Wildlife Encounters - Post Yours Here

Everybody's responses to my rattler post inspired me to start a more general thread on wildlife encounters. Most of the TT'rs have been riding a long time. Couple that to their colorful writing style and we have the recipe for some fun reading.

Here's my shot at it:

Having ridden dirt bikes for more than 20 years, it's no surprise that I have had my fair share of wildlife encounters while out on the trail.

Many years ago my family used to own a summer cabin in the mountains east of Heber City, UT (Timber Lakes). It was a beautiful area with large aspens and spruce trees and tons of wildlife. It was not uncommon to see moose, deer, and a variety of other critters.

I once accidently ran over a marmot while riding. He ran out in the road in front of me. I successfully lofted the front end over him, but he got caught in the rear wheel. He rolled a good 20 feet or so, got up and shook himself off and ran into the brush. I hope he was OK. He looked as surprised as I did.

The scariest incident I ever had involved a mule deer. I came around a corner and he was standing right in the middle of the road. I grabbed both brakes and threw my weight to the rear in an effort to stop. Fortunately, I avoided hitting him as it likely would have been bad for both of us (I once saw a street bike hit a cow at about 40MPH and it wasn't pretty).

Those are some good memories of my earliest riding days and first bikes (Yamaha MX175s, GT80s, IT175s) ahhhh the good old days.

Later. :)

4 Kangaroos (on separate occasions),1 Brown snake and a Possum.

The only wildlife that I have seen is when a friend of mine and I were at Five Mile and we came upon a topless rider on a fourwheeler. Talk about deer in the headlights :)

I see rattlers and black tail deer on occasion where we normally ride. While on a trip to Jawbone I saw a tortoise (sp?) that wasn’t in much of a hurry to get anywhere.

The only wildlife that I have seen is when a friend of mine and I were at Five Mile and we came upon a topless rider on a fourwheeler. Talk about deer in the headlights :D

That'll teach her to ride the whoops in a bikini!! :)

Two weeks ago, two fully-grown mountain lions crossed the trail not more than 30 yards in front of us. We stopped right there and watched them but they had no intentions of sticking around (and we didn't either!)

I live on the Kenai pennisula in Alaska. I was riding my WR450F on the hillside above a town called Homer this past spring. Spring just happens to be the time that the moose give birth to their young and coincides exactly when we Alaskans finally get the opportunity to get a ride in after a long winter. The trail I was on was still rather sloppy from the recent snow melt but hey, I was riding! I snaked along the base of this 800 foot tall hill gaining altitude as the trail allowed. The slippery conditions were making it a challenge even with the ample horsepower and the new knobby the barely ridden uncorked bike possessed. The trail took a severe turn through a partially open area and headed straight uphill at a steep angle for about 80-100yards; The trail dissappeared over the horizon and it was impossible to see over the top. I blasted up and came upon a mother moose bedded down with a month old calf lying right on the trail. Now, as you know, moose are large creatures which are given a wide berth by the wise, this coupled with the fact that the mothers are super protective of their young. The have been know to trample to DEATH the unknowning. Well, to make an already long story short, this pissed off 600-700 pound, 5 foot at the shoulder mother moose charged right towards me. The calf took off running down the trail the direction I was heading. No area or time for a u-turn. I pulled in the clutch and tried revving the motor a couple of times basically to scare her away. It didn't work. She was not bluffing me, the fur on the back of her neck was perked up to make her appearance seem larger and her ears were pinned back. I assure you, none of these measures were needed for me to get her message. :) The gap between us was closing down rapidly. This all happened in what seemed like milliseconds(funny that time does seem to slow down in crisis situations). I found a space between the trees and headed off trail for it. I did a little bark busting and skirted the area till I could get back to the trail. From the time I had headed off trail till I returned, I never looked back to see what the mom was doing. My tail was tucked and I was in escape mode. I headed straight home after that, cracked a cool one and haven't taken that trail again since.

Last month we ran into a Tweaker guy at a gas station in Dayton NV. Said he needed money and told me hed kill me when I turned him down. He had 2 teeth so I think thas what he said....pretty wild.


I see lots of bear and dear up my way. Oh and Ive been running over lots of chipmunks lately on the bike. :)

At Hollister Hills in norcal:

Mountain lions (2)

Bobcats (dozens)

Golden Eagles (migrating through with young white-tips)


Mule deer (2 males)

White tail deer

Red fox (1), gray fox (lots) kit fox (a couple)

Wild pigs - several huge boars

Just to name a few...

But the most adrenaline memorable was a boar. I mostly ride alone during the week. About 10 years ago I pulled over on a hilltop trail to rest and look down over the valley below. Got off the bike, and was just standing there gazing out at the sights for about 4-5 minutes. I turned around and "whoa mama" there was a 150-200 lb boar right behind me! We instantly levitated in sync about 3 feet in the air while he let out the most god-awful noise I'd ever heard - kinda like a cross between a loud bee and a super-snort! Both of us hightailed off in different directions till the red-haze cleared and I remembered who and what I was.

I guess he didn't notice me standing there quietly and walked up right behind me from the brush. WOW.

