Creepy experiences in the backcountry

Where's Bruce?

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Sep 22, 2013
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4,455
Okay...this wasn't in the backcountry but way offshore and still one of those things I think about often but rarely talk about cuz I don't want people to give me "that look."

I was on the sportfishing vessel “Pacific Voyager” out of San Diego during a multi-day fishing charter making bait (catching squid) on the starboard side about mid-ship. Most of the other anglers were on the stern or on the other side of the boat. I looked towards the bow and saw a huge man slowly walking astern. He was easily over six feet tall with a buzz haircut, gray clothes and about 350-400lbs. As he got nearer to me I stepped aft a bit so he could get around me...something this big guy couldn't do otherwise. No way he could squeeze between me and the rods in the rack. He was walking towards me and I'm looking at him thinking, "I don't remember seeing this big boy on the boat" when he just disappeared. Like someone had flipped a light switch and he was gone. A cold irrational fear gripped my chest and I felt faint, almost physically sick. WTF! That was it, I was done making bait. A moment later one of the deckhands asks me if I'm okay. I told him what just happened and he pulls me into the salon to repeat the story to another crew member with emphasis on the description of the guy I saw.

"That was Randy," he told me..."…he was our cook and died recently on the boat."

"He's still here," I said. Then the conversation ended abruptly.

A year later I was talking with a guy on the Seahorse (another fishing boat out of Dana Point Harbor) and mentioned Randy and he says "Oh man...he was the cook on my trip that died and I was the last guy to see him alive. He said he was really tired and was gonna go lay down. He was wearing gray sweats! It took several guys to lift his body out of the bunkroom, he was huge. He had been taking a bunch of meds for a long time and had numerous health issues.”

Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl to this day. I have since met one other angler who claims to have seen him (well...his ghost or whatever it is) on the boat. I've been invited back on the boat several times but cannot seem to actually get back on board. The guy I saw walking towards me was as real as anything else I've ever seen. He was real enough for me to step outta his way. He was solid! He was about five feet away from me. Then he was gone while I was looking straight at him!!! And just reliving it makes my skin crawl all over again. (((((((((shudder)))))))))
 

4ester

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Nov 2, 2014
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Steep and Deep
My guess is that could be someone's gear stash? Might be a tent or stove or something in there?
Could be. But usually they bury them deeper and cover them with branches so nobody would find them.

It also could be a spring. I’ve seen where ranchers or outfitters would bury a barrel with a bunch of holes drilled in the bottom, and ran a poly line down the hill. And then in the fall they pop the top stop the water flow during winter.


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ArrowForester

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Oct 4, 2013
Messages
298
Location
VA
OK, remembered one from my youth. I was not there or directly involved but know the man who experienced it.

I grew up going to hunting camp for deer and turkey in the northern tier of PA. My father and his hunting partners were involved with a family owned camp that was/is pretty nice as camps go. Many of the family members lived out of state quite a distance and one uncle, who lived about 20 minutes from me but 4 hours drive from camp, was the caretaker. He hunted a little bit but he enjoyed camp and family time immensely. He spent many weekends up there all year round. Tending the gardens and maintaining camp was his hobby. During hunting seasons he would be the cook and do whatever gardening task was appropriate for that time of year. He was often jokingly referred to as the gardener and everyone appreciated the fruit trees, flower beds, rose bushes and plantings that gave camp a comfortable touch of class.

i was away at college late one summer when he headed to camp for a weekend. There was some turbulent weather coming in but he figured he could make the drive before the storms got bad as he knew the trip well. It turned out to be one of the rare afternoons that a tornado makes an appearance in the mountains of PA. He saw the funnel touch down and move at an angle to the road he was traveling. Hoping to outrun it he put the pedal down and tried to get to cover behind a ridge. If he could make it then he could get to camp about 15 miles further and batten down the hatches.

Well, he didn’t make it to cover. Realizing it was futile he pulled his truck off the side of the road into the shallow ditch line. Jumping from the truck he ran about 30 yards and laid down in the ditch to hide and pray. The storm thundered around him and the funnel passed by across the field at the base of the ridge. He lay there until he thought it was safe and then some. Seeing the destruction on the hillsides around him was impressive and he gave thanks to be safe and still have a truck to leave in.

