Deer are abundant all around Kodiak and, like all deer, they are not the brightest about staying alive around vehicle traffic. Especially at night where headlights cause them to freeze up no matter where they are on the road. The stretch of road between the airport and town and south of town around the Bell's Flats area are heavy deer traffic areas. Go slow and stay alert!
The group of deer in the photo (herd?) seemed to know hunting season was over as they showed up the day after hunting season was over.
The Kodiak Grizzly Bear is the largest carnivore in North America and they are all over the island. The number of bears close to town vary from year to year, but lately seem to be getting more abundant and a bit more pushy. We've cut short more than one fishing trip when bears showed up and wanted our catch.
The people of Kodiak work hard to keep their garbage sealed in bear proof containers but some folks just aren't too careful. About a dozen don't hibernate in the winter because they can find enough to eat out of people's trash when the fish aren't running or the berries aren't out. And there is that period as the snow melts and tempuratures get mild that they start wandering around looking for something to eat.
You have to stay vigilent and make some noise as you walk through the bushes and trees. Lots of theories on how to behave when you run across one. Mine is that you avoid confrontation. Don't try and appear as a threat because that will rile them up. They don't want to deal with people any more than we want to deal with them. So freeze and then slowly walk away. Do not run. If they charge and there isn't a tree near by to climb, then play dead.
I am really familiar with the Great Outdoors. So any newcomers should come prepared for anything.
Mind you bears and other critters don't run around the all of the time, and one does not get to see them that often.
But if you take the time and have the patience, you can be one of the lucky ones.
Bears!! If you are going to be doing any backcountry camping or hiking make sure you use some common sense. For the most part bears don't bother you but when your hiking make plenty noise. When they hear you they generally leave the area. You don't want to suprise them. And you better hope that you don't get between a Sow and her cubs!! That is the most dangerous situation. They are wild animals (not zoo trained). Make sure you keep a clean camp. Don't leave food around or spill food around your site. It will attract them.
Eagles on Kodiak Island have been known to pick up small pets and devour them. Please keep and eye on your kitties and small dogs!
If you go camping in Kodiak and leave scraps of food around you may end up with lots of Magpies hanging around your camp. If there are lots of them they make lots of noise!
When you see these kinds of signs it means that Kodiak Brown Bears have been in the area. So just beware of your surroundings.
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