Bears, Bulls, or Other Bold Beasts?

As I prepared to leave for my bike trip eleven months ago, my mom fretted that I’d be attacked by a bear… or chased by a bull in a farmer’s field! Little did we know that my main hammocking threats would occur when I returned to the big city for a visit!

July 19, 2022 at 10:50pm I sent a text to a close friend:

I’m in the middle of brushing my teeth when I spot something white and black moving closer to my tent. I freeze and dim my screen to improve my night vision. Fortunately, I didn’t worry for long. Less than a minute later I watched it high tail it (speed wise and literally) to the other side of the yard. Tonight I didn’t get sprayed. But yikes!!

Had a close call last night too, but it was at least 4-5 metres away from my hammock. Tonight it was legit pretty much under my hammock. If it sprayed I think I’d have to replace everything. It would be like a skunk spraying inside your bedroom!

Just a few hours later at 2:20am on July 20, 2022:

What a night! I have had more close nature encounters tonight then ever before. Woke up hearing an animal sniffing around right below my head. I froze, thinking it was the skunk from earlier in the night and a skunk spraying one foot below my head sounds like pure hell.

The creature stuck around for a solid two minutes, making loud snuffling and guttural sounds as it tried to figure out what was happening inside this bizarre contraption in it’s path. It stuck around long enough that I wondered if the creature was rabid and might lunge at my hammock.

I slowly inched my head upwards to see the ground and get my head further from whatever was below me! Finally the creature moved into my view about a metre away.

It was not the skunk.

Nope… I was locking eyes with the raccoon that I heard viciously attack and kill a sleeping bird a few nights back. Upon seeing it, I realized that the guttural growling sounds I’d heard under my head were the same ones I’d heard on the other side of the fence a few nights back. Once I realized it was not a skunk, I sat up and firmly yelled “skat.” It ran over the fence, then spun around to peer back at me. “Skat” I hollered again while moving around to look more threatening in my hammock. Convinced that I was not to be messed with, the creepy coon fully disappeared into the next yard. No doubt this is the first time that raccoon has encountered someone sleeping in a hammock!

I’ve yet to see any bears.

The only bulls I’ve seen were in farmer’s fields and I was not in the field with them! (Mind you, another friend does have a story about being chased by a bull on bike tour! But they were in a farm field… so stay out of farm fields and you’ll probably be safe from bulls!)

But coons… clearly those creatures will try to eat you head first! They’ll also eat ALL the chocolate peanut butter protein bars… and they’re wildly unreliable taste testers! That coon at Batman’s Campground never did submit their review after testing all three brands of chocolate peanut butter protein bars!

Flash was required for this photo snapped in the middle of the night. A very fat raccoon guiltily looks down at the camera from up in tree. In the midst of hazing this hungry raccoon, it decided to run up the tree my hammocks was tied to. “Not that tree! That’s the wrong tree!” I exclaimed… but grabbed my camera for a quick photo despite my annoyance.