With mixed emotions and trepidation he continued on to camp afraid of the destruction he may find. He again had reason to be thankful at the sight of minimal damage. He thoroughly checked over camp and sat down to recover in a quiet moment. It was obvious that a great wind had blown through with broken branches and foreign debris scattered about. After getting some dinner and calming down he decided chores could wait until the next morning. But he wanted to walk around the “yard” area and see what might need prioritized on the chore list. He picked up litter as he went, the winds having carried stuff in from miles away. Retrieving a piece of paper from the base of a rose bush in a flower bed out front he smoothed it out and looked at it. Printed on that page was a poem entitled “ The Gardener”.

Things that make you go “Hmmmm”.......
 

Elk97

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Feb 14, 2019
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196
Location
NW WA & SW MT
My brother and I were standing on the bed of my flat bed truck waiting to shoot a bear that had been causing trouble in one of my bee yards (I was a commercial bee keeper). This was near Winthrop, WA back in the late 70s. It was dark but light enough to see OK because of the stars, no moon. I'd been watching the stars appear over the hill behind the bee yard and one star kept drawing me back to it, something was different/weird about it. This went on for maybe an hour, neither of us saying a word. The star was moving right with the other stars in the area as they got higher in the night sky. It just kept looking stranger and stranger, might have been the color or something, hard to say. I was just going to ask my brother if he was seeing what I was seeing when that "star" just zipped in a straight line back below the ridgeline it had come up from. Shook me up and I asked if my brother had seen it. He said he was just going to ask me if I was watching that weird star. Never did see the bear, and he never came back to tear up any more beehives either which was really strange.
 

Michael54

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Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
398
I found a operating moonshiners shack dug into a hillside while i was pretty deep in the woods in west virginia. I was walking a creek bottom on family property and tripped on a piece of copper tubing. Looked up and sure enough theres a guy standing there with a shotgun. I think we scared the crap out of each other. I said "I didn't see anything, enjoy your day" and got the hell outta there.
 

jaksquatch

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Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
5
My Dad and I used to hunt blacktail in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest area back in the early '90s. Due to my school and his job we were mostly weekend warriors. We lived down near the Bay area and due to me playing football on Friday nights, we wouldn't hit the road and head up north until after the game was over and I got back home. This often put our arrival very late at night and sometimes not until the early hours of the following day. Arriving early one Saturday somewhere around 2 or 3am, we were cruising along a long and desolate stretch of nowhere heading in. While we flipped through the radio stations the only one coming through was playing some weird type of old and scratchy-sounding song of children singing, but in a weird way like similar to Disneyworld's "Small World". We hadn't been anywhere near any other vehicles, much less any buildings or signs of civilization on the dirt road we were on. As we were driving along we saw a man walking down the shoulder of the road on the right hand side, walking towards us. As we came upon him and passed him we both got a good look at him and we'll never forget it. He was clearly of Native American descent, identifiable by his skin color and facial structure. He had long black hair and was wearing blue jeans and a brown leather coat, And dark sunglasses. Dark, dark sunglasses.

It was pitch black, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere. Here's this guy walking along in sunglasses.
He's just walking with his hands in his coat pockets on the side of the road.

We kept thinking we would be coming along a stranded vehicle, or maybe a house or something nearby. But nothing. The road we were on only went deeper into the mountains. I never forgot it and neither did my dad, and every once in a while we'll reminisce about the time we saw the "creepy Indian man" on the side of the road. We laugh about how the weird music on the radio, although purely coincidental, only added to the creepiness. Who knows what THAT guy was up to. There may be a bona fide explanation, and this obvously isn't as odd as some of the other stories on here, but it was definitely one of those things that makes your skin crawl and stays with you.
 

CREillY

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
109
Location
North Branch, MN
This was my creepiest, doesn't hold a candle to some of the other stories.

My first day, on my first western archery elk hunting trip in CO with my 50 year old uncle. We dropped into this deep bowl and hunted it for the day/afternoon. Our GPS's weren't working great and we got a little off course and ended up going a really steep way out after dark. Being it was our first day and still hadn't acclimated to the elevation change it was really slow moving do to the steepness and the thick timber/brush. He was getting pretty gassed so we were taking a lot breaks.

During the breaks we would shine our headlamps around to see if there was a little better way up he said he kept seeing eyes. me not wanting to believe him and trying to remain calm I told him to shrug it off let's just focus on getting out of here. As we progressed up I started seeing the same flashes and heard small twigs breaking closer and closer.

