We have lots of experience with this. We have a bobcat who walks past our house, within about 10 yards of it, several times per week.
We adore that we have wild kitties that live in our area even though they pose a threat to unsupervised dogs and domestic cats. Here's one of the biggest and most muscular male mountain lions my trail cameras have ever photographed in our forest. Most of these big cats live in the forest away from homes, and no one ever sees them in person.
Shyla and I had one close encounter with a mother bear and her cub this summer. You can read about it in this post. Since Shyla is now in a position where she should give advice about this kind of thing, the bottom line is do not panic, leash your dog, talk calmly to the bear(s), and depart the scene calmly and confidently. Choose a departure route that does not come between the mother and her cub.
We did all those things when we met the mother and her cub, and I even got one photo of the cub who was about 15' up in a tree. He's a handsome dude, don't you think? It was one of our most memorable days this summer.
So, as Director of Wildlife Studies, Shyla will tell you about our adventures with the wildlife in our area, and we'll try to help you to understand the lives of the wildlife a little better, including how to act if you are lucky enough to meet them face-to-face!
We are so honored that the new Mayors of Blogville have asked Shyla to fill this important post in their administration! Thanks!
P.S. We are sorry that this post is so late, but our internet stopped working today!