Close encounters


December 14, 2011, 10:22 PM
Over the many years of hunting and general outdoor recreation I've had countless close encouter's with Elk, deer, antelope, and bear.
For the sake of the time it would take to write, and read all of those I can recall, I'll just write about some of the most memorable events.
One fall turkey season my wife had gone out to see if she could get into a harem all by herself, here's what happened. She had located a large harem of about 50 or 60 birds. She managed to empty her 12 ga. 870 at them and only suceeded in scattering them all over the ridge. She came home and was excited beyond words and told me she wanted me to go out in the morning with her and call them in. After hearing about her encounter I knew we had the perfect setting for a fall turkey hunt. So about an hour before first light we were set up at the top of the ridge waiting for it to get light enough to start calling. That was when we heard a deer snorting and stomping the ground just a few feet from us. When I turned to see where the deer was I saw that it was a doe and fawn and they were no more than 10' away. At first I was too concerned other than the fact that it was getting close to calling time, and I didn't want the birds to fly down on their own. But that quickly changed when the doe got more and more aggressive and was litterally making every effort with her hooves and snorting to run us off. I finally stood up and swung my arms around to try and scare her off, but she responded by lunging toward me with even mroe aggression. I qickly grabbed my wife by the arm and whispered for her to follow me very slowly as we inched away from her, thinking she would just leave us alone. As we started our exit she continued to follow, stomping and snorting the whole time. We did eventually get to call our fall birds in, but not in her territory. We did kill two nice gobbs, but what an experience.

On another exciting turkey hunt during the spring, I had layed down next to a big dead pine tree not far from a water hole in wait to hear a gobble to persue. As luck would have it, I fell asleep and woke up to the ground rumbling. I slowly sat up and looked over the dead tree to see a good sized herd of elk running full bore right at me. They obviously didn't see me so I ducked back down against the dead tree and the next thing I know I have the herd jumping over the top of me and the tree, and diving into the water hole. All I could think of was, I hope one doesn't accidentally stomp on me or spook because of me, and then stomp me of gore me too death. They played aggressively in the water for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then as quick as they arrived, they exited over the top of me yet a seocnd time, but this time I had the hooves coming at me instead of over the tree first, as was the case when they made their arrival. I never thought I would ever find myself that close to a large herd of elk, so close that I was in fear of dying a bizzar death.

I was again turkey hunting in the fall this time. I wasn't doing so well locating a harem to work but I did hear a bull elk sound off a good mile away. So out of shear amusement, I decided to see what I could do to bring them in and grabbed a good sized limb and started bashing it against a pine tree. After a couple of minutes of doing this the bull sounded off again and this time he was a bit closer. I continued bashing the tree and he again sounded off and was much closer, maybe 300 or so yards away. I couldn't see him in the thick pine forest and decided to do some more bashing. All of a sudden while bashing the tree his massive rack appeared from behind the tree and he was hot too trot to engage the other bull he thought was making all the racket. I tossed the branch at him and ran for cover. As I looked over my shoulder while running away, I saw he wasn't doing anything, just standing there watching me. He was probably wondering where the other bull was, or, maybe he was laughing at the stupid human running into everything in his path? Seriously, I nearly knocked myself out trying to run away.
I'll share some other close and stupid encounter's with ya all in the future. But I just thought it might entertain some of you, who like me, struggle to find a deer, elk or other quarry when we have a tag in our pocket. They seem to know when we have a tag, or at least it seems that way sometimes.
Merry Christmas

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December 14, 2011, 10:43 PM
Good stories.:)

I was cow calling several bulls that were bugling all around. The type of call I was using will freeze up in cold weather, so I had three of them around my neck. They were all pretty well frozen. About that time a rag horn came busting through the Cristmas tree size stuff and stopped about 10 feet in front of me. Funny thing was, I still had my bow on a sling over my shoulder, and was standing there with my knife loosening the reed so I could make another call. Pants down I suppose. Needless to say I couldn't get a shot off.

Another time I was in some paper company land in eastern N.C. and decide to take a nap. Something woke me up and it was a doe standing almost on top of me trying to figure out what I was doing there I guess. I threw my arms up and said booo. That doe may still be running. It's funny how a deer can smell you 100 yards away sometimes and then other times they can't seem to smell you at all.

