I spotted this porcupine just hangin’ out in a tree in my backyard. I snapped this image as he was sunning himself on a warm winter afternoon.
Like all of the local wildlife, he has had a pretty easy go of it this winter with minimal snowfall and mild temperatures. I left him to his business this day as he has not caused any trouble around the place, other than removing bark from a few trees. It is not so much the tree bark I am worried about – my dog’s bark now that’s a different story. Normally dogs and porcupines don’t mix, but my black lab has only had one run-in with a porcupine and that was when he was 8 weeks old. Perhaps he learned his lesson…(knock on wood). He is going on six years old and has seen plenty of porcupines in his day. In fact one fall morning when I was out hunting pheasants, we spotted movement in the cattails, thinking it was a pheasant I sent my dog in to flush the bird. He walked towards the spot I had indicated and then turned and walked the other direction. “Nose not working today boy? It’s right there!!” Again I sent him to the spot where I saw movement, again he turned and walked away. I reached down to see if I could flush this bird. When I moved the cattails to the side there was a porcupine! I have never doubted my dog’s judgment (nose) again.
Porcupines are said to be okay to eat, though I haven’t tried one myself. In a survival situation they could save your life. They are easily caught and dispatched. Someone I knew hit a porcupine with his truck. He decided to take it home and cook it for his dog. It smelled so good when it was roasting that the dog never got any. Maybe someday I’ll give it a try too. If I do I’ll be sure to describe the culinary experience in a future post!
Photo captured by Nikon D300 – Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5 – 5.6G ED