Curious as to experiences of fear while in the wilderness. I think my most frightening moment actually involved a pack of wild dogs. I was bow season and we were whitetail hunting some public land in Missouri with a friend. When we arrived at the trailhead and were getting our gear ready, we heard what sounded like a very larger group of dogs barking off in the distance. Neither thought too much about it at the time, and we headed off to out stands. Both stands that we were hunting that day were only about 500 yards away from each either. As we worked our way to the stands we noticed and talked briefly about these dogs and how they sounded as though they were getting alittle closer. Both of us just shrugged it off. When we got about a mile into the walk we split up and I headed down the hill to the bottoms and he veared of to the right and followed the ridge. He would go a couple hundred yards then turn left and go just down the edge of the slope a bit to his stand. 2 minutes after we split I heard the dogs again, and they were close. As I walked down the hill I noticed that it sounded like they were in the direction of Rich's stand. I paused for a few to listen. It was extremely dark that morning as the entire sky was completely overcast with a very light mist in the air. Rain was inevitable, but with the rut just around the corner, we had been seeing deer movement in any and all conditions. As I stood there listening I could here them running in the woods, unfortunately they were running straight for me. I figured it would be best to stay still. I figured wrong, they smelled me, and before I knew it I was surrounded by 5 wild dogs. Without a very bright flashlight, I could not see all of them as they growled at me from inside the brush line. I stood very still thinking this would be over any second, if they charged I would kick one straight in the face and that would be that. Well needless to say, 13 stitches later and new set of cabelas coveralls later. 1 wild dog was dead at my feet and the others took off into the woods. No, I didnt kill him. When the dogs made the initial charge out of the woods one of the dogs got ahold of my leg and just started thrashing. As I swatted at him with my broadhead tip arrow, his grip on my leg just got tighter and tighter. Apparently I was screaming "Wild dogs Rich, Wild Dogs". He heard my screams and came to the rescue. Under the light of his head lamp he made a very well placed shot on that dog ending my terror. Which by the way later we discussed the fact that what if he had missed, and Rich was just a little bit better than an average shot. He stated to me it was a good thing he didnt miss, but did not know what else to do. As I removed the coveralls to examine the damage i couldnt help but look at the dead beast at my feet. He was about 90 lbs of nasty mangy mess. Rich helped me to the truck, and we drove the hour to the hospital where aparrently the pain was just about to begin. All I can say is I hope none of you ever have to get a Rabies shot. Well that was my scariest moment. How about yours?
14 replies [Last post]
Sat, 2010-12-18 19:10
Have you ever been scared while in the wilderness?
Mon, 2010-12-20 20:41#1
Welcome to BGH! Ah, I had
Welcome to BGH!
Ah, I had a story to relate when I first read the topic to the thread, but I decided it wasn't worthy in comparison to your story. My story only involve a potential for a hazardous outcome. But luckily, all turned out well.
As for your experience, it was good for you to have a friend there to help you get out of the woods and to a doctor. A big thanks for your buddy practicing this past summer.
Glad to hear everything turned out well. Good luck and good hunting.
Fri, 2010-12-24 08:28#2
Yikes! Scary indeed
That is very scary indeed!
I've never had anything as dramatic as that. The scariest time I had in the woods I was hunting alone with a muzzle loader. I was hunting an unfamilar swampy area and just exploring it looking for a good place to set up and ambush deer.
I got that "feeling". The one where you know someone (or something) is watching you.
I was standing near a blow down with the root mass hiding me from any deer that might wander in front of me. If something was watching me, it was watching me from behind. I didn't much care for that and decided to listen to my gut instinct and move on to somewhere else.
I hunted my way another couple of hundred yards ahead when something white caught my attention through the leaves. I watched it for a long time and eventually decided that whatever it was wasn't moving. I worked my way over to it and saw that it was a deer skeleton. It was complete including a 4 point rack on the antler skull except that one hind leg was missing. I thought that was odd. So I took a closer look.
Turns out that the skeleton hadn't been disassembled because it wasn't that old! There was still RED meat between the joints! Thye eyes were gone, but the brain was still intact inside the skull (it was heavy). The tongue was gone, but the hard flesh on top of teh mouth was still there etc. Something had striped the flesh from the bones without tearing the bones apart! I still don't know what would have done that - maybe weasels?
I was still feeling like someone or something was watching me and now it was really creeping me out. I quickly drew my knife and severed the vertebrate at the base of the skull so that I could take the rack for a set of rattling antlers.
I back tracked myself to the blow down following the reverse path out of the woods because I did not know the area well. Well, when I got back to the blow down root ball - there were my boot tracks in the mud and right on top of them were a smoking hot set of BEAR tracks.
Remeber I only had one shot for self defense because it was muzzle loader season too!
I never did see the bear, but I still have that set of antlers.
