Tell Me A Good Hunting Story

NDGuy

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Feb 13, 2017
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ND
I posted this on Eastman's awhile back and was a lot of fun reading the responses.

Whether it is a close call with a predator, bad weather, injury, dangerous terrain, something funny or just a hunt you will always remember. Let's hear it!

I'll start. I remember walking back from my bow hunting stand one night. I had seen a few deer but not my bruiser whitetail I had been hunting. At dark, I checked around me and made sure no deer were in sight. I jumped out of my stand and the second I hit the ground I looked up and saw this light tan animal crouched in the dirt about 25 yards away. I squinted trying to figure out what it was and saw a swish near the back the animal and immediately my adrenaline started pumping thinking it was a Mountain Lion.

I very slowly lowered my bow to the ground and un-holstered my pistol, opened my jacket wide and got ready for a fight. I sat there for a good minute until I saw the animal stand up, it was a Fawn! I felt like a complete idiot and walked back to my truck sheepishly. I normally wouldn't have assumed a cat but a big one was spotted within a mile of my stand just 2 days prior. Damn things creep me out since you would never know they are around where I hunt in ND as it is a lot of cropland and CRP.
 

awaldro7

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Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
194
I was in Ontario Canada at about 17 years old hunting whitetail. Road my ATV several miles from camp in the morning to where I had scouted the evening before. I had left a climbing treestand on the base of a tree about 1/2 mile from where I parked the ATV. I walked into the stand slowly. I was a little late so the sun was starting to rise on my way into the stand but it was still difficult to see. I felt like something was watching me or following me, however, I knew that I was just nervous being in new backcountry for the first time. After I got to the stand I got into it and started up the tree. I caught motion out of my eye from the direction that I had come from and stopped climbing. 9 wolves were coming down the old logging road that I had walked in on. My rifle was on the ground, however, I had a wolf tag in my pocket. I pulled up my browning bar 300WM and made a shot on one.

I was extremely excited to kill a wolf but at the time I didnt realize that it was something that most people don't get to do. The owner of our cabin/lodge said that wolves generally tried to stay away from people and didnt like the scent of humans. Even though he said that I will always wonder what would have happened if I would have been 5 minutes slower getting ready that morning and me and the pack would have crossed paths on the ground. Later on in the trip I killed a small 8 point (Which was my biggest buck to date at the time) and several grouse.





 

charvey9

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Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
1,649
Location
Florence, MT
Wrote this for the Solo Hunter website about my mountain lion take last season.



It was mid-September in Eastern Oregon. Prime elk hunting time at my favorite backcountry hole, where spike camp pitches 7 miles from the closest trailhead. The previous week in Idaho just about wore the tread off my boots, and adding another day's climb up the mountain with a loaded pack left me spent. Coupling that with a sunny break in the otherwise damp weather, it made for the perfect, and welcome, opportunity to set up on an active wallow for the afternoon.

Two miles beyond camp, on a route toward a familiar haunt where I had bugled in a 5x5 the past fall, I passed through some well-traveled rutting area torn up with rubs and elk sign. Anticipation hung in the air as I settled in for the heat of day, periodically working a cow call sequence while standing guard over the raked pit of mud. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to happen, yet despite my best efforts, time rolled past with no action. The sun had just begun to dip below the western peak when I opted to pack it in and glass the feeding areas along my return to camp.

I replay these next few moments of my story often. What if I stayed just awhile longer? What if I set off in a different direction? What if I had not turned around to check my six? It is impossible to say for sure.

What I do know is I shouldered up my pack, stepped out of cover, and made a dozen or so steps toward the nearest meadow before glancing back over my right shoulder. Something out of place caught my attention, and the instinctual double take confirmed it. A mountain lion crouched low, and creeping in my direction.

The beast froze in response as I turned to face it. Muscle memory taking over I ranged at 24 yards, nocked and arrow, and drew all without breaking a stare on the largest set of eyes to ever size me up. The cat was slightly three-quartered my way, but halting in mid stride with the left paw forward offered a clear window to vitals.

Settle the pin, exhale, and let carbon fly.

The ensuing reaction was mass of coiled muscle and bone, exploding in reflex to the arrow with extraordinary speed and power. A backflip, three belly rolls, and a few final twists before all was still. Just paces from my feet lay the ultimate predator. In total, the encounter just seconds from sight to silence. Gravity of the situation settles in. Nine miles from civilization, solo, and face-to-face with one of few creatures on the mountain that deals in death. Several thoughts roll through my mind, yet easily summarized in one sentence said aloud. “I just shot a &%$#ing mountain lion!”