Another funny story: I was hiking in norcal's Henry Coe park early in the morning just a little past daybreak. I was the only one there and it was very foggy. I was coming back in after a good hike and I could see a german shepherd walking along the trail in front of me, by about 30 yards or so. I was wondering who would let their dog out in the park - it wasn't the right thing to do, blah, blah. Anyway I followed it for about five minutes until I got close enough to see that it wasn't a dog at all! It was a large male mountain lion! OOPS! It stopped in its tracks turned around and gave me a "bring it on, AXXhole" look. Needless to say, I stayed put for about 15 minutes until I felt safe to SLOWLY proceed. I talked to the rangers about it later and they said that the park had about a dozen big cats at the time.

Being out there can become an adventure without notice - riding or hiking. :)

I t-boned a dalmation which resulted in it's death and my injuries; does that count as a wildlife encounter?

I once saw 17 wild boar running in a pack while out riding.

I chased a cute little fawn down a fire trail for about 50 yards, and then it jumped off the trail and laid down in some bushes. I pulled up next to it about 3-4 feet away and laid there looking at me. So I roosted it and stuffed some dust down it's throat and kept going,j/k. :)

Went for an early morning tootle (36 mile loop), by myself, last year. I was in a groove 3/4 in to the ride, came around a fairly tight corner, and something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. Reacting, I stopped. I looked up and about 15 feet up on a little grass ledge and about 25 feet up or so was a Gloden Eagle. WOW. It was awesome. It looked at me for a few seconds then flew right over my head. What an experience. I could of smacked him with a pool cue as he flew over... seemed like anyway. I woo hoo'd to myself and ripped on. I kept telling myself, "this is what it is all about!"

I see a wolverine every once in a while... always seems to come into my house the same time as my wife has... that time of the month. Funny, she is never there to see it. I need to get out more because I didn't know we had those species in Idaho until I got married.:)

OT: When we run up and down the Snake river duck hunting there are lots of Bald Eagles perched up waiting for fish. Georgous birds!!!


I hunt off mine, we hunt wild hogs at night at our ranch. See lots of wildlife at night, too much to name.

The one I most remember is riding a trail in deep woods and coming around a corner face to face with a mountain lion about 20ft away sitting in the middle of the trail. I shut down the bike and sat there, we were both just looking at each other for a bit then the lion just got up and turned around and walked off down the trail, not a care in world. I turned around and went the other way.

As an after thought; I on ride alone on ocaison and worry more about the poeple I might run into out in the wild than any form of wildlife.

While riding above tree line in CO, me and two buddies came up to the top of a hill and found ourselves in the middle of a small group of mountain goats. The small ones started to walk towards us, but their mommy chased them back. I had time to snap a picture(wishing right now I had scanned it in already.) One Moose in N.Idaho. Too many deer to count.

One night in the mountains of northeast Oregon, I hit an Elk,...then hit a deer 5 minutes later! Not on a bike, but a ford escort, but thought you might find it interesting anyway. By the way, if it ever happens to you, honesty is not the best policy, as my frickin' insurance company made me pay my deductable twice!


Sock, your signature image size of 222K is too much for this old, slow computer of mine. Takes forever to load the forum. Thanks :)

While riding last week end (6th of July) I almost ran into a medium sized black bear, he wanted to cross the trail ahead of me, if I hadn't almost stopped he would have hit me at a 45 degree angle from the right rear. After I started to pickup speed I encountered a hen Grouse and 3 chicks then later in the day I moved a Black tailed deer out of the road I was on. I was checking the PROSPECT DUAL SPORT course for fallen trees and brush. Three weeks bef

ore I saw 2 black bears in a differant part of So. Oregon, down near the California border. It is always nice to see wildlife .


Wow! There are some great wildlife stories here. Good thread.

On my WR the list is as follows:


1) A number of wild turkeys early in the morning

2) A whitetail deer that darted between my buddy and I as we were travelling single file down a fire road at high speed. I had to swerve to avoid hitting her. The guys I was riding with both in front and behind never saw a thing.

While mountain biking:


1) A cinnamon coloured black bear two feet away from me

2) A grizzly 100 yds away the following day...wow what a sight!


3) A Massassauga Rattlesnake sunning itself in the middle of a single track trail. For you westerners, rattlers are extremely rare in this neck of the woods. He signalled his displeasure as I swerved to avoid him.

4) and the scariest one...my wife and I unexpectedly happened upon a Moose calf right next to our trail only to notice that we were riding between it and the mother who was hidden in the forest only 10 feet away. Luckily we were smart enough not to stop! Mtn. bikes just don't have the get out of trouble potential of my WR! :)

Just the usual encounters, whitetail deer, turkey, rabbits, and other small rodents but after I read your rattler story and seeing this huge black snake as big around as your forearm and longer than I care to remember near this rock creek crossing sure made me watch the ground way more than I had been especially when putting my foot down. After seeing that one I got an unusual chill and almost went home but I didn't I kept on moving dirt.

I've seen most of what everybody else has seen(hey I live in the mountains) but the coolest was a Great Horned Owl. This thing must of been 2.5 to 3' tall, huge head. You could hear the wings flapping from 50yds away. Tres Cool

As an after thought; I on ride alone on ocaison and worry more about the poeple I might run into out in the wild than any form of wildlife.

That's exactly how I see it.

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