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Thread: porcupines

  1. #1
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    Default porcupines

    i have section hiked from amicola falls in ga to dalton mass,i have encountered
    a few bear and many mice,i haVE NOT RAN INTO PORCUPINES YET,what states are they mainly in,i plan on hammocking more than sheltering,what months are they active, neo

  2. #2
    Registered User TakeABreak's Avatar
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    Well, although I have seen signs at many shelters of porcupine's, the only one I had a problem at was just north of Cheshire in 2001, at Mark Noepel Shelter, a couple hours after dark a porky showed up and had to be evicted several times. Then the guy I was sharing the shelter with, said he remember reading in the shelter log, that they were timid from light.

    We got to brain storming and taking inventory, not wanting to leave a flashlight on all night. We had candles and tin pie pans someone had left there, so we put the candle on a pie pan, propped another over it (kinda like a open clam shell) faced it so the light would shine outwards, lit the candle and the porky never came back. this method actually put out a fair amount of light.

    The next day, we ran across trail maintainers, they asked if we had problems with porky's the night before, we told them what we did, one said they had left an axe handle there but we said it was gone. They said to hit the porky behind the head really hard with the axe handle and it will kill it and then being careful take it as far as one can from the shelter and toss in the woods.

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    Default Ooh, it's got stickers!!!!!.....

    The next day, we ran across trail maintainers, they asked if we had problems with porky's the night before, we told them what we did, one said they had left an axe handle there but we said it was gone. They said to hit the porky behind the head really hard with the axe handle and it will kill it and then being careful take it as far as one can from the shelter and toss in the woods.
    Assuming the above story is true, the trail maintainers sound like idiots. Aren't there any bald eagles or rare woodpeckers for them to kill and throw away?

  4. #4
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    here is a web page i found on porcupines neo





    http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/porcupine.htm

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    Default Porky's II......

    Please pardon my negativity in the above post. What I meant to say was that porcupines won't hurt you if you leave them alone. I have never had to do more than thump on the floor to shoo them from shelters, but if one runs into one that won't leave, the good sportsman should find non lethal ways to deal with it, like TakeABreak did. Killing little creatures because they annoy us is admitting that we haven't the brain power to outsmart them.

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    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    As the porcupines are (mostly) after salt, I am thinking of carrying a (rodent) salt block or 2 with me & putting it / them a few feet from my tent for the quill pigs to chew on so they leave my stuff alone. I recently found Mini salt blocks that are about 1/4 the size of a regular one, and they come in a pack of 4. SO, I could put them in four corners & hope for the best :-) And: my girls like them better than the regular salt blocks so perhaps the porkys will too.

    Well, it's a theory. Some day I may get to try it


    Doctari.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  7. #7

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    I've heard that they have are as far south as Northern Va.
    Hokey Pokey

  8. #8

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    I've heard that they are as far south as Northern Va.
    Hokey Pokey

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    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    I only saw one between Springer and Katahdin and it was in New York, of all places !!

    'Slogger
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    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  10. #10
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    the only place ive seen one is in alaska, although there was plenty of evidence of them when we went thru NY, CT, MA on our thru.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  11. #11

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    I got an email the other day of two pics of a pit bull that had been in a scuffle with a porcupine. The dogs entire head is covered with quills. Aweful pics. I didn't notice for sure if the dogs eyes were damaged.

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    Registered User TakeABreak's Avatar
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    I do not believe in killing an animal unless you a going to eat it, they are a direct danger you or someone else, or they are a major nuisance. At the shelter I mentioned they are a major nuisance and were causing considerable damage to the structure and hikers gear. I was sleeping in the loft and the porky was climbing up after my gear. To be completely honest, in that particular situation I would have killed it and put it out in the woods for other animals to scavenge over, had there been an axe handle available.

    As you travel throughout the northern section of the A.T. you will notice a lot shelter and privy damage caused from porcupines, chewing on the wood. A lot on maintainers are fustrated from all of the damage and over population of porcupines, some have nailed chicken wire to the outside of privies and there door's or used other methods to slow down the destruction caused by porky's.

    I have personally seen porky's (porcupines) in michigan and in other northern states. Below are some links to info. on them and their only real predator the fisher cat, because of their quills not many animals are successful at preying on them nor want to.