Daylight fading, I opted for a few photos and quick field dress in order to make camp before dark. After a little backcountry engineering the lion was awkwardly secured to my pack. I started off down the mountain with 100 plus pounds in tow, head and paws draped over my own shoulders to balance the load.



This was my first mountain lion, and the following morning was spent meticulously skinning and boning meat. I took great care to preserve the cape and every edible scrap from my harvest. A few hours later and I was back at the truck with all on ice. After a quick carb binge and change of socks, I turned and headed straight back up the mountain. It was bow season, and I still had tags to fill.



Post Script:

Dining on mountain lion, or any predator for that matter, is received with a mixed reaction even among the hunting crowd. I can now speak from experience, and review it as some of the best wild game I have ever sampled. Similar to pork in taste and texture, lion has graced my table as grilled backstrap, stew, smoked meatloaf, and even a bone-in salt cured ham for Christmas. I would challenge even those with the most refined palate to give it a try and tell me I'm wrong.

In the interest of time, I also left out one amazing piece from my elk hunt turned mountain lion encounter. My return trip to camp that evening following the kill was not without its own story and lesson. Considering my cargo, I opted for the most direct and easiest route back to the tent which took would take me across a high alpine meadow. I reasoned my luck was done for the day, and since the weight of my pack made it all but impossible to move quietly I put my head down and marched on. I did not even slow down when approaching the meadow as I crashed through the underbrush near the edge emerging into open space. I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the 6x6 bull standing broadside less than 40 yards away. I made a feeble attempt at slowly knocking an arrow, but staring at a mix of mountain lion and man surely conjured up visions of his worst nightmare. Without a second thought the bull swapped ends and tore off through the timber. Had I been wiser, my chances at notching another tag that evening were almost certain. It just goes to show, NEVER STOP HUNTING!




http://solohntr.com/i-just-shot-a-ing-mountain-lion-by-chad-harvey/
 

timekiller13

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Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
397
Happened about 10 years ago on some land I was leasing in North Carolina. It was last day of whitetail deer season and my Dad and I were sitting on the edge of field hoping for some meat to step out. There was a pine thicket behind us, a field that was about 100 yds wide in front of us and then across the field was a hardwood stand. I had harvested 3 deer earlier in the season from this spot. It was around 9 am and we had not seen squat, which was unusual because this spot always produced deer sightings in the first hour after sun rise. Dad was sitting beside me playing on his phone and I was munching on a snickers bar when I heard hoof beats. It sounded like a stampede and I immediately thought the farmers cows were running towards us. I started looking around and all of a sudden, a literal herd of deer came running out of the pine thicket behind us! It was non-stop stream of deer. 10, 20, 30, 40 deer came running out and stopped in the middle of the field! I said "Dad, Dad get your gun up there are deer everywhere!" Dad started looking around and couldn't see a thing because he took his glasses off to look at his phone. I had my gun up ready to fire but I wanted to try and double up. The deer were just milling around the field. Dad was fumbling with his glasses and his rifle. He finally got his glasses on and he said "Holy sh!t, look at all those deer!" I told dad to pick out a big doe and I would pick one and we would fire on 3. We locked on and "BOOM, BOOM!" Two does dropped. The deer just stood their. We chambered another round and took aim again (you can harvest two deer a day in NC). Again, we fired on 3 and two more does dropped. At the second round of shooting, the deer spooked and started running right at us! I looked at dad and he looked at me and said "They are about to get revenge for us shooting their sisters!" I jumped up from the ground and so did dad we started hollering and waving our arms. The herd stopped about 20 yds from us, turned and high tailed it the other direction. I couldn't believe what had just happened. Seeing that many deer at one time was crazy. Dad and I both doubling up was a great feat and then nearly getting trampled by a deer stampede was just a fitting ending to the story.
 

