Creepy experiences in the backcountry

ndbwhunter

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Jun 4, 2014
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North Dakota
This happened to my son. To start with he’s ex-military combat veteran, 82nd Airborne, scout sniper, Ranger School. (He had to tap out of Ranger School because his static line hung up on a jump and slammed him against the plane. He woke up on the ground with a broken collarbone and still carried his 70 lb ruck for three days before the pain made him nearly delirious). He does’nt act like a badass or pretend to be one he just is. I’m relating his tough badass bonafides just to say that he ain’t afraid of much. Doesn’t panic easily And he’s the most skilled woodsman I know. And yet...

On a backpacking trip with some friends in the Sierras they all took a short walk out of camp on the last morning of their trip. The others went back to camp and he said he’d follow shortly. When he did head back to camp he had barely gotten started when a full grown cougar appeared about 100 yards off, on the trail between him and camp. At first it just stood there and then advanced on him. He yelled and threw some rocks in the big cat’s direction, but the cat just paced sideways and switched its tail, unafraid. Normally he carries a .45 or 9mm auto, but he’d left it in camp. I’m somewhat convinced that predators will read your body language, and if you approach them with a sincere deadly gleam in your eye, and the swagger of a killer, you may have a chance to back them down. OTOH they may just accept this invitation to fight. At any rate it’s hard to pull off when your only weapon is a rock.

He tried to walk around it but the cat just blocked him and the landscape offered few options, so he started walking away from camp, hoping it would lose interest. No dice... it followed him for three hours. Never attacking or bluff charging, but also not backing off. Finally he came to a near vertical cliff band about 60 feet high, and nearly 1/2 a mile long. Being a fairly skilled rock climber, he figured the cat would not be able to follow. And he was right. The cat started to go along the base of the cliff in one direction and he watched until he felt the cat was committed then hightailed it in the other. He managed to put a large distance between himself and the cat. It was then, his attention no longer focused on the large predator, that he noticed three things. 1) Three or so hours had passed. 2) He had no water or food, and just his clothes and a large pocket knife. 3) He was lost.

Not seriously lost... he just didn’t know where he was!! This is pretty open country with lots of Jeffry Pine and alpine scrub growing in rolling rocky basins flanked by ridges. One basin looks very much like the rest and it’s pretty easy to get disoriented, especially when you are distracted by being hunted. He new he was south of CA 88 by a few miles and all he had to do was walk north. Once he found the highway he’d know where he was and be able to hitch a ride to his car. Well anyone who has ever traveled in real mountains knows this. “Just walk north” is easy on the map, often hard to near impossible on the ground. He walked north (and various other directions as needed) until nearly sundown. He ended up drinking a little water out of a tiny rock pothole and did not get back to camp until the next morning. He got out in time to stop his friends who were in the process of organizing a search.
I had a similar experience a few years ago in MT. I had hiked in late afternoon while it was raining. By the time I reached my destination, the rain had turned to snow and was accumulating quick. Managed to get the tent set up, but couldn't find any dry wood to get a fire going and dry out. Right at dark I finally decided to call it quits for the night and head back for the truck. Everything was soaking wet. Starting hiking back down the mountain and a few hundred yards into the hike, I caught a glimpse of eyes in the trees off the side of the trail. The snow was coming down so hard that it was tough to see more than 20-25 feet with the headlamp. Saw the eyes a few more times along the 4 mile stretch. As I got lower in elevation the snow started to let up and then the eyes appeared again. The cat stopped 25 yards off the trail and was locked on me. I yelled and threw rocks, but he just sat there like a statue. After what seemed like 5 minutes (maybe 45 seconds), I grabbed my pistol and put a shot in the dirt right in front of him. He stood up, let out a growl, and slowly turned and walked away. I was only a 1/4 mile from the truck at this point so I kept my head on a swivel the rest of the way out.
 

EastHumboldt

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Nov 14, 2020
Messages
388
Very polite of you not to shoot him. I have no desire to kill a cat but I think my fear might get the better of my principles. The only thing on the planet more dangerous than a great white shark or a grizzly is a scared human With a firearm.
 

aclawrence

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Feb 20, 2015
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584
Many years ago me and a friend were traveling a county road at around 2am coming home from fishing when we see a weird looking guy walking right near what we know to be a cemetery. We drive past and chuckle about zombies etc and finally decided to turn around & make sure he wasn't broke down or something. The road we were on runs along a river with no pull off for a couple miles so we drive a mile or two up to the next place to turn around & as we get the truck turned around and pulling out to go the other way the headlights shine and the same guy is standing on the road in front of the truck not waving but just standing there! No way a guy could cover that distance on foot in such a short amount of time!

