Camping and Wildlife

Discussion in 'Camping Around Wildlife' started by zinger60, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. zinger60

    zinger60 New Member

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    We went camping last week at a state park in Indiana that we had not been to before. The first evening immediately after eating supper, we went into the camper for a few minutes and when I looked out the window, there was a big racoon up on the picnic table licking my tabletop gas grill. We chased him away and put the grill away. Later that evening, when it was still light out, we started a campfire. Shortly afterwards, as we are sitting around it, I looked up to see another racoon coming towards me. He must have been only 6 ft. away. It looked like a younger one. We yelled at him and it did no good. We had to throw a stick next to him to get him to leave. He would go a little ways into the woods and come out in another spot. He did this for hours until I finally had enough of chasing him away and we went into the camper. Has anyone had an experience like this with racoons where they come so close and won't stay away? We did not even have any food outside at that time. I was so scared that he would try to come into the camper at night. My big question is...could a racoon actually get into a PUP? Has anyone had one try to get in? The park was also loaded with chipmunks. As we sat at our table outside, one got up on our stove that was attached to the PUP and was trying to get in. Has anyone had them get inside? We were also driving by a tent in the campground and saw a groundhog trying to get into the tent in the middle of the day. I never saw so many critters in one place before.
     
  2. The Wargos

    The Wargos New Member

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    Where were you camping - I would like to cross that area off my list... [LOL]
     
  3. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    I am sure it was frustrating, but kinda cool at the same time. I like to interact with nature when I am camping. I would have made sure the ranger knew his permanent residents were getting a little too friendly.

    I don't recall hearing about raccoon issues inside the PUP, but I am sure they could get in if they wanted. I do remember a story on one of the forums of a chipmunk/squirrel getting into somebody's camper in the middle of the night and causing quite a stir [LOL]

    I had a co-worker once that come home one night to find his house 'tossed' as though there had been a breaking. He sneaked around with a baseball bat and found the culprit in his bathroom - a nice big squirrel. He and the critter proceeded to spend two hours chasing each other around inside the house!!!! At one point he had most of the doors and windows open.....it was about 25 degrees outside [:D]

    Enjoy your adventures!
     
  4. zinger60

    zinger60 New Member

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    We were camping at Pokagon State Park in Indiana close to the Ohio border. We have never seen so much wildlife in a state park before. Besides the chipmunks, racoons and groundhogs, we saw one snake in the water (with people swimming all around), one snake on the bike trail and a turtle next to the PUP. It is a beautiful park but I got really concerned of animals getting inside the PUP. I know if we had not been there when the chipmunk was trying to get in, he would have easily gotten in, either by getting up under the canvas, especially around the slide-out or by chewing a hole in the canvas.
     
  5. jim1999

    jim1999 New Member

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    Look on the bright side. It wasn't one of those black with white stripe "kitty cats" making a visit. [:D]

    or worse yet Yogi and Boo Boo. [;)]
     
  6. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    The day a bear wanders into my website striking up a conversation is the last time I take the 'brown pop' with me camping! [LOL]
     
  7. jwolfe01

    jwolfe01 Honeoye, NY

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    I have had similar experiences with Raccoons while camping. Last year we had them within 10 feet of us searching around under the PUP, trying to open coolers, looking at us like dogs begging, etc. We didnt really have much of a problem with them though, they eventually left. Your best bet is just keep a handful of rocks or stick handy at night so you can scare them off. Coons are known to be very persistent. As far as the chipmunks and the woodchuck go, Ive never seen that happen before. It kind of sounds like you were in a campground where many people make it a habit of feeding the wildlife. What you describe is exactly why you shouldnt feed the wildlife, they become accustomed to it and can even get aggressive about it.
     
  8. zinger60

    zinger60 New Member

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    Yeah, my husband and I were thinking that maybe the campers from the night before we got there had been feeding the racoons because it seemed like as soon as we got the campfire going, they showed up. Kinda like smoke signals to come and dine [:D]
     
  9. Yooperwannabe

    Yooperwannabe Active Member

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    Yes we had brave racoon a few weeks ago while camping. No matter how many times we chased him away, he would always come back. This comes from other camping feeding them or leaving food out for them to eat. At one point the darn thing was just inches from my chair before my husband jumped up and ran him off. It is a little unnerving but we are camping in their home.
     
