What the closest face-to-face encounters you've had with animals while hunting?

cburgin72

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Alabama
I walked up a small flat top (not sure what else to call it. kind of a small plateau) and as i'm getting to the top, out of breath and focusing on my foot placement, I look up and am face to face with a coyote that is about 10 feet away.
 

Broomd

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North Idaho
In 1996 northern Ontario, Canada, had a 400lb blackbear sniffing/licking my armpit through the tent fabric. That bear was caught later that week in....IN....a tiny Skamper trailer. When the owner discharged a weapon to scare the bear and it's cubs out of his RV it literally went completely through the wall of the unit. It was almost cartoonish, I saw it happen.

In 2009, wrestled a massive 6x6 whitetail after I went back to see how bad I had hit him with my truck. Jumped up and attacked me; pinned me down. That battle went on for 40 minutes until my wife tossed me a leatherman Juice.

*Note to self: a 2" blade isn't ideal for putting down a rut-crazed 7 y/o whitetail buck. Ultimately it did the job. I now always carry a firearm in my vehicle.
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1f57.jpg
 
Joined
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NE IA
Twice in my life I've been charged by wounded bucks. Coincidently, both were fighters with broken racks. The 1st one was around 1986 IIRC, during a deer drive my cousin shot at this buck that was running out of a draw & hit it just a little too far back. The buck turned & ran STRAIGHT AT ME!! I instinctively jumped back out of the way while at the same time firing the Mossberg pump gun from the hip John buck Wayne style! I believe I got off 3 shots & the deer dropped about 20' past me. My cousin ran up to me laughing, he said my eyes were like saucers, that was the coolest thing he'd ever seen. This was my 1st buck even though he was a 1/2 rack,
buck half rack.jpg

The 2nd occasion was around 10 years ago, we had a fair amount of snow on the ground with a recent ice storm making things extra crunchy. Again, we were doing a deer drive & as I approached the finger I was going to push through, I pile of deer broke out & went due north. There was at least one shooter buck in the mix.

I got up to the timber & waited knowing there was another driver pushing from the direction they just headed. Sure enough after less than 10 minutes, the group turned back & headed my way. I couldn't see them over the hill but I could hear the hoofs crunching. I posted up behind a tree & waited. After a few seconds they began to file by doe after doe. I was holding off to hopefully get a shot at the buck. After a minute or so with no sign of the buck, I peeked around the tree I was using as cover & sure enough there he was less than 20 yards from me.

I had one good shot at his vitals & he took off down the hill. I turned the other direction to see if I could get another shot at him when suddenly he turned and ran up a gully directly at me! From about 10' I got another shot off. The buck was on his hind legs & tipped over backwards down the gully. My second shot caught him right in the skull plate right between the antlers.

I was ecstatic to get this guy but soon realized I messed the rack up! Fortunately one of the guys I hunt with is a pretty good taxidermist & was able to piece him back together. He still gives me grief about shooting that deer cape-buffalo style!

buck headshot.jpg

If you look closely, you can see the missing patch of fur between the antlers. The broken off main beam was from fighting during the rut.

There has been a few close encounters with coons, coyotes & skunks over the years, but the deer were probably the most memorable.
 
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kwackkillncrew

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Eagle River, AK
One night driving through the subdivision a muskrat ran across the road. went after it with a lug wrench (16 year old kids). It turned around and chased me back to the truck.
 

betterluckythangood

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I've caught wild piglets and pigs just grabbing and jumping on them out of the brush at night.
Had a bobcat that we thought was dead come to life inside a jeep one night. That will show you just how fast 4 guys in a hard top jeep can get out of the doors.
Grabbed a dead buck (that wasn't dead) he wasn't happy.....and it hurt.
Slapped a black bear with a fly rod while fishing.
Had a wounded Javelina chew up a pair of blue jeans trying to eat me.

Talked a good friend into getting out of his stand one night to go after some pigs at a creep feeder, he ended up with a broken leg and a trip to the hospital in an ambulance off the ranch when the pig he shot charged and hit him. (He swears he is going to pay me back). Caught a baby pig running to help him when I heard it happen, handed the piglet to him to keep him warm. Yes I know, what a dedicated friend I am.

What I have learned by all these and some others.......play stupid games, win stupid prizes. BUT THE STUPID GAMES ARE SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!
 
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TheGDog

TheGDog

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the bears were in addition to the 11 squirrels and a moose.

P5zLklv.jpg

I'm confused... what baby animal is in this picture here? I inferred from your sentence that this is a baby moose. But it would seem too small to be a baby moose since Google-Fu tells me birthweight is around 30 Lbs. for them.
 

KNOPHISH

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Jul 30, 2014
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I’ve been hunting over 40 years and had my closest encounter just last week, it’s not even close to any others. Archery elk hunting with multiple bulls sounding off within 200 yards in thick reprod. Standing in a small opening there’s sudden crashing real close and getting louder, you can see the brush shaking coming towards us. A big 6 pt. busts into clearing maybe 15 feet away heading straight for us. We were frozen and watched as it veered at less than 10 feet. We had the wind the whole time, the bull stopped behind a tree to look at us before taking off. Kinda think another hunter spooked that elk right into us. Very exciting.
 

Te Hopo

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New Zealand
I've caught small hogs and goats barehanded.

