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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What kind of wildlife are you folks seeing at Santos lately - besides getting a face-full of banana spider?

I just saw a good sized bobcat a few weeks back. That was a first. He wasn't all that far from the trail head either. The owls seem to like to hang out in the short trees near sundown. I came face to face with 2 of them right before that bobcat. One flew right over me, close enough I had to duck.

A rabbit had to clear the path for me at the top of one of the "hills" on Twister.

I think it was last fall when I spooked a coyote in the middle of the Nayls loop. Been a while since I've jumped a deer over there too. I've seen a couple of deer between the Land Bridge and Nayls.
 

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The Voice of Reason
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up here in santa rosa county i've heard there was a jaguarundi (smaller than a panther, bigger than a bobcat) sighting. i wouldn't mind seeing one of those.
 

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when I was there in April...

we saw a huge owl about 10 ft off the trail in a tree about 15ft high, he was just chillin checking us out. I also came across a black snake- he was hauling ass to get out of my way though, didn't get a good look. We were riding about 3/4 in the afternoon.
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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DirtyJ said:
we saw a huge owl about 10 ft off the trail in a tree about 15ft high, he was just chillin checking us out. I also came across a black snake- he was hauling ass to get out of my way though, didn't get a good look. We were riding about 3/4 in the afternoon.
for a few months I saw an owl out at San Felasco every time I rode. I think it would follow me and look for critters that I would scare out of hiding.
 

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Shortcutting Hikabiker
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Yesterday at Felasco was like hawk mating season. There were like 5 of them making wierd calls and swooping in and out of the trees on cellon creek. I also almost ran over a gopher tortise cruising down the trail. And of course I saw like 5 deer.
 

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Just this past Sunday I ran across a turtle in the middle of the Vortex trail right after the 3 drops and the cave. I moved him off the trail in the direction he was heading and apparently it got him po'd has he stuck his head out real far, looked at me, and then hauled butt (he was surprisingly fast) back to his den.
 

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mb_ said:
What kind of wildlife are you folks seeing at Santos lately - besides getting a face-full of banana spider?

I just saw a good sized bobcat a few weeks back. That was a first. He wasn't all that far from the trail head either. The owls seem to like to hang out in the short trees near sundown. I came face to face with 2 of them right before that bobcat. One flew right over me, close enough I had to duck.

A rabbit had to clear the path for me at the top of one of the "hills" on Twister.

I think it was last fall when I spooked a coyote in the middle of the Nayls loop. Been a while since I've jumped a deer over there too. I've seen a couple of deer between the Land Bridge and Nayls.
I have probably seen that same bobcat--it is huge for a bobcat and when I first saw it I thought it was a panther. I didn't realize bobcats got that big. But I was trail running and got a great look at it as it ran off through an opening and into a field and it was definitely a bobcat.

If you leave the Trailhead at Santos and take the right, yellow trail, about 1/3 a mile in there is an area that always smells like cat urine. That is right about where I saw the bobcat one day when trail running (when I was on my way back in). I think the cat must hang out there at times. Years ago I had seen a smaller bobcat in the same area.

I have also seen a coyote (riding the limerock road back to the Land Bridge from out by 49th Avenue), many owls, a gopher tortise almost every ride just beyond the Vortex section on the way to Spider Kingdom (I think we need to just name that tortise), a coral or king snake that I ran over (I was fortunately going too fast to figure out which), countless armadillos (I've had actual collisions with two armadillos), a few possums, many pileated woodpeckers, some type of black snake/corn snake (non-poisinous), rabbits, and I even think I saw a fox once (I am not sure--it was at dusk and I only got a real quick glance at it and can't be sure).

Oh yeah, there is that big cat that comes out only at night and eats night riders like popcorn.
 

