May 1, 2013
Alabama turkey hunter Chad Cross faced a terrifying situation last Sunday when a trek through the woods brought him facing a six-foot timber rattlesnake, one of the most dangerous and venomous snakes in North America. While experts attribute relatively mild behavior to the timber rattlesnake, it more than makes up for this with its large size, deep-biting fangs and lethal venom. The species is common throughout the eastern half of the United States and it is heavily advisable to give the animal a wide berth when discovered. Unfortunately, the snake can be easy to overlook except when it rattles.
According to WSFA, the snake struck Cross in the lower leg and bit straight through his hunting boot. The hunter described the pain as being comparable to being hit with a baseball bat.
“I was so nervous and scared. I knew I had to calm down and get my heart rate down because the faster my heart was pumping, the faster my heart was pumping I knew the faster that venom was going through my system,” Cross said.
Wildlife officials urge those bitten by a rattlesnake to seek medical attention at least within one hour of the bite. Far away from transport, Cross had to act quickly. He pulled out his emergency bite and sting kit, a $10 purchase at a local outdoor store.
“I had to read the directions first because I never opened it up. I’ve carried it with me in my turkey hunting equipment for years. The process takes a total of 15 minutes and then it says to get somewhere with anti-venom,” Cross said. Inside the kit was a device resembling a syringe-shaped suction tube, which is meant to isolate the venom if used quickly. Cross placed it over the bite and pushed down on the device, trapping a portion of skin and the venom inside.
It saved his life. At a nearby hospital a doctor told Cross that a full dose of venom could have killed him before he even reached his truck, much less drive to the facility and receive treatment. The hunter stayed in the hospital for two days and was treated for the bite. No permanent damage seems to have been received and Cross is already back on his feet. He looks forward to the rest of turkey season and hopes to bag a few birds before it ends. Cross also advises hunters to buy a bite kit, which in hindsight he felt was a very valuable purchase.
Visit here for more information on how to treat a timber rattlesnake bite.
Read and join the discussion on Hunter Uses $10 Kit to Save His Life after Rattlesnake Bite at OutdoorHub.com.
April 16, 2013
A man traveling near Kalispell, Montana came upon an unwelcome sight when he discovered a deer carcass while turkey hunting last Saturday. According to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, an adult female grizzly and two yearlings were in the area feeding on the deer. They had moved some distance away when the hunter approached, but reportedly the adult bear charged the hunter at close range. The man then discharged his shotgun towards the grizzly from about 10 yards away. Wildlife officials believe that the bear was not hit. A search of the area yielded no traces of blood but tracks were later found. A helicopter sweep of the location could not find the grizzlies.
“The bear was charging him at about 10 yards,” John Fraley of the FWP told KRTV. “We don’t know if it was a false charge or a true charge, and (he) fired his shotgun in the bear’s direction. From everything that we could find out, the bear was not hit. Actually we got a call from another hunter in that area, that the next day, saw tracks that fit the description of these bears, a large adult and two younger bears.”
In either event, the bear and its cubs fled the area afterwards. FWP officials stationed cameras next to the deer carcass to monitor bear activity, which caught a 400-500-pound male bear on video.
Read and join the discussion on Montana Turkey Hunter Charged by Grizzly at 10 Yards at OutdoorHub.com.
April 8, 2013
At 18 years old, Mississippi resident Hunter Coleman was fairly nervous about his first bear bowhunt. According to The Globe and Mail, it was the thrill of the unknown that brought him to Mike Grundman, owner of Saskadrenaline Outfitters. The young hunter was an accomplished archer, but this was an experience completely foreign to him.
As was bear baiting, a legal yet controversial topic among hunters. In Saskatchewan, where Coleman was hunting, the practice was still allowed. Veteran guide Grundman supports the practice because of its safety and often lack of “unethical shots” targeting sows and cubs. However, as Coleman was soon to learn, bear baiting has its own risks.
“I had asked Mike if they climbed trees and Mike said, ‘Yeah, but it usually never happens,’” Coleman recalled. “I jokingly said, ‘Well Mike, it’s going to happen to me. I have horrible luck.’”
