Monday, April 30, 2012

Avoid hoofed animals when hiking with kids

Bison bull. Photo courtesy of NPS.
Deer, elk, moose and bison actually kill more people annually in North America than do bears and mountain lions.

Usually the problem is people who mistakenly think that herbivores can’t be dangerous and provoke the beasts by getting too close or by cornering them. This is an issue especially if the hoofed animal has young nearby. Their antlers and horns, not to mention their hooves, can be quite lethal.

You can avoid the danger simply by keeping your distance. Don’t try to feed them or get close for a snapshot. Once you see an agitated animal – especially one that’s pawing its hooves at the ground and huffing as staring at you – back off.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.