: ticks and mosquitos. We’re having a bumper crop this year. Permethrin, deet, and skin checks are warranted at the end of a great hike.

    4. Hydrate! This is high desert country. I see more folks get dehydrated each year.

    Best time for wildlife viewing: dusk and dawn. Watching the elk and bison herds on the move during sunrise is breathtaking!

    Enjoy your family trip. Yellowstone is one of our favorite places!!!

    #43611
    Profile photo of Chris
    Chris
    Participant

    Duane,
    You’re kind of talking about two different animals (pun intended)…
    In National Parks the animals (bears especially) are acclimated to people and have no fear of them. Give all animals in National Parks a wide berth… Also scrupulously obey food storage guidelines.
    In other areas you need to be aware of your surroundings. Animals in these areas fear man to some degree but are wild for the most part. I know it is not on your list but here in Commiefornia it has been ‘illegal’ to hunt Mountian Lions for decades; therefore Mountian Lions do not fear us two leggeds… When I’m out I keep my grandkids close and talk to them about what to do in different situations. It is also good to take a dog with you if you have one. Bigger dogs are better protection but even little dogs are better than nothing since most predators will grab the little dog before they grab a child…
    Just stay aware of your surroundings and have fun…
    cw

    Now that I'm over 50 I realize that my People Skills are fine...it is my tolerance of Idiots that needs work.

    #43612
    Profile photo of Justin
    osozorro
    Participant

    In Colorado there are two poisonous spiders the black widow and the brown recluse. The black widow is common in wood piles, crawl spaces, garages. The brown recluse is crawl space, basement, rafters etc. The bites are painful and with the recluse the resulting flesh rot is often substantial.

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    #43615
    Profile photo of Justin
    osozorro
    Participant

    The rattlesnake is the most common poisonous snake in Colorado. It like most snakes likes to sun itself on rocks and roads in the prairies/Plains. The rattlesnake is sometimes confused with bull snake. They are less common in the high rockies but still there. The babies are the dangerous ones. Sometimes they don’t rattle and will often blow their whole venom load in one bite.

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    #43619
    Profile photo of Justin
    osozorro
    Participant

    Colorado is home to numerous four legged creatures. The most common animal you might have a problem with while camping (other than mice and squirrels) is the black bear. They are used to people and have a taste for human food because of poor campsite discipline. They are not real big and can often be dispatched with a concealed handgun (357 or auto loaded with good shot placement) in the event of an attack. They can be any color. Black, brown, grayish, cinnamon, whiteish.

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    #43621
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    Hey Duane,

    Here are my recs for what they are worth (I live and practice emergency medicine in Boise, ID) and spend time in Yellowstone every year:

    1. Bears-grizzly’s continue to expand their territory outside of Yellowstone each year. Bells, bear spray and adhering to appropriate warning signs should be good. Just be bear aware. Taurus judge .410 is one of the best bear guns, just make sure your CCW has reciprocity within the states your traveling. First recommendation I have seen for this. Not doubting you by any means.

    2. Bison- every year some jackass gets flown out of the parks after approaching one of these beasts. Incredible to see in the wild, but powerful. I’ve seen them take bumpers off cars in the park. Research indicates keep distance. How much of an issue?

    3. BIGGEST THREAT: ticks and mosquitos. We’re having a bumper crop this year. Permethrin, deet, and skin checks are warranted at the end of a great hike. Good to know.

    4. Hydrate! This is high desert country. I see more folks get dehydrated each year. check

    Best time for wildlife viewing: dusk and dawn. Watching the elk and bison herds on the move during sunrise is breathtaking!Check

    Enjoy your family trip. Yellowstone is one of our favorite places!!!

    Couldn’t get it to come out the way I intended.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43623
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    In Colorado there are two poisonous spiders the black widow and the brown recluse. The black widow is common in wood piles, crawl spaces, garages. The brown recluse is crawl space, basement, rafters etc. The bites are painful and with the recluse the resulting flesh rot is often substantial.

    Same in SC, but good info to know.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43624
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    The rattlesnake is the most common poisonous snake in Colorado. It like most snakes likes to sun itself on rocks and roads in the prairies/Plains. The rattlesnake is sometimes confused with bull snake. They are less common in the high rockies but still there. The babies are the dangerous ones. Sometimes they don’t rattle and will often blow their whole venom load in one bite.

    Same +all other venomous snakes in SC, but still good info to know. What I am looking for.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43625
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    Colorado is home to numerous four legged creatures. The most common animal you might have a problem with while camping (other than mice and squirrels) is the black bear. They are used to people and have a taste for human food because of poor campsite discipline. They are not real big and can often be dispatched with a concealed handgun (357 or auto loaded with good shot placement) in the event of an attack. They can be any color. Black, brown, grayish, cinnamon, whiteish.

    SO we have black bear in SC as well, but they are about the size of a large dog. From what I have read on the ‘net (yeah I know how that goes) Black bear can be predatory whereas brown bear are territorial.

    In your opinion, how big of an issue is it?

    FWIW, while camping in SC and NC I use standard bear precautions.

    The purpose of this thread is just picking people’s brains to see what I can see.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43627
    Profile photo of Justin
    osozorro
    Participant

    In my neck of the Plains, the two legged predators are the biggest concern. I live in Pueblo, CO and we’re the herion capitol of the state. We’ve even made the national news. So proud (sarcasm). Have any questions about Colorado specifically feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to help. If the shtf while your out and about there’s a few alumni in the southern Colorado area. Safe travels.

