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HermitThrush
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PostFri Feb 23, 2018 4:01 pm 
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This is actually sort of curious to me. Perhaps when we are out in the woods are senses are so tuned in to listening that we can perceive even the slightest deviation from the norm.

I felt something like what you all are talking about while camping at Foggy Dew Campground in the Methow, but pushed through it (thank heavens I was camped next to a creek for some white noise). Had my knife nearby, though, and my bear spray. Ha!

I suppose many of the things we perceive are animals (biological sense of predators?) but do you suppose our senses may be tuned in to something else in some places? I'm a committed Christian - consequently, I believe, at least to some extent, that there are levels of reality we can't see, but that sometimes we can perceive. Could that be part of it?
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fourteen410
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PostFri Feb 23, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Well, someone did write a book about a similar experience at Ape Caves  wink.gif

The Ape Cave Horror
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l'Emmerdeur
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PostFri Feb 23, 2018 8:10 pm 
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I've had that feeling a few times in all my years of soloing.  Nothing quite like when something stumbled into the side of my tent and landed on me in the middle of the night up on Ingalls Creek.  Made getting back to sleep a bit of a challenge...  eek.gif

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texasbb
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PostFri Feb 23, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Just stay out of the woods on still days/nights.  Nothing stalks you on the trail or tiptoes around the tent if it's windy.
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Pyrites
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 1:22 am 
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tinman wrote:
I've had that feeling a few times and it seems it was always cougars.  Both times I saw their tracks when I turned around and headed back to the truck.  Never saw them, although I have seen many cougars at other times, but always had that sense that something was following me. Many years ago, while deer hunting, I watched a cougar follow another hunter below me for about 1/2 a mile, stopped whenever the hunter stopped and eventually walked right behind the hunter when she stopped and sat on a stump.  She never saw or heard it from what I can tell.

Ive seen cougar tracks right over my tracks in snow. The one that because of minute or two of pellet snow I was best able to fix time I was tracking a mule deer. That track was immediately fresh too. Was cougar more interested in me or deer. Id stopped and ate half a sandwich to let the track rest. Of course as a teen boy half a sandwich was downed all the time.

Then backed up my own track with intent of going parallel, not directly behind deer. Cougar had followed to about a hundred feet. At 100 feet there wasnt continuous visibility. In that 10-14 timber on the Fraser Plateau.

When young I walked a lot at night. Neat to get right in the middle of elk. But only a couple times had that feeling.

Theres a reason why Id never, ever, listen to music on lonely trails.

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Hesman
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 2:40 am 
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Pyrites wrote:
Theres a reason why Id never, ever, listen to music on lonely trails.

I have never understood the need to fill your ears with music, etc. while hiking. I never do because Im there to hear the sounds around me and hopefully hear that cougar following me. I have listened to the radio while going on walks around my neighborhood and always got spooked by the vehicle I never heard coming.

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Kim Brown
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 9:47 am 
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l'Emmerdeur wrote:
I've had that feeling a few times in all my years of soloing.  Nothing quite like when something stumbled into the side of my tent and landed on me in the middle of the night up on Ingalls Creek.  Made getting back to sleep a bit of a challenge...  eek.gif

Oh, that was your tent? Sorry, mate.

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Schroder
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 10:00 am 
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I get followed all the time

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zephyr
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Schroder wrote:
I get followed all the time


              Yowza. paranoid.gif   ~z
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moonspots
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 6:31 pm 
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Schroder wrote:
I get followed all the time


I worry most about cougars, my wife wouldn't like it much if one caught up with me.... hockeygrin.gif

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Just_Some_Hiker
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 8:51 pm 
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I've been followed by cougars a couple times, so yeah.
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CarriesNineFires
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 10:20 pm 
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Cascade bears don't stalk people, nor do Cascade cougars. At least not with the intention of attacking. But that doesn't mean they're not following you. Who knows their thoughts? The cougars could be expecting that you will lead them to a deer because they've figured out the hunters, or maybe they just like to travel easy along a trail just like you do (likely). And I'm thinking that they don't mind being close to you because they know they can easily escape at any moment: cougars are masters of their environment. The bears are definitely attuned to the likelihood of a human's possession of delicious foodstuffs and that could well be the bear's motive.

I've spent hundreds of nights in a tent or on the ground, and countless miles on trails and I still get that uneasy feeling from time to time. I know that, statistically, I'm far safer in the mountains than in Seattle but that weird feeling comes up and it's just a mind game. When's the last time you heard of a violent animal encounter in these parts, notwithstanding the outlier of the weird fatal mountain goat attack a few years ago?

That queasy feeling of being followed should be looked at as an interesting experience rather than a threat.
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 10:38 pm 
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Used to be followed by cougars a lot in the Olympics, no tracks on way up but tracks on way down. A young Grizz followed us once in the Canadian Rockies but may have just been headed in the same direction near Floe Lake. In college we used to hike op to climbs on Friday night and saw lots of eyes, spooky but not dangerous.

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SwitchbackFisher
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PostTue Feb 27, 2018 8:11 pm 
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I think the worst is after a hunt or before when it is pitch black and I'm trying not to use light so I don't scare anything in area for morning hunts. In North Dakota I have kicked up pheasants and they make a racket... Most terrifying thing ever lol. When it's dark they don't pop up till you just about step on the either.

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moonspots
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 7:07 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
...and saw lots of eyes, spooky but not dangerous.

I thought I was being stalked one night by the sight of "eyes" heading directly my way. I was about 10' up a radio tower raking measurements and as I was about to descend, I saw two yellow eyes coming directly toward me. Dog, I thought. Behind me about 1/8 mile was a farm implement dealer and the security light was shining in the eyes I figured. Then the eyes drifted apart from each other... "2 one eyed dogs" I wondered? That couldn't be, far too unlikely. Then they flew past me - two fireflies! Weird, as they almost never show up in ND. In 47 years, I've seen fireflies just two or three times.

And as for pheasants, yes indeed they are the most fun game bird! They do wake you up.

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