Yes, you read that right, I almost stepped on a raccoon. But how? How do you almost step on something so big and not even realize it's there? Well, it has to do with how tricky these guys can be.

Let me set the scene. I was out at families house earlier in the week as it was getting dark. I was out on the patio minding my own business and remained outside throughout sunset.

After some time outside, I decided to go in to grab a beverage. So far so good, and nothing out of the norm.

Important to note here is that this patio deck is not attached to the home. Instead, it's set back into the yard and elevated by a few steps. It's a nice setting not far from a small patch of woods.


The steps on the deck themselves are like open planks, meaning they have no backs to them. And under the deck, there's just enough space for something like, say, a raccoon to hang out under.

And on this particular evening, that's exactly who was hiding there. Just keeping quiet and minding its own business right underneath our feet.

Of course, when this raccoon decided to exit from under the deck happened to line up perfectly with when I was starting to leave the deck and head back into the house. And where do you think this raccoon decided to exit from?

Gap between deck and ground
Mike Brant - TSM

Yep. This raccoon decided to exit from this gap right where my foot was going down from coming down the steps. And the distance between my foot and the raccoon when I realized it walked out? About an inch.

That was about it. I was about an inch away from stepping on this poor animal. OK, maybe it would've ended up being poor me if that happened, but you get the idea. And I was coming down the steps pretty quickly so it wasn't easy to come to a sudden stop.

When I realized what was about to happen I shouted a quick "whoah!" which also spooked the raccoon. And once the raccoon realized what was about to happen, it seemed to hesitate before running off at full speed.

raccoon (Henry Dinardo via unsplash)

Since it happened so fast, I was unable to get a photo or video of this incident happening. Of course, getting a photo would've been the last thing on my mind had this thing turned around and attacked.

It wasn't daytime at this point, however, so the worry of rabies wasn't that high on my radar. But raccoons do have sharp claws and I really wasn't in a position where I wanted to find out just how sharp they were.

Although this wasn't my first encounter with raccoons, it was certainly the closest and most unexpected. It was also the only time it ever caught me off-guard, and the only time I legit almost landed my foot into one.

Raccoon (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

This isn't the only time I had a close call stepping on wildlife in New Jersey. I also almost had an incident occur while hiking in the woods.

It was during the fall season when I decided to hit the trails. The weather was nice and the temperatures were not terribly cool.

I wasn't too far along the way when I stumbled upon some snakes. And when I say some, I mean a handful of snakes.

Mike Brant - Townsquare Media
Mike Brant - Townsquare Media

They were just there right on the hiking path and blending in pretty well with the environment. Luckily, in this case, I was able to stop myself before potentially walking right over these guys.

As it turned out, I happened to come across a very interesting situation with these snakes, and you can read all about that encounter here. When it comes to snakes, they really can blend in if you don't keep your eyes open.

As for those raccoons? Well, just watch out for any opening they can squeeze themselves into. As I just learned, you never know when they'll come running out.

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