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  1. #1
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    Close Calls while Hunting?

    I'm sure most hunters have close calls about something dangerous that could, or did happen to them while hunting. Or perhaps it was 'a friend' and you would like to pass on the story. Anything to help pass the time until next hunting season!

    One of my close calls was when I shot a muley buck just before dusk. He dropped dead in some brush by a very small creek and I( solo, and am fairly new to hunting) started to quarter him out. By the time I was done it was dark and getting really cold! The creek had iced up. It was new country for me and I was going to make my way back to camp in the cold and dark. I tied the head to the top of my Cabelas outfitter pack and started fighting my way through willows up to my shoulders. All at once the deer head came untied on one side and swung down and the tip of the antlers hit me in the face, and another tip missed my eye my about 2 inches. Scared the cr*p out of me! I could have had my eye poked out, 6 miles into the wilderness all alone and it wasn't safe to hike out in the dark! I was bleeding but it was like nothing to compared to how close I was to losing an eye. I was an idiot. Now I make SURE the antlers are tied on securely. God was watching out for me, no doubt!

  2. #2
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    Wow! Super scary. I had posted a thread awhile back on accidents like this while out hunting. It was insane how many guys really do get hurt. I remember one guys dad died while out hunting.
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, I have a couple......

    Being form the mid-West and primarily a tree stand hunter this "close" call started when I was around 16 or so (18 yrs ago). I was climbing up a tree that used screw in tree steps. Now keep in mind this was before safety harness and fall restraint devices were really big. A few people used them, but majority did not. Luckily, I was only 1 step off the ground but, the step I grabbed pull out of the tree and I fell flat on my back. Nothing brusied but my ego.

    Starting in the early 2000's I religiously began wearing a safety harness and in the late 2000's discovered the prussic knot and the use of it being tied in from the ground up. Thankfully for these items they saved me from a much worse fall....fast forward to 2009.

    I was this time using a climbing stand and had reached the desired height (20 ft or so) in the tree and as typical for me in a climber worked slowly up and cautiously moving my climbing strap slowly up the tree with me. Just as I finished cynching the safety strap to the tree at my final position I shifted my weight to take my backpack off of my back and the whole stand fell out from underneath me! Let me tell you what even when you can only fall about 18 inches before a strap stops you.....it doesn't do it gently. I still ended up with bruises on my inner thighs where the leg strap caught and I broke my wrist from what I can only assume was the abrupt stop and immediate banging off of the tree.

    Now here I am 20 ft or so hanging from a safety harness in a tree 2 miles in the woods with no one around. Luckily, IMHO, I am in fairly decent shape so I was able to get myself turned around, bear hugged the tree, climbed upwards to unhook my safety harness, and slowly, while bear-hugging the tree, shimmied my way down.

    At this time I still hadn't had enough so I moved about 800 yds farther down the ridge to another stand I had up, sat the rest of the evening, passed on a small buck, and didn't realize I had broken my wrist until I went to climb down. Swollen wrists don't bend or grip easily so climbing down was rather fun. At which point, I walked out, called my wife and told her to come meet me at the ER.

  4. #4
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    In the 70's I was hunting opening weekend in California's late season (back then it was early or late seasons, no zones or units) above Bridgeport with a friend. We had hiked about 1 hour in the dark and just after daylight we heard a single shot off to our left. We got on top of a high spot and started glassing where the shot came from. We heard some yelling and thought some one needed some help, so we hiked over and found a hunter on the ground and his friend in shock. The guy on the ground had fell and shot himself in the leg with his Winchester 94 30-30. I quickly wrapped my belt around his leg to stop the bleeding. His friend was absolutely insane yelling about him dying. We unloaded their guns and my hunting buddy took off down the mountain at a dead run.

    I packed the guy down the mountain and as I got within about 1/2 mile of our truck, saw about 5 people hiking up to me. They took over and I got back to my truck, totally exhausted. I had been going on adrenalin for the last hour, took about 3 hours to get him out.

    We learned later that the guy survived when the County Sheriff came to our camp and thanked us for what we did. Never heard anything after that. Pretty scary and the guy was really lucky someone was there as his partner was useless.
    Colorado Cowboy
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    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

  5. #5
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    In the Yukon we were packed 10 hours from the base camp deep into a brand new area the outfitter had never hunted in the 25 years he had the area. I killed a moose, mountain caribou and grizzly in that area and my dad was on 17 Fannin rams, with the two largest being just barely shy of legal.

