Have you ever had a bad day while hunting?


BP Hunter
October 22, 2013, 01:24 PM
Well, mine happened last weekend. It may not be as bad as some may think, but enough to make it not the ideal hunt.

So, I wake up early morning and drive 40 minutes to the hunting site alone. I park the trunk and open the rear and put on the hunting gear. Everything is on until I discovered that I forgot my binoculars.:mad: Mind you, I am hunting in the NW on rolling hills where I NEED my binoculars. I said OK and give out a big sigh and tell myself that I will have to settle for my brand new Nikon rangerfinder as my monocular instead. The optics of 6X rangerfinder is not the best and angle of vision is very narrow so I have to concentrate and scan longer.

OK, after trekking 1 mile into the mountain, I am about half a mile away where I saw deer yesterday and 1 week before. I scan the area with my rangefinder and see no deer. SInce I am anticipating that they will show up soon, I decide to go on all 4's and move slowly a few hundred yards. I put the rangefinder in a small pouch in front of of orange vest and close all 3 buttons, since I knew that it may fall off once I start crawling. AFter about 200 yards, I stop and sit and start to look for deer again. I then open my pouch and dig into it looking for my rangefinder. It wasn't there. My brand new rangefinder fell somewhere in the thick brush. Dang it! I decided that I could not use my rifle scope as my monocular, I then decided to go and backtrack to where i think I dropped it. Of course, I never found it!

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October 22, 2013, 01:59 PM
Been there. Had worse days actually. But I dang sure learned my lesson and prepared better. Now I load everything in my truck the night before. Then when I'm sure I have everything, I recheck it. Then when I get up in the morning I know everything is already in my truck. When I get to my parking place, I exit the truck and check everything again. Twice. As good as my planning is though, there have been times I've still managed to not make it in, or out, with all my gear. That's just hunting. Live and learn and try to do it better next time.

One lesson I learned is: The more you take in, the more opportunities there are to lose things. I've learned to pack light with essentials only.

October 22, 2013, 02:02 PM
I've had a few bad days in the field. Took a dip in Lake Ontario in late November after a duck hunt. We were out i open water when one of the guys with us decided to fall off the side of the boat and bring the entire boat with him. I've never been so cold in my entire life. We were pretty fortunate to not lose our lives that day.

Second one was deer hunting some public land. Was walking in before sun-up when I saw a really nice buck running parallel to me about 75yds away. Well, apparently a few other guys also saw that deer and started ripping slugs at it. I had a slug hit a tree no more than a foot in front if my face. I high-tailed it back to my truck and decided to wait and possibly meet my new shooting buddies. They got an A+ greeting from me when they got back to their truck.

October 22, 2013, 02:45 PM
Couple years ago my buddy went out to hunt a "special" hammock he had scouted for past couple months on a public land. To get out there he had to hike 7+ miles as there was no road in the area. On that hammock was a large buck with a huge rack that he had on the game cam for past few weeks. On the opening day morning he gets out there after 2+ hour hike and gets up in his improvised tree stand. As the sun was getting ready to break the horizon he reaches into his pocket to get his cartridges and he finds nothing... he left his ammo in the truck. As he sat in this stand contemplating what to do his buck walks by the stand. After that he comes down and walks back to the truck. Since it was already too late to hunt he decides to take a nap and then walk back in the afternoon to hunt in the evening. Few hours later as he gets ready to walk back out to the stand he sees a guy coming in and he is struggling with a game cart with a deer on it. He goes out to help the guy and sees that the deer on the cart is "his" deer.

October 22, 2013, 03:30 PM
I was turkey hunting and called it quits for the day. Took a 'short cut' through a palmetto patch and stepped out between a sow and her litter. She nailed me so fast that all I could do was beat on her with my shotgun while she had a hold on my crotch shaking and tugging like a bulldog.
I finally got her off me and she took off with her brood. I surveyed the damage and found my scrotum ripped open. Fast trip to the hospital emergency room and 30 stitches by a physician's assistant who was laughing the whole time, finally got me almost back to normal.

I don't recommend it.

October 23, 2013, 02:12 AM
Most of my bad days involve me falling in water. I've done it several times while duck hunting. Luckily, my jacket and waders don't fill up with water most of the time. Of course, the one time I got good and soaked it was about 20 degrees. I curled up in the fetal position on shore and just sat there. After a few minutes, I was warm but found that I was frozen in place. The water on my jacket, mask, gloves, and waders had turned to ice.

Another time I was crossing a cable bridge spanning a small creek at a friends deer lease. I ended up falling 6 feet flat onto my back. I wasn't hurt though. Luckily I only landed on my nice soft rifle and pack. I passed up a doe that day because I was sure that my scope was off. Turned out it wasn't.

I've had some scary times, too. A small boat in deep water and big waves is not any fun.

