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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this weekend I was on the NW side of china camp on top of the 2nd biggest "peak" where they have the area with a couple acres of redwoods. I had ditched my bike a 1/4mi back since it was "off-limits" to bikers and I'm not one to break rules. So, I was hiking through the way-too-quiet-redwoods when I heard some leaves moving on the other side of the ridge. I threw a stick first to see if I could scare it away and it stopped making noise. Now it was really quiet. I changed routes to get a better angle and was going to go over the top of the ridge instead of the side. I was being really quiet to try and get a better look and when I turned my head back up to the top I was staring right at 3 of the biggest "coyotes" I have ever seen. Way too big to be normal coyotes (a solid german shepard size) but I would be insane to think there are wolves in this area. Regardless, I tried to quickly turn on my camera since no one would belive me without evidence. It beeped when it turned on though and they looked right at me, maybe 30ft away, and made this ridiculously low grunt that I have never heard before. I wispered many expletives to myself and took off running as fast as I could. I was legitimately scared, one of the few times in my life. Thankfully, they didn't follow me.

No, I'm not a troll, this really happened on Sunday. I'm just a guy from BatonRouge out here for work so I really don't know if this is a big deal or not. I know back home, our coyotes are no where near that big and stay a good distance from people if they can.

I just thought I would share this with everyone and see if any of you had experiences like this before. Also let me know if I'm just retarded and my scared little mind is making things seem out of proportion.
 

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I've seen a pack of 3 coyotes in the fields behind my house. Like you, I know they can't be wolves, but they sure look like them! Big and grey.

Don't know what to tell you- hopefully someone can shed some light on this subject.
 

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Probably was wolves

JustTheTip said:
So this weekend I was on the NW side of china camp on top of the 2nd biggest "peak" where they have the area with a couple acres of redwoods. I had ditched my bike a 1/4mi back since it was "off-limits" to bikers and I'm not one to break rules. So, I was hiking through the way-too-quiet-redwoods when I heard some leaves moving on the other side of the ridge. I threw a stick first to see if I could scare it away and it stopped making noise. Now it was really quiet. I changed routes to get a better angle and was going to go over the top of the ridge instead of the side. I was being really quiet to try and get a better look and when I turned my head back up to the top I was staring right at 3 of the biggest "coyotes" I have ever seen. Way too big to be normal coyotes (a solid german shepard size) but I would be insane to think there are wolves in this area. Regardless, I tried to quickly turn on my camera since no one would belive me without evidence. It beeped when it turned on though and they looked right at me, maybe 30ft away, and made this ridiculously low grunt that I have never heard before. I wispered many expletives to myself and took off running as fast as I could. I was legitimately scared, one of the few times in my life. Thankfully, they didn't follow me.

No, I'm not a troll, this really happened on Sunday. I'm just a guy from BatonRouge out here for work so I really don't know if this is a big deal or not. I know back home, our coyotes are no where near that big and stay a good distance from people if they can.

I just thought I would share this with everyone and see if any of you had experiences like this before. Also let me know if I'm just retarded and my scared little mind is making things seem out of proportion.
After being reintroduced into Yellowstone, they have thrived. Spreading into Idaho and eastern washington. But it was a little to cold for them, so they hitch hiked down the I-5 and took up residence in the temperate hills of our costal range.

But in all seriousness. I really doubt that it was wolves. Also, I'm sure you know, but turning and running was probably the worst thing you could have done in that situation...

Wow, I really sound like a know it all. :rolleyes:

Hope you continue to enjoy your time here in California. :thumbsup:
 

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Ryan G. said:
No wolves in the area but chupacabras are native to the area. Could of been a pack of them, as they can be a bit more aggressive and larger than coyotes.
Chupacabras? You mean the fictional beasts or is there some sort of legit chupacabra that google search does not turn up?

Am I the only non-stoned mountain biker?

On the large animal thing...I have been very close to a very large coyote at Ft. Ord. I was surprised by the size when it bounced out in front of me. It was around the size of a german shepherd in height, but not weight.
 