    We had packed from our spike camp up to the top of a ridge, and glassed for Caribou (basically in sheep country). We spotted a white caped older bull a couple miles down the ridge. My dad and one guide stayed put to watch the bull while my guide and I took off after him. When we got there, the bull was gone, we glassed back and could see my dad waving us on further. We went to the end of the ridge and found him on a lower bench. I shot him at 350 yards from the rim hitting him hard and he started to move to my right and further down hill. I ran downhill after him and it was one of those times you realize your body is ahead of your feet, so I tucked and rolled, losing the grip on my rifle. When I came to a stop I grabbed my rifle that had also bounced down with me. As the bull looked back at me, I hit him again dropping him. When the guide came down, I said, I must have looked funny tumbling down the hill and he said, "not really because I would have had to pack you out of here."

    On our way out, we were side hilling across some shale. One of the horses slipped and cut a major artery near its hoof. Blood was spewing out the size of a pencil. We led him up to a saddle and packed the leg in snow and got pulled a strand of string out of some parachute cord, the toothpick from an Swiss Army Knife and the leather punch and sewed the gash closed. My dad held the head, I held the leg while the guide sewed up the cut. I trailed the horse several miles off the mountain and the stitches held.

    The following day we were all exhausted. I was trying to sleep in my tent and my dad kept calling over from his tent because his was leaking. I told him to come on over and get in mine. I again tried to go to sleep, but my dad said "it sounds like that horse is dying". I listened and heard heavy breathing just a few yards outside my tent. I said, "that's no horse" and ran the bolt on my rifle next to me. I stuck my head out the fly of the tent and shot a grizzly just yards away. My dad kept yelling "keep shooting, they can stitch the holes."

    A couple days later we broke camp to head back to the base camp. As we neared the gut pile where I had killed my moose, we dismounted and trailed our horses. The horses became extremely tense. We could hear a grizzly breathing as it circled us in the timber. We got through that without further encounter.

    We did not get back to the base camp until well after midnight. We had ridden pretty much blind the last couple hours on a moonless night.

    Now it's all just good memories.
    Last edited by Umpqua Hunter; 02-21-2014 at 11:45 AM.
    Grand Slam #1005 + 2: Dall (1986 Yukon), Fannin/Stone (1987 Yukon), Bighorn (1988 Colorado Unit S-26), Stone (1995 British Columbia), Desert (2001 Nevada Unit 161), Bighorn (2009 Wyoming Unit 5)

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umpqua Hunter View Post
    On our way out, we were side hilling across some shale. One of the horses slipped and cut a major artery near its hoof. Blood was spewing out the size of a pencil. We led him up to a saddle and packed the leg in snow and got pulled a strand of string out of some parachute cord, the toothpick from an Swiss Army Knife and the leather punch and sewed the gash closed. My dad held the head, I held the leg while the guide sewed up the cut. I trailed the horse several miles off the mountain and the stitches held.

    The following day we were all exhausted. I was trying to sleep in my tent and my dad kept calling over from his tent because his was leaking. I told him to come on over and get in mine. I again tried to go asleep, and my dad said "it sounds like that horse is dying". I listened and heard heavy breathing just a few yards outside my tent. I said, "that's no horse" and rand the bolt on buy rifle next to me. I stuck my head out the fly of the tent and shot a grizzly just yards away. My dad kept yelling "keep shooting, they can stitch the holes."
    Holy shiz. I don't think I could ever hunt in grizzly country.
    My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

  8. #7
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    From my 2013 archery elk hunt. How to start this post?? I finally have a few moments to sit down and make a post from my two week solo Elk bowhunt.As I have mentioned before this is my 20th Season elk hunting in Montana. I have never carried a side arm during all my trips. I have always thought that the extra weight would be to much. I also thought it would be awkward carrying it with a pack on all the time. The hunt I just returned from might have changed my mind. Over the years I have always seen Bears and a few skiddish wolves and never had any encounter that I felt uncomfortable with.