Mon, 2010-12-27 21:30#3
Scared in the wilderness
I can honestly say that I've never been scared in the wilderness, but I've been mighty concerned a couple times in Alaska.
The first was when my partner and I stayed out too late in brown bear country. We'd been sitting on a little island watching the river, and didn't head back to camp until almost dark. No sooner did we step into the river to start wading downstream to camp that I heard some gutteral noises coming toward us from up on the river bank. My partner asked naiively, "Is it a moose?" as my headlamp caught a pair of bright green eyes attached to a large dark body coming down the bank. I yelled "bear!" and we backed into the middle of the river with rifles ready. The bear came into the river after us, but the headlamp seemed to keep him blinded and less sure of himself. He came in, bluff charged, splashed around, and kept standing up to try to get a better look at us -- all within 10 yards. He wasn't a particularly large bear, so we didn't shoot him. But we slowly backed off and the bear eventually did the same...although he followed us all the way back to camp.
Another was when I put down my shotgun and stepped back from the riverbank to take a leak next to a tree. At my most vulnerable moment I heard brush moving and peeked around the tree to see a griz sow and cub coming toward me through the brush about 20 feet away. I was downwind from her and camouflaged, so when I yelled it caught her off guard and they both turned 90 degrees and bolted into the brush.
The most recent was on a black bear hunt with my son. As I was skinning out his bear in the midnight twilight, we had two others come in to the stand, attracted by the smell. The first took off pretty quickly when I confronted him, but the second was bigger and didn't want to back down. I finally had my son fire off a round, and that got him moving. But we could hear him circling around in the brush for the rest of the time we were there. In a way, it was reassuring because it meant there wasn't a griz around. But that was a nervous hike out to the truck with a pack full of meat and hide on my back.
Tue, 2010-12-28 11:41#4
That reminds me of a funny experience that I had in a similar setting but no one was scared but me. In Alaska we were camping on a river bank. It was bear country. Tracks were all around us. I had never been in grizzly country before. One night I awoke to hear growling two feet away from my head which was right near the tent canvas. It was pitch black. I just knew that there was a big bear outside the tent that was going to chomp my skull like a grape right through the tent wall. Then the low growl sounded again, not outside the tent wall, but a foot or two away from where I thought. It was INSIDE the tent and it was my buddy snoring. I kicked him for scaring me, cursed my timid self and went back to sleep.
Tue, 2010-12-28 18:57#5
That's hilarious! I had something like that happen once while backpacking with friends in a high-threat grizzly area in Montana. We were inside the tent playing cards by flashlight when we heard a low growl. Out went the light (like that's going to help) and it got reeaaaalllly quiet. Then one of the guys said he made the noise just to mess with everybody. We could've killed him.
Sat, 2011-01-22 13:05#6
A Sheep Dog?
In a remote part of the State during muzzleloader season I popped out of some tight quakies at a saddle on a ridge. Between the noise of the trees and the wind I didn't have a clue about the 1 -200 sheep on the other side of the saddle. The flock gaurd dogs however new just exactly where I was if not what I was. Stumbling and bitching out of the thick trees I see three BIG seriously pissed off white beasts comming at me with bad thoughts in their eyes. These weren't cute little border collies. The smallest, a Commodor, probably weighing 125 lbs was the farthest at about 25 yards and suddenly my Hawken .52 seemed a little anemic. I knew sheep ranchers & knew how these breeds were trained so I knew that this was going to leave a mark.
Fortunately the herder also saw the dogs react to something on the other side of the ridge so he was close at hand. Turned out to be a nice little guy three years in the mountains from his home in Peru. Ended up back at his camp. Without speaking more than 6 words we each understood we had a great mid afternoon lunch, me sharing homemade jerky & him cheap red wine and an incredible stew.
Wed, 2011-02-02 11:33#7
Those are some great stories.
Those are some great stories. The only time i have been scared in the woods was when i was 17 and was hunting in one of my normal areas. It was late afternoon and was a mile or so from my truck. I found a great vantage point and strted glassing. I sat there for a couple hours and as the sun started going down I decided it was time to walk back. It was really dark in the timber but i had my trusty flach light, the only thing was i forgot to change the batteries, the light lasted for about 5 mins before it died. so her i am walking thru the woods in the dark with no light and had about a mile to walk, I kept hearing things around me, I kinda freaked me out. I made it back to my truck and for the next couple seasons i made sure i was at my truck before dark, now i just make sure my lights have fresh batteries and i have an extra set.
Thu, 2011-02-03 20:15#8
Scared in the wilderness
OK, I have to eat crow. Numbnutz just reminded me of an event.
