There are five large predators remaining in North America that pose a real threat to outdoor men and women who engaged in hunting, fishing, camping, or just enjoying the great outdoors. These individuals could be families going to a state or national park, a boy scout going to camp, or someone going on a nature walk. These big five predators are – Brown Bears, Black Bears, Mountain Lions, Wolves, and Alligators.
North America is also home to several species of pit vipers and one type of elapid and all are venomous! The pit vipers native to North America are rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins. The only venomous snake in the elapid family native to North America is the coral snakes, related to the infamous cobras, mambas, and kraits.
There are techniques and skills that the outdoor enthusiast can employ to minimize a deadly encounter with a large predator. It starts with the knowledge of the risks that can be encountered, and the knowledge of the predator that poses the risk. It is as simple as being prepared and having a plan. Knowing what to look for to predict an unintended encounter and what to do if an encounter is inevitable can mean the difference between a tragedy and an enjoyable outing.