December 15, 2011, 04:56 PM
gamestalker, Thoes are truly fantastic stories, I hope too one day be able to have some of my own like them.
merry Christmas

Good luck
God speed

December 15, 2011, 10:00 PM
I'm so glad someone enjoyed hearing of some of my experiences. If a person spends enough time out in the wilderness soing what us hunter's enjoy doing so much, you'll likely have some simular memories that you'll value the rest of your days.

Strangly though, most of the experiences I've had involved my turkey hunting/guiding years in the field.

I just remembered another of my turkey hunting encounter's. I took my 3 yr. old Son out with me one morning to scout for the up coming spring turkey season, and since I was only scouting, I didn't bring a gun with me, and forgot to even bring a hip gun. Anyway, we had stopped at several spots where I used various locating methods that caused the deer and elk to come in fairly close, they are curious creatures. So after several stops and interesting moments, we stopped yet again and walked a 100 yds. or so and then I called for a couple of minute. I didn't get an answer form any gobbs but once again I heard something coming through the forest in our direction and told my Son to keep his eyes open for some more deer or elk. A moment or two later a large black bear with a cub appeared not mroe than 30 yds. in front of us and continued coming toward us. I quickly whispered to my Son to not move or make any noise, and fortunately he did exactly as I said. That sow got right in our face, like about 2 or 3 feet from our faces when she suddenly realized what we were I suppose, and then stood up, let out a loud growl or what ever you would call it, and then crashed through everything in her path as she ran away from us with cub in tow. As soon as the bear disappeared, I grabbed my Son, ran for the truck and drove home to change my pants. After getting home I realized I had left my bag of calls and tools of the trade on the ground and had to go back and grab it. The only difference, this time I had my 44 mag. on my hip.

During another spring turkey hunt I was all by myself sitting in the woods in the dark waiting for it to get light so I could call in the gobb I had put to bed the evening before. I kept hearing branches snapping and just general noise I had become accustomed to hearing when sitting still close to a roost in the dark. I thought I was hearing other turkey in the tree above me, probably some hens I thought. So as it got lighter to the extent I could see pretty well, I heard this huge snap and a bunch of branches breaking above my head, and before I could further figure out what it was a failry large black bear landed on the ground just mear feet in front of me, almost on me.

I was almost trampled by 25 - 30 mule deer 2 years ago during archery season while sitting at a water hole waiting to stick a buck coming in to water. One of my Son's had dropped me off at a water hole he had taken a deer from a year earlier. He set me up in a good spot with good cover, and gave me the yards at various points around the hole, and told me to stay there. He said "Don't sit any where else" because he knew which direction they usually came in from. After about an hour I decided to move to the opposit side of the water hole, and had no sooner set up next to a small tree when the herd came trampling in and jumping in and out of the water, pretty much in the same manner as the elk that nearly trampled me years earlier next to a dead and down tree. These deer were walking all around my feet and looking right into my eyes, I could hardly hold back from laughing as these big stupid deer were trying to figure out what the hell I was. And then after 10 minutes or so, they took off. There were a couple of small bucks in the herd, but nothing I was interested in killing.

I have asked myself many times, why me? As I stated on my above post, I've had too many encounter's to include in one post. It's bizzar that I've had so many of these type encounter's with wildlife, but even as dangerous as some of them have been, these are memories and stories that will be shared around camp the fire for generaions to come. There is just nothing that compares to being out in the element and watching majestic beautiful wildlife just doing what they do, day after day. That's one of the reaosns I spend so much time glassing all year long, just to watch them in their undisturbed element. I think for me, just observing their playful or aggressive behavior is as entertaining as hunting them.

December 15, 2011, 11:37 PM
Well said Sir. Thank you so much for sharing, this is my first year in the hunt. There is so much I need to learn that I never took into account the humor and positive learning experiences there are to be had.
Once again thank you.

December 16, 2011, 04:19 AM
The highlight of my life in the woods was last spring. While calling coyotes I had a bobcat approach to within 7 feet of me. Had a digital camera in my coat pocket. Did I get a picture? Hell no!!:banghead:

December 16, 2011, 01:10 PM
You had to get me going with coyote calling Glockgod. I have had more than one surprising experience with coyotes and fox walking in behind me while I was calling. Turing around and finding a coyote or fox several feet from you can be pretty unnerving.

