Why I Love "Close Calls" - Dealing With Dangerous Animals Part 1

An optimist is someone who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery
— Walter Winchell

The other week I posted one of my old stories about the mountain lion that walked next to my shelter in the middle of the night. For those of you who missed it, it's a pretty simple story. I woke up one morning in the mountains of southern Arizona to find tracks from a MOUNTAIN LION going right through my camp, passing about 5 feet from where I was sleeping beneath a torn up army poncho. 

It didn't tear my head off or go for my limbs for a nice (slightly gamey) midnight snack. It just walked on by, minding its own business. 

I had a similar experience during my first night in the north Maine woods. I pitched my tent (this was in the old days when I used one of those things) and after a solid 8 hours of peaceful rest I awoke to find a massive moose track just 3 feet from my shelter. From the looks of it, it was larger than your average bull moose. For context, I have large hands, and I wear size XL gloves. You know what they say about big hands... big moose tracks. 

(On a side note  I was once woken up at 4am by a huge tom turkey that was also a few feet from my shelter. It wasn't a life threatening experience but c'mon man, are you really up at 4am looking for some tail? Turkeys...)

I love the fearful saying "there's something out there!" It's often heard while spending a night in the woods with inexperienced woodsmen. The fact is, of course there's something out there! You're in the woods! The wilderness if full of predators, and creepy crawlies. It's also full of medicinal plants, beautiful landscapes, and life giving springs. 

Dangerous animals should never prevent anyone from having a great time in the woods. If you know how to deal with them, there's usually nothing to worry about. That's why I decided to write this new series on the blog. 

I decided to kick things of by explaining why I love these "close calls" so much. It's because predators have had the opportunity to take my life on multiple occasions, but they've never bothered. In most regions, the reality is that they'd rather have nothing to do with humans. They'd rather mind their own business, and go about doing what they do best. Living in their home environment, eating wild foods, and pooping wherever they want. That actually sounds like an awesome lifestyle...

The point that I'm trying to make here is that no matter what people or tv networks say, most predators won't go out of their way to attack you. It's as simple as that. 

I love these "close calls" because they give me an incredible peace of mind while I'm sleeping in the bush. 

Am I crazy for this? Probably.

I look forward to expanding this series with some very practical/informative opinions on how to act in carnivore country. As always, thank you for reading, and have fun in the woods!


Have you ever had a run in with a moose or large carnivore? If so, How did it go? Let me know in the comments below!

Did you enjoy this post? If so, give it a share! I'd really appreciate it!

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Sam is a writer, adventurer, and founder of Woodsong. In 2011 his practical experiences over many nights in remote wilderness areas inspired him to start this blog! Sam’s adventures have lead him throughout North America where he has had the opportunity to learn from world-class outdoorsmen, and perhaps the greatest teacher of all, the natural world.


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Disclaimer: The following blog post is just the opinion of one strange outdoorsman. Nothing in this blog suggests that it will remove or decrease the risks involved with encountering large carnivores, bull moose, mother-in-laws, or hipsters. For our official disclaimer, click here

Sam Larson1 Comment