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JamesJM's picture
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A successful hunt, without getting a Buck...and a QUESTION

Just back from a hunt on my ranch, (posted in another thread), and thought I'd add this info:

This isn't the first time this has happened to me, but it's been a while.  Ok... let me get the gray cells in order and calculate:  On the hunt we spotted:  Many deer both Bucks and Does, 2 bobcats, many road runners, a rattlesnake, quail in abundance as well as dove, wild pigs, a badger (rare), a raccoon (rare), some chukar (rare), many coyotes, a western tanager (bird, rare), and the tracks of a mountain lion.. didn't see the Lion itself, unfortunately.  All those critters are in abundance on my ranch, but SEEING them is another thing.  Seeing all those on ONE TRIP is a rare thing indeed.

But now the kicker... probably not 'rare', but 'rare' for me.. first time actually.  Through binoculars we watched a coyote stalk and kill a pigeon.  Middle of the day as well.  

Which leads me to... what are some things you have seen on some of your hunting trips that most others have NOT seen?  Love to hear the stories.

I know friends who have seen Bucks locking antlers, I have not.  I knew an old timer that actually watched a mountain lion take a deer... wow, I can't even imagine being that lucky.  BUT.. this is a big forum, so I'm expecting some GREAT stories. - JamesJM

groovy mike's picture
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great thread idea!

This is a great thread idea!

Watching things besides the game you are hunting is a bonus for those of us afield chasing game. I have seen some spectacular sunrises. I have heard the coyotes sing as the moon rises over the sage. I saw mule deer bucks butting heads for the first time while scouting just before last season (remember that Arrowflipper?). That was cool.

I have watched Pine Martins and raccoons feed on bear baits. I've seen coal black Fisher cats wander through and a snow white ermine drawn to the scent of blood while I was kneeling dressing out my deer. I've seen Great Horned owls appear and disappear silently and with hoots.

I've seen bears look at hunters with scorn and live another day. I've seen curious moose and been snorted at by otters, slapped at by beavers, and seen whole flocks of bald eagles. I've seen the black mongoose that only exists in one place. I've seen an oryx gazelle so soon after birth that its horns were still wet. Yes they are born with horns. I've heard zebras call and seen them run inside a volcanic crater, and sat down to a meal within it myself. I have set my feet where it is doubtful anyone else has ever stood.

I have been truly blessed.

BikerRN's picture
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Owl

Last year, while looking for the coues deer I had put a bullet in, due to the steep terrain I was hunting I managed to get within fifteen feet of a Horned Owl.

We were almost level with each other even as he, or she, was perched in a tree. Maybe not a big moment for most folks but I enjoyed it. Never been that close to one in the wild before and wouldn't have known it was there if it hadn't turned it's head to look at me before flying off.

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Location: El Paso, Texas
Joined: 02/21/2009
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I have also had a few wierd

I have also had a few wierd encounters out in the woods.

In 2005 my wife and I were scouting for deer in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico when we came upon this earth water tank. We paid little attention to it but noticed that there was a cottontail rabbit standing next to it.

As we continued walking past the tank, two huge coyotes jumped out from behind a bush and ran off. It caugh us by susprise Confused but then we realized that those coyotes were stalking and planning to eat the little rabbit. I guess we cand say that they're lunch was spoiled.  Thumbs up

I have a few more wierd stories. I'll post them as the thread moves along.  Big smile

JamesJM's picture
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Hey, we're off to a great start...

Thought I'd add a couple myself.

This one floored me... I was a watching a big boar and eventually he got wind of me and bolted.  He ran uphill and came to a low fence, barbed wire, which I figured he's go right through... and instead, he actully LEAPED the fence and continued on.  I didn't even know pigs could jump.  :)

This next one I'm sure has happened to several of you, it's happend to me a few times, not sure how many.  On a bow hunt in the Kaibab, in full cammo, a spotted a doe heading towards me and decided to see how 'still' I could be and how close she'd get.  She eventually gotten within arm's reach.   And yes, I was tempted to spring up and scream, but I didn't... she eventually slowly moved on. - JamesJM

 

Critter's picture
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The best thing that I ever

The best thing that I ever saw was a coyote and a cow in a pasture.  It was during elk season and I was sitting on a hill waiting for the elk to head into the pasture to feed.  I noticed a coyote near a cow and started to watch them together.  The coyote would yap at the cow until the cow would stomp her feet and run a ways.  Then the coyote would jump on something and it appeared that he would get it into his mouth and eat it.  This went on for around a half hour until I realized that the coyote was using the cow to flush out mice in the pasture grass.  Once he would startle the cow into jumping around or running off he would watch to find a mouse and then pounce on it.  I actually watched this long enough with enough attention that I didn't even notice the elk that had moved into the pasture about a quarter of a mile away until it was to late to make a stalk or get a shot off. 

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My favorite memories are not

My favorite memories are not all that amazing, but they made my "hunt" at the time.

My best one was when I was in high school, sitting in a tree stand on the edge of a field.  I was watching this red tailed hawk circling, and he landed in a tree about 100 yards up the tree line.  I have this thing, where I can make a sound with my mouth like a grey squirrel that is sounding an alarm.  So, I started doing that.  Well, even though I know hawks have great eysight, I wasn't sure about their hearing.  So I watch, as the hawk tilts it's head back and forth.  Fonally, with a hop off the tree, and a couple flaps of it's wings, he glides down the hill towards me.  I think, "cool".  That is, until he got closer, and closer, and closer.  Finally, he fans out his wings, raises his legs/talons, straight through the branches at me.  I can't imagine how big my eyes must have been, but I yelled and waved my arms, and the hawk took off over the field, screeching for a couple of minutes.  He must have thought that was one big squirrel.... lol

Bowhunting in CA one time, had a bobcat trot in front of my stand with either a rabbit or squirrel in it's mouth.  Must have just missed him catching it, and it was my first bobcat I've seen in the woods. 

One year, after a few days hunting in Vermont, it was my last evening before flying back west.  I was sitting in my stand in an apple orchard, which is relatively low to the ground.  Heard movement, and it was twin button bucks and their mom that came in.  They sat there for the last 20 minutes of shooting light, 10 yards from me, eating apples while their mother kept watch.  Even though I couldn't shoot them, it was a great feeling just sitting back and observing, being part of their routine, and being nervous as heck that you were going to flinch and scare them away.  A great end to an "unsuccesful" season.

The other little thing I like any time I see it is when a partridge (grouse) comes into the orchard, and sits there and "drums" it's wings.  The "wop, wop, wop, wop" as it gets faster and louder, with them puffing up their chest, is pretty funny.  Something so small, but great to experience.

It's little things like that, where I realize that as hunters, we are more in touch with nature than any tree hugger out there. 

Sounds like an awesome day! 

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