It happened on a trip to the Tetons.   On a crisp, early fall afternoon.  I was alone and a newcomer to hiking trails.  I was staying in Jackson for a few days and one early morning when the sky was azure and I could see my breath I decided to visit the national park.  I had gone near the entrance my first day in town just to get a few pictures of the mountains.  On the very first day, I saw a very large moose and expected to see more by visiting a large pond where I was told the large animals watered not long after sunrise.

I Was Actually on a Moose Hunt

I got there and waited.  Then waited even longer.  The only wild animal I encountered was a crow and it was noisy.  As if telling me I wasn’t welcome.  I decided to drive through some more of the park and finally reached an open field and decided to take a walk along a long path.  I could hear water rushing and believed if I walked long enough I would see the actual stream.  Then I came across a sign.  It warned there were bears along the trail and listed the days the large beasts had been spotted over the course of the last month.  On average, a bear had been seen every other day, and then the pattern broke.  No humans had seen one of the animals the previous two days.

I Wasn't Carrying Bear Spray

I started thinking if a grizzly had taken a day off, then he would probably be back and make up for the lost time.  As I’m not an experienced wilderness guy, I decided I had walked far enough.  Heck, I wasn’t even carrying any bear spray.  I went back to my car, drove to Jackson, and bought myself lunch.  Later, I learned bears were seen that day in the very same area.  Instead of buying lunch, I could’ve been lunch.

Yesterday, I watched a short documentary.  The narrator was pondering if there would be a winner if a gorilla and a grizzly got into a fight.  He never gave a firm conclusion.  I’m humble enough to know I could kick my rear end!

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world