I'm I the only one who fears a solo hunt...

Elk97

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
396
Location
NW WA & SW MT
I mostly hunt with my two sons but when their work gets in the way I go alone. I think about bears more when hiking in the dark when I'm alone but that's only about an hour at each end of the day so not too bad. We hunt heavy griz areas so it is a concern, every log torn up, lots of big rocks overturned, tracks, etc. I don't generally worry about it too much but every once in awhile I get a bad feeling and I admit it's hard to shake it after that, at least until I hear a bugle nearby.
 

AndyB

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
274
Location
North Wales UK
Op, your trepidation is completely natural, we are hard wired to fear the dark, it’s imprinted in our dna from our distant past when we were stalked by our very own predator, Dinofelis, that mofo evolved to prey on ‘us but also pushed our evolution.
When a well timed thrust of a stone hafted or hardened tipped lance by a young man in his prime left us Standing Above him, masters of our own destiny.......but ,when our spirit is at its lowest ebb in the dark hours we still fear the dark.
Some master that fear, others never do.
Confidence in yourself, your equipment and tools will help you do this, as others have stated start by short solo hiking trips and ease into it.
 
Last edited:

notradame

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
125
The OP clearly watch too many movies :D of course hunting is dangerous. Everyone knows that, it is dangerous alone and otherwise. facing your fears is a very big step in life. :D what if you have a sucessful solo hunt ?
 

adam634

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
1,549
Location
None your business
Boredom is the hardest part for me on a solo outing, that and second guessing my decisions sometimes, each time I’ve gone though it gets easier, i make sure to have podcast downloaded and sometimes meateater Netflix episodes downloaded..... i cringe at admitting that but on a multi day solo hunt it keeps me on the mountain which is what is important
 

Bronc

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
97
Even with my old bones, the best and most relaxing sleep I ever get is with my sleeping bag on the ground, next to a camp fire. If I have any fear of large predators, l won’t sleep in a tent. I’m much more comfortable under a tarp, or just out in the open (weather permitting). I feel trapped when I’m solo and sleeping in a tent. If you’re out solo, and get anxious, scared, uncomfortable, or whatever, nothing soothes your soul like a campfire.
 

Fartrell Cluggins

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Messages
189
There was an almost spiritual quality about hunting alone in the remote wilds of Kodiak when I was stationed there. I miss it.
 

Artanis95

Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
90
Make a plan and go with it, just stay busy don't sit around camp mid day or before bed sitting there, cut firewood, improve your sleeping arrangement, build a better tripod for the fire, lash a outdoor latrine together or something and before you know it everything else in the world has fallen away and you don't want to go back home.
 

Deadfall

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
401
Scares everyone. That’s the point. Do things our mind says not to. Can’t let the mind win. Once the fear and other stuff subsides It’s a cleansing that just needs to be experienced.
Of that is so long as you don’t die....haha
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
53
I'll never fully understand people who don't fear critters, nor will I ever personally feel comfortable in Idaho solo hunting. That being said, I do feel if you can learn how to handle being alone and be ready for what may come like injuries and so on, it is a great way to harvest animals.
It scares the hell out of me but the freedom it offers often will give you a much better chance at notching the tag. Often enough it's other people who screw things up or take away your motivation with their attitude. It's also hard to find hunting parteners who click well.
That being said, anyone who says not to worry about bears and other predators is a fool. Be aware at all times.
 

TheGDog

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
1,025
Location
OC, CA
You'll be sketched out by it a lil bit every time. But... after doing it a few times and your ears getting good at knowing the difference between something small like a squirrel going thru the leaves, and something big going thru the leaves.. and what a falling acorn sounds like when it smashes into the leaves. And what a falling pine-cone sounds like smashing into the leaves. And what a falling acorn sounds like smacking your tent. Ya start to chill out a lil bit. But anyway... that's what your sidearm is for, when you're in the tent.

Also... you'll learn to appreciate the sound of crickets doing there thing at night because you know and realize how they shut-up and get quiet when something is nearby. So their sound becomes reassuring.

EDIT: ***NOTE*** - While out solo, the day after Christmas 2015, I had a slip and fall crossing a creek and shattered my left wrist. I tell you all this to then say pester your Dr for an Rx for a prescription strength pain med. Explain to them what it's for. To drag your [email protected]$$ back outta the woods if you get hurt. If they are sketchy about giving you something, (and they will be) just say "Well how about something like Tylenol #3's?" (The ones with codeine) They don't get leary about giving them out. They'll only give ya like 15 or 20 pills on a single Rx since the goverment and whole damn country has become stupid about opiods because they don't realize that [email protected]$$ men with jobs and houses and children and responsbilities up the yingyang know how to handle are isht when it comes to judiciously utilizing meds.
 