The incident happened last year when Saskadrenaline Outfitters released a much publicized video of a rare encounter. Coleman and Grundman had set up the barrel containing the bear bait and were waiting patiently in their blind when a small black bear wanders over to the bait. It was soon followed by a large sow who made threatening advances towards it. In the blink of an eye, the sow charges the other bear straight up the tree where Hunter and Grundman were sitting in.
“What do we do?” Hunter asked.
“Just don’t move,” Grundman replied with a black bear literally staring over his shoulder.
While not large, the bear was still a dangerous and frightened animal.
“Even a bear that size can do a lot of damage,” said Grundman. “They can actually kill a person. I was scared out of my pants.”
There was also the precarious threat of the much larger female circling below. The hunters carried only their bows and arrows, and Coleman found the lack of a firearm worrying. They spent a little under three minutes in the tree with the black bear and eventually it climbed back down. Almost as soon as it touched the ground, the sow returned and viciously chased the younger black bear out of sight.
“I don’t think I’ll stop shaking for another week,” Grundman told the camera.
Twenty minutes later Coleman was able to harvest a huge trophy black bear. You can see the video below:
Read and join the discussion on Video: Hunter in Tree Blind Meets Climbing Bear Face-to-face at OutdoorHub.com.
March 21, 2013
Spiridon Vinokurov, 48, was traveling on his snowmobile near the small village of Berelekha in Siberia when he became lost. According to the Siberian Times, a sudden snowstorm had blown in when Vinokurov was checking the traps he had set up near his lodge, where he had been hunting and trapping alone. The storm disoriented the man and without and landmarks to gauge his location, dread set in. Desperate, Vinokurov wandered the snow-covered wasteland until his vehicle ran out of fuel.
The hunter then continued the trek on foot, looking for any kind of shelter or signs of civilization. Rescue workers described his plight as stranded “hundreds of kilometers from any living settlement.” Even worse, a pair of wolves had picked up his scent.
“Two wolves were following me along the way,” said Vinokurov. “They kept their distance as I walked–but as soon as I went down on all fours and started to crawl they cut the distance sharply and were literally breathing down my neck.”
The ordeal went on for four days, during which the predators dogged his every step. The hunter had to stay alert and appear healthy so the wolves wouldn’t come too close. Vinokurov said the threat of being attacked motivated him to keep moving even when he otherwise would’ve stopped. Surviving four days in the permafrost of Russia’s most inhospitable region is impressive to say the least. The area he was in has been known to sport average temperatures of negative 47 degrees Celsius during the winter months. The region’s frozen tundra is nothing but an expanse of snow littered with gray rocks and a few, sparse trees. By the end, Vinokurov no longer had the energy to walk and began crawling.
Fortunately, he had scheduled a visit to family in the village of Aleko-Kyuel and they reported his absence to the authorities when he never showed. A rescue helicopter combed the tundra for the missing hunter and found him still 80 kilometers from the nearest village. Vinokurov was facedown in the snow and barely conscious.
Rescue workers quickly transported him to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for severe frostbite. Vinikurov should count himself lucky, doctors do not believe that his injuries will require amputation. Furthermore, his survival alone and without much equipment in absolute wilderness is a testament to Vinokurov’s skills and endurance. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Read and join the discussion on Lost in Sibera: Hunter Battles Wolves and Bitter Cold at OutdoorHub.com.
March 12, 2013
David Trembly, 48, was taking his two sons out for an annual elk hunt in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park when a male grizzly stopped them in their tracks.
According to the Associated Press, the three hunters had encountered the bear early in the day on Thanksgiving Day last year and had tried unsuccessfully to scare it off. An elk carcass found after the incident by park rangers would indicate that the bear was defending its food. The father and sons were equipped with bear spray and had it out at the ready while the bear confronted them.
However, to an angry 534-pound male rapidly closing at the range of a few yards, the sting of the spray could do little. When the bear charged, David Trembly engaged it with the spray while his sons, aged 20 and 17, held fast with their hunting rifles. They fatally shot the grizzly three times at a range of 10 feet, barely enough to step out of the way as the animal came to a crash on the ground.
