You have more than just the essentials to worry about
In a wilderness survival situation, it is critical that you understand that you have a great deal more to worry about then just your survival gear and the elements.
Apart from ensuring that you have enough food, water, a shelter, heat, and clothing, you will also have to keep away from predators.
Here are 5 wilderness predators you should be aware of.
Almost every region of the US has snakes, and where there are great many snakes which are not venomous, there are a great many that are.
Where it used to be quite easy to identify such, there has been an increase in the amount of exotic venomous snakes. Just last month, a very poisonous viper was captured in Georgia.
The viper is native to tropical climates and there is still speculation as to where and how the snake got into southern Georgia.
This is not to say that snakes cannot be distinguished by a few factors.
Granted, I am not going to go sticking may face to one to find out if it has round (non-venomous) or slitted eyes (venomous), but I can tell fairly quickly which snakes to avoid by looking at the following:
Does it have a diamond shaped head?
Most venomous snakes have a very distinguishable pointed head. Non-venomous snakes have a rounded oval like head.
Is the snake fat bodied? It may sound a bit strange but I have found that most venomous snakes have a fat almost eye shaped curvature to the body (meaning that you have the head, the body is thick, and then the tail). Non-venomous snakes tend to have a consistent width.
Where most snakes are not considered “predators” there are a few snakes which are aggressive. You should try to avoid messing with any snake unless you are certain that it is non-venomous.
One of the most abundant predators, the coyote may look just like a regular dog, but they are definitively predators.
Typically, you will not see a coyote until nightfall. However, occasionally a pack will send out a scout to get the scent for the pack.
Do not pet or feed any dog that comes to your camp. Coyotes are notorious for the methodology in which they hunt.
A scout will gather the scent of a kill and bring that scent back to the pack.
The packs will then hunt and kill the thing from which the scent was acquired from.
Where coyotes do have their place in nature, they do not need to have a place in your camp.
In most situations you can keep them away by having a fire.
If any dog approaches you threateningly and you know it to be wild, the best thing to do in a survival situation is to take it down. (We do not recommend doing this in neighborhoods or in towns, this is just a caution to be aware in the wilderness)
It may sound harsh and cruel, but it is better than being food for the pack.
If you have never had the experience of seeing a bobcat, then you are lucky. Bobcats tend to keep to themselves unless they are hunting or someone encroaches upon their territory.
You can tell that you are in bobcat territory by the way in which they scream.
The bobcat sounds like a baby scream or a woman screaming.
It is very definitive.
In a wilderness survival situation if you are in the woods at night and you hear what appears to be a woman or baby screaming, the odds are that you are close to a bobcat cave.
Typically, bobcats will be in wooded areas which have low rocks and small caverns.
They usually do not live in clusters but you may find a small “family” living in an area. They are very territorial and can be extremely aggressive.
They are attracted to the scent of blood like most predators.
2) Mountain Lion
If you are planning on living in a rocky area with large amounts of dense grass and a fair amount of game, you need to be cautious of mountain lions.
The best way to determine whether or not you are prone to find one of these animals is to look for tracks.
Do use a bit of common sense and stay away from the cliffs and the rocks as this is the main place where they will den, but do look to any potential trails to see if you can find any signs that there is a mountain lion.
Carcasses of animals are also a great way to tell if a mountain lion is in the area. Mountain lions tend to kill and then burry the food for later.
If you find a carcass in an area that has rocks and cliffs and it has had dirt thrown on it, leaves pulled onto it, or (the real give away) it has large teeth marks around the neck area, then you may want to relocate to a safer area.
I really believe that bears have gotten a bad deal as far as being labeled a predator. Typically, a bear will leave anyone and anything alone unless they are provoked.
They tend to eat the food which is in close proximity to where they rest and they prefer the berries and the fish over having to kill game. The problem that most people have with bears is that they are just stupid with their food.
Like most animals in the woods, bears are drawn to food by its sent.
If you leave it out or if you have the smell of food downwind, you will attract something. Period.
Now, if that happens to be a bear, can you really blame it?
Would you not go after waffles if you smelled them in the air and had not eaten in days?
To avoid bears, keep your food up and sealed up, do not clean your game close to your camp, and if you see any tracks that may belong to a bear, then find a better location.