Last edited:

Warmsy

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
84
I have a wife, a kid, and one friend that will actually make the effort to go on adventures with with me. As much as I love the people in my life, give me a week alone! I'm so happy and rejuvenated after a week alone. Try it. You'll probably love it
 

kaboku68

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
224
Location
Alaska
I started hunting solo in the Tonsina Controlled Use Area in the mountains above Chitina when I was 14 years old. I would take a daypack and a 1893 marlin 30/30 and just go siwishing and hunting. My family wouldn't really care unless I was gone for more than four or five days. You can get toughened to conditions and drop down below treeline and sleep well under a spruce tree. I would make sure that I had flagging tape so I could range my way hansel and grettal my way out. I shot several black bears, a moose and one nice dall sheep that way. I shot the dall with a 300 win but most of the time I would hunt with the old marlin. I would just use regular cotton jeans, a cotton flannel shirt, chuck taylors and a rubber rain poncho in case it rained. I would use a coffee can and cook over the fire. I would take a can of corned beef or maybe some spam for food. This was in 1981.
I have since hunted solo more with other hunters. In general, I do much better without partners and hunting solo. I used to be much more sensitive about where I slept and how I controlled my food stores and such. However, I know just set up camp and crash out.
About two years ago I was on a sheep hunt up barnard glacier and I had two very bad experiences with Bears. One got the drop on me when I was doing a looksee. This is climbing up on a top of pingo to find a route across the main line of the glacier. I left my rifle with my pack and climbed up about 200 ft of elevation. On the way down the Pingo a large boar Grizzly probably an 8fter popped up from a depression about 15 ft away from me. He was mad but cautious. He looked straight at me and stood up on his hind legs. He made two popping sounds with his jaws and dropped to his fours stepping closer. I was on a ledge above a 300ft cliff on the side of the lateral morraine. I backed up and made my way slowing to my pack as he slowly stepped following me step by step. I yelled and he hesitated and I chambered the rifle. I lowered it on him and he took off. I found that he had killed a sow grizzly and a cub and had them partially buried in a meatcache about 150 yards from where he jumped me.

Two days later in the hunt, I was 15 miles and 4500 ft higher in elevation on the other side of the glacier. I worked up to a ridge and was going to set up for getting up on a ridge line when it started snowing. It snowed about 6 inches that night and I set up camp. That night something messed with me while I was asleep and I woke up with much of my food provisions gone and the pug marks of a young grizzly pressed into the side of my tent. The grizzly thought about getting to me and decided to grab the food instead.

I think that I had gotten to confident in the back country but after that experience I turned up my spider sense and haven't had an experience since.

I had a 1200 lb rock fall along a moraine line and smash the little bones in my foot while I was 26 miles up a glacier and I limped the entire way out.
I also fell 75 ft on an avalanche slide still below the brush line while I was trying to climb down during the dark. I woke up with my face covered in blood and fully lost 1 inch of height and had severe back problems for about a year. You just have to be careful and not push the envelope if you go by yourself. You also need to be ready to bag trips if stuff starts going south. However, many times hunting solo is much preferable to going with somebody who can't handle the conditions or makes mistakes that can kill you.
 

TheGDog

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
1,025
Location
OC, CA
First go to that spot on a scouting trip where you'll go in when it's daylight already, and leave while it's still daylight. This way you get an opportunity to learn and imprint into your memory the layout of the land and make note of landmarks within it. Also you can potentially mark certain trees with reflective thumbs tack if there is a turn you're likely to miss while exiting in the dark. Such as a detour ya gotta do when conditions change and there is higher water level in a creek or something and you can't cross where you normally would.

When hunting solo, take a screenshot of the satellite view of the map of where you intend to go. Annotate that screenshot showing what will be your route of travel you intend to take to get in there and where you intend to stop and hunt at.

The person you give/email all this info to... you need to explain to them your general game plan in terms of how long you intend to stay in there. Even if it's just a day hunt. If you think you *may* end up deciding to remain in there longer, you have to express all that to the homefront contact person.

You also need to call or TXT them when you're "down back outta the mountains, and heading home" so they know you're back outta there and safe and everything is cool.

DON'T STRAY FROM THE GAMEPLAN YOU SHARE WITH THEM! You are sharing this info with them so that if you get knocked unconscious, have a heart attack, stroke, whatever... and they don't hear anything from you after the predetermined amount of time you told them you planned to leave by? They're instructions are to call the appropriate ranger stations or authorities so they can start looking for you and have an idea of where your general whereabouts should be. You don't wanna be a "needle in a haystack" when it's time for Search and Rescue to come find you. You need them to find you QUICKLY.

Since you're going in alone. Err on the side of caution and bringing too much stuff in with you, rather than not enough. At worst, it's helping to build up your strength for that moment-of-truth when ya gotta packout an animal. And if ya had to, you could always leave some stuff stashed out there and come back to get it later if you have to shave some weight for hauling meat.

Bring meds to address any and all reasonable problems you can imagine. Immodium. Acid blockers. NSAIDS. Allergy EyeDrops are a biggy too. Meds to help with breathing if that applies to you. Baby sunscreen in the stick-deodorant-style format. Don't forget to do your nose and ears! Allergy meds like Zrytec or similar. (Allergy meds can also help calm down the redness/reaction if you get poked by the wrong kind of painful stinging plants, or insects). And for meds? Shy away from taking any GelCaps format medicine, or capsule type of medicine (if you can help it) sometimes the heat will cause them to melt and be difficult to retrieve cause they're all stuck to everything else.