It took us over 2 hours to get up and out and finally once we reached the open top the uneasiness faded and we started casually strolling back to our four-wheeler. After about 50 yards my uncle shines to left and there are 5+ coyotes 10ft away, eyes locked on us and lowered aggressively to the ground. All we had was our bows and knives so we just shouted and clapped and they scurried off. it was another 250 yards to the wheeler and we had to scare them off 3 more times. They even tried circling across the trail behind us and sneaking onto our right side. We counted 7 in total.

Some takeaways:
Always carry a sidearm, never underestimate how steep something is, Always take into consideration your hunting partners capabilities, and NEVER let your hunting partner carry elk estrus wafers in their backpack.
 

Diesel

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Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
303
Location
Western Pennsylvania
OK, remembered one from my youth. I was not there or directly involved but know the man who experienced it.

I grew up going to hunting camp for deer and turkey in the northern tier of PA. My father and his hunting partners were involved with a family owned camp that was/is pretty nice as camps go. Many of the family members lived out of state quite a distance and one uncle, who lived about 20 minutes from me but 4 hours drive from camp, was the caretaker. He hunted a little bit but he enjoyed camp and family time immensely. He spent many weekends up there all year round. Tending the gardens and maintaining camp was his hobby. During hunting seasons he would be the cook and do whatever gardening task was appropriate for that time of year. He was often jokingly referred to as the gardener and everyone appreciated the fruit trees, flower beds, rose bushes and plantings that gave camp a comfortable touch of class.

i was away at college late one summer when he headed to camp for a weekend. There was some turbulent weather coming in but he figured he could make the drive before the storms got bad as he knew the trip well. It turned out to be one of the rare afternoons that a tornado makes an appearance in the mountains of PA. He saw the funnel touch down and move at an angle to the road he was traveling. Hoping to outrun it he put the pedal down and tried to get to cover behind a ridge. If he could make it then he could get to camp about 15 miles further and batten down the hatches.

Well, he didn’t make it to cover. Realizing it was futile he pulled his truck off the side of the road into the shallow ditch line. Jumping from the truck he ran about 30 yards and laid down in the ditch to hide and pray. The storm thundered around him and the funnel passed by across the field at the base of the ridge. He lay there until he thought it was safe and then some. Seeing the destruction on the hillsides around him was impressive and he gave thanks to be safe and still have a truck to leave in.

With mixed emotions and trepidation he continued on to camp afraid of the destruction he may find. He again had reason to be thankful at the sight of minimal damage. He thoroughly checked over camp and sat down to recover in a quiet moment. It was obvious that a great wind had blown through with broken branches and foreign debris scattered about. After getting some dinner and calming down he decided chores could wait until the next morning. But he wanted to walk around the “yard” area and see what might need prioritized on the chore list. He picked up litter as he went, the winds having carried stuff in from miles away. Retrieving a piece of paper from the base of a rose bush in a flower bed out front he smoothed it out and looked at it. Printed on that page was a poem entitled “ The Gardener”.

Things that make you go “Hmmmm”.......
Two stories of the Pa tornadoes.

It was a very humid day in Pa about 10 miles from the Ohio line. My friend's dad was in a local watering hole having a cold one with several others when the tornado outbreak started. The patrons heard it coming with that oft described train sound and everyone scrambled for cover. The dad dove under the pool table while others dove under the bar. It blew out windows and doors and did a fair amount of damage but the structure held. After it passed the folks wandered outside to access the situation and have a smoke. All the cars and trucks were ok. But something very odd was strikingly present. A stack of coins was sitting on the hood of one of the trucks, balanced as if someone had opened a new roll of quarters and put them there.

One of the local Amish farmers saw one of the tornadoes coming over the distant hill. His cows were out in the field between the hill and his home. He watched as the storm picked his cows of the ground and took them away. He headed for the cellar and waited out the passing storm. The home was spared and so was he. When he emerged his cows were nowhere to be seen, no bodies, just gone. The next day, while cutting broken trees and doing a general clean up, he witnessed a string of cows walking down the lane headed for the field. All but one cow had found their way back.
 

Tcole75

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Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
43
Location
Hollis, Oklahoma
This thread needs to keep going I've read every page so far and now I want more. So I'll tell my story not creepy at all but I almost shot a game warden.

