Creepy experiences in the backcountry

Howdoyoulikemenow

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Messages
26
Ok. Beings others can offer their opinions I'll offer mine. I've followed along since the beginning of this thread and have read each and every post. I wish those pictures of that doe ( and the story actually ) weren't on here. I see little reference where this fits this thread.

Sorry TonySkyline. Just being honest. Sometimes although we all strive for cleans kills, things get messy. I've been there and get it. I just feel we do not need to fuel the fire for others to use against us.

Also, and I mean this sincerely. Congrats on the doe.
 

GotDraw?

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Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
982
Location
Maryland
Not hunting, but it still unbelievable to me. 40+ years later..

I used to be a competitive road cyclist in high school, I trained a lot. Almost always by myself and almost always on what were then very rural roads. People then were a lot less accommodating of cyclists, but I was fast and strong and full of myself. I rode on "sew-ups", aka "tubular" tires that were glued on the rim. Ultralight, very high pressure and very easy to flat. I never gave quarter on the road, if there was a shoulder, I didn't ride it because of glass and the potential to flat. I'd ride the painted line on the side of the road, but not the shoulder.

One hot summer weekend afternoon, I was riding fast on the far right of a two-lane straight country rode with loose, deep, pea gravel shoulder. I was very far "south county" in a backwater area below Annapolis and zero cars were passing me either way. Totally focused on my high level of exertion, there was no noise, no wind, no traffic... all of a sudden the hair on the back my neck stood up, I sensed extreme/urgent danger and instantly/sharply veered my bike into the loose gravel shoulder (never in a million years would I do this). I was going so fast that I barely kept the bike up. In the very moment my bike left the pavement, a huge tandem axle dump truck that had feathered his throttle to run silent blew past me with no room, his wheels on that painted line.

I will never know why I did what I did, I never heard the truck. I didn't event take a split second to figure out what I was "feeling". I just instantly reacted. Perhaps I felt the air pressure from the air the truck was pushing since I was so used to feeling it.

My aunt, now deceased, was a nun and my dad's twin brother, a cloistered monk. I always felt that somehow they looked out for me. Anyhow, my innate sense, my aunt, uncle or God had my back that day.

That dude would have killed me, for sure.

JL
 
Last edited:

TonySkyline

Senior Member
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
800
Location
NY
Ok. Beings others can offer their opinions I'll offer mine. I've followed along since the beginning of this thread and have read each and every post. I wish those pictures of that doe ( and the story actually ) weren't on here. I see little reference where this fits this thread.

Sorry TonySkyline. Just being honest. Sometimes although we all strive for cleans kills, things get messy. I've been there and get it. I just feel we do not need to fuel the fire for others to use against us.

Also, and I mean this sincerely. Congrats on the doe.
All good man. It honestly freaked me out. Never ever heard a deer scream like that and I've taken a bunch over the years. It also jumped clean off a ravine which I've never seen. Weird stuff for sure

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Coldtrail

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
121
With the doe story, I get it....but not a story I needed to hear or see. As far as sort of a "creepy" component, a similar situation happened to a guy I hunt with almost 30yrs ago, he cant hardly discuss it, like a level of PTSD. I've guided lots of bear hunters and heard that death moan too many times to be slapping high 5s etc anymore so I pretty much quit bear hunting. I think as a hunter gets older your brain processes differently and those situations end up being harder to stomach. I know other hunters who lost the urge to hunt over one experience like that. It would be interesting to know the effects that killing critters has on the human brain, clean kills are likely no big deal, but the questionable ones prob cross some wires along the way. Like seeing a deceased person in a nicely laid out casket with flowers around vs laying in a ditch looking up at you with crooked eyeballs.
 