  10. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    So, I wonder how effective it would be to leave some tortilla chips out covered in the hottest salsa/sauce you could find....... [LOL]
     
  11. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

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    Hey Todd
    Those PETA people would skin your hide [LOL]
     
  12. getndusty

    getndusty pull up a stump and sit a spell

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    We camped at Cumberland State Park and had a bad experience with Raccoons. While we were on the boat the raccoons ate a weeks worth of food we had in the cooler. We thought someone had stolen it. When we got to the office there was a big sign about the raccoon problem. They told us they could open pretty much any cooler that was not padlocked. lol So we ended up straping the food cooler to a tree and stacking the beer and soda coolers on top of it. We even had a racoon try to make off with a 20 lb bag of dog food. I guess they have learned some campgrounds are easy pickins.
     
  13. Yooperwannabe

    Yooperwannabe Active Member

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    I think this racoon would have kicked back and asked for a beer to go with the chips and hot salsa.
     
  14. robsheila

    robsheila New Member

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    I recall reading an article a while back that coyotes were released in east/central Ohio. They once populated the area, but were either ran out or hunted to the point of extinction. That's part of our rodent problem -- a lack of predators. I'd like to see many more of our state and national forests re-introduce these animals back into the wild.

    You mentioned an abundance of chipmunks; I've noticed them as well. We were at Salt Fork State Park in eastern Ohio last October where I first felt "surrounded" as DH and I were hiking a trail. I noticed them again just last month at Summit Lake State Park in Indiana. This time, running around various campsites. Those are destructive little devils. I'd hate for one of them to get into my PU.
     
  15. turtle

    turtle New Member

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    People forget sometimes that these are WILD animals. Many are cute and fun to watch. I am very careful about food and trash disposal and storage. Our first trip after not camping for many years we had our trash in one of those plastic, pop-up laundry bins. In the middle of the night we got a visit and after scaring the racoon off I discover that it was not tearing the plastic up, which is what I expected, it was actually unzipping the top. Had it 1/2 unzipped.
     
  16. wishicouldgo2

    wishicouldgo2 SW Ohio

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    I think one of the other posts on here suggested males pee around your campground area. I guess the animals sense(no pun intended) the male "marking" territory and tend to stay away. Make sure it's just the guys though, female scent ATTRACTS animals. Sorry, I know this is icky, but if it keeps the little buggers away from my site, its good for me. [:O]
     
  17. perterra

    perterra Member

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    I imagine the little guy was thinking, they bring that giant thing in here and put it right by my front door, then throw sticks at me when I come out to say howdy. The nerve of those people. [:D]

    Just remember, they were there first and your in their home. Enjoy the wild life because there are plenty of people who have never seen them. Thats the whole experience of camping, to rough it and see some wildlife, a sky full of stars and come home smelling like wood smoke.

    A bit off topic but I read that something like 20% of the of the untied states population has never seen the arc of the milky way (really a misnomer since we are in it but you get the idea) and due to light pollution 30% of the US and 50% of Europes population can no longer see it. So be thankfull for the racoons and other night time visitors, they along with many other things are getting scarce.
     
  18. zinger60

    zinger60 New Member

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    I do enjoy the wildlife but my biggest concern is getting a disease from them coming into such close contact. Racoons are the biggest carriers of rabies east of the Mississippi (which is where I am) skunks are the biggest carriers west of the mississippi. I don't mind seeing them from a distance in the wild but when they are brave enough to keep coming within several feet of where I am sitting, that's what bothers me.
     
  19. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    I've come in close contact with all kinds of critters out there. I've seen bears, raccoons, skunks, chipmunks (of course), squirrels, porcupines and a rattlesnake.

    Probably my closest encounter was with a skunk. I was sitting at the fire ring, at night, and the damn thing waddled right under my chair and brushed up against my leg. I was wearing shorts, it wasn't my imagination. But, I really don't think these 'mountain kitties' would spray unless provoked. The ones in the campgrounds know where their meal ticket is. All the goodies we unknowingly drop on the ground is like a buffet for them.
     
  20. perterra

    perterra Member

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    They will be very used to humans at a state park, not much you can do about it. Head to places more out of the way and chances are you will never be approached by them.
     

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