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Do you observe alone at remote locations?

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#226 Rick Woods

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 10:56 AM

 

One rather unfortunate fellow in Alaska thought that bear repellent worked like mosquito repellent.

 

 

No!!! :rofl:



#227 rocco13

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 11:23 AM

 

Quickly, and before the thread gets locked......Rattlesnakes are only a risk when the temperatures are warm.  Further, their nocturnal movement is either searching for a food item (rodent or lagomorph) or snake to snake romance.  Cold weather observing, or observing in areas which are not rattlesnake habitat eliminate the risk. 

 

Not entirely. Several years back I was backpacking in the Superstition Mountains in the winter, and I heard a noise right next to the trail. I looked, and here was this poor rattlesnake in a bush, so cold he could hardly move, barely waving his rattle at me. (It was in the 30's at the time). He couldn't even follow us with his head as we passed, he was so cold; but he was game, and was ready to rock if we'd bothered him. So, they're still there; just not enjoying themselves much.

 

Similar situation, and coincidentally also at the Superstitions...I was a surveyor back then and we had just pulled off the main road to set up our gear. As I opened the door and began to exit the truck, there was a sleeping rattler all coiled up in the light growth of grass along the shoulder of the road. So I pulled up a few feet and and exited the truck, and as were walking along we saw about a half-dozen more sleeping rattlers in that general area. Evidently there must have been some heat coming off the asphalt road they were liking, and it was a popular spot for them. But sleeping or not, or cold or not, I was not going to test their striking capability if I could help it.

 

I've also heard (but never saw firsthand) of rattlers being attracted to the engine warmth when observing out in the boonies, and that they'd slither under the vehicle for the residual heat. Whether that's true or not I don't know, but I would still look before loading back up in the wee hours.



#228 mountain monk

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 11:27 AM

I ran into rattlesnakes in the winter at Organ Pipe. The were out sunning on the rocks on warm days.

Dark skies.

Jack

#229 Nile

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 11:38 AM

 

The difference between the stats of cow's and cougars/big cats attacks is the "success" rate. There are hundreds of cow attacks (come to India if you don't believe) but the number of people killed per attack is very small. Which is not true about big cat attacks. I feel confident about outsmarting a cow during an attack, not so sure about a big cat.  :help:

Between 1890 and 2014, there are only 24 documented cougar attack fatalities in North America.  Cougar attacks are fatal only 1 time in 7 (i.e., just 14%), per the stats.  That's not especially "successful" for a predator.  The reality is, humans are not cougar prey.  The people who are attacked are generally alone and either in a submissive posture kneeling to tie a shoe, bent over repairing a punctured bike tire, etc.) or small of stature (women and children more often than men) of the few fatalities from cougar attacks.  In fact in North America only three adult men have been killed by cougars.  All of the other fatalities are women and children.

 

Cougars are basically cowards; stealth hunters.  They don't want a confrontation and if given the option of escape when facing an aggressive human, will run away.

 

In contrast from just 2005 to 2014, pit bulls killed 203 people in the US alone.  Unlike a puma, a mean junkyard dawg won't be intimidated by you facing them down.

 

- Jim   

 

 

Again, not apples to apples comparison. You didn't mention number of pit bull attacks. You didn't mention how many pit bulls had gone rabid. You didn't mention how many people died of rabies and how many died at the spot of attack etc.

Not to mention, the basic difference, we are talking about going to a remote location, where the chances of a wild animal, like big cats, coming in front of you are way higher than a pet animal, like a pit bull. (So is true about cows, of course.)



#230 mountain monk

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 12:34 PM

There is also the rather simple point that annual deaths from X are not a good way to evaluate risk. The most obvious case is with snake bites. According to the CDC, it is estimated that there are 7,000-8,000 venomous snake bites a year in the U.S. Very few people die, about 5, that's true. But...

Venomous snake bites are very painful, they can cost more than $100,000 to treat, they sometimes cause tissue/muscle damage, and they can lead to lengthy hospital stays and downtime from work. All that seems more relevant to evaluating risk that reporting that 3 to 6 people die each year from snakebite.

Closer to home... No one has ever been killed by a grizzly in Grand Teton National Park, but several people have been badly mauled, and the number of bear/human "events" has doubled in the last decade as our grizzly population continues to expand. (There are 700-to 1,000 now in Greater Yellowstone.) I know two of the people who were mauled. One had 370 stitches in his leg and required a new face, the other other was bitten several times and was lucky enough to be near a cabin where there was a ranger/EMT, otherwise he would have bled out. He was flown to the hospital the next morning. Both were listed as predacious attacks, both were by male grizzlies, no sows or cubs were involved.

The right answer to the OPs question, IMHO, is yes, I observe at remote locations, but I am careful, I am well prepared (even though I was kicked out of Boy Scouts), I know my environment, and I accept the risks. Then I chill out and enjoy the sky.

Dark skies.

Jack

#231 izar187

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 01:05 PM

 


 

In contrast from just 2005 to 2014, pit bulls killed 203 people in the US alone.  Unlike a puma, a mean junkyard dawg won't be intimidated by you facing them down.