October 23, 2013, 02:49 AM
Squirrel hunting was excited to take out my "new" gun for the first time hunting. Hit the first squirrel lower then I wanted but thought it was me flinching. Keep missing at the next few squirrels before I figured out what was wrong. Turns out the rear scope piece got bumped or something, it got out of focus so when I first shouldered the gun everything appeared normal. When I would look at it for a bit the lines blurred so I called it quits. Never new you could adjust the rear eye piece or I would have been back in business. :(

October 23, 2013, 07:06 AM
Wow! Post 5 has to take the cake!
I've never lost a piece of equipment that cost a few hundred bucks or suffered injury so I guess I'm lucky! My worst day is spending a whole day in a blind while it was cold and drizzling all day. It was miserable but at least I was dry.

October 23, 2013, 07:14 AM
Yeah, post #5, now THAT is a bad day.

As far as forgetting stuff, we've all done it, so before I go hunting, backpacking, or camping, I make a checklist like I have for the airplane. I list everything I want/need to bring because once you are out there you are pretty much stuck. I print off the checklist then manually check each item as it goes into the packs, and then check again as it goes into the Jeep.

Once I forgot camp stove fuel while backpacking, but fortunately a fire could sub for it, so not really a bid deal. Never had a bad day hunting, but was stopped by state game wardens twice in the same day to "check my license". :rolleyes:

October 23, 2013, 08:16 AM
Wow Patocazdor, I've been attacked by a hog but never there, good you got her off before she got a better hold!

Never lost anything, like the OP, hunting but I'd hate to lose 2 bills anytime.

My bad days hunting usually revolve around others.
This past Sat. I left the beach at 5:30am to drive 3 hours and be in my stand at 9:00am.

Made the mistake of checking on my sick mother "after I was ready to go into the woods" (should have called before I arrived) finally got off the phone and at the stand at 9:30.

Creeping up I saw a nice 6 point browsing but could not get into position for a shot without his head coming up. 5 feet from the cover of the stand and minutes late! I decided to sit quiet and hope he came back that evening. He browsed for 5min and walked off.

Spent the entire day in the stand waiting for a traveler or magic time between 6:00-7:00pm.

Well...around 5:30pm I hear a shot on the far side of the property. My friend hit a buck that ran. After tracking it for 50yards he lost the blood trail and I offered to help (gotta love texting) Sooooo....after spending 8 1/2 hours in the stand I wound up blood tracking his buck another 200yards leaf by leaf, a drop every 6 feet or so in the dark, then I lost the blood trail.

Thankfully his wife was relentlessly checking every deer trail into the thick stuff and she found blood where the buck had circled behind us and gone into the "briars". As we approached there was movement. My friend started in barehanded, no gun, his rifle was at the ATV where he had met his wife. I offered him my .38 and he went in and killed the wounded buck.

The buck tumbled down a 6 foot bank, making a tough job tougher. He went back to the ATV for a pull strap, why he did not bring it when he pulled the ATV closer...who knows...well he could not find the ATV in the dark...lol

I pulled out the phone and got on maps GPS to find the closest trail, he thought his sense of direction was better than the GPS and started walking the wrong way. Sooo his wife and I pulled the deer the rest of the way out to the trail.
At 8:30 we got him back to us thru the woods using "Marco Polo" and flashlights. Off he goes to get the ATV, in the wrong direction again...lol...his wife finally convinces him we are on a different trail than he thinks and the GPS is correct.

I forgot to mention stepping into a stump hole up to my hip going thru the briars and that when I loaned him the 38. it had a holster which he dropped "somewhere".

All a part of the game and he would certainly have done the same for me.
When we got back from the processer he said" I hope I did not spoil your hunt".
I said "of course you did but you'd have done the same for me and I would not have it any other way.

Glad we found the buck and I got a nice doe the next morning as well as a homecooked dinner and breakfast from his wife!

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 23, 2013, 08:26 AM
Most every day I hunt for deer and/or black bear when the temperatures are well below freezing, and don't see one thing the entire day are bad days for me.

The first (and last) buck I bagged was the last-century (early 80's or so).

Same holds true for the black bear I bagged within a year or two of that buck.

In order for me to not become overly-disappointed, I find that I have to keep telling myself how much fun I'm having, even though my feet and hands/fingers are wet and cold to the point of being numb. The whole time I have to keep reminding myself how much fun I am having out in the cold, clear, crisp air.

I tend to start thinking about all the things that need to be finished (some refer to them as 'projects') inside my nice, warm house. But, then I remember that "Winners Never Quit" and "Quitters Never Win!":o

Then I suddenly enjoy the day!


October 23, 2013, 08:35 AM
Not as bad as yours. Thanks for the story as it makes me feel better.

October 23, 2013, 08:44 AM
I was going to post, "A bad day hunting is better than a good day at work." Until I read #5...My "bad" days generally involve rain, cold and wind.

October 23, 2013, 10:57 AM
Sorry but bit in the nards by a hog tops them all...

Art Eatman
October 23, 2013, 11:06 AM
Solo hunt at the deer lease. Nobody else in camp. Shot a buck. Gutted the buck. Walked two miles back to camp, got the old pickup to go collect Bambi. Loaded Bambi in truck.