Wib

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
120
With the doe story, I get it....but not a story I needed to hear or see. As far as sort of a "creepy" component, a similar situation happened to a guy I hunt with almost 30yrs ago, he cant hardly discuss it, like a level of PTSD. I've guided lots of bear hunters and heard that death moan too many times to be slapping high 5s etc anymore so I pretty much quit bear hunting. I think as a hunter gets older your brain processes differently and those situations end up being harder to stomach. I know other hunters who lost the urge to hunt over one experience like that. It would be interesting to know the effects that killing critters has on the human brain, clean kills are likely no big deal, but the questionable ones prob cross some wires along the way. Like seeing a deceased person in a nicely laid out casket with flowers around vs laying in a ditch looking up at you with crooked eyeballs.
Agreed. At 29 I was a killer in the woods, at 59 not so much. Very selective, and usually kill nothing by choice. When I do really limit my shots to easy effective range and only on mature animals. Except for birds, I kill all grouse, woodcock, and pheasants at will! My bird dog demands it~!
 

Antarctica

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
513
Location
Maryland
Not hunting, but it still unbelievable to me. 40+ years later..

I used to be a competitive road cyclist in high school, I trained a lot. Almost always by myself and almost always on what were then very rural roads. People then were a lot less accommodating of cyclists, but I was fast and strong and full of myself. I rode on "sew-ups", aka "tubular" tires that were glued on the rim. Ultralight, very high pressure and very easy to flat. I never gave quarter on the road, if there was a shoulder, I didn't ride it because of glass and the potential to flat. I'd ride the painted line on the side of the road, but not the shoulder.

One hot summer weekend afternoon, I was riding fast on the far right of a two-lane straight country rode with loose, deep, pea gravel shoulder. I was very far "south county" in a backwater area below Annapolis and zero cars were passing me either way. Totally focused on my high level of exertion, there was no noise, no wind, no traffic... all of a sudden the hair on the back my neck stood up, I sensed extreme/urgent danger and instantly/sharply veered my bike into the loose gravel shoulder (never in a million years would I do this). I was going so fast that I barely kept the bike up. In the very moment my bike left the pavement, a huge tandem axle dump truck that had feathered his throttle to run silent blew past me with no room, his wheels on that painted line.

I will never know why I did what I did, I never heard the truck. I didn't event take a split second to figure out what I "feeling". I just instantly reacted. Perhaps I felt the air pressure from the air the truck was pushing since I was so used to feeling it.

My aunt, now deceased, was a nun and my dad's twin brother, a cloistered monk. I always felt that somehow they looked out for me. Anyhow, my innate sense, my aunt, uncle or God had my back that day.

That dude would have killed me, for sure.

JL
Probably right in my neck of the woods...
 

J Batt

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
164
Location
Oak View, CA
This one happened to a friend of mine.
My buddy is not a hunter but spent allot of time in the Los Padres forest looking for rock art sites. Which is probably equal to, if not more difficult than hunting deer in these parts.
He's about 10 years older than myself and first told me this story when I was barely out of highschool. The story struck me as a young man and I never forgot it.

One Friday, he and a buddy left from work into the local backcountry for the weekend.
They were going to camp out of the truck that evening and in the morning head out in search of another cave painting that had been eluding him.
Before sunset they pulled into a primitive campground. There was a group of 4 young dudes already at the campground. So my friends drove by, giving a nod of acknowledgement. Theres only a handful of campsites, so they pick the furthest from the other group maybe 100yds away)
While setting up camp and getting a fire going they can hear the other dudes shooting a breakbarrel pellet rifle and laughing/goofing off pretty obnoxiously. No one else shows up to the campground that night.
After dark my buddies were sitting silently around the fire and smoking a little reefer...
Pretty late into the night they were still up with the fire and could hear the other group, then suddenly the other group gets real quiet in the midst of their late night assgrab session.
The two of them don't say a word to each other but listen intently. After a short while they can hear something sneaking through the brush between the campsites.
My friend had no protection on himself besides a surefire light. The other friend only had a large stick that he'd been using to manage the fire. Without a word they slowly backed away from the light of the flame, with a little dispersion between themselves, and waited for what was coming.
After a few minutes they can tell its someone trying to be sneaky. Finally the source of the sound slowly breaks into the light of the fire. A young man carrying a pellet rifle at the ready and following behind him, his three buddies. They all appear very tense and not at all jovial like they'd been at their own site. As they come forward into my friends campsite he waits till they're adjacent to his companion holding the "big stick" in the shadows, then he blasts them with the surefire, holding the light directly on their faces. Everyone freezes, not a peep from anyone. The intruders are totally blinded by the light, but my friend can see his buddy beside them with the stick raised over his shoulder like he's about to hit a Fxxxing grand slam!
They standoff in silence for what probably felt like an eternity, until one of the guys in the back of the line chokes out- "hh-hhey we don't want any problem" No response and the light stays fixed on them... "we smelt your smoke and thought you might share some." Still nothing but a light to look at. Finally from the same dude- "ok we'll leave then." And the three in the rear start to back out, but the good ole point man stands firm, looking tough.
One of his compadres says "c'mon homey lets bounce, its not worth it." After a few more seconds he relents and they all slink back into the dark.
Needless to say, after the gang retreated, my friends immediately packed their shit and left the area.