I was about 17 when this took place. On our farm where we hunt whitetails our neighbors lease their land out. Well this particular year the leasees were blatantly breaking the law continously including shooting our hunting stands and shooting in our vicinity to try to get us to leave.

We called the game warden out and gave him a key to our property to attempt to catch them. The game warden would call everytime he went out.

I went out to my stand never received a call from the game warden sat there spotting for awhile when I noticed about 250 yards away what appeared to be a large clump of grass very very slowly moving.

I got my rifle out since the scope had more magnification and started watching it wondering what the hell it was. Well being young and dumb I thought screw it there's no deer out let's shoot it.

I guess that game warden heard my thoughts as I was looking at this patch of grass slowly moving getting ready to chamber a round. He turned his head and I can plan as day see his face staring at me. I almost dropped my damn rifle out of the stand.

Later on that day I got to talk to him and profusely apologized for aiming at him I left out the other part. He apologized for not giving us a call and all was well.
So lesson learned that day and very thankful that game warden looked at me.
 

Don Qui Puncher

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Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
602
Location
Boston Ma
This thread needs to keep going I've read every page so far and now I want more. So I'll tell my story not creepy at all but I almost shot a game warden.

I was about 17 when this took place. On our farm where we hunt whitetails our neighbors lease their land out. Well this particular year the leasees were blatantly breaking the law continously including shooting our hunting stands and shooting in our vicinity to try to get us to leave.

We called the game warden out and gave him a key to our property to attempt to catch them. The game warden would call everytime he went out.

I went out to my stand never received a call from the game warden sat there spotting for awhile when I noticed about 250 yards away what appeared to be a large clump of grass very very slowly moving.

I got my rifle out since the scope had more magnification and started watching it wondering what the hell it was. Well being young and dumb I thought screw it there's no deer out let's shoot it.

I guess that game warden heard my thoughts as I was looking at this patch of grass slowly moving getting ready to chamber a round. He turned his head and I can plan as day see his face staring at me. I almost dropped my damn rifle out of the stand.

Later on that day I got to talk to him and profusely apologized for aiming at him I left out the other part. He apologized for not giving us a call and all was well.
So lesson learned that day and very thankful that game warden looked at me.
I had a warden in a Ghillie suit reach out and grab me I never knew he was there I was maybe 16 years old fishing worms in a fly fishing stretch I hiked way into, I had no idea it was fly only it opened to bait the following weekend. I was next to the bank putting a worm on my hook and he grabbed my wrist as I was doing it. I thought a piece of moss that fell or something, his face was painted and everything then I heard Maine Game Warden, I yanked my hand back my brain couldn’t even comprehend what was going on till he took the stuff off his head and I could see it was a person
 

HoytHntr4

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Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
161
Location
Minnesota
The couple stories of encounters with game wardens reminded me of the encounter I had a few years ago bear hunting in Ontario that scared the crap out of me. I was hunting many miles down an old logging road near a place where the road had washed out that previous spring so it was essentially a dead end, no houses or farms around for miles. Right before dark the one night I heard a truck slowly coming down the road, then turn around at the wash out. On its way back by it sounded like it stopped near where I had parked my truck for a couple minutes and then I heard it slowly drive off again. When I was walking out of woods towards my truck, I shut my head lamp off a little ways before I got to the road, I stepped out of the woods just enough to look both ways down the road and didn't see anyone or any vehicles, and it was dead silent. I walked quickly to my truck, when I got close I hit the unlock button on my key fob and my marker light turn on. When I did that all of a sudden I heard rustling in the brush near the front of the truck and then out steps a person from the woods. After he announced he was a game warden, I politely let him know how much I didn't appreciate him hiding in the woods and almost giving me a heart attack. He turned out to be a nice guy, checked my license, apologized for the scare and sent me on my way.
 

