Montana Outdoors

July 22, 2018

Porcupine

Filed under: Animals, Montana — Tags: , , — montucky @ 3:02 pm

Porcupine

Porcupine ~ erethizon dorsatum

While they used to be plentiful in this region, Porcupines are pretty scarce now. This is one of my favorite pictures from back in 2008. He was hiding pretty well, wasn’t he!

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39 Comments »

  1. I love that photo! They are really cute little guys (until your dog runs into them). We haven’t had that problem yet. Almost, but luckily Emma listened to “NO!” when she was only a puppy and came across one. It’s something I worry about though. That, and rattlesnakes. But your porcupine photo is really nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 22, 2018 @ 3:07 pm

    • Fortunately, none of my dogs have tangled with one. Fortunately also, there is a rattlesnake vaccine available for dogs. (I wonder, if it is available for dogs, why isn’t there one for humans too!) About a month ago I got an annual booster shot for Buster.

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      Comment by montucky — July 22, 2018 @ 3:17 pm

      • Out west here, they don’t know a lot about it. Did your dog have much of a reaction when he got the vaccination the first time?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 22, 2018 @ 3:20 pm

        • No; no reaction at all to either of them, and I was not given any precautions from the Vet. Buster is big though (100lbs) and perhaps that makes a difference too.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — July 22, 2018 @ 3:26 pm

          • Yes, that might make a difference. Emma is very small, I’m guessing 20 pounds or a wee bit more. I’m a bit nervous to try her with the vaccine. The vets we’ve talked to in Montana have told us that once the dog has been bitten, the “vaccine” may or may not work, but it was around $1000 to give them the anti-snakebite serum. Actually, I don’t know if that is the same as the vaccine or if it is a special concoction to be used after the bite as a last resort. I just hope I never have to find out.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 22, 2018 @ 3:31 pm

            • I hope I don’t ever have to test the shots either. My Vet called it “rattlesnake vaccination” and it was $25 per shot. I recall that the first year there were two shots, a month or so apart, then just one this year. I would guess that, as with a person who has been bitten, the shots then would be very expensive.

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by montucky — July 22, 2018 @ 4:03 pm

  2. What a delightful photo. It looks like he is staring straight at you (hoping you’ll go away?).
    You were lucky to catch sight of him in that thick foliage.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — July 22, 2018 @ 7:40 pm

    • That’s exactly what he was doing. He seemed like a big clump of something in a tree that normally wouldn’t have a clump of anything in it. A closer look gave me a nice photo op.

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      Comment by montucky — July 22, 2018 @ 7:58 pm

  3. Probably thinks you can’t see him.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — July 22, 2018 @ 10:41 pm

  4. Playing peek-a-boo with you, no doubt! 🙂 Such a cute photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — July 23, 2018 @ 7:18 am

  5. I still see them fairly regularly here but have few photos to prove it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — July 23, 2018 @ 4:16 pm

  6. What an awesome shot, love it. I think I’ve never seen one in the wild, maybe for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — July 23, 2018 @ 4:30 pm

    • They are gentle creatures, although their defense capabilities are very dangerous to dogs who get too close to them out of typical curiosity.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2018 @ 5:02 pm

  7. I love this capture! It’d be a favorite of mine too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — July 23, 2018 @ 5:31 pm

  8. Very Nice! Love the eyes peeking out!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Reed Andariese — July 23, 2018 @ 6:44 pm

  9. This is one of my favorite wildlife photos ever. Everything about it’s perfect — just the right amount of leaves; the bright, inquiring eyes; the fact that you were able to get the body and spines in the photo, too. Is it my imagination, or is it lifting up one paw, as if to push the leaves away for a better look? it sure looks like those are two claws on the right side.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — July 24, 2018 @ 6:19 am

    • You have very sharp eyes, Linda! Yes, those are claws but I don’t know if he had that paw up to get a better view or just to brace himself. That was one of my wife’s favorite pictures and I have a framed print on the wall. I haven’t seen a porcupine in many years, in fact this might be the last one that I’ve seen. They have all but disappeared in this area although they are still plentiful in other regions. The wildlife people have no definitive answer on why. They are still studying them to try to find out. The biggest problem seems to be in higher areas and there are practically no sighting of them above 4000 feet.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 24, 2018 @ 7:53 am

  10. He looks curious but shy! Do they climb trees?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — July 24, 2018 @ 7:20 am

    • They are excellent climbers. Their diet is composed mostly of the cambium layer near the tops of young pines and firs (as well as needles) and when they were plentiful a sure sign of their presence was a bare section of a tree about ten feet from the top where one had stripped off all of the bark to get at that layer. When I was a kid and even into the 80’s that was a common sight when I was hunting or hiking around here.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 24, 2018 @ 7:57 am

  11. That is an awesome photo of a porcupine … he’s really watching you and “trying” to hide!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie — July 25, 2018 @ 6:53 pm

    • He was, and yet he knew I was looking at him and he was wondering “what’s next?”. I wish I could think that everyone else that he saw was as kind and respectful to him as I was. Such gentle creatures have been sorely persecuted and deserve far better.

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      Comment by montucky — July 25, 2018 @ 7:02 pm

  12. That is a wonderful photo of it. I have never seen one in person.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Tammie — July 26, 2018 @ 4:18 pm

    • When I was growing up, they were plentiful, but now I seldom see one. I’ve read that the wildlife people are trying to figure out exactly why they have disappeared in this area, and especially over 4,000 feet. There is a long list of the possible reasons, but they haven’t found any one that’s conclusive.

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      Comment by montucky — July 26, 2018 @ 4:36 pm

  13. He was hiding brilliantly! What a shame to hear that their numbers have dropped off …

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    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — July 27, 2018 @ 6:59 pm

    • Porcupines are still doing well over most of their range, just not in this region. I hope someone will figure out why and perhaps it can be altered.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 27, 2018 @ 7:21 pm

  14. Great photo! We’re still working on spotting one on a hike. I saw a couple behind our house near Bend growing up and one as a teen while deer hunting but haven’t had any luck since.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by derwoodynck — July 27, 2018 @ 9:29 pm

    • I haven’t seen any lately either. When I was a kid I would see one or more and all kinds of signs that they were around. It’s really a shame that they aren’t still around.

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      Comment by montucky — July 27, 2018 @ 11:48 pm

  15. Excellent capture. My stupid question: Are they dangerous? We have only few in Finland and I have never seen them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — July 31, 2018 @ 2:10 am

    • They are very gentle and slow moving. Their quills are barbed though and can be a real hazard to anything that attacks them (like a dog). They are not aggressive at all and the quills are only a defense mechanism.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 1, 2018 @ 10:23 am


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