While I realize being unarmed and smoking reefer when your in the backcountry may not be the wisest choice. I still think they handled the situation pretty nicely and used what they had to their maximum advantage, despite being outgunned in every way.
My friend thinks those boys thought he might be asleep since him and his friend hadn't made any noise in hours... Regardless those four dudes did not have good intentions.
 

Olympics777

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
64
Location
Moscow ID
I don’t have any really good story’s but I’ve got two that are maybe worth sharing. Hopefully someone enjoys them.

Several years ago I was guiding here in Idaho and I had two older clients from the east coast who had been best friends since kindergarten. They were both kinda scared of the woods but 20 year old me was not scared of anything. Well I dropped one off at a stand on the evening and I took the other guy to a different spot. When it got dark myself and the guy I was with went back to pick up the other guy he was laying on the ground about 100 yards from the stand. I was like hey, wake up, it’s cold out and we should be going. He just layed there so I I walked up and kicked his leg and I realized his eyes were open. My heart started pounding super fast and I leaned down and checked his pulse. No pulse, he’s dead as a doorknob. I just turned to the other guy and I was like well, do you wanna stay here or go with me to the truck so we can call my boss on the CB? He wanted to stay with his friend. It was pitch black and this guy was already easily nervous, so I’m surprised he wanted to stay there. Anyway, this spot is near a trail that people hike on occasionally, and ever since it seems like weird stuff happens there, I know several people that have seen and heard weird things within a mile of the spot this guy died. I just avoid it anymore. I always thought it was weird that he was away from the stand too, when I explicitly told him to stay in it till I came and got him. Not sure why he left it. Always listen to your guide! They have a reason for what they tell you to do.

So here’s another story that’s quite a bit different than that one. Last year I’m backpacking in the Cabinets with my wife and my two younger sisters. We set up camp way up on a ridge about 5 miles into the wilderness boundary. At around midnight I woke up because I heard some growling. It wasn’t windy or anything. The growling was maybe a few yards from my tent, and I can hear some twigs snap. I’m getting nervous about this time, so I grab my glock in one hand and my bear spray in the other, and creep out the front of my tent in naught but my undies. There’s a bright moon, but I couldn’t see any critters. I got back in my tent. A few minutes later, I hear some more growling, but whatever it is is just walking around the tent, because now it’s in a different spot. It kept happening for hours as I layed there clutching my gun. In the morning my sisters said that they didn’t sleep much, because they kept hearing growling and snarling. Apparently something even brushed against their tent. I’m guessing it was a grizzly, because I’ve been around black bears plenty and this sounded deeper and whatever it was wasn’t scared of us. It probably just didn’t like us being too near it’s den. I guess the take away from that experience is always have a gun and bear spray in grizzly country.

So there it is, two most interesting/scary things to happen to me in the woods.
 

Chiro22

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
135
Location
California
Years ago I was elk hunting with my buddy in the jungle here in North Idaho. Once morning we were going after some bugles, I was coming in from the top and he from the bottom. I got into a really thick section and was taking a breather, when I heard the distinct sound of a zipper on a pack that sounded like it was right on the other side of some thicket I was in maybe 20 yds away. I called out his name and heard it again but couldn't see anything. I headed that direction and kept hearing noises but never found him or what ever was making the noise. Turns out he wasn't even close to that section of the spot we were hunting so I have no idea who made that noise.
Most likely a snake moving through dried grass or brush. I was walking through an old cattle pasture following a river that I was fishing with each step I would hear what sounded like a heavy zipper getting unzipped. Finally caught sight of some movement as I heard the unzipping and it was a good size snake moving through dry grass.
 

