CacheCrazy.Com: Why Not Wednesday ~ On Porcupines

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why Not Wednesday ~ On Porcupines

On Porcupines

A Public Service Announcement.




DctrSpott


Hi all. I'm here with a public service announcement.

Have you ever seen a porcupine before? Until recently, I never had. I was doubtful as to their existence! I mean, a creature with practically impenetrable spikes? Sounds like a character from X-men. I'm calling shenanigans.

But, sure enough, while my blogging colleagues were out fooling around, they ran across one of these critters. I was intrigued... surely, they wouldn't lie. And that photo... well, I'll keep it on the backburner. Maybe I'll spot (ha!) one, one of these days.

 So, fast forward to a few weeks later, while out with BLOODHOUNDED and Dodger, checking out a new quality cache hide (GC2VAPB).  My dog, Boltzmann, sprints off into some bushes and begins yipping. I dive in after him. What's this black blob? I hear a call, "What is it, is it a porcupine?"  "I dunno," I call back, "I've never seen one before. Let me touch it and find out."
...
"Ouch! Yeah, I think it's a porcupine!"  Dear lord! They do exist! From the looks of it, this one is a little baby. Bolt wouldn't stop barking at it, and I had to physically carry the stubborn dog through a good 10 meters of bushes to get him out. Dumb dog.



So, turns out, these little guys have quite the sharp quills. Surgery wasn't too bad, since the guy was young, the quills were small and easily removed. They come off fairly readily when touched, but, thankfully, these spiky devils cannot fire off their quills at enemies... yet.

But the worst is yet to come. While hiking the same area with my brother, and while totally not lost at all, Bolt starts investigating and yipping again. A large black blob comes wobbling out. "Ah! Cool! Another porcupine! Let's see what happens." Bolt quickly herds it into a tree, where I figured it would sit and wait things out. Then, lo and behold...

"Ah! Look! Guys! [Colorful language]! Those buggahs can climb trees!" I was beside myself. These prickly rodents can climb better than I can! To what end? What will they accomplish? It just doesn't seem right. These guys are, like, invulnerable. Spikes, AND tree climbing? Nature needs balance.

So, since I've driven my friends and family crazy with this new discovery, I'm passing the knowledge to you. These porcupines can climb trees. And I know they're up to something. Keep an eye out.

7 comments:

Dodger said...

I knew that dog of yours didn't learn his lesson! LOL - you have many days of headaches and vet bills ahead of you!

Good stuff!

BLOODHOUNDED said...

Oh yes, good times.
DctrSpott, we may have to have this confirmed but I learned long ago that they can actually "throw" their quills like 10 or 12 feet! So they can shoot you with them! I'll tell you one level of defense they have yet to master, dodging cars! There must be 4 on the road between Rt. 115 and FEW Dam.
Great job on the article!

BigAl said...

As an avid outdoors-man,and pretty knowledgable about animals, I can assure you porcupines cannot throw or shoot their quills. Many people think they can, but it's an old wives tale. I have handled many and none of them has ever thrown their quills. Now I have had many quills put into my gloves due to my stupidity. I used to put them in my animal mounts as a taxidermist. Looks really cool in a black bear mount. Great article though. Also, there is a season for them now here in PA. Notification just came out. It's legal to shoot them now.

DctrSpott said...

Porcupine hunting, BigAl? We may have to. These menacing tree-climbers are up to no good. I'm sure of it.

Dodger, I think he may have actually learned. He barked his face off, but actually came out without a single quill in him. I'm sure he'll forget very soon. =)

BLOODHOUNDED, I've heard they have trouble avoiding cars, but I don't see how tires can hold up in the face of those quills... hm.

Dodger said...

More fun porcupine facts - because they move slowly and are easy to find and catch, porcupines are considered a survival food. Supposedly you can eat the meat raw, too. I understand that is why they were always protected.

You have a good and smart companion, Spott.

BigAl said...

More porcupine facts from Big Al. Porcupines are one of the animals that do have two natural predators. Do you know what they are? If you answered Black Bear and Fisher you would be correct. These two animals are probably the only two who can catch, kill, and eat a porcupine. They turn them over and kill them because their underside is where they are vulnerable. Then they eat them. I pulled a lot of quills out of the fishers I have mounted, as well as black bears. Porcs also like salty things such as boating oars and similar items. Their quills are barbed, which makes them hard to take out, and they tend to spiral further into your, or your dogs, skin.

Jim Rinker said...

I had a porcupine keep me from completing a Multi at the windmills. It was Up Down & All Around (sticks and stones) GC2VAPB If you want a mild chuckle, read my log :)

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=449d7732-8dfb-48be-af72-d8ae2366e9ea

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