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In May I came up on a small deer standing in the trail just west of the campground about 45 seconds into the ride and last year I saw one of the largest bald eagles (I`ve seen) out near the end of the trail close to 484. And many snakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gatorback said:
If you leave the Trailhead at Santos and take the right, yellow trail, about 1/3 a mile in there is an area that always smells like cat urine. That is right about where I saw the bobcat one day when trail running (when I was on my way back in). I think the cat must hang out there at times. Years ago I had seen a smaller bobcat in the same area.
Yep. Same general area I saw this one. The dark color and size made me do the double-take. But the no-tail was the identifier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
GatorB, I know that gopher you're talking about too. Speaking of things that dig holes, I rode Nayls last weekend and some critter is digging a bunch of holes in the trails over there. It's probably the squirrels, but the holes seem a little big for them, and definitely too small for a tortoise.

Do you do any work with OMBA? I owe them some trail work for all the fun I have up there. Their forums don't get a lot of activity, so I forget to look for scheduled work days.
 

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UF Engineering Slave
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On Sunday, in the 'Barns' section of the epic trail, a 4 foot moccasin shot across the trail next to me while I was stopped for water. I also spotted a basketball sized Gopher Tortoise at the bottom of the land bridge.
 

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mb_ said:
GatorB, I know that gopher you're talking about too. Speaking of things that dig holes, I rode Nayls last weekend and some critter is digging a bunch of holes in the trails over there. It's probably the squirrels, but the holes seem a little big for them, and definitely too small for a tortoise.

Do you do any work with OMBA? I owe them some trail work for all the fun I have up there. Their forums don't get a lot of activity, so I forget to look for scheduled work days.
I've just gotten started volunteering with OMBA. I'd been riding the trails for years, but was doing a lot of other volunteer work and didn't have much time. So I'm going to start putting in my time to work on the trails and hopefully raise some money for OMBA as well. Some new trails may be built soon out past 484 and there are also some plans for some new stuff in the freeride area.

I think the trail workdays are the first Saturday of each month at 8:00 a.m. at the tool shed on the left as you enter the campground. But if I remember correctly I think the date may be changed in July because the first Saturday will be on the July 4th holiday. I'll try to find out for sure and post when the July worday will take place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey, shoot me a PM if you think about it in case I don't catch the workday post.

The holes aren't from hogs. I know what hog sign looks like - it's more like a rotatiller when they are in an area.
 

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mb_ said:
Hey, shoot me a PM if you think about it in case I don't catch the workday post.

The holes aren't from hogs. I know what hog sign looks like - it's more like a rotatiller when they are in an area.
The next trail workday for OMBA at Santos is Saturday July 12th. We meet at 8:00 a.m. at the tool shed which is just to the left as you enter the campground. Trail workdays typically last 2-4 hours. It is best to wear your Camelback (I learned the hard way). I'd also suggest wearing old jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt and bringing work gloves.

All help is appreciated in maintaining our great trail system. The trails always need work, especially this time of year when the trees and foliage grow like crazy because of all the rain.

(Trail workdays are typically the first Saturday of the month, but in July we moved it to the 12th because the first Saturday is during the 4th of July holiday weekend).
 

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Praise Bob
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Hawk and rabbit

I came up on a hawk chewing on a rabbit right by "the back door" of twister/vortex. It was awesome. He flew into a tree by the trail and we dismounted and walked slowly by to get a good look. At first we didnt see the rabit and were wondering why the hawk wasnt flying away. We got glared at until we were about 20 yards away and then he swooped down and carted the rabbit off to a more secluded place.

The funny thing is that I usually dont see too much wildlife in Santos. A couple of gopher tortoises and thats about it. Now San Felasco has tons of stuff.
 

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I got a great look at another bobcat on Friday. I was doing the Epic ride and it was on the section that you ride the limerock road back from Nayl's to the Landbridge before turning back into the singletrack.

I was going pretty fast on the limerock road, this bobcact pops out in front of me on the trail from the side, and proceeds to run down the trail in front of me for say 20-30 seconds. Then it hopped back in to the brush. It was about 30 yards in front of me most of the time--very cool and I got a great look at it. This is one of those times I wished I had a helmet cam.

This bobcat was not nearly as big as the one I had seen a couple of years ago up by the Santos trailhead. This one was also a lot darker, with quite a bit of dark coloring.

The snakes are out in force, so if you ride expect to see them.
 
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