KJStechly

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
257
Not backcountry, but hunting related

I was hunting our family farm in WV. I stayed in the stand until last light and was walking back to the house. Neither mom or dad were home that night. I walk up the driveway and put my bow in the truck and start unbuckling my safety harness when I hear something strange up in the pasture behind the barn. I finish taking my harness off and walk up behind the barn and i hear the sound again. It almost sounded like one of the neighbors young cows got stuck in the fence. I didn’t think anything of it and I still had my el-cheapo Walmart headlamp on so I start walking up the hill to go see what was going on. I got about 3/4 of the way up and I heard one of the most deepest coyotes howls of my life let out followed by the rest of a pack. I’d say 3-4 total. I swear every hair on my body stood on end and that shock of adrenaline ripped through me and my butt headed back to the house to get a gun and a better light. I went back up there but never against my better judgement but didn’t find anything. If I had to guess tho, I’d say those coyotes had one of the younger cows cornered and they dispersed when they saw/heard a guy in camouflage beating feet at usain bolt speed down the hill to the house. I’ve heard that coyote with the deep howl a few times since then. Even had him howl back at me once. Never could get eyes on him though in person
6b2097d942aabd4b05126a59931b2e11.jpg



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KJStechly

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
257
Another story that some of ya’ll might like

My buddy came down to archery hunt deer with me one year. I took him to a spot where I’d had a few decent bucks on camera in a big bowl with a pine thicket right smack in the middle. We set up on the downwind side of the thicket in the same tree. We didn’t see much that evening, it got dark and we decided to call it quits and climb down. I got down first and started packing up my climber and he had just hit the ground when I heard leaves crunching a little ways off and I said “shhh…listen” and the crunching got closer… and closer… and then it was close enough that we could hear it breathing.. hard. My first thought was bear and I started scrambling for my flashlight. I got it out of my pocket and by this time whatever monstrous creature we heard was about 20 feet from us. I got my light flicked on just in time to see my cocker spaniel barreling towards me. I started laughing and turned around to look at my buddy… and he wasn’t there. I shined around, nothing. I shined up in the tree we just came out of and there was my buddy, clinging onto that old oak for dear life about 10’ up. So yeah, that’s the story of my 35 pound cocker spaniel treeing my 240 pound best friend


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Button

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
188
Location
TX coast
When I was 7 or 8 and my brother 5 or 6 our mom went to visit an old college friend somewhere in the Texas hill country. The house was totally filled with stuff, full blown hoarder. My brother and I see a dry creek bed. We take off to explore and look for fossils, rocks, you name it. I remember it vividly. It was close to sun set. I had just found a small conical shell fossil and was admiring and inspecting it when the most frightening noise pierced every cell in my body..mountain lion scream. I immediately look at my brother, his face had the expression of terror as did mine. I said we have to get out of here now. I ended up dropping my fossil as we ran back to the house as fast as possible. I will never forget that sound.

A place way out in west Texas my wife and I camp at is riddled with mountain lion sign. Foot prints everywhere and scat. After exploring and hiking this area I realized it is literally the perfect spot for them plenty of food, water, shelter and it’s extremely remote and difficult to access. The spring that flows up out of the rock holds supports many large cotton wood trees, tall grasses and all the other desert plant species for the length of the canyon. It’s not a place I would go for a night time stroll. Cats could ambush you with ease anytime you are walking in one of the thousands of arroyos.

On the coast where I live bioluminescence lights up the surf during the summer when conditions are right. And when they are right the fishing is usually stellar. One night when the surf was calm as it can be my buddy and I were shark fishing. I was kayaking out a bait about 400-500yards. Every paddle stroke was lighting up bright green, that night was one of the brightest bioluminescence shows I’ve seen. As I’m paddling and looking at the bio-light show I’m creating I see something else lighting up the surface as well and heading straight towards me. In the bright moon light I can see a dorsal fin cutting through the water. Oh fu*k! No, No, No this isn’t happening! I’m a sitting duck, only a small knife and paddle to defend myself..I start paddling as fast as I can in hopes I can beat it to shore(impossible). As it gets nearer and near to the point that I’m about to have to wrestle a shark. I hear a blast of air, the exhale/inhale of a dolphin. It turns a few feet away from me and heads off. I still paddled my ass back to shore in a hurry. We ended up catching some nice sharks that night.