But when it comes to close envounters that made me nervous, they always tend to be big hogs.
My fox terrier made the mistake of grabbing a very large boar by the balls..... and all I had was a sticking knife.
That took some finangling but I managed to stick the boar after some fast foot work.
 
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TheGDog

TheGDog

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I've caught small hogs and goats barehanded.

But when it comes to close envounters that made me nervous, they always tend to be big hogs.
My fox terrier made the mistake of grabbing a very large boar by the balls..... and all I had was a sticking knife.
That took some finangling but I managed to stick the boar after some fast foot work.
Oh man.. I had a Rat Terrier so I know about how their mouths can sometimes write checks their as$es can't necessarily cash! (RE: being aggro with something much bigger than themselves)
 

DirtJones

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I've had mice run over my boot! And a forked horn whitetail walk within about 6 ft of where I was standing. No predators yet.
 
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TheGDog

TheGDog

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I've had mice run over my boot! And a forked horn whitetail walk within about 6 ft of where I was standing. No predators yet.
6 feet from you standing up? What kinda Ghillie did ya have on?
 

long hunter

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Had a old doe whitetail walk right up too me while sitting at the base of a tree hunting squirrels sniff my boot turn around and walk off, I was in blue jeans and a flannel shirt. Black bear with in 8 ft of my blind while hunting deer just walked bye looked at me and kept on walking. Had a chipmunk that would share lunch in a ground blind while hunting deer he would sit on a stump I used for a table and eat p-nuts and pieces of apple out of my hand.
 

trophy_seeker

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The two closest encounters that come to mind are the time I called in a cow elk while I was hiding behind a blow down log that was about 2 feet in diameter and she reached over the log and sniffed my cap. I moved and she jumped back. I chirped again on the cow call and she came back for a second sniff and then just walked off. The second was 3 years ago February when I shot a 200 pound wild hog that was laying down asleep with my bow at less than 10 yards and it charged me and broke my left leg just above the ankle. The hog died about 50 yards past me and I now have a 14” titanium rod in that leg from my knee to my ankle. True stories both.
 

Ksfarmer

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I was about 17, bowhunting whitetails. Hunting the edge of a thick 25 acre clover feild, sitting on a inside corner. Really thick brush behind me. Hear a loud racket coming from the brush, noise headed right to me. I ease around the tree looking down, noise was almost under me at this point. Couldnt find what was making the noise. Turn back around, bobcat at base of tree, stalking feild edge. She sneaks up to edge of brush, croucbed down motionless for a solid minute, then takes off around the corner in the feild chasing a rabbit i never even saw. Hear more leaves rustling below me, look down to see 2 bobcat kittens headed right at me up the tree. The tree i was in was forked, i was above the fork. They went up the tree on the opposite trunk on fork and got right up beside me, foot and a half from my face. Im staring at them, they are both staring at me. This goes on for probably a minute. Momma shows up with a rabbit hanging from her mouth, makes a kinda squeak/grunt noise, down the tree the kittens go, back the way they came into brush. It was pretty neat in hindsight, but dont prefer to have any size bobcat in my grill again.

Guided rios in extreme south texas many years ago. Hunted several 100k-200k acre ranches. 60 miles from mexico. Rocks and mesquite, thats pretty much it. 100 acres supported 1 cow calf pair, turkeys acted like they had never seen people. Diamondback rattlers ALL OVER. It was required everyone had snake boots to be on the place. The driveway to ranch house was 11 miles long off nearest 2 lane blacktop. Nearest hospital was over 60 miles away. BFE! 3-4 rattlers got brought in every night when we came in from evening hunts. They where always on the ranch road. Several over 5 feet, as fat as a grown mans forearm. Looked scary dead! Took a hunter and a call maker out one morning, had tom gobbling 100 yards out in mesquite and here comes a 4 ft diamondback come by within a foot of the call makers snake boot. Slithered rights past us! Call maker had hunted texas alot, and that ranch many times. I was maybe 7 feet from the call maker, but no way in hell i would have stayed put like he did!
 

oldman

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Sep 30, 2021
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On Kodiak Island I had several foxes set right at my feet while hunting deer. I would squeak a little and they would come. They acted like they had never seen a human.

Hunting turkeys in Kansas from a ground blind and had a fair mule deer buck walk up to the blind and stick his nose in the window.
 

BigDog00

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Sep 2, 2013
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Wyoming
I've had a few fox encounters myself. First one was in a wall tent. We had gone to bed and the fox snuck inside the tent. Everybody was in their sleeping bags so it was a comical experience with everyone trying to figure out what was in the tent. The second I was sitting on a log next to a big fur tree. I caught some motion on the other side of the tree which ended up being a fox with a dead grouse in its mouth. I sat motionless and the fox came to about 6ft before he realized I was sitting there. The third was just last week. I got back to my tarp from glassing for the evening. I was kneeled at the door of the tarp fixing my dinner. I got the feeling to look behind me and there stood a pretty good sized fox at about 5-6 ft. He startled me, but he wasn't too scared. It took some "convincing" for him to finally run off.
 

Bigfishman

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Oct 12, 2021
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Last year had a spike blacktail that was about 6 feet away during the rut. He stayed and watched me for about 5 minutes
 

Gooseslayer

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Last weekend elk hunting walking a canyon I jumped a 6 point bull no further than 10 feet from me, the chukars were flushing further out.
 
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