23 years ago my wife and I decided to take our two kids and her younger brother camping up in the mountains in Montana for Memorial Day weekend. So we all crammed into the Honda hatchback and bumped and scraped our way over miles of logging road to find a remote forest service campground. Things went well the first day, and we had a great time...kids went swimming in the creek, had fun with the campfire, etc. We got a little rain at night, but the next day was great, too. The only other people in the campground checked out and we had the whole place to ourselves. But then something changed in the afternoon. The temp dropped a bit and some overcast came in. Then the wind picked up some. Suddenly it just felt all wrong and we had an distinct sensation that we needed to leave. Within minutes, it turned into outright alarm. It felt like something dangerous was in the woods as the wind blew through the trees, and I grabbed the rifle to keep it nearby while we scrambled to break camp. We couldn't get out of there fast enough. It was pure panic...we didn't fold or organize anything...just threw it all in the car and started driving because we felt an overwhelming sense that some impending evil was coming to get us, and we needed to get out NOW. It was several miles of scraping over rocks on bad road before we reached asphalt, and about two minutes after we hit asphalt it started snowing. It was a blizzard by the time we reached town, and by morning we had six inches of snow on the ground -- a couple thousand feet lower than our campground. If we'd waited an hour longer before leaving, we would've been stuck up there, getting buried in snow in our little pup tent miles from anyone with no winter gear. Ever since, I've been a firm believer that when God talks, you listen.
Thu, 2011-02-10 18:40#9
I've seen mountain lions
I've seen mountain lions while hunting, had a time where I thought my hunting partner was having a heart attack, but the worst for me was all psychological, and embarrassing...
Ever listen to Coast to Coast AM, used to be Art Bell, but now George Nory? Anyway, I was listening as I was driving up to my spot well before first light. The story was about a hiker that saw strange red glowing eyes as he hiked through a southern California wilderness area. I let it get to me, and was freaked out the entire time hiking in...embarassing but funny!
Fri, 2011-02-11 09:47#10
Have you ever been scared in the wilderness
Well I've had a couple over the years, but the two that were real dangerous were one with humans along the Rio Grande river down stream 100 miles below El Paso, Tx and the other with a cape Buffalo in the Luangwa valley of Zambia.
A friend and I were running a mountain lion with dogs along the Rio Grand river at night, when we had to follow a trail through the salt ceders to get to the cry farther dawn river. Anyone who has been in salt ceders can tell you you can only push through them on trails because they are too thick.
We came to a place where another trail crossed our trail and in the entersection were two guys, one on each end of a litter carrying bundles of dope between them, They dropped the litter but one kept the little mod 94 lever rifle that was riding on the litter,and turned to face our headlights, rifle ready. I had a Smith 357mag state Trooper pointed at the guy with the rifle, and I'm sure he could only see the pistol and my headlight shining in his eyes. It was a Mexican stand off, and my buddy ask what do you want to do. I said lets just back up, and get the hell out of here. We forgot about the dogs and went to town. A rancher in the area called my buddy a couple days later telling him he had four of our dogs at his home. We lost three and never got them back. These guys were running dope, and that is something I never want to get close to again. This was only about 30 miles from where the movie "NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN" was filmed, and could have really gotten someone killed. This was in about 1967.
The second was a little happier, in 1982, but still just life threatening! My PH and I had been on the track of some cape buffalo we were following from their morning watering, when we spotted a very good cookson's Wildebeest off to our left about 200 yds through the trees. The PH said we were still about an hour behind the buffalo, and asked if I wanted to try for the willie, as we were far enough away from the buffalo that it wouldn't spook them. I said I'd like to take the willie. The PH asked how close did I need to get to take him with the 500/450 NE double rifle I was carrying, or did I want to use his iron-sighted BERNO 375 H&H. I said I wanted to use my own rifle, and if I could close to within 100 yds the shot would be a sure thing.
We started moveing closer very slowly, with heavy cover on both sides of us. We had moved about 75 yds when we heard a buffalo grunt, and start to our right, but we couldn't see him coming. We both turned to face the noise of crashing bush, ready to fire as soon as he came into view. When he cleared the bush he was only 15 yds from us and moving fast. The PH and I fired so close together that is sounded like one shot. Both hitting the buffalo where the neck makes a "V" in the chest for the heart. The buff didn't even stumble, and seemed to get faster, I fired the second shot a tiny bit quicker that the PH, aiming for the nose, and the brain. My bullet hit him square on the nose, turning his head slightly, causeing the PH's shot to hit the cheak just under the right eye, exit at the back of the jaw, and re-enter the shoulder and skid around ending between the ribs, and the shoulder. If my shot had not hit the brain, I doubt I would be writing this here today 29 years later. Needless to say we didn't get the Cookson's wildebeest, and the buffalo I shot filled my license for the buffalo. This buffalo was alone, and was only 37 inches wide with the tip of the left horn broken off, one i would not have shot given the choice, but is the best trophy in my den today because of the cercumstances.