Missing hiker found dead on Appalachian Trail

An experienced hiker who went missing after embarking on a “short trip” on the Appalachian Trail was found dead last Thursday, five days after he disappeared. Michael Kaiser, 56, set out on a two-day hike on the Appalachian Trail on Friday, October 11. The next day, Kaiser sent photos to his brother from an area known as Bear Rocks in Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter, Kaiser ceased communication with his brother who eventually became worried and alerted authorities on Tuesday, October 15. 

The day after police became involved, Kaiser’s truck was located near a spot where he had last been in contact with his family. The following day, October 17, police located Kaiser’s body at the bottom of an embankment. His death appears to be an accident and a spokesperson for the state police told People that there does not appear to be a threat to the public. 

Coyote sightings will peak this October and November

Have you noticed the howl of a coyote recently or seen one darting through your yard? According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, coyote sightings are most common in October and November. That’s because fall is the season that young coyotes– born in the spring– leave their parent’s territory and strike out to find a mate and a territory of their own. These young coyotes often leave home with their siblings and will travel long distances, up to 300 miles, before finding a new tract of land to call home.

While coyotes rarely attack humans, they do view cats and small dogs as a potential food source. To keep coyotes from being attracted to your home, secure garbage containers, make sure bird feeders and pet food are not accessible from the ground and remove fruit once it has fallen from the trees. 

Keep your eyes peeled, bears are extremely active right now

It’s the time of year when bears prepare to den for the winter. To get ready for hibernation, local bears are in the process of bulking up, eating 20,000 calories a day. In order to pack away so many calories, bears are eating nearly all day and night, foraging up to 23 hours a day.

This is the time of year, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission told the Citizen-Times, that bears can get into trouble. They’re taking advantage of any easy food they can find, and that includes garbage, bird feeders, and pet food that is left outdoors. In addition to their near constant search for food, bears are also more visible in populated areas because it is bear hunting season, which tends to drive bears out of the forest and into urban areas where they’re more likely to interact with humans.