RidgeReaper97

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Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Good Ole' USA
Grew up pretty deep in the coastal mountains of northern California back in the 70’s and 80’s. Most of the forest was private timberlands, thousands of acres, so as kids we spent most of our time out there exploring all the ups and downs, ridges and draws. It was a place back then that was difficult to live in due to mud-slides, power outages, roads being wiped out, so most folks that lived there wanted to be left alone and not be found. The general area had a reputation for being “creepy” even more than its neighboring mountain communities. Rumors of devil worshiping, stuff like that.
It was ripe for exploring though. Lots of old logging shacks from the 50's filled with rusted tools and equipment, abandoned (or live) pot farms, discarded cabins.
One time we came to an old logging clearing where someone had obviously had a pot farm going on but was now vacant. We noticed a dugout shelter beyond the clearing and after tossing a few rocks to see if anyone was there we dropped down and inspected the shack. Empty but definitely recently used.
From there a well-constructed trail dropped down the draw a bit, even had a small 5” bridge crossing a drainage made out of redwood branches. We followed it another 50 yards to a clearing which contained a wooden folding table right in the middle.
Immediately we joked that it’s where they used to do the human sacrifices. At that time one of my friends reaches down and pulls up a piece of lead pipe out of the leaf litter. And yea, it was a 5’ cross made out of pipes and connectors, even had end-caps in case we tried to dismiss it as a coincidence.
We ran…I don’t mind admitting…in the relative direction we knew was the nearest logging road and didn’t stop until we got to the bottom.
It wasn’t uncommon to find rocks painted with weird spiritual designs placed in specific shapes near trees, one time there was a pile of ashes and bone in a tree base with a golden lion statue out front. Almost off of this was well off any path or logging road and we never would have found them if we didn’t randomly roam.

It was the 70’s after all. Different times.
This has Humboldt county written all over it, nit much has changed
 

GShaw

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
53
Location
Western South Dakota
Drums. I heard drums on a mule deer hunt a few years ago. In a slot canyon in Western SD, waiting on my partner to come back over a ridge. Right at sundown, a very distinct drum beat, Boom boom boom boom! And again, Boom boom boom boom. And once more, Boom boom boom boom. We are near area where they are doing some mine cleanup, so didnt give it much thought. Buddy came back, and asked him if he heard it. Said no, so I pointed in the direction it came from and asked which direction that cleanup was at. Sure enough, opposite direction, 10 miles away. Nope probably not that. Get back to the truck and in cell service for the night, and look up there area we are in. Turns out there are ancient Native American caves and pictographs in that canyon somewhere. After reading that, my hair stood up on the back of my neck. Kinda spooky.
 

MaxHenderson

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Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
215
Drums. I heard drums on a mule deer hunt a few years ago. In a slot canyon in Western SD, waiting on my partner to come back over a ridge. Right at sundown, a very distinct drum beat, Boom boom boom boom! And again, Boom boom boom boom. And once more, Boom boom boom boom. We are near area where they are doing some mine cleanup, so didnt give it much thought. Buddy came back, and asked him if he heard it. Said no, so I pointed in the direction it came from and asked which direction that cleanup was at. Sure enough, opposite direction, 10 miles away. Nope probably not that. Get back to the truck and in cell service for the night, and look up there area we are in. Turns out there are ancient Native American caves and pictographs in that canyon somewhere. After reading that, my hair stood up on the back of my neck. Kinda spooky.
This gave me the chills, I’ve heard this exact thing before. For the life of me, I can’t remember where at, but that is spot on.


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Lowndes

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
70
On multiple times I’ve seen folks walking around the woods with drums in Colorado. Never actually heard them play them though. Always struck me as strange but then I’m sure I do strange things as well.
 

HereditaryHunter

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Alberta
Was hunting sheep with my dad a few years ago. In the middle of the day, we heard something in the rocks below us. After a few minutes we saw a horse running as if the hounds of hell were on his heels. It went up the side of a mountain I didn't think you could get a horse if your life depended on it. We grabbed our rifles because we thought there had to be wolves chasing this horse. About 5 minutes later it wheeled around I ran back out of the drainage through some of the nastiest boulders and rocks. When we left the mountains few days later there was a note on our windshield asking if we had seen this horse to call him. Turns out he was hunting at the other end of the valley more than 5 miles away. Horse broke his lead shank in the night and took off. Don't know what happened to him. It was nothing short of a miracle he hadn't broken a leg the way he was running through the rocks like that.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
2,846
Location
Alaska
We’re you hunting a park in downtown Anchorage on any given Saturday night?


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it was actually down in New Mexico, has to walk through this abandoned amphitheater thing to get to the trail. The place was a known drinking spot for the homeless locals.

man, going to a park in anchorage just doesn’t seem safe....at night??? No way.
 
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