If you’re out hiking, and you see deer running fast, could they be running from a bear or a mountain lion?
Mountain Lions and Bears on Shasta-Trinity National Forest
I’ve seen several bears this summer, most recently near Chipmunk Lake below the Pacific Crest Trail in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. I also wonder if I was near a mountain lion: when I see deer running fast, I wonder if they have a good reason.
I wrote recently about my writer’s camping retreat in the Trinity Divide mountains west of Mount Shasta, which ended yesterday afternoon with Thai food in Mount Shasta.
Bears On My Hike to Chipmunk Lake near the Pacific Crest Trail
On Tuesday I took a six-mile hike to Chipmunk Lake, mostly on old dirt roads, with the last three-quarters of a mile cross-country. It was on this last stretch, while climbing near the edge of a meadow, that I saw a deer sprinting uphill. I watched the deer and immediately wondered why it was running.
And then I spied a very large black bear on the far edge of the meadow, about 100 feet from me. He (she?) hadn’t seen me yet. I first scouted for cubs as I took off my day-pack and pulled out my camera, and as I did so I noticed a large brown lump 10 feet from the black bear, partially obscured by bushes. And then it moved — another large “black” bear.
And as always happens when I’m trying to take a bear picture, the subjects quickly shuffled behind some bushes, headed in the same direction I was going to Chipmunk Lake. (I never did see them again, although I kept a very watchful eye.)
My Predawn Walk in Lake Shastina — With a Mountain Lion?
This morning I’m doing my usual at my Lake Shastina home: walking in the pre-dawn dark with my coffee in the moonlight, watching the stars and hoping for meteors and fireballs.
And then I hear noise, and then I see two deer running very fast past me. Now they could have been running for any number of reasons, but my mind leapt to large animals that would scare them.
OK, it probably wasn’t a mountain lion that spooked the deer, but still… What would you have done?