Truck wouldn't start.

Walked two miles back to camp. Removed battery from my VW bus. Took battery and jumper cables two miles to truck. Battery got heavier and heavier as
I walked along. Awkward tote, too. But I got there.

Truck started. Joy and happiness. Back to camp. Replace VW battery. Load Bambi onto bus. Go home.

Lesson: Replace alternator and check battery BEFORE deer season. :)

October 23, 2013, 01:23 PM
Hmmm... yeah, I've never had my scrotum ripped open. I guess my bad day isn't that bad after all.

October 26, 2013, 08:34 AM
i was thinking more along the lines of sitting in my stand on what is supposed to be a sunny day and getting rained on in my non water proof camo. then, with an hour til sunset, deciding to wait it out while shivering...... only to see nothing and walk out still shivering.

but getting your nards ripped open by a hog is probably worse.....

glad i don't live/hunt in florida anymore. hogs and gators...you can keep it.

October 26, 2013, 12:49 PM
I have had many bad days hunting. I have had many more good days at work that I did not enjoy nearly as much.

October 26, 2013, 12:53 PM
No matter how bad they seem at the time, any day hunting, where you come back alive to your family with the capability to go again tomorrow, is a good one. The rest is just memories and campfire stories.

October 26, 2013, 01:44 PM
No matter how bad they seem at the time, any day hunting, where you come back alive to your family with the capability to go again tomorrow, is a good one. The rest is just memories and campfire stories.
but he got his nards torn open.......

October 26, 2013, 02:03 PM
All the time. I've only hunted northern New England where weather and forest conditions are pretty much always horrible. Hunting in NNE is not fun, but it can be rewarding. It's an activity to be endured, not enjoyed.

I liken hunting here to running competitively in a 10k race. It suck when you're in the thick of it, but you feel proud as hell when you have any success.

October 26, 2013, 02:10 PM
but he got his nards torn open.......

Yeah, but the PA thought it was hysterical and Patocazador has a good campfire/gun forum story to tell. He also live to hunt another day. I have friends that never came back from a hunt or a fishing trip. That's a bad day.

October 26, 2013, 02:20 PM
Yeah, but the PA thought it was hysterical and Patocazador has a good campfire/gun forum story to tell. He also live to hunt another day. I have friends that never came back from a hunt or a fishing trip. That's a bad day.
OK. point taken. i can see that losing a buddy is a truly bad day. been there.

But let's agree to disagree on it being a "good day."

I've been pepper sprayed, broken my nose boxing, took a sting ray through my foot....all of those are good campfire stories with a cold beer in hand, but none of them were a "good" day.

and lastly, anything detrimental to the health of someone's nards is not "hysterical." unless it's someone you don't like. then it's pretty funny.

to re-align with THR, I carried a GP100 while in the sticks in Florida for hogs, but not sure i would have even tried to use it with a hog holding my manhood like that. that's just a lose-lose the whole way around.

Patocazador didn't mention the fate of the pig...... now i'm curious.

October 27, 2013, 09:41 AM
Even my bad days are better then working!.

Taurus 617 CCW
October 27, 2013, 09:58 AM
My worst day of hunting so far was the day I forgot my hunting license. I ended up being the driver for everyone else. When I hunt, it is mostly a woods bumming experience with a rifle. There are plenty of things to distract one out in the woods if the hunting is not good.

October 27, 2013, 01:46 PM
The following yarn was submitted to a Fishing site that I subscribe to. I thought it was funny enough to share on here!!!

"I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up-- 3 of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold..

The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it, it took a step away. I put a little tension on the rope .., and then received an education. The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope.

That deer EXPLODED. The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope and with some dignity. A deer-- no Chance. That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined.. The only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals.

A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head. At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope.

I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer. At that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual. Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in. I didn't want the deer to have to suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder - a little trap I had set before hand...kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my rope back.

Did you know that deer bite?

They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised when ..... I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and slide off to then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head--almost like a pit bull. They bite HARD and it hurts.

The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective.

It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds. I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now), tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the tendons out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose.

That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp... I learned a long time ago that, when an animal -like a horse --strikes at you with their hooves and you can't get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape.

This was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously, such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy. I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run. The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.

Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away. So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope......to sort of even the odds!!"

October 27, 2013, 07:01 PM
lol can that really be true??? lmao that would be hilarious to watch..

October 27, 2013, 07:38 PM
My bad day story is real short. Last Saturday AM got ready to leave for bow hunt and discovered someone had walled into my garage and stolen my Summit Climber. I have other stands but this was my first, kept me safe in hundreds of hunts since the mid 1980s, and was my above ground perch for 30 plus deer harvests. It will be replaced but the sentimental was immeasurable. Everyone hunt hard, stay safe, and keep your equipment locked up !

October 29, 2013, 02:13 AM
Well the only bad day I've had was the third year I'd ever went hunting it was freezing rain and hail but nothing like post 5 sorry that happened to you pactodazor :(