Back Country Hunter 2

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Jul 8, 2015
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Colorado
I was in college living 5 hours from where I grew up in Colorado. I was well on my way to a Bachelor's Math Degree so missing a lot of class wasn't a good idea. I took off after classes on Wednesday and made the drive to my parent's house to meet up with my dad. We left the house at 10 PM and got to the trail head at 12 PM with heavy rain. We got to our camp at 3 AM soaked from head to toe. We set up our camp and "slept" a good two hours. We left camp at 5:30 AM headed for the meadow still soaked from head to toe. It is the same meadow my dad had killed a good 6 x 6 elk the year before with the same muzzle loader that I was carrying. Luckily it had stopped raining, but of course the brush was still soaked. We were both still exhausted from the hike in that morning. We finally made it to the meadow at 8:30 AM and I peaked my head out after walking 100 yards at a snails pace. It made all the difference. Standing 30 yards from me was a bull. I raised the muzzle loader and shot. It took off on a death run and died in the spot my dad's bull was standing just the year before 50 yards away. We sat and ate breakfast realizing the work was just beginning. It took us the rest of the day to clean the bull and take two loads back to camp. The second load was so exhausting that we continually took 50 steps and rested. We got back to camp right at sunset and began to boil up some water for our mountain house dinners. A warm belly would be the perfect way to finish the day. Of course it started to rain and we ended up eating our dinner in the tent and then we both passed out. We got back on the trail to the truck at daylight and made the two trips to pack out the bull and our camp. We made it back to my parents house on that Friday at 5 PM. A little Jack Daniel's and a good hug from my mom was just we needed after the past three days of a long drive and a lot of hiking with heavy packs. My dad, a former army captain, said he hadn't had a grueling couple of days like that since he was in the army. Keep in mind we had packed out a lot of elk before, and have done more since that day. It was and has still been my favorite hunt I have ever done.

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DmrbigEshotT

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Joined
Feb 9, 2015
Messages
297
Location
SE Michigan
A couple Fall's ago, a cousin and I were doing some scouting of some big woods public land in Northern Michigan. We were in a pretty remote area that has a relatively high black bear population so there are always guys running their dogs around. We get back on an old two-track that is surrounded by thick cedars leading towards the peninsula we were wanting to check out.

As we're getting close, we hear some hounds barking on the trail of a bear, we scurry up the trail so see if we can catch a glimpse and then it goes quiet for a bit. We continue walking and here come the barks again but this time they are angling towards us and getting louder.

As I'm scanning the brush looking for deer trails or rubs, my cousin deeply says, "Bear...BEAR!" I peer into the cedar brush expecting there to be a blackie on top of me at any second and don't see anything. I look forward and on the trail gaining ground quick, here's a black bear running full tilt towards us with no idea we're there.

I reach for my sidearm and what do you know, it's not there because I put it in my pack when it started raining. I look at my cousin and he's fumbling to get an arrow knocked on his bow. I shout, "Hey....HEY!" the bear looks up, stares us down for what seemed like 10 seconds, then turned going into the peninsula we planned to scout. Very shortly after, 4 hounds came trotting by paying us no attention and went right back on the bear's trail. By the time it turned, it was 22 short steps away.

VERY COOL!
 

CorbLand

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Mar 16, 2016
Messages
1,051
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N. UTAH
I will post up some more when I have some time later.

One that makes me laugh

I was up scouting for my upcoming archery mule deer tag in 2015. I was standing on a hillside working my way down to the main trail as it was at the end of glassing light. I had glassed up a rancher pushing his sheep into the area I was looking at and had to go that way to get back to camp. Well, sheep dogs aren't known to be the nicest so I try to avoid them when I can. Its dark and I am just dropping onto the main trail and I hear something bark behind me. I grab the handgun, spin and start to look for the sheep dog that I think is going to try and eat me. 20 yards behind me is an entire herd of elk running away. I felt like an idiot.
 

elkduds

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Joined
Jun 22, 2016
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742
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CO Springs
CO unit 40, around 1996, 2nd season. Leftover cow tag in my pocket that I waited in line all night @ the Grand Junction DOW to buy. Opening morning: 8 am the coffee kicks in, and I'm squatting under a tree w pants around ankles and TP hanging from a twig. Always keep your weapon handy! Cow walks out to the edge of some timber 60 yards away, facing my tree. Rifle up, safety clicks off, base of the neck in the crosshairs, the 7 mag thumps. I finish "the paperwork" as I hear her crash into down timber. Then I pull up my pants, put the TP back in the Ziploc and in my pocket, and go to dress my elk. I sh!t you not.
 
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NDGuy

NDGuy

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ND
Thanks for all the replies everyone! Fun reads!


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