Thanks for the shared bob cat experience. I've yet to have one with them, but I have had a rather close encounter with a mountain lion, twas calling turkey of course! I'm eaither really good at sounding like a turkey, or the mountain lion was intending to have human for breakfast.


December 16, 2011, 04:11 PM
I had already mentioned this one in the thread about squirrels, but here's the full story:

Last year I had gotten my hands on one of those cheap pistol crossbows and after some testing, I decided it had enough accuracy and power to take a grey squirrel at a decent range. I made my way over to a patch of woods near my home, and proceeded to chase those bushy tailed rats all around. After a couple hours of that, and no chances at a good shot, I decided to stand in a clearing and try calling some to me. I picked a spot by the edge of the patch of woods, near a road, and began doing my best impersonation of squirrel chatter.

Sure enough after about 5 minutes or so, i started hearing them coming through the trees a little ways off. I raised the little crossbow up so i wouldn't have to move much once they got close, and at about that time I started hearing a lot more noise coming from down low than up high where the squirrels were. As I am standing there in the middle of this small clearing, in blue jeans and a hoodie, here comes five small deer each about 80 pounds a piece, edging there way out of the bushes. I was so surprised that my squirrel call brought them in, that I just froze there with my crossbow still pointed up, and waited to see how close they would get. Well at first I must have done a really good job of being still, because when one got about 5 feet from me I shifted my weight on my right foot just a teeny bit, and they all five spooked and took off through the brush.

I tried the same thing in the same place about a week later, and sure enough after a few minutes I heard them all coming through the bushes again, only this time they knew what I was and took off as soon as they were out enough to see me.

I guess I aught to start hunting deer!

December 16, 2011, 04:42 PM
A few years back I was bow hunting deer in Northern Wisconsin, slowly "stalking" an old logging road. Heard something coming through the brush, turned around and about 8 - 10 feet a sow balck bear with her two cubs stepped out onto the road. I stood stil, she gave me a long look, kinda snorted, and turned and walked back into the brush... Best non-kill hunting experiance I ever had....


December 16, 2011, 05:44 PM
In the early 90's when there were still lots of moose in Northern Minnesota, I took my Springer grouse hunting in a remote area. I saw a calf moose in a slough as I entered some dark woods. Soon my dog started barking and took off into the shadows. This was unusual but I called and she was coming back when I noticed shadows moving. A big bull was chasing her and they were both running my way. There were trees but none I could get up quickly. I had 7 1/2 birdshot in a double barrel. Not enough to stop a moose. I realized I was upwind so I unzipped and sprayed urine as high and wide as I could. The moose slowed to a walk and sniffed the air. He stopped about 20 yards away, snorted, stood looking around and sniffing, then turned and slowly walked off into the deep woods. I don't recall if I got any grouse that day.

December 17, 2011, 03:58 AM
I was archery deer hunting once and had a herd of elk walk right up on me. And I mean RIGHT up on me. I had set my bow down and was just watching them come, and they kept coming. I had a cow in front of me so close I literally could have kicked her with my boot. I could see her eyelashes and see the pine needles blow aside as she blew out breaths of air. I could hear the grass crunch from inside her mouth. There were two calves right behind me and I swear one of them sniffed my shirt sleeve. They were young that time of year (August) and didn't know what to make of me. I couldn't really turn my head without being seen so I didn't. There was a point when I was right in between the cow and the 2 calves that I was pretty nervous. The cow was not five yards apart from the calves, and I was right smack in between them. It was incredible. The calves I could tell were ancy, but didn't know what to do. As soon as the cow's head was level with my boot she smelled me and jumped with a start but only went a few yards. She caught up to the rest of the herd and I got up and left. That's the closest I've ever been to a wild animal and I doubt I'll ever do better. Changed my life. I live for that stuff.

December 19, 2011, 03:36 PM
The last weekend before opening day of deer season my youngest boy wanted to go sit and watch a soy bean field one last time. We made a quick blind out of some dead falls and had a seat. After about a hour we had a couple of does walk with 15 yards of us. Having lots of daylight left we stayed to see where the bucks were moving in and out of the field. My son kept telling me that there was something behind us. Know that there was a large stream behind us and no real place for anything big to get behind us without being seen I told him he was hearing things. About 15 minutes later he steps on my toes and motions to the rear with a finger. I slowly turned my head to see what he was so exicited about to find my self looking at a coyote about 5 feet away. Being a scouting trip neither one of us had brought any weapons. It stood around for about 10 minutes before deciding to wander back down into the stream. He thought it was great but I wasn't so impressed. From that point on I started carrying my .45 on my side just in case. We saw the same (or we think it was the same) coyote in the same field every time we sat there. My son did get a nice 8-point off that field even with us shifting our hunting spot to the other end of the field.