Ive seen lights in the night sky on two different occasions that none of us that saw them can determine/reason what they were. Pretty bizarre. Both instances the lights looked close as in well within the lower atmosphere.
 

Steves29

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
15
This one happened to a friend of mine.
My buddy is not a hunter but spent allot of time in the Los Padres forest looking for rock art sites. Which is probably equal to, if not more difficult than hunting deer in these parts.
He's about 10 years older than myself and first told me this story when I was barely out of highschool. The story struck me as a young man and I never forgot it.

One Friday, he and a buddy left from work into the local backcountry for the weekend.
They were going to camp out of the truck that evening and in the morning head out in search of another cave painting that had been eluding him.
Before sunset they pulled into a primitive campground. There was a group of 4 young dudes already at the campground. So my friends drove by, giving a nod of acknowledgement. Theres only a handful of campsites, so they pick the furthest from the other group maybe 100yds away)
While setting up camp and getting a fire going they can hear the other dudes shooting a breakbarrel pellet rifle and laughing/goofing off pretty obnoxiously. No one else shows up to the campground that night.
After dark my buddies were sitting silently around the fire and smoking a little reefer...
Pretty late into the night they were still up with the fire and could hear the other group, then suddenly the other group gets real quiet in the midst of their late night assgrab session.
The two of them don't say a word to each other but listen intently. After a short while they can hear something sneaking through the brush between the campsites.
My friend had no protection on himself besides a surefire light. The other friend only had a large stick that he'd been using to manage the fire. Without a word they slowly backed away from the light of the flame, with a little dispersion between themselves, and waited for what was coming.
After a few minutes they can tell its someone trying to be sneaky. Finally the source of the sound slowly breaks into the light of the fire. A young man carrying a pellet rifle at the ready and following behind him, his three buddies. They all appear very tense and not at all jovial like they'd been at their own site. As they come forward into my friends campsite he waits till they're adjacent to his companion holding the "big stick" in the shadows, then he blasts them with the surefire, holding the light directly on their faces. Everyone freezes, not a peep from anyone. The intruders are totally blinded by the light, but my friend can see his buddy beside them with the stick raised over his shoulder like he's about to hit a Fxxxing grand slam!
They standoff in silence for what probably felt like an eternity, until one of the guys in the back of the line chokes out- "hh-hhey we don't want any problem" No response and the light stays fixed on them... "we smelt your smoke and thought you might share some." Still nothing but a light to look at. Finally from the same dude- "ok we'll leave then." And the three in the rear start to back out, but the good ole point man stands firm, looking tough.
One of his compadres says "c'mon homey lets bounce, its not worth it." After a few more seconds he relents and they all slink back into the dark.
Needless to say, after the gang retreated, my friends immediately packed their shit and left the area.

While I realize being unarmed and smoking reefer when your in the backcountry may not be the wisest choice. I still think they handled the situation pretty nicely and used what they had to their maximum advantage, despite being outgunned in every way.
My friend thinks those boys thought he might be asleep since him and his friend hadn't made any noise in hours... Regardless those four dudes did not have good intentions.
Shit I can't say how many times the girlfriend and I have been alone by the fire and thought we heard steps in the darkness; after hearing this story I'm going to be way more vigilant with the campfire protection
 

Buffalo

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
22
When I started hunting I was drawn to one of the northern Cali wilderness areas. I was solo hunting and had no idea what I was doing. I thought a bear or cat was around every corner. On my second trip, I heard something scraping against my tent in the middle of the night. I was up up my knees rifle ready in no time. This happened a few times that night but I didn’t look outside. When I got up in the morning I found about 4” of snow on the ground. This was totally unexpected. The scraping noise was snow sliding off the tent. I felt like a real dummy but it gives me a good laugh now.
 

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