As the weather cools and winter approaches, all kinds of wildlife become more active in order to prepare for the cold of winter. When you’re hiking in the fall, wildlife encounters may become more frequent because of this increased activity.
It’s always fun to run across a whitetail deer when you ease around a curve in the trail or top a hill quietly.
Most of these wildlife encounters will not be dangerous to you, but some have the potential for danger. Most animals avoid humans.
Most likely, one of those wildlife encounters you’ll see will be a lot more squirrels running along the limbs of trees to get to nuts on the ends of those limbs. Or, you may see more of them digging on the ground to get at those nuts that have already fallen.
But there are those larger animals that are also more active in the fall. If you have wildlife encounters with one of these animals, there are some possible dangers.
In general, when you have wildlife encounters with larger animals, keep calm. Don’t run from them because running too often signals the animals that you’re some kind of prey, and they will come after you. Also, you could fall and injure yourself if you run.
Rarely, you’ll have one of the wildlife encounters with a bear. Your best protection against this is to make a lot of noise as you hike. Especially talk a lot and loudly. Bears will typically avoid you if they hear the human voice.
If there is a chance of running into a bear, there is safety in numbers. Check with rangers or other officials in the area where you’re planning to hike to see if there is a chance of having one of your wildlife encounters with a bear.
If you see a bear, stay together as a group. Get in close and make yourselves look bigger. Back slowly away from the bear, talking to it so it knows you’re a human. Keep it in sight and give it lots of room.
A large animal that causes more human injuries than bears is a moose. Again, it may not be likely that you’ll have one of your wildlife encounters with a moose but be prepared.
Give the moose a lot of room and watch for signs of aggression. Make noise, so the moose knows where you are. Keep any pets close and quiet. Let the moose move off away from you.
Of equal danger is one form of small wildlife. Ticks. Be sure to check yourself and your kids for ticks every time you get outdoors. This is one of those wildlife encounters you want to stay aware of. Ticks can carry lyme disease, a particularly dangerous illness.
Regardless of whether you have wildlife encounters or not, you need a great place to stay when you’re getting outside in the fall. There is no better place to return to after a day of hiking in the Mount Sunapee area than Follansbee Inn. Call 603.927.4221. Or visit www.follansbeeinn.com. Come see us along the shores of Kezar Lake for an enjoyable and relaxing time.