My buddy goes into freakout and drives around the guy without stopping & we are back going the original direction. The whole time we are talking trying to figure out what just happened. We agree to turn around and go back and have to go a few miles along the river again to a turn around. We turn around, drive about 100 yards and the same guy is walking down the road and waving at us a few miles from where we just saw him. My buddy slows down & we creep up with my window down. My buddy starts going into freakout "That dude has no face!" I look and see skin and zero facial features and we take off again. Now we are going the opposite direction we need to go so have to turn around again. We go a few miles, turn around, and head back our original direction and don't see the guy. We start talking about what the heck we are seeing. 6mi later we see the same guy walking down the road....we didn't stop.

I’ve heard this story on Mr. Ballens YouTube channel. It was a mom and her daughter in the story.


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Kawabunga

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Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
224
Location
Hawaii/Nevada
Not the creepiest but the other week we were hunting Axis deer and drove to a pretty remote area off-road. Came around a corner and saw this Jeep rolled in a gulch, it was steeper than it looks in the pics. that initial feeling wasn’t good but fortunately no one was in it, that could’ve been a bad situation. We had noticed footprints going up the hill as we drove down, must have been a long walk out. Reported it to the cops, they hadn’t heard anything, figured it might have been stolen or something. CF66650B-7B39-4588-9095-9F4C30031623.jpeg 27745509-E321-4DDD-9098-CB3F64F10279.jpeg
 

TonySkyline

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May 12, 2017
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716
Location
NY
Now that my creepy story credibility is in question, I need to figure out who Mr Ballen is.........
He is former military and now tells stories of the strange, dark, & mysterious on social media. He also tortures the like button.... good stuff honestly.

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Bigcat_hunter

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Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
62
Well this isn't creepy but I guess could be considered scary.

One time we drove to the coast to go spring bear hunting. We were on a piece of public ground at our campsite. This big jacked up ford rolls by and slams on the breaks and backs up. They come into our camp. It is three hot headed teenagers. They are all armed and angry. One of the dudes asked what we are doing here on with our quads and asked if we are mushroom picking. We explain we are bear hunting. They look pissed and say we should leave and go to the biscuit fire area for bears. We say no were fine here and the driver starts going off and saying that we better be careful where we drive those four wheelers cause it's his "mama's property". I didn't feel like explaining that this was public land just to avoid an argument. We had already been there hunting for several days and were planning on leaving the next day so we were not in any mood to move camp and weren't going to. So they decide to leave. The drive out of the camp and stop and the passenger pulls out an AK-47 and unloads the whole magazine. We were all ducking and I pull out my 45 and my hunting partner yell "NO" and startles me so I don't shoot. Then they drove off never to be seen again. I think they were shooting in the air and not at us but how was I to know?

That night we found a fresh bear carcass just below our camp where they took the head and some brisket meat and left the rest to rot. It didn't stink yet. We figured maybe they were marijuana farmers or something. Or maybe they were the bear poachers and didn't want us to find the carcass. Anyway it was a puckering experience. Some of these Oregon coast people!
 

def90

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Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
565
Location
Colorado
Well this isn't creepy but I guess could be considered scary.

One time we drove to the coast to go spring bear hunting. We were on a piece of public ground at our campsite. This big jacked up ford rolls by and slams on the breaks and backs up. They come into our camp. It is three hot headed teenagers. They are all armed and angry. One of the dudes asked what we are doing here on with our quads and asked if we are mushroom picking. We explain we are bear hunting. They look pissed and say we should leave and go to the biscuit fire area for bears. We say no were fine here and the driver starts going off and saying that we better be careful where we drive those four wheelers cause it's his "mama's property". I didn't feel like explaining that this was public land just to avoid an argument. We had already been there hunting for several days and were planning on leaving the next day so we were not in any mood to move camp and weren't going to. So they decide to leave. The drive out of the camp and stop and the passenger pulls out an AK-47 and unloads the whole magazine. We were all ducking and I pull out my 45 and my hunting partner yell "NO" and startles me so I don't shoot. Then they drove off never to be seen again. I think they were shooting in the air and not at us but how was I to know?

