50 Critters to Avoid This Summer, Part 1 of 5


It’s summer and American sportsman are out and about in big numbers. With so many millions of people covering lakes and rivers, tidewaters and oceans, hills and dales, mountains and valleys, accidental encounters with beasts big and small are sure to occur.

Here are some bad boys–and girls–that may ruin an otherwise grand day outdoors. Avoid them at all costs or pay a painful price.

1 – Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets nesting below ground can number in the thousands. Disturb them and they’ll swarm, attack, and ruin your day–possibly your life, too.

2 – Wild Hog

Wild hogs get a lot of press for being big, bad and abundant. They deserve the hype and are equipped to put a hurtin’ on ya, as they say in much wild pig country.

3 – Scorpion

There are over 1,500 scorpion species worldwide. There are not so many in the U.S., but they all pack a wallop sting and are of the stuff of nightmares.

4 – Python

Ah, the python, which although got hit hard by last winter’s severity in South Florida, still are slithering along just fine, thank you very much. Well over 100,000 are still flourishing in the wilds of the Sunshine State. They stretch to over 18 feet long.

5 – Black Bear

Black bear numbers have surged in recent years, and they are in a woodlot near you. One recently was discovered within only a few miles of New York City.

6 – Bull Shark

Lots of other shark species get more press, but bull sharks are big, abundant, and are certified man-eaters.

7 – Hag Moth

The hag moth or “monkey slug” caterpillar is about a half inch long and looks harmless enough. Don’t touch it, though, as it packs a powerful sting.

8 – American Alligator

The American alligator has a much larger distribution than many people believe, extending from Mexico along the Gulf Coast States up through the Carolinas. Everywhere they are a potential hazard, as is any lizard with teeth that grows to half a ton could be.

9 – Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes have a much larger range than many people realize. Some species of rattlesnake is found in almost every state and in Canadian provinces, too. Watch your step!

10 – Cougar

Cougar or mountain lion populations are increasing annually, and hikers and mountain bikers regularly encounter them. Watch your back.

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Bob McNally is currently a writer for AllOutdoor who has chosen not to write a short bio at this time.

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