Why Register?Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.
Welcome to Field & Stream!
Question by rickyno5. Uploaded on December 01, 2011
This past elk season my sister in law made a poor shot on a bull right at last light. She was hunting with my two brothers. After the shot my brothers gave it a few minutes then started the track job. There was about eight inches of snow and calling for more snow that night. They spent a few hours searching before all of their flashlight batteries went dead and they came down to get more lights and some extra help. I went up with them for round two. Since it was past ten at night normally we would have waited until the next morning but with the forecast calling for snow we didn't want to lose the elk's trail so it was now or never. We hiked, and hiked, and hiked......and hiked. We had covered between five and six miles on the elk's trail finding decent blood the whole way. Wind had picked up, the temperature had dropped and my brother's wife was exhausted. It was two thirty in the morning and we needed a break. I busted out my fire starting kit, gathered up some wood and built a good fire. we built a mediocre shelter, more of a windbreak really. And napped off and on til dawn. I was flabbergasted to find out that I was the only one who had brought clothes warm enough for the area, an extra flashlight, or anything at all to build a fire with. Hind sight is twenty twenty but I think they learned a cheap lesson that night that you should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. And for any of you who were wondering we didn't find the elk, but not for a lack of effort.
Good story good everyone was safe though! Nothing bad so far except climbing the wrong tree in my climber and the tree was dead got about 10 feet from the top and i was slidin all around and i looked up and said wait a second...
Every time I use a canoe to get to my hunting spot it's a potentially dangerous situation, especially when it's cooler weather. Always, I carry a drybag with extra clothes, another dry bag with my hunting pack, a cell phone in a waterproof container, and wear a life jacket. The gun case is tied to the canoe and I have an extra paddle.
Years ago when I was a youngster, I had a close call while elk hunting.
Walking up an ancient road that hadn't been used since the 50's that had completely grown over and been covered in thick moss. Which was really good for being stealthy as the moss completely deadened the sound of my boots. The road cut into a narrow ravine, and on one side was old growth, you know the kind with 6 ft long strands of old mans beard hanging from the limbs. On the other side was a jungle of small young growth trees that were so thick you couldn't see more than a couple feet into. I even kinda got the willies walking through there, but dismissed it as nothing more than letting my thoughts wander. But then I heard a very faint sound, almost like what you would expect from a squirrel in the underbrush. I stopped and turned around, scanning and peering into every nook and crevice, trying to find out what had caused the noise. After a moment I concluded that I must have either fabricated the sound in my mind, or whatever caused it was of no concern. As I was turning around to continue on my way, a flicker of movement caught my attention. My guts instantly wretched up, and a cold sweat poured from my every pore. There right off to the side of the road crouched behind a little fir tree was a cougar. For a nano second we locked eyes, and I could see the ripple of muscle under his front shoulder. At that moment I thought I was going to be lunch. I swung up my Remington 700 30-06 and sighted along side the barrel, for fear of losing my target in mid-jump in the scope. I didn't hear the report or even feel the kick, but I remember the cat going head over heels, and landing in a pile on the ground. Which didn't last very long, as he started growling and screaming, and flipping about like a fish out of water. Still somewhat in shock, I chambered another round and figured I would go finish him off(I thought I had gotten lucky and pulled off a headshot). I made it about two steps and the cat jumped straight up in the air, ears pinned back snarling, his eyes locked on me. A massive furrow with a crimson tint around it, cleanly cut down the side of his face was immediately apparent, and I then realized that this cat was just plain angry. I would have sworn that the cat floated there in the air for 5 minutes while I tried as hard as I could to pull that rifle back into my line of sight, however my arms were moving about as fast as molasses in January. My thoughts were pretty bleak during this time, which as I said it really felt as though I had 5 minutes to think about it. I got the rifle to about midway up, and then in flash, the cat was on the ground, and in a what I can only describe as a blur of movement with a cyclone of leaves in its wake, the cat was gone. He had ran into the old growth, and the forest was as silent as prison cell on Alcatraz.