That night we found a fresh bear carcass just below our camp where they took the head and some brisket meat and left the rest to rot. It didn't stink yet. We figured maybe they were marijuana farmers or something. Or maybe they were the bear poachers and didn't want us to find the carcass. Anyway it was a puckering experience. Some of these Oregon coast people!

Should have shot them.
 

eddielasvegas

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Feb 2, 2020
Messages
398
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
Well this isn't creepy but I guess could be considered scary.

One time we drove to the coast to go spring bear hunting. We were on a piece of public ground at our campsite. This big jacked up ford rolls by and slams on the breaks and backs up. They come into our camp. It is three hot headed teenagers. They are all armed and angry. One of the dudes asked what we are doing here on with our quads and asked if we are mushroom picking. We explain we are bear hunting. They look pissed and say we should leave and go to the biscuit fire area for bears. We say no were fine here and the driver starts going off and saying that we better be careful where we drive those four wheelers cause it's his "mama's property". I didn't feel like explaining that this was public land just to avoid an argument. We had already been there hunting for several days and were planning on leaving the next day so we were not in any mood to move camp and weren't going to. So they decide to leave. The drive out of the camp and stop and the passenger pulls out an AK-47 and unloads the whole magazine. We were all ducking and I pull out my 45 and my hunting partner yell "NO" and startles me so I don't shoot. Then they drove off never to be seen again. I think they were shooting in the air and not at us but how was I to know?

That night we found a fresh bear carcass just below our camp where they took the head and some brisket meat and left the rest to rot. It didn't stink yet. We figured maybe they were marijuana farmers or something. Or maybe they were the bear poachers and didn't want us to find the carcass. Anyway it was a puckering experience. Some of these Oregon coast people!
That is scary and far scarier than a four legged encounter.

I hunt alone so I might have handled it differently given their aggression.


Eddie
 

Customweld

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Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
512
Location
Idaho
I was cutting logs on a heli sale,working through my strip and came across a bunch of reed crosses on strings hanging from tree limbs. At the time, I wondered wtf? Then the Blair Witch Project came out and the hair stood up on my neck. When I was a Sawyer, I got to see a lot of weird things in the woods.
 

Blacktailaddiction

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
48
Wow is all I can say after reading this, amazing thread. Took me 2 days to read all 40 pages, awesome read. Here are some of the creepiest things I’ve experienced.
Grouse grouse grouse
They get me every dang time, almost crapped myself many a time while still hunting, normally for bears on logging roads which is freaky when they jump out right underneath me. The thing about grouse is that it’s a grouse until it isn’t. 2 weeks ago I filled my bear tag when I thought a grouse was above me on the road I was hiking on and suddenly a bear leaps onto the road at 20 yards! Quick shot from the shoulder and it drops dead off the side of the road. One of my first times hunting alone at 16 years old I was bow hunting for turkeys and thought I heard a bird sized animal ruffling up the leaves on the ground looking for bugs or something. Whatever it is it’s out of sight because of a big bush, I sneak into 10 yards of the rustling with a arrow knocked and rip a turkey call. Suddenly it goes silent for a few seconds and then I see a tan tail climb a tree 10 yards away. Blood goes cold and I realized I’m dealing with a small ish cougar. Instead of being a man and shooting it out of the tree with my bow I immediately walk backwards the 200 yards to my car and call my dad 😂. Still regret not shooting, but glad I made it out ok, and learned to always carry a firearm for backup. Hearing bears huffing and breaking branches at me while hiking out in the dark is also up there.
 