    I had been doing some glassing and finally found a few nice bulls to go after. I hunted them hard a few days and found a trail below a large rock slide that they had been using every other day early in the morning . Sort of a pinch point. One morning I decided to go in early and set up in a good spot I had cleared out between two trees to see if they would pass through. As the sun started to come up I heard a very light sound behind me on a rock trail not more than 10ft behind me. I turned to look over my shoulder and there was the culprit a pretty good size Tom MT lion. He was crouched down facing me with his tail wrapped around the front of him!! This dude had totally snuck up on me and I have great hearing. Instinctively I turned and faced him my bow on the ground and tried to scare him of by giving him a generous shout. All he did was to inch a little closer and let out his own displeasure by growling and hissing at me. By this time only a minute or so had passed by and I am thinking Mark Chops for breakfast!!
    Now a little flustered and my bow on the ground to far to reach, I un-clipped my sheath knife and opted for a good size rock while keeping my eye on him. With a good grip on the rock I threw the rock hitting him square in the chest. I know I know a rock!!! Anyway at that point he jumped in the air and vanished into the timber.
    After all the years I have been doing this I have never really considered Mt Lions as a threat as they are so elusive but this one was so stealthy and snuck right up on me getting so close!! He definitely got my attention and has me thinking about carrying my side arm from now on.

  9. #8
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    Note to self: don't go hunt with UH without increasing my life insurance policy.


    I had a climbing stand malfunction due to user error that left me stranded 20' up in a tree. I can say that a controlled fall isn't really all that controlled once you contact the ground.


    Other than that not much else, except for some snake encounters.

  10. #9
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    My closest call was when I was hunting by myself in South Dakota the last week of December on the last day of my hunt. I was walking along through some ankle deep grass with a light covering of snow fairly early in the morning. I had seen some deer way off in the distance and was trying to move a couple of draws over to get a closer look. One moment I was walking and the next moment I was bouncing my face off the ground... My left foot hit nothing when I went to put it down. With my pack and bow, there was no catching me by the time I noticed my foot didn't hit anything. My right leg folded like an accordion, my toes touched my shin, my knee hit my chest, and my face hit the ground seemingly at the same time (my left leg still hadn't touched anything. When everything hit the ground, I had enough force left over that I actually bounced forward. I rolled over onto my side since my pack wouldn't let me go all the way over. I immediately realized two things... the grass was hiding something and my right ankle hurt extremely bad. It turns out that I had stepped into what I thought was a badger hole. When I got my flashlight out, I shined it in and the hole went down about 10 foot and opened up to about a 5-6' diameter hole. This "hole" only had an opening of about 18" and the grass had blown down on top of the hole, making it seemingly disappear.

    I was still close to the truck, but decided that I could still make it to the next hill to glass and see if I could find the deer. When I finally hobbled the few hundred yards to the next rise I tried to make it up hill, but couldn't push off well enough on my right foot to go uphill. I decided my hunt was over from there. By the time I got back to the truck I had lost feeling in my entire foot. I could feel my foot start to swell, but didn't dare loosen my boot. When I got back to the truck, I tossed my pack and bow in the truck, got a plastic bag, filled it with snow, and quickly took off my boot. I packed the snow around my foot and ankle that was already bruised and swelling quickly. Lets just say the 4 hour drive home after that was not a pleasant one. To this day, I still remember the exact spot I stepped in that hole. When I know I'm getting close, it takes me about 15 minutes to clear 50 yards. Thank goodness I was only 24 at the time and still had enough stretch in the rubber band or I definitely would have had a bad drive home!
    Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
    Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)

  11. #10
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    I did stupid on a backpack hunt in Idaho a few years back. It was a pretty tough pack in and my butt was kicked when I got where I wanted to be. I setup camp and by then there was only a couple hours of light left so I grabbed my gun, binos, camera, and a cliff bar and was going to stay close to camp and glass a bit and take pics. Well I got a little farther up the ridge from camp then I thought. When it got dark I turned on my headlamp and headed for camp. I was going down and everything seemed right and next thing I know Im at the end of the ridge and its dropping strait off. I figured out there were some short finger ridges going off the main ridge but I was having trouble staying on the main ridge and kept ending up on the finger ridges and I knew I was going around in a circle. Finally I sat down on a rock and turned my headlamp off to try to get my bearings. When I thought I had it and went to turn the headlamp back on it made a pop and that was it. With no light and cliffs dropping off around me on a very dark night I decided it was to dangerous to go any farther. Luckily I had a lighter in my pocket and I got a fire started with it and the cliff bar wrapper and sat up and kept the fire going until sunup. It got down around freezing that night. Once it got light I walked right to camp about 2-300 yards away. That is the last time I have ever gone anywhere without 2 lights and my gps!

 

 

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