Have you ever seen a cougar, bear, or wolf in the wild? If so, what transpired?
Yes. Yes. And yes.
I have bopped a bear:
Udo Andre's answer to What's the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
And I have been tracked by wolves.
My experience with wolves also occurred at Mt. St. Helens.
Four of us, returning from a caving expedition deep in the lava flows in the middle of the night, were being followed.
While taking a break, smoking a joint, one of us shined their flashlight into the woods and eyes appeared! Eerie red eyes. Oh boy! (One of our favorite pastimes is wandering the woods at night, shining our lights, looking for eyes.)
These eyes were low to the ground, two, then three sets.
Coyotes, we thought. We rushed them, hoping to get close enough that our lights would expose and identify them.
Yeah, right. They were much too smart for that, disappearing before we ever had the chance.
So we continued on, me in the lead, my brother-in-law Jesse, taking up the rear.
Every now and then he would shout, "Hey, eyes again!"
We would wheel around only to catch a fleeting glimpse. An hour and a half of this and it didn't seem quite so funny anymore.
About a quarter mile from camp, we strolled through a fairly open area.
Slowing our pace and awaiting Jesse's signal, we were gonna catch 'em this time.
"There!" We all turned and shined our lights on three uncomfortably close wolves. They froze for an instant, then scattered.
"Whoa!" No way three wolves are going to track us for nearly two hours. We couldn't believe it.
Back at camp we empty our backpacks...Jesse says, "Uh, guys?"
And from the bottom of his pack he pulls out a long forgotten bag of fried chicken!
Ever since then, his new nickname was ‘Bait'.
I have seen black bears a few times in my life. once when I was 7, (fall of 1977) my mother sent me out to the car one evening to retrieve another pack of cigarettes from the glove box from her car at my aunts house, in the small mountains of Pennsylvania. It was after dark, I ran out, pened the passenger door, grabbed the smokes, and shut the door, and heard a "oooooppppphhh" to my left. There, about 6 feet away, at the rear of the car, stood about a 400 pound black bear. I turned and ran directly into a pile of stones at the side of the driveway, spraining my ankle, and continued to hop and claw like I was running in a horror movie to the door of my aunt's house, where I turned, convinced he would be about to eat me at any second, and there he stood, at the rear of the car, staring at me, he or she, hadn't moved an inch.
Two other times I had seen bears, when I had stopped to look and approach, they ran off into the woods not to be seen again, which is typical, unless they get food from people, then they get close, and usually are killed by game officers to ensure public safety. (Large fines for feeding wildlife in many states).
I saw a mama black bear and two cubs crossing the road in front of my car in the afternoon while on vacation in Canada.
My brother and I had stopped at Yellowstone and Glacier National Park and didn't see any bears. We were headed from Montana to the Calgary Stampede in July when we saw the bears in Alberta Province.
The bears stopped in a roadside meadow for a while and we got a photo from a safe distance before they disappeared into the woods.
I have never seen a cougar or wolf in the wild.
I have seen javelina (peccary) while driving in west Texas.
A friend of mine hit and killed a bear crossing the road on his way to work many years ago in Woodland Park, Colorado.
Backyard encounters with cougars and bears are fairly common on the west side of Colorado Springs near the mountains.
Some city neighbors in Colorado Springs recently spotted a bobcat.
I've seen wolves and bears both in Yellowstone on several occasions. Mostly they slept or ate at kills, though I saw a pair of wolves chase a pack of coyotes through a field once. The two later played with part of an elk's leg as they returned to their pack. On every occasion, the animals were too far away to pay us much mind, though I am quite sure that they at least smelled me.
In a cruelly embarrassing moment, I once thought I saw a cougar on Auburn-Folsom Road in Northern California, but it turned out to be a golden retriever.
I saw wolves way off in the distance when I spent the summer season of 2006 at Yellowstone working in the Canyon Lodge restaurant. One one of my days off I went on one of the bus tours and we saw them as we went by their territory driving on one of the ledges. I can't remember which pack it was, but I saw them. I saw plenty of bison, mostly from a distance. No bears or cougars, though. I was not that lucky, and I have only ever seen them in zoos or wild animal parks. That is the extent of my personal encounters with any of them.
My daughter and I were packing up to leave the lake cottage we rented on Spider Lake in Northern Wisconsin. I was loading the suitcases into the back of the SUV when I looked down toward the lake. There in the morning sunlight I saw a beautiful Cougar sitting on the beach looking at us! She didn't move as we loaded the car. We bid her goodbye as we drove off.
Not ever in the wild.
A bear in my yard when I lived in Northern NJ.
A cougar in the parking lot of my hotel in Northern CA one night just 2 yrs ago.
Never a wolf, but coyote out by my pond last night. Again.