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Big yellow eyes in the woods staring at me. Help.

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Big yellow eyes in the woods staring at me. Help.

Old 11-12-2012, 08:49 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Big yellow eyes in the woods staring at me. Help.

I live in a mostly wooded part of rural Maryland in between DC and the coast. Being November, there are tons of dry leaves on the ground, particularly just outside my front and back yards in the woods.

The past few weeks, when walking outside my house in the dark at night or very early morning (to take out the trash, etc.) I've been hearing what sounds like a large animal in the woods walking slowly and disturbing the leaves.

Tonight, I took a flashlight with me and shined it into the woods along the edge of my back yard and saw a pair of BIG yellow eyes shining back at me... low to the ground, blinking very slowly. When using my incandescent light, the eyes were rich gold. Switching to my white LED light, the eyes were more of a lemon yellow.

The animal was about 50 feet away. I yelled and it did not seem to care. I went in the house and came back out with .22 rifle and it was still there staring at me so I fired a warning shot to it to try and scare it off. The ***************** didn't even flinch. It just slowly sidestepped about four feet to the side, keeping its eyes on me the whole time.

I fired another shot - this time it turned around and walked away. From what I saw and the way it moved, it was a four-legged animal, about 30-40 pounds. Somewhat dark color, but the butt seemed to be lighter.

Does this sound like a coyote? Bobcat? It's been stalking around my house for a few weeks now so I'm worried about my pets. I have a cat and a young dog. I don't want to see my puppy get snatched away in front of me while I'm taking him outside to pee. I also don't want to get jumped by a cougar while I'm taking out the trash. Should I set up some snares at the edge of the property? This is really creepy because whatever the animal is, it has some serious balls and isn't afraid of me.

Last edited by JW; 11-13-2012 at 05:09 AM. Reason: language
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:53 AM
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Set up some trail cams to see what it is...
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 07superglide
Set up some trail cams to see what it is...
yep.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:00 PM
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Yeti ? Drunk democrat?
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:34 AM
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So you were shooting "warning shots" at something you didn't know what it was? Hope it wasn't the neighbor kid... not much stuff in the woods in the DC metro area you have to be afraid of... other than people. 1st rule of shooting is BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT... you are not...
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:04 AM
  #6  
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Even if its your land you normally need to get a depredation permit in most states. Don't know about Maryland or Virginia.

Yellow eyes could be an owl or a cat.

Red eyes are raccoons, and bluish-green eyes are deer. So it isn't that.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DUMB BASS
So you were shooting "warning shots" at something you didn't know what it was? Hope it wasn't the neighbor kid... not much stuff in the woods in the DC metro area you have to be afraid of... other than people. 1st rule of shooting is BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT... you are not...
Dumb Bass is correct.

First, identify what the animal is. Sounds like you need a better flashlight if you can't identify an animal 50 feet away.

Second, before you shoot be sure of your target and what is beyond and to the right and left of it.

Third, why are you shooting warning shots? IMO, shots are done only when needed or at a target for practice. If you are not shooting at an intended target, you have potential to hit something else or have a ricochet.

Sounds like you need to take a firearm safety course.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:09 AM
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When h said warning shot, I assumed he was shooting up into the air, or at a tree trunk etc.

You guys need to ease up.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:11 PM
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Skwatch!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Shoobee
Even if its your land you normally need to get a depredation permit in most states. Don't know about Maryland or Virginia.

Yellow eyes could be an owl or a cat.

Red eyes are raccoons, and bluish-green eyes are deer. So it isn't that.
Gotta say, I find that basically NONE of this is true...

1) Animal depredation permits are actually not that common in most states, and many states have written code that spells out that if you have a problem animal, you can defend your self and property. Big game species are a different case, as far as if you have over populated deer damaging your crops, you can't go blasting deer without involving the DNR, but predatory and invasive species are a different matter. Most states that have ever had issues with predatory or invasive (read wild hogs) species encroaching upon humans will have a reasonable way of allowing landowners to deal with the issues firsthand. In my experience, in MOST states, if you have problem animals, it's usually easier to 1) call DNR and have them deal with it for you, 2) call a local hunter and see if they can take care of the problem, 3) call local pest/animal control and have them deal with it, or 4) get your own HUNTING license and deal with it yourself. Depredation permits are often more time consuming than they are worth.

2) Eye color in reflection is not always consistent, and will vary with light source. Sure, owls will tend to run more yellow, cats tend to be more orange/red, and deer will generally seem more blue/green, but basically any species can have a yellow, orange, red, or blue/green eye shine, depending on your light source. Different lamps, halogen, incandescent, LED, Laser designators will emit different spectra, and will reflect different colors back. Different intensity lights will also yield different colors. A very low intensity light might show a red or orange from a coyote eye, but if you crank up the rheostat, you'll see a more orange or yellow eye shine. Green deer eyes can turn yellow or white under high intensity light.

Beyond that, I have taken LITERALLY thousands of coons, and can probably count on one hand how many times I have thought their eyes looked "red" unless I was using a red lens or red LED. Orange to green is usually what I see using most of the lights/lamps I have used over the years. Red is almost always cats, opossums, or skunks, while coons seem to be a little more centered in the spectrum.

Frankly, for all you know, you took a pot shot at a bunny rabbit. If you can't see it at 50ft, you should not be taking shots at it. Either get a trail camera, or simply walk out there and see what type of tracks might be left. If you find some tracks that you can't readily identify, post them on here and we'll be able to help you out.

Stray/Feral dogs can be incredibly dangerous and need to be dealt with, coyotes are generally much more wary, but they WILL attack pets, and CAN attack small children. Wolves generally avoid human homes, but they are incredibly dangerous. Wolves have zero fear of humans, and are large enough that they DO see adult humans as a prey source. If you have a wolf problem, you need to be making calls and defending yourself. I have been stalked by wolves during caribou hunts and had to defend myself while quartering my kill. Liam Neissen might be a terrible actor, but "The Grey" wasn't too far off for how they behave. Wolves really don't care who or what you are, they're here to eat anything that moves. Bobcats, in my experience, wouldn't be a problem for people, could be a problem for smaller pets. Cougar/Mountain Lion/Puma/Panthers are incredibly dangerous. If you have a cogar problem, i.e. coming near your home with little or no fear of YOU, you need to be making some phone calls. Hogs generally aren't predatory, but can be dangerous if you surprise one, and they can occasionally be territorial. Skunks and opossums suck, but generally aren't dangerous, coons aren't an issue other than invasion. Bunny rabbits, on the other hand, are incredibly dangerous and must be stopped at all costs....

Last edited by Nomercy448; 11-18-2012 at 08:18 AM.
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