I did follow the trail up through the forest following upturned earth every 30 ft, and little speckles of blood. About 300 yards up the trail I came to a pretty good sized cliff, which was probably around 80ft tall. I think the cat was pinned up in those rocks some 30ft up, because I could see the stain left behind on the rock as though someone had taken a massive paint brush and left strokes up the rock at odd intervals. And I didn't see any crimson strokes past the ledge I believe he was on. For a brief and fading moment I thought about trying to scale it and go get him, but that quickly faded at the thought of an angry cougar ripping my face off as I struggled to scale a nearly vertical rock.
Bruisedsausage- that's a crazy story...We have cougars on the rise here and your situation is what I always picture happening. Glad to hear you still have your face.
Pighunter- Good advise about canoe hunting, I am just getting into it. It's a blast if you do it right.
Ricky - Glad to hear you were smart enough to be prepared. I'm the only one I would deem "Prepared" in my hunting party too. They don't even know how lucky they are to have us...
Well I myself don't have a story, which was dissapointing to me at first but then I realized it was something to be thanful for. Be safe all...
Badger holes are the bane of CRP pheasant hunters! I have had countless bad experiences with them over the years but this fall one of those things about did me in. I was hunting a huge field of state land CRP that was in places chest high in weeds. The wind was blowing at least 50 mph and when I say at least I'm not exagerating! At one point it literally blew the glasses of my face. I made it half way down the field and the dogs had kicked up two roosters. One was a runner that doubled back right to me and I got him. Somehow! I'd finally had enough of fighting the wind and weeds and decided to get up on top of the canal bluff where I knew there'd at least be an old maintenance road. I could then make time back to the rig. As I stepped up onto the grown over road I could see my younger lab Opal working up something in the field ahead of me. I was keeping the Brittany pup next to me as punishment for running up the last rooster too far away for a shot. Caught something in the corner of my vision (which is pretty amazing because it was my left eye!) and turned to see the pup a few feet behind me stone cold on point. Got my left foot forward, gun up, and said "Okay, I'm ready." Bluk, bluk, bluk up goes a nice rooster. Dumped him and he fell in the overgrazed field across the fence but I had to shoot it a second time to keep it from running back into the CPR jungle. I hollered for Opal but she was hot on the scent of some huns we had kicked up earlier. I took about two steps towards her and my left leg went into one of those damned badger holes right up to my groin! There I was sitting on my butt in a patch of nasty burrs with a freezing gale blowing and an excited pup jumping all over me ("Oh boy, Dad's down to my level!). Argh, get off! My leg hurt like HELL. Carefully managed to extricate it, sure that I'd see a compound fracture. It was still straight but when I pulled up my pant leg and gasped. Three patches of skin were ripped from my shin and one of them was huge. I was bleeding like a stuck pig. Opal had followed the pup to the bird and by then had returned with it. It went in the bag and off I went for the vehicle. Made it about fifteen yards and fell in another hidden badger hole! Gawdamit!! That one just about did in my groin muscles. Prairie dogs love the canal burms (protective high ground, lots of vegatation, and water next door) and where there's prairie dogs there's badger holes. Finally got back to the Jimmy but Opal kept going across the road to where the huns had landed. She couldn't or wouldn't hear me so I hobbled after her to kick her butt back to the car. Wouldn't you know it, she put up a rooster and for whatever reason the fool decided to fly against the wind and right to me. He didn't have a chance and I was mad enough to not give him one either. Grabbed the bird from Opal and grumbled a bit though I could hardly chew her out for a job well done. That's a limit. Now we HAD to quit. Chased the two dogs back to the Jimmy and got back to the motel room to nurse my wounds. That dang leg still hurts.
I know this sounds like I'm being a whimp but it really could have been a very bad situation. I didn't think about it till driving away but if I'd have broken my leg, I might very well have died before I could have crawled out of there. That fierce cold wind would have taken care of me in short order. I wasn't prepared for anything like that, afterall it was JUST bird hunting. Why would I carry survival stuff with me bird hunting? Heck, I didn't even have anything to eat with me. Talk about a wake up call!
Fieldandstream.com is part of the Field & Stream Network, a division of Bonnier Corporation.
Copyright © 2012 Bonnier Corp. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.