Last friday morning, I decided to go moose hunting locally here in the Valley. My brother in law owns 40 acres off a main road here and I decided to give that area a shot.
Got up before dawn and drove myself to the property. It rained the night before and there were puddles of standing water,scattered along a small dirt trail that I was walking.The morning light cast shadows as I crept along slowly. Then I saw something move about 20 feet in front of me. Low and behold, it was a marmot, squatting along side the trail. As I slowly approached him, he started down the trail slowly in front of me. As he would come upon a puddle of water, he would swim to the end of it till running out of water and just lay there. Until I got to within 5 feet of him and he would get up and walk to the next puddle and do the swimming thing again. This must have went on for over 50 yards, both of us using the same trail, going in the same direction. He into numerous puddle's and myself enjoying the company.
It has been years since I ran into a marmot and forgot how small and actually cute they seem to be. He didn't seem to be in any hurry and as stated, I was enjoying him swimming and crawling from puddle to puddle. After about 50 yards, I thought to my self that maybe I should get serious about Moose hunting and decided to pass the marmot on by. He swam to the end of a somewhat large puddle and sat and waited on me. This time I increased my stride and came up along side of him, about three feet away.
This is when he must of decided that I was trying to do him some harm cause all of a sudden, he jumped straight at me and started to attack my ankles. Here I am, a big bad hunter with my rifle strapped over my back and I'm doing an irish jig with this marmot trying to bite and claw my ankles. This dance must have went on only 20 seconds but to me, as suprised as I was, it seemed a lot longer than that. No wanting to hurt the little fellow and not wanting to get bit myself, I finally danced away far enough that he cut off the attack. After my initial shock of being attacked, I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation. We must have made one heck of a couple, dancing around in the light of dawn.
I have been charged by both bear and moose and I think I was more suprised by this little guy more than anything else.
Has anyone else ever run into an animal that did something out of the ordinary? I would had never thought a marmot would attack? I gotta admit it though, I'm still chuckling about it. By the way, Saw 5 cows that morning but no bulls.