Don’t mess with the wildlife

There I was, flat on my back with this incredible weight pressing my shoulders into the dirt. When I opened my eyes, all I could see was massive long teeth and feel the hot breath coming from the mouth of a large brown Grizzly bear. How did I get here? I remember going to bed in my nice warm sleeping bag in my cozy tent. Next thing I know is that I’m pinned to the grown by this large snarling Grizzly who seems intent on having me for his midnight snack. He must have pulled me from my tent. I’m gripped by fear and begin to scream for help not knowing if I’m the only one left alive in camp. Suddenly I feel this slap on the side of my face and hear, “Brad wake up. You’re screaming and having a bad dream”. Normally I don’t like for my wife to slap me, but this time it is okay. Thank God, it was only a dream!

Well, that didn’t really happen. I’ve never dreamed about being attacked by a Grizzly, but unfortunately there have been real life attacks by Grizzly and Black Bears. It was only last year that some tent campers were attacked by a rogue Grizzly. If my memory serves me well, I believe that one person was killed a one or more injured.

The reason I bring this up is that this is the time of year when thousands of city dwellers venture off to the mountains for camping adventures. That includes me but I don’t do tent camping. But the rule of “don’t feed or mess with the wildlife” applies to all of us. When you are in the wild, you are in the animals home. Even in populated areas, wildlife sometimes wander into town. You are always told to not feed the animals and if they come into town or into your area, give them plenty of room. Wild animals are unpredictable!

I have only had one occasion where I came across a bear while hiking in the National Forest in southern Colorado. I was hiking with my wife and some other friends when  our dog got wind of the bear. We left the bear alone and he/she did the same. It is usually only when a wild animal feels threatened that they will come after you. I said usually, so every circumstance can be different.

In the city of Estes Park, Colorado there are hundreds of Elk that visit the city every year. Estes valley is a natural home for the Elk, so they come there every year. We go to Estes Park each year and see the Elk come into town. It is truly an interesting experience to be in a city among the Elk. We give them plenty of room. Watch the video below to see what happens when the tourists get too close to bull Elks during the matting season.


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