    Fisher cats are slowly migrating to other area's where they were once abundant, as their population size increase's, in doing so there are slowly bringing the problem porky's back into check. It is hoped that they will migrate from vermont (where they were re-introduced, see links) in Mass. and help get rid of the problem pocrupine's.

    www.hsus.org/wildlife/a_closer_look_at_wildlife/porcupines.html

    http://home.mcn.net/~wtu/fisher.html

    www.mammalsociety.org/statelists/vtmammals.html

    As a side note, We would not have to kill porcupines as a nuisance had our ancestor's not killed off all of the fisher's these area's for their fur.

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    Registered User D'Artagnan's Avatar
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    Default Pit Bull vs. Porcupine

    HikeLite's post made reference to a pit bull/porcupine encounter. A Google search revealed some images (not sure if they're the same ones).

    www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=144943

    Disturbing.

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    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    [QUOTE=D'Artagnan]www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=144943

    ===================================
    Ouch ...painful visual.

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  15. #15
    Registered User TakeABreak's Avatar
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    Now that truely looks painful, Ouch it truely is.

  16. #16

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    Those are them....it does hurt to look at them again. Yikes.

  17. #17
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    I do not believe in killing an animal unless you a going to eat it, they are a direct danger you or someone else, or they are a major nuisance. At the shelter I mentioned they are a major nuisance and were causing considerable damage to the structure and hikers gear. I was sleeping in the loft and the porky was climbing up after my gear. To be completely honest, in that particular situation I would have killed it and put it out in the woods for other animals to scavenge over, had there been an axe handle available.


    That Porky must have been a whole lot faster than the one's that delight so many AT hikers in Western MA and VT.

    FWIW, and for those who harbour different feelings, the best time to find them is in the winter. Since they are so low to the ground, they will leave a trough to follow. Plus, without the leaves in the trees, they are much easier to spot. Neo, I think the next 100 miles of trail could be the very best chance to see a few. Plenty in the summer, too. Just harder to find. They can make strange noises at night.

    In hiking season, if you see a pile of macaroni shaped scatt among a pile of rocks (or wherever) its from a Porky.

    Rick B
    Last edited by rickb; 07-27-2005 at 16:55.

  18. #18
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Artagnan
    HikeLite's post made reference to a pit bull/porcupine encounter. A Google search revealed some images (not sure if they're the same ones).

    www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=144943

    Disturbing.
    that dog sure got a whoopin from that porcupine neo

  19. #19
    Totally harmless unless riled JLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Artagnan
    HikeLite's post made reference to a pit bull/porcupine encounter. A Google search revealed some images (not sure if they're the same ones).

    www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=144943

    Disturbing.
    That link is dead, so here they are again, plus an update.

    It was a Bull Terrier though, not a Pit Bull.

    http://media4.big-boys.com/content/i...cs/pic1321.jpg

    http://media4.big-boys.com/content/i...cs/pic1322.jpg

    OK, I checked this story out on Urban Legends.com, and it's a Bull Terrier, it's all true, and the dog lived.

    Quote:Comments: Apart from the fact that the poor dog pictured above is a bull terrier, not a pit bull, these pictures are authentic. They were originally posted by the dog's owner on the Citytv Community Board on May 25, 2005. The terrier's name is Inca.

    "Thousands of quills were embedded even in her tongue," her owner wrote. "The vets worked for quite some time to get quills out and even still could not get them all. The one's that are left will work themselves out over time. Inca is home and on antibiotics and pain killers."

    In a follow-up post dated July 13, Inca's owner reported that "she is just fine and has just the odd broken bit come out once in awhile. Other than that she is back to her old self."

    Moral of the story: dogs and porcupines don't mix.

    http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_pit_bull_vs_porcupine.htm





    Other dog versus porcupine pics:

    http://portlandporcupine.com/images/porcupine-dog.jpg

    http://www.eastsideveterinaryhospita...pine%20dog.jpg

  20. #20
    Registered User canoehead's Avatar
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    Mass /Conn are porkys hang out, they all live at the south wilcox shelter and do day hikes from thier base camp. thier mission? to eat all the salty shelters along the AT. and make anoying knawing sounds all night! oh yeah and to protect themselves from dogs, rocks, sticks.

    safe adventures
    canoehead

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