Federal investigators concluded last week that the shooting was in self-defense and will not be filing charges against the young men. Investigators reportedly complimented Trembly and his sons on their quick thinking and well-placed shots that more than likely saved their lives.
Although bear spray has deterred animals in the past, they are not fool-proof. Wildlife officials recommend keeping the spray close at hand and to practice drawing it quickly. Generally, avoid cooking near camp in grizzly country and leave the area if you sight an animal carcass or bear cubs.
Grizzly bears are protected under federal law and shooting one illegally could earn a $50,000 fine and/or prison time. Grizzlies are legal to hunt in Alaska.
Read and join the discussion on Sons Shoot Grizzly at 10 Feet to Save Father, No Charges Filed at OutdoorHub.com.
March 5, 2013
Extreme explorer Andrew Ucles is rising in popularity for his bare-handed, shirtless approach to the dangers of the Australian bush. Late last year a video surfaced of the 24-year-old taking down a deer with nothing but his hands and a succinct knowledge of the grappling arts. Now Ucles is seeking to one-up that feat.
Stalking, running down, and forcing a deer into submission via headlock is every bit as difficult as it sounds. To upstage that, Ucles has to up the ante. The Australian native seeks out and catches four snakes (three red belly blacks and one Australian tiger), to help him hunt rabbits. Yes, Ucles is conscripting the fourth most venomous snake in the world and its slightly less lethal cousins to flush out some small game. To put this in perspective, tiger snake venom has a 40% to 60% untreated mortality rate. Ucles’ gear includes one pair of track shorts, some running shoes, and his hands.
Definitely not recommended for anyone who’s not Bear Grylls.
Read and join the discussion on Video: Australian Man Catches Rabbits with Highly Venomous Snakes at OutdoorHub.com.
March 1, 2013
The beaver infestation in West Sacramento is so out of control, local authorities are actually reporting serious property damage and threats to local residents by falling trees.
According to CBS Sacramento, the large rodents moved in about three years ago and have come to view the neighborhood as a second home. Currently authorities estimate there to be around 30 beavers at large within the city limits.
“They can weigh upwards of 70 pounds and some of them, by the damage on the trees, were a good four feet tall,” said forest manager Dena Kirtley. While the beaver invasion may sound like a bad B-horror movie to some, homeowners see it as no laughing matter. The critters have been causing serious damage to the local flora.
“It was on a massive scale. It was very large trees. I think there were about 10 to 12 trees that were felled,” said Kirtley. So far the damage remain isolated to public property but city officials are worried that the beavers will move on to the trees in peoples’ backyards.
Kirtley is currently exploring efficient and humane ways of removing the buck-toothed squatters. Efforts to trap the beavers have so far brought in only half a dozen.
Read and join the discussion on Beavers Take Over California Town, Residents Fearful of Falling Trees at OutdoorHub.com.
February 14, 2013
Dick and Nancy Kelley have seen a few cougars since they moved into their Colorado home in the mountainous area just west of Denver, but they were generally short and harmless visits. At least until earlier this week, when one of their dogs was attacked on the property.
According to CBS4, the couple owned two three-legged dogs named Trip and Tilly. The dogs would often go outside in the backyard to enjoy the mountain air. A fence had been set up around the house to keep mountain lions and other dangerous wildlife out.
Nancy was inside when she heard a loud noise followed by growling. She immediately knew what it was and went to look for a revolver that the Kelleys had stored away for such an occasion.
“I knew we have a gun. Where is it? I’ve never shot a gun before. Do I just point and shoot?” Nancy said. “It’s like the movies where I kind of came around the corner with my head, but not my body. […] Honestly I really wasn’t afraid as I was angry. I took aim, if you want to call it that, and shot, and was just calling frantically for her.”
Outside, a mountain lion was viciously mauling Tilly. With only three legs, the dog had no chance of fighting the wild animal off. Thankfully, Nancy had acted quickly enough the save the dog. The gunshot sent the mountain lion fleeing from the property and Nancy was able to get a good look at her pet, who was entangled in the fence.
