Author Topic: Campfire Tales  (Read 124 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline boomer

  • Whetstone +
  • **
  • Posts: 325
Campfire Tales
« on: August 24, 2022, 10:11:36 AM »
Animals wild and otherwise can surprise outdoors folks , especially woods loungers who tend to be a bit more observant of Nature. Tales, sometimes mostly true but always entertaining, about surprising encounters are
are a staple of camping. This one is as true as memory permits.

I used to mostly go solo in the sticks for a few reasons but might take a dog on occasion. Backpacking solo and fishing a river in a high desert wilderness area some years ago was a favorite way to go. A couple days in I had landed a couple or three nice trout for dinner. On fishing trips I never carried any supplemental food other than jerky so things were looking good that day. The river wasn't all that wide and not all that deep anywhere but it was the only river around. Everything pays attention to a river in the desert country.

I was pleased with the stinger (actually a stick) at hand and considering camping options with a hammock and tarp set up as usual when a loud flapping could be heard over the noise of moving water.  I looked across and a bit upstream and there were two very large Golden Eagles standing and watching. Guessing they had seen the stringer in the water I walked back to it as one began hopping towards the water.

I watched them and they watched back with only a blink now and then but otherwise all was quiet. This went on for a while. I had landed a another trout just as they came to inspect the goings on so I eventually tossed it across the twenty feet or less separating us.  One hopped right on it but waited, both still staring. It seemed they were figuring on charging a tax for using their river so I took a trout off the stringer and tossed that to the other eagle who hopped right on it as well.

That satisfied them and with a couple of flaps from huge wings they took off and headed down stream each carrying what had been a part of my dinner. The experience was well worth the price.

I'm not one who feeds wild animals for obvious reasons. In wilderness areas animals are rarely well habituated to people if at all and have much less fear of humans. They tend to be more curious in general in my experience even if game animals know about hunting season everywhere.

And no matter where we go there's always taxes.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2022, 10:23:10 AM by boomer »

Offline Moe M.

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 9154
Re: Campfire Tales
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2022, 06:07:24 AM »
Animals wild and otherwise can surprise outdoors folks , especially woods loungers who tend to be a bit more observant of Nature. Tales, sometimes mostly true but always entertaining, about surprising encounters are
are a staple of camping. This one is as true as memory permits.

I used to mostly go solo in the sticks for a few reasons but might take a dog on occasion. Backpacking solo and fishing a river in a high desert wilderness area some years ago was a favorite way to go. A couple days in I had landed a couple or three nice trout for dinner. On fishing trips I never carried any supplemental food other than jerky so things were looking good that day. The river wasn't all that wide and not all that deep anywhere but it was the only river around. Everything pays attention to a river in the desert country.

I was pleased with the stinger (actually a stick) at hand and considering camping options with a hammock and tarp set up as usual when a loud flapping could be heard over the noise of moving water.  I looked across and a bit upstream and there were two very large Golden Eagles standing and watching. Guessing they had seen the stringer in the water I walked back to it as one began hopping towards the water.

I watched them and they watched back with only a blink now and then but otherwise all was quiet. This went on for a while. I had landed a another trout just as they came to inspect the goings on so I eventually tossed it across the twenty feet or less separating us.  One hopped right on it but waited, both still staring. It seemed they were figuring on charging a tax for using their river so I took a trout off the stringer and tossed that to the other eagle who hopped right on it as well.

That satisfied them and with a couple of flaps from huge wings they took off and headed down stream each carrying what had been a part of my dinner. The experience was well worth the price.

I'm not one who feeds wild animals for obvious reasons. In wilderness areas animals are rarely well habituated to people if at all and have much less fear of humans. They tend to be more curious in general in my experience even if game animals know about hunting season everywhere.

And no matter where we go there's always taxes.

   :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline boomer

  • Whetstone +
  • **
  • Posts: 325
Re: Campfire Tales
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2022, 02:36:46 PM »
Just a bit ago, a few years before Covid,  i was fishing in a Wilderness A rea in the Southern Rockies. The Wilderness Area boundary on the East  is a modest size fast water river cutting through a steep canyon.  Where I parked was about twenty miles in on an once in a while but mostly not maintained rough dirt road on the West or opposite side of the canyon.

After attempting to threatening the trout to no avail i marched back to the boundary and across to an undeveloped parking/camping area at the top of the opposite side of the canyon. My truck, an old stock F150XL, was the only vehicle and I was the only human around  as far as I know. At least I hadn't seen anyone in days.

Took off the wet clothes and set them in the sun and settled down  on the tailgate to read a couple days old paper I picked up on the way in to scan the news and classifieds. I learned long ago the classifieds can tell a lot about the community local papers cover. That's also usually close to the comics in smaller circulation papers

The sun felt good and sitting in the middle of the tailgate with legs dangling was pretty nice. I was reading about some local drama of little consequence when  a islight movement in my peripheral vision caught my attention. I waited and a big old bear head poked around the corner of the truck bed and stared right at me. That bear was full head high with the tailgate and I could have reached out and touched his nose. I recognized it was a black bear albeit a big one. Looked just like a teddy bear except really big and really close.

He stood and looked and I looked back. I'm not sure who was more amused, me on seeing that curious bear or the bear on seeing an old guy without boots, socks or pants reading a newspaper. He gave a sniff or two so did I. I never felt threatened and clearly that bear didn't so we just waited checking each other out. He seemed pretty interested in the paper I was holding though.

After a few minutes or so I rustled the paper very slightly and pretended to look st it keeping my peripheral peeled.

The bear just turned away when I did and slowly moved to the canyon edge and headed downslope to a big old fallen tree. There he began nosing around for whatever he was hoping to find at the time.  I put on my almost dry by rhen boots and watched from the canyon edge as he nosed around for a while than continued downhill and across the river back into the wilderness area. He was soon lost from sight in the forest.

I think that bear might have wanted to get a closer look at that paper. But I hold on to a paper until I read the funnies. Always have.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2022, 02:43:16 PM by boomer »

Offline crashdive123

  • Global Moderator
  • Water Stone
  • *****
  • Posts: 4730
Re: Campfire Tales
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2022, 07:24:28 PM »
Speaking of bears.

I was at a state campground several years ago.  Had a great tent site and soon made friends with the couple across the road from me.

After a few adult beverages we all decided that an early retirement was in store for the night.

We grabbed our trash bags and headed to the dumpster since bears are fairly prevelant in the forest.  We were all wearing headlamps, but due to the full moon, we left them off.

There was a noise around the dumpster, so we stopped to see if we could get a closer look as to what was causing it.

It was a good sized black bear....probably about 400 lbs.  We watched it slide open the side door on the dumpster and climb in.  It tossed out several bags of trash and climbed out.  It then proceded to rumage through the trash it had thrown out. 

The couple that had been there over a week stated that it came in every night to do this.

While we were watching in the moonlight, a gentleman and his dog walked past the bear and came toward us.  When he got to us he asked what was going on.  We turned on our lights to reveal the large bear that he and his dog had just walked past.  He stared for a bit.....looked down at his dog and stated......"you're fired!"