    #43628
    Profile photo of Idaho Cajun
    idahocajun
    Participant

    Hey Duane,

    With regards to the bison, elk, moose, etc…distance is key. If memory serves, the park recommends 25-50 yards and do NOT approach, or keep some idiot in between you and the animal…jk. They don’t mess with cars that are parked, the few times I’ve seen issue is on the road (bison herds have learned to travel on same roads as vehicles) and some jackass decides to honk or approach a bull…bull wins. Also, the geothermal pools, etc are no joke. Some guy legitimately dissolved in one last year. Again, Yellowstone is incredible, but it is wilderness filled with wild animals, common sense will keep you and your family safe!

    #43629
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    In my neck of the Plains, the two legged predators are the biggest concern. I live in Pueblo, CO and we’re the herion capitol of the state. We’ve even made the national news. So proud (sarcasm). Have any questions about Colorado specifically feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to help. If the shtf while your out and about there’s a few alumni in the southern Colorado area. Safe travels.

    Good info to know.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43630
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    Hey Duane,

    With regards to the bison, elk, moose, etc…distance is key. If memory serves, the park recommends 25-50 yards and do NOT approach, or keep some idiot in between you and the animal…jk. They don’t mess with cars that are parked, the few times I’ve seen issue is on the road (bison herds have learned to travel on same roads as vehicles) and some jackass decides to honk or approach a bull…bull wins. Also, the geothermal pools, etc are no joke. Some guy legitimately dissolved in one last year. Again, Yellowstone is incredible, but it is wilderness filled with wild animals, common sense will keep you and your family safe!

    Paranoia is a survival trait!

    I read about the guy that dissolved. I think the pool was acidic too.

    Reminds me, I need to get another can of DEET.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43631
    Profile photo of Mike H
    Mike H
    Participant

    My experience in Yellowstone is day travel can be 4x the estimated time shown on sites like mapquest. Bison and wildlife gawkers really slow down travel. Garbage disipline plus watching your own critters closely are a must.

    “That’s all what is left?? These aren’t men, they are devils!"

    Colonel Milan 30 April 1863 aftermath of the Battle of Camaron

    CRCD March '14, CP May '15
    CTT Dec. '15, CTT(Idaho) '17

    #43632
    Profile photo of Justin
    osozorro
    Participant

    So long as you practice good precautions, the bear will go to the campsite next to yours. I’ve gone to several campgrounds with bear problems and have had no issues because we secure our, food, police up our trash, cook away from where we sleep, common (not so common) sense.

    #43634
    Profile photo of Justin
    osozorro
    Participant

    Another thingood to think about depending on yourocks destination and yourecommend starting place is altitude sickness. I’ve had family from Texas fall prey to this and ruin a good vacation. Staying hydrated helps but keep an eye you open for symptoms. Check altitude sickness on WebMD or similar.

    #43637
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    I have been studying bear and wolf behavior for more than 50 years, with bears being the primary subject. I live with them and sometimes sleep with them (Yes, they do snore loudly). After studying thousands of bears and their interaction with each other and with other species, I’ve written some notes on conclusions.

    I don’t know how to copy and paste onto this forum, so here is the single most important thing you need to know about bears, wolves, and other large (Either as individual size or the Pack size as in wolves) predators. When confronted never ever retreat, not even slowly, don’t retreat. You are simply triggering their natural instinct to chase and subdue. They will chase and subdue even if they are not hungry, it is just their nature. Much of what is written and advised about bear encounters is wrong. Sadly.

    #43639
    Profile photo of DuaneH
    DuaneH
    Participant

    Another thingood to think about depending on yourocks destination and yourecommend starting place is altitude sickness. I’ve had family from Texas fall prey to this and ruin a good vacation. Staying hydrated helps but keep an eye you open for symptoms. Check altitude sickness on WebMD or similar.

    Never even crossed my mind. Glad you mentioned it. We are east coast sea level type, BUT we have spent days at 4000 feet with no problems.

    However, our trip will take us places for days at a time with elevations greater than 8k although we will be acclimatizing at 6k for a couple of days first

    So yeah, I’ll be on the lookout and add some diamox and dexamethasone to my med bag.

    Appleseed.
    NOV2008 IBC
    OCT2009 FT Stewart
    OCT2010 RBC Known Distance Rifleman
    OCT2014&2015 Long Distance Rifleman
    JUN2015 1000 Yds

    I.C.E/JAN2011 Combat Focus Shooting

    Tactical Response
    JUN2009 Fighting Pistol
    JUL2009 Fighting Rifle
    AUG2010 Immediate Action Medical
    NOV2012 Way of the Rifle

    Mountain Guerrilla/JUN2013-Irregular Warfare

    MVT
    SEP2013&2014-CRCD
    OCT2014-CP
    MAR2015-RC1=RIFLEMAN!
    AUG2015-CCC
    SEP2016-CTT
    OCT2016-FOF
    TEAM COYOTE!

    #43649
    Profile photo of RonW
    farmer
    Participant

    I spent 5 months in WY in 2001. Where I was staying, 27 miles North of Gillette, WY, I saw mountain lion tracks & kill bones where had to get water. They showed up during the nite a couple times. Also CLOSE encounter with a rattlesnake. Luckily just rattled at me- no strike.

    Visited Yellowstone, I got within 20 -30 feet to a female elk. No issues. 20 minutes later, I heard of a guy that got attacked by same female elk.

    farmer

    RonW

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