December 20, 2011, 12:40 AM
A couple of early winters ago on one of those crystal clear deep blue sky Colorado mornings after a new snow fall I took a hike up a small canyon not far from home. After about a couple of hundred yards up the trail I came upon some tracks that appeared to be a mountain lion's. He/she was basically using the same trail I was so I decided to follow and see where it's meandering led to. I figured the trail was at least a couple of hours old, it was about 9 AM. Eventually the tracks led towards a small ravine which I knew had a stream in it's bottom. As I neared the ravine I thought I might get lucky and see where it possibly caught a rabbit or some other type of small animal and left a story in it's tracks. As I followed the tracks, while steathly crouched over, I snuck up to a fairly large ponderosa tree and peeked around it into the stream bed just in case something would be down there. It took a few seconds for me to realize THE CAT'S TRACKS ENDED AT THE VERY SAME TREE I WAS HIDING BEHIND! I didn't even look up, I just backed away trying to look as big and as calm as I could. I guess it was about 25 yards further away before I started breathing again. I kept checking my back trail until I got to my truck ( where my .357 S&W was safely under the seat) Once inside the truck I tried to analyze what happened. The area is full of oak brush, mule deer and turkey. I guess the cat was in the tree waiting for a meal to come by to get a drink, luckily for me I wasn't on the menu!

December 21, 2011, 01:45 AM
About 10 years ago, my Pop and I were on a fishing expedition in the White River area in Western Colo. We were both on horses, just riding up this trail that would take us to this small lake we liked to catch Brook trout out of. Pop mentioned the height of the skunk cabbage, might be in for some heavy snow that winter up there. As we continued up the trail, Pop stopped his horse and said "Listen, hear those cow elk squeals?" Up on the side of this sloping hill, the skunk cabbage was moving, like something was running in it, then the movement would stop, the cow elk squeals would start again. We had, unbeknownst to us, ridden into the White River Forest elk herd nursery! We counted 50 head of cow elk, and with the cabbage hiding the calves, no known number. The cow's had run back and forth so much, they'd gotten the fine dirt stirred up into a cloud of dust, we couldn't hardly see the trail. We rode our horses up to the top of this ridge, we were then looking down into a small open park, there were 10 or 12 huge bull's mixed in with the others in this gang of cows. This was an unbelievable sight to say the least, we sat and watched these elk for another 10 minutes, then rode off to get those Brookies. As we sat and watched the elk running back and forth, calling for their calves, I looked at my Pop and asked if he'd ever seen anything like this, his response was ,"I've hunted elk and deer over here with my Pop when I was barely 10 years old, I've never seen anything like this in my life." Later that day, after catching some dandy Brookies, we rode back down into this big meadow, as Pop rode by a 6 ft. tall pine tree, this beautiful, chocolate brown, spotted elk calf jumped up, not more than 3 ft. from where his horse stood, ran down the hill from us, as hard as his little feet could go. What a beautiful ending, to an even more beautiful day of fishing. My fishing and hunting guide, and Pop, passed on 5 years ago, our days of times together are now gone, but memories like this will live in my mind and heart until my heart stops too. Thanks for listening.

December 21, 2011, 02:17 AM
Deer hunting in NH one time, and decided to sit on a stump and rest for a while. One of my buddies was out there wandering around as well. After a few minutes I start hearing this kind of crashing. Not real loud, kinda slow. I'm thinking it's my buddy coming toward me, or a really clumsy deer. Suddenly it stops. There's silence for a few seconds, then I hear what sounds like the burner on a hot air balloon. I sat stock still. Then I heard it again. Then the crashing went back the way it had come.
I never saw that moose, but knew what it was immediately. I tried to follow it a few minutes later, but it disappeared like a ghost.

December 21, 2011, 12:06 PM
Once shot a coyote that was close enough that the hairs on its face were singed by the blast from my arisaka if that tells you how close it was.

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