cod007

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
33
Creepy, eh? Ok.
Back in the 90’s after the summer construction season ended in Alaska the wife and I would often head south in late Oct, early Nov and flyfish our way down thru BC and down into the lower 48 for late season steelhead. The Kispiox R was one of our regular and fave stops and this is where this incident took place.
We were camping and living out of the back of our canopied pick up truck and very often just found any old nook or cranny off the road to camp for the night. For this reason I always slept w my 20 ga. single shot shotgun next to us in the back of the truck.
We had gotten in a couple days fishing already despite the 5-6 inches of snow we received. Late one aftrnn we pulled down a quarter mile curvy downhill gravel road into a small park known as the Potato Patch Hole. If memory serves me right it was just downstream from the main Kispiox R Lodge a short distance. We fished a short time till the sun began to set and our rod guides began to ice up from the dropping temps. In the completely empty park, ‘cept’ us, we cooked up some grub on the nearby picnic table and tailgate of the truck for dinner before climbing into the sack in the bed of the pickup for the night.
Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke to the unmistakable sound of footsteps in the now very crunchy snow pack around us. As I lay there listening I reached over next to make sure my trusty 20 was ready in case things got serious. What the heck was someone doing walking around in spot like this with a pitch black night at 20 degrees?? I wondered if it was the native fella that I saw walking in on the gravel road that seemed to strangely be gone as we drove into the park?
A few minutes passed and my wife awakens and reaches out and grabs my arm and whispers ... do u here that? I tell her yes, I’ve been listening for a few minutes. We both listened as the crunchy footsteps got closer and closer till they were quite obviously standing just yards from our truck at the picnic table we used. They one hundred percent sounded just like a human would walk. By now fear gripped me, as my wife whispers to me... what’s that??
I answered.... my HEART!! It was beating SO loud, we both could hear it quite audibly! After pausing at the table for a moment the steps now walked directly to the front of the truck and headed down the side of the truck to the backend. OMG, am I gonna half to blow someone’s head off!? I’m just waiting for the canopy door to be swung up. But, no. A short 5 second or so pause and the footsteps go back up alongside the truck. It, whatever IT is, is standing right next to me just outside the dark tinted canopy glass! I can see nothing! A short pause as I wondered what was about to go down, and next thing we hear are footsteps on the canopy roof directly above us. No longer human sounding footsteps, but those of a bird like the size of a raven perhaps. After perhaps ten or so strides across the canopy top right above our heads, viola, it’s now on the ground on the wife’s side of the truck right next to her. Upon the ground again, the .... ‘whatever’ proceeded away from the truck towards the direction of the come down entry road, sounding exactly like a human walking once again. The slow crunching walk-away took another minute or two until it faded in the distance.
Never in my life has my heart beat like that before, or since! The area was pitch black and there was NO WAY either of us were going out there this night to investigate. Not much sleep was gotten that night needless to say but at first mornings light we exited the back of the truck knowing whatever was walking would have HAD to leave some tracks in the crunchy six inches of snow out there. We couldn’t wait to see WHAT. Alas, not a single new print anywhere. Just our tracks from our meal and our lone trail to the river and back from fishing earlier. Nothing else anywhere in the park. Nothing. Even tho it was very clear from which direction ‘it’ had come, and where ‘it’ had left. Notta, zero, zilch. There were absolutely no human or animal prints anywhere in the entire park but the few my wife and I made with our limited activities there.
Needless to say, much discussion ensued the following day(s) between wifey and I. One thing that was interesting to note was I had mentioned my concern that it was the native fella I thought I saw on the roadway as we first came down into the park (and seemingly vanished around the corner somedwhere). The wife said she never saw him at all. But then did tell me she saw 3 natives at the base of the road when we entered, just as you enter the open area of the park. Funny, I never saw any of them. Even tho we sat side by side as we came in on the road, we both saw different folks.
Shapeshifter??? My wife thinks so. I have absolutely no idea. I do however know for absolute certainty that there was something out there. And that something was positively big enough that it would have HAD TO leave tracks in all that crunchy snow. There was also no mistaking something went from next to the canopied truck, to ON the canopy, with no effort or sound whatsoever. I’ve thought of birds, owls, ravens.... nope, doesn’t make sense. Dogs, wolves, coyotes, bears ,..... nope. No tracks, and can’t turn into a bird sound walking on the canopy.
I’m still stumped and bewildered.
 

txx3ddq442

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
15
Recently watched a movie available on Amazon Prime Video called Missing 411-The Hunted. It is about a series of unexplained missing hunter stories from different areas in the US. It was actually pretty good...and a little creepy. Based on a book from a series of missing person stories by investigative author Dave Paulides. He is a former police detective and has researched hundreds and hundreds of missing person cases in depth. I was googling each of the missing hunter stories as I was watching the movie and they are all bona fide unsolved cases. If you’re a twitchy person when it comes to stuff like this, I don’t recommend watching it until after your upcoming solo hunt...
Will give this a look tonight (if it's still on Prime). /thumbsup
 

Bigcat_hunter

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
62
If you want a creepy experience I highly recommend you watch a movie called "backcountry" in your trailer in the dark, in the woods the night before your solo bear hunt......
 
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