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Coyotes! I took photos last month of our local coyotes that hunt in packs and they were big. The homeowner there I talked to was convinced they could take down a deer. But then when I saw them I said... 'yeah, they could do it'. I have a photo later.

fc
 

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I have noticed a lot more coyotes in Marin lately. I have never seen them at China Camp, but early in the morning, you can hear them howling there. Not far from there, in the Lucas Valley/Loma Alta area, I see them regularly and yes they are often German Shepherd size. Lots of Bobcats too out there - saw one very close up about a week ago (~10 yds) and was amazed at what a beautiful animal it is.
 

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I saw them 3 times last week, and have heard them two other times in the past.

The first time I heard them, about 2 months ago, it sounded like a pack of 5 to 10. My wife and I had just finished a ride in pitch black due to a heavy fog moving in. The fog was so thick that we actually had to slow down due to a lack visibility. The fog killed the waning day light fast and blocked the near full moon. It was pretty eery on it's own. . .let alone with the coyote howls. My wife was not happy.

The first time I saw one was last week. I had just loaded up my bike and was leaving around 5:40 pm or so. As I was driving out I saw one running on the shoulder of the flat area where most people park by the campground entrance. This one was very small.

The next day, I saw 3 on Shoreline trail around 4:30 pm. As I came around the corner, the closest and largest coyote came at me a bit. I downshifted and slammed on the brakes. That sound made him run to the rest of the pack. They were very skittish, I clapped and all 3 ran away. This 'pack' had a very large one, normal sized, and small size coyotes.

Again, I assume they are coyotes due to the howling that I have heard there lately. It didn't quite sound like you hear wolves in the movies. . .but I am far from an expert (obviously.)
 

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Yep, big ass coyotes. They are all over Marin these days and they look huge with their winter coats. Harmless, although I don't have any interest in being too close to a couple of them.....especially on foot.

I came across a group a few weeks back in the headlands around dark that was being pretty aggressive towards me. Turned out one of them was gimpy and they seemed to have circled it to protect it.

I grew up right at the base of China Camp and never saw one (or heard one) out there until the last few years. Interesting.

On a different note there are some places off the beaten path at china camp that are super creepy. More so than anywhere else in Marin that I know about. They may well have been chupacabras.
 

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Ryan G. said:
No wolves in the area but chupacabras are native to the area. Could of been a pack of them, as they can be a bit more aggressive and larger than coyotes.
Well known fact that there used to be a lot more goats in the area after the chupacabra population dwindled due to urbanization of the area. Thought the chupes were all but gone from China Camp.

They're usually solitary animals, but if they're now traveling in packs, we're in trouble.
 

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I see and hear them all the time in my hood (lucas valley). Saw one a couple of weeks ago on Loma Alta and one unfortunate bugger was struck by a car over the weekend half a block from my house. Of the dozens upon dozens of coyotes I've seen around here, none of them appear to be bigger than 45lb.
 

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And while were talking China Camp, why do they have signs for mountain lions posted at the park? The total open space is around 5000 acres and is completely cut off from other other lion populations. I just cant see a sustainable lion population in such a small area.
 

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Turd Fergusen said:
is something that I think park staff or DFG would definitely be interested in hearing about.
Reminds me of this video, and yea no wolf's in California.

I actually had one coming up to me similar to this once on a road ride climb somewhere on the peninsula a number of years ago, kept having to shoo it away.

 

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I always thought the same thing regarding Mountain Lions in China Camp. It doesn't make a lot of sense but we have had some pretty factual sounding sightings in Peacock Gap in the past. I'm talking two sightings that I know of over the course of my lifetime, so not much and they were unvalidated but still......
 

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Coyotes look larger in the winter time, due to their winter coats (which still grow even in milder climates like Marin).

Sounds like a cool experience. It is extremely unlikely that a coyote will kill a healthy adult deer, as deer can kill coyotes fairly easily. Coyotes usually go after fawns, birthing does, or dead animals.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow! lots of great feedback. it's very good to know I wasn't going crazy! It's also really interesting to hear of all the other sightings. Maybe ill think twice about wandering off in those creepy sections by myself. Not sure what makes them so creepy but they definitely are.

And the ones I saw had winter coats still for certain. That added to the size a bit im sure. And with all the turkey and deer Ive seen around there they probably dont go hungry very often.

Also I'm positive it wasn't a pack of chupacabra because I have a special whistle that wishes them away to neverland and it didnt work.

Other than that, I love it up here. You guys have a great area and everyone I have met on the trails has been wonderful!
 
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