Another piece of advice that I highly suggest you take heed to? Make sure you load your pack in a nice and relaxed fashion at least a day beforehand. You DO NOT want to be in a rush loading your pack at 2am or 3am, otherwise you'll mess up and forget something, and usually it'll be the thing you'll wish you had on that outing!

For loading and unloading your pack with your essentials... I use a plastic container in my garage that I put all the regular non-food gear items into. So I've just got 1 place to look for them. So I can stare and snoop around just in that 1 place and I know it should be in there. And..since all these things are in 1 place.. you'll end up seeing something else you forgot about thinking to take with you, but now realize would be good to have on this particular hunt since you're looking at it.

If ever you step away from your pack, for more than just "using the bathroom", make sure to bring headlamp, and ALWAYS ALWAYS have some kind of weapon on your person. Not only to defend with, but you never know when you're going to see that game animal while you're out there!

Split your water into at least two separate containers within your pack. That way, if you haven't been very good about conserving your water and you run out on your main drinking bladder... you'll realize oh shoot, I can't go any deeper into the woods than this, and I must turn around now. Also... if one of the containers fails and leaks.. that way you're not totally screwed and without water now. Running out of water can be VERY SCARY! Especially if upon leaving you have to go uphill and it's steep.

If it's new territory for you.. make damn well sure you've taken extra time to note the landmarks around where your pack is at, should you step away from it. You'd be surprised how much that camo on the pack can make you at first not see it if you went any significant distance away from your pack.

Cover your cooler. If it's locked into the pickup bed with a cable, cover it with a cheap Walmart throw blanket. Extends the duration it remains cold since suns rays aren't falling directly on it. If it's inside your vehicle, cover it with an inexpensive regular ol thick Coleman sleeping bag that's unzipped. And crack two windows just a tiny bit so the hot air from the sun heating up your car can escape, so it's not super hot inside the car. Again, extends the amount of time it all remains cold in the big cooler.
 
Last edited:

Opah

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
487
Location
California, Inland Empire
I use to love being out miles away from the sound of population, the quiet fresh air, scenery and yes the animals. It is amazing when they are not scared or on high alert how they just ignore you, (except the squirrels and J birds) I have laid in my tent and watch as they forage around. But at 62 and not as strong or stable as I was I have really held off.
My advice take as it comes, while you can.
 

Glory

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
130
Location
Craig, Alaska
I hunt solo during the Sitka Blacktail rut but it’s not ideal for me. I don’t work during the rut though and my buddies work. I used to have an az buddy come up and hunt and it was awesome. We could day hunt mountains I won’t do solo anymore as it is too slick/steep/risky to take a whole buck down solo. We would take turns shooting and usually get one a day.
 

EastHumboldt

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
155
I have done a few alone camps in years past and I find the fear gets better with experience. On my first at about 19 yrs old, I was bivouaced at Dry Falls lake in eastern WA to catch the dawn fishing. The coyotes howling and yipping kept me awake all night. Then sometime later in life I realized they were just loudly discussing the stranger in their midst and coyote attacks are as rare as hens teeth. A few years later I was camped in southern BC on the upper Skagit (fishing again) when a fight broke out in the darkness outside my pickup canopy. I still don’t know what it was... maybe a wolverine and a bear? But it sounded like two demons. Also scared the shit out of me but makes a great story.

Nowadays I always go into camp one or two days before the rest of the group arrives to set up camp. Horse packed 7 miles into the mountain wilderness and dropped off alone, in cougar country, no cell service. I sleep well, but I must admit I keep a loaded pistol right beside the pillow.

I don’t mind being alone, but a big part of hunting for me is the laughter and mockery that goes on around the campfire at night. I did go hunting one year alone and was bored out of my gourd.

BTW don’t read the other thread on here about creepy stuff happening in the woods until after you’ve been out alone a few times. Very entertaining read but spooky.
 

kid44

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
178
A solo hunt would be ideal, but we all need to consider an injury. What happens if you are injured to the point where you can't apply first aid to yourself?? Yes, technology allows you to send an SOS but help may still be hours away.
 

Cslaton6

Newbie
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
2
So, I have a few friends/family members who love to go hunting with me (either on their tag or mine) but for some reason I have this strong desire to do a solo, backcountry, hunt. The funny thing is, even through I have the strong desire for it, the thought of it scares the shit out of me. Am I the only one that thinks it will be a nightmare to spend several night's alone in the backcountry or is it just something that seems scary because I haven't had a chance to tackle it yet...?

The reason I ask is I always hear of people who prefer to hunt solo. I'm just wondering if it's something you learn to love after doing it (and getting over the fear) or something that some people are just accustomed to from the start.
It’s way better by yourself do what you want when you want
 
Top