 

 

Stray dogs can be dangerous.  Astronomers at San Diego's SDAA dark site regularly fed two stray pit bulls in remote desert area.  They attacked my dog and only thing that saved his life was throwing him in my locked vehicle.  They damaged my vehicle.  I reported incident to the club, but they resisted doing anything.  They were "pets".  I quit the club.  I've often wondered if anyone was ever hurt or killed by these stray "pets".

 

That's just plain brain dead on the clubs part. Some of the nicest furry people I've met are pit bulls. But they are not golden retrievers. By feeding them there, it established a territory for them that they would then defend. Something they were bred to do, using force rather then just posturing.

 

I once met a coon hound one night out on public land.

He was a huntin', so he just sniffed once at me and kept on going.

I'd heard him coming from a ways off, which was very cool, so was not surprised when he showed up.  

His people were following him electronically from a vehicle, slowing going down one of the roads nearby.

They would have had better luck down along one of the wetlands.

Probably where he led them.



#232 Rick Woods

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 01:11 PM

There is also the rather simple point that annual deaths from X are not a good way to evaluate risk. The most obvious case is with snake bites. According to the CDC, it is estimated that there are 7,000-8,000 venomous snake bites a year in the U.S. Very few people die, about 5, that's true. But...

Venomous snake bites are very painful, they can cost more than $100,000 to treat, they sometimes cause tissue/muscle damage, and they can lead to lengthy hospital stays and downtime from work. All that seems more relevant to evaluating risk that reporting that 3 to 6 people die each year from snakebite.
 

 

Thank you! That's a point that's been crying out to be made!



#233 csrlice12

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 02:37 PM

Statistically speaking, you're in greater danger of death or serious injury in a metropolitan area then out in the boonies.....Don't understand why some people fear being alone....for many of us, that's a life dream.....not that I'm antisocial, I get out in public perfectly well without being arrested, and talk to people all the time.....but I really have no actual requirement for someone to be there constantly.



#234 Rick Woods

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:43 AM

Statistically speaking, you're in greater danger of death or serious injury in a metropolitan area then out in the boonies.....Don't understand why some people fear being alone....for many of us, that's a life dream.....not that I'm antisocial, I get out in public perfectly well without being arrested, and talk to people all the time.....but I really have no actual requirement for someone to be there constantly.

 

89.7% of all statistics are meaningless.



#235 rocco13

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 01:56 PM

 

89.7% of all statistics are meaningless.

 

I bet you read that on the Internet, which means it has to be true. :ubetcha:


Edited by rocco13, 16 December 2015 - 01:56 PM.


#236 KidOrion

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 02:44 PM

 

 

89.7% of all statistics are meaningless.

 

I bet you read that on the Internet, which means it has to be true. :ubetcha:

 

Abraham Lincoln said so.



#237 rocco13

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 03:00 PM

 

 

 

89.7% of all statistics are meaningless.

 

I bet you read that on the Internet, which means it has to be true. :ubetcha:

 

Abraham Lincoln said so.

 

LOL, Touche'!  :bow:



#238 JJack

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 04:14 PM

Yes. 



#239 tecmage

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 08:00 PM

 

Quickly, and before the thread gets locked......

I'm back! I have removed several off-topic posts. I am asking everyone to help keep this thread open by NOT making off-topic posts to the thread. If you want to discuss the merits of some other topic, you have the ability to start a new thread. If the topic is not General Observing and Astronomy (GO&A), then there are other forums here on CN. If you topic is not an Astro topic, you can post to the Off Topic Observatory. 



#240 Laika

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 08:30 PM

I just startled a bird nesting in my garden bringing out a scope, it flew into my face, then on to the roof! A couple of scratches on my face, the bird, hard to tell what kind is on the roof cursing me out. I don't think they have good night vision. Hopefully he can find a better place to sleep.

First time I've been attacked by a bird, lol

#241 Kendahl

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 08:44 PM

Stray dogs can be dangerous.  Astronomers at San Diego's SDAA dark site regularly fed two stray pit bulls in remote desert area.  They attacked my dog and only thing that saved his life was throwing him in my locked vehicle.  They damaged my vehicle.  I reported incident to the club, but they resisted doing anything.  They were "pets".  I quit the club.  I've often wondered if anyone was ever hurt or killed by these stray "pets".

It's a moot point now, but I would report such animals to the county. Either the animal control officers, if they any, or to the sheriff.



#242 Rick Woods

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 09:10 PM

I just startled a bird nesting in my garden bringing out a scope, it flew into my face, then on to the roof! A couple of scratches on my face, the bird, hard to tell what kind is on the roof cursing me out. I don't think they have good night vision. Hopefully he can find a better place to sleep.

First time I've been attacked by a bird, lol

I try not to disturb the birds in my yard when they're bringing out their scopes.



#243 Rickycardo

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 07:49 AM

I would have to say of all the things that go bump in the night I worry about the occasional mean, stray dog the most. Yes, I fear spiders but thats more a phobia thingy. Most of the dark areas I've gone to don't really have large predators around. I'm not concerned with coyotes or bobcats and the like. And yes I carry the necessary protection. I really enjoy the quiet and solitude. Something about being alone with the open sky. Very primal. I miss it when I'm back in civilization.




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