Badgers are fearless creatures!


Except for the wolverine, badgers are probably the most fearless and aggressive animal in North America for it's size. The varmint is not as elusive as the wolverine. It is possible to see several of these critters each day when you are in an area that is to their liking.

Where we like to bow hunt, these animals are almost a nuisance. They dig holes every where and rocky ground does not stop them from digging holes right in the roadway. These badger holes are as bad as any chug hole in the city.

The holes are also a hazard to other animals in the area. We have seen more that one cow die from breaking a leg after stepping in a hole or having a leg go through a tunnel that the critter dug near the surface.

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These little critters are very aggressive and will attempt to drive anyone or anything from their territory. Let me give you an example or two.

Badger vs. Bow hunter

On one occasion, I was bow hunting an area that has several pastures fenced off to keep the cattle and horses from the different ranches separated. This is public land and is grazed by local ranchers, so the fences have numerous gates, gaps, and cattle guards.

The difference in a gate and a gap is that a gate is solid and has hinges or rollers to open and a gap is made of wire and post supports that are not in the ground. The gap is laid down or pulled back to allow entry.

As I stopped to open a gap, I heard a noise from a near by hole. It was only a few feet from the gap, so I went over to see what was making the noise. To my surprise, I was looking a big badger in the eyes. I retreated to my ATV since the varmint was obviously upset. I moved the ATV through the gap and stopped to close it. AS I headed back to the ATV, I heard a loud growl.

As I turned, the tunnel digger was coming my way in their usual waddle. This guy was very mad and seemed intent on doing bodily harm to me and/or the ATV. There was some rocks and sticks near by, so I threw a couple at the varmint to temporarily stop the charge. I then got on the ATV and continued to my hunting blind.

At the end of the day, I had to pass the same spot to get back to camp. I was a little nervous since it was now dark thirty and with the tall sage brush all around the gap, it was very hard to see if the mean critter was still there. If he was there, he decided to let me pass in peace.

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Here is a badger guarding his territory. He (or she) seems to be saying "this is my road and area. Do not bother me."

The critter just bristled up and stood its ground for several minutes while I unpacked my camera. It seemed to dare me to get any closer.

The animal would approach a few feet then retreat while growling. After a few minutes, it decided to give way and it went into a hole at the side of the road.


This badger spooked at the sound of the ATV and headed for the sage brush.

I looked and looked for several minutes before finding it. We played cat and mouse for a while until I got this picture of him peaking from under a bush.

The zoom on the camera, kept me from getting the varmint too riled up while I got this shot.

This video is about A Badger Getting A Drink In 2009.



Badger vs. Two Elk

On another occasion while bow hunting in the same general area, I witnessed another spectacle that I will never forget. I was in such a hurry that day, I left my camera at camp and do not have pictures to prove what I am about to share with you. But, this is my story and I am sticking to it!

It was a warm August day and archery elk season had not yet started, but archery deer season was in open. I was at one of my favorite water holes that was well concealed from any trail or road. The deer and elk liked this spring feed pond because of it's seclusion and plentiful vegetation around it.

These critters likes this area also evident by the many holes they had dug. A couple of wolverines also liked the area. The local fish cop said that there were no wolverines in this area but I saw them up close an personal. Once you see a wolverine in person, you will not forget it or confuse one with a badger.

Any way, on with the story. Several badgers were noted coming to the pond to get a drink early in the afternoon then disappearing into the sage. About 4:00 PM I heard the heavy hoof sound of a large animal coming down the wooded fence line.

To my surprise, it was 2 small cow elk coming to get a drink and play in the water. The elk had a good start on their winter coat, so they were wanting to play in the water to cool off.

Elk are like hogs in the fact that they will wade into shallow water and take a water and mud bath to cool off and get relief from bugs and flies. I once saw a 5 X 5 bull elk spend 30 minutes in a water hole doing belly flops to cool off. Oh yea, the story.

As the two cow elk nibbled on the vegetation and slowly eased into the water, a badger approached from the sage brush. The badger felt like the elk were intruding on his private pond so the critter bristled up and began making growling noises.

The two elk looked at the growling varmint and then at each other as if in disbelief of what was going on. The critter continued to growl and waddle toward the elk. The elk turned and left the water headed toward the badger.

One of the elk reared up and pawed the air near the little tunnel digger. To my surprise, the badger got noisier and charged the elk. The first elk gave way and jumped to the side.

Now the second elk decided to take on the challenge. It also pawed the air near the badger. The growling critter charged the second elk and the elk gave way.

By this time the first elk had put the badger between herself and her buddy. This became almost a ballet of one elk pawing at the badger, being chased back and the other elk taking a turn.

The sparing continued for 20 minutes or so. The varmint finally became tired and skedaddled to one of his holes for safety. The two elk having won the battle, just walked back to the water and splashed around for a few minutes before returning to the tall pines.

This makes bow hunting worth the time and work. By proper scouting, blind building, and odor control, you too can see such events. Just be sure to take a camera or you will wish you had.


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