Tilly suffered over 30 puncture wounds during the course of the attack and was missing patches of fur, but it could’ve been a lot worse. The dog was later transported to a local animal hospital, where she was one of several other pets being treated for mountain lion related injuries.
Tilly has since then recovered but the Kelleys remain vigiliant against future attacks.
“The takeaway would be, if you live in the mountains, be aware,” says Nancy.
The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife urges pet owners, hikers, and hunters to take extra precaution around mountain lions. Hikers should go out in groups and carry a walking stick whenever possible. Cougars are curious and will give chase to anything that interests them. Experts advise that in a confrontation, do not run. Instead, try to appear as large as possible and back away slowly.
The Colorado hunting season for mountain lions will run from April 1-30 this year.
Read and join the discussion on First-time Shooter Saves Family Dog from Mountain Lion at OutdoorHub.com.
January 29, 2013
Riverside, Illinois resident Roger Nelson let his five-year-old beagle out for some fresh air when the dog ran afoul of four coyotes. According to WGN-TV, Nelson’s beagle ran back into the house with the coyote pack hot on his heels. Nelson managed to shut the door on the animals, but that did not stop the assault.
“[The coyotes] broke the glass on the screen door, and then they broke two panels on the actual wood door into the house,” Nelson told WGN-TV in an interview. With no other options, Nelson retrieved a high-powered BB gun to shoot two of the coyotes. That seemed to do the trick, as the creatures fled before police arrived.
“Twenty-five years on the job here, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this,” said Police. Sgt. Bill Gutschick.
Unlike some other wild animals the coyote adapted to living in urban areas, sometimes to the dismay of pet owners. Coyotes are opportunistic by nature and will attack anything smaller than itself as a potential food source. Coyotes are now fast becoming the top carnivore in several metropolitan areas, including Chicago. These animals represent a moderate threat to domestic pets and humans while ranging for food. Wildlife management is trying to keep up with their population rates. An annual average of 7,000 coyotes are harvested in the state of Illinois and hunting is open year round.
“Coyotes do not know the difference between pets and the wild creatures they hunt, so try to protect pets by accompanying them outdoors,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in a release. “Most importantly, use caution near any wild animal.”
Additional information about coyotes and coyote management in Illinois can be found here.
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January 3, 2013
While other shop classes around the country are constructing sheds and serving trays, the students at Pennsylvania’s Dover Area High School are building a bear trap. A large one.
It all began last summer when a young male black bear wandered into York, Pennsylvania. Residents were predictably not pleased by the bear’s antics as it overturned birdbaths and plundered mailboxes. Game Commission officers were called in, and lacking a bear trap of their own, they captured the young bear with a borrowed trap from a nearby county.
Although bears were not typically common in York County, young males have been sighted increasingly as they separate from their mothers. This adolescent period often combines a mixture of curiosity and inexperience that causes bears to move closer to humans than they normally would.
In an interview with Outdoor Hub, Game Commission Supervisor Richard Danley stated, “bears are not very prevalent in York, but when they appear they can generate a fuss.”
After last summer’s incident, York County’s Game Commission recognized a need for a trap of their own. A new bear trap can be expensive however, costing upwards of $4,000, and many of the existing traps used by game agencies were built decades ago. That’s when Dover Area High School’s Ronald Weaner stepped up to the plate and said maybe he could help.
Weaner is an avid hunter and on the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners. He also teaches a welding class at the school. When his class was given a choice on what they would be covering for the semester, the students decided to construct a bear trap nearly from scratch.
The bear trap will be a culvert style trap made from aluminum tubing mounted on a trailer frame. Bait will be placed inside, luring the bear in, where it will step on a pressure plate and the spring activated door will slam shut behind it. This is safe and practical for all parties involved, and only slightly inconvenient for the bear.
Danley expects the trap to be in its finishing stages soon, and would like to thank the students for their service to the community.
Read and join the discussion on High School Students Build Bear Trap to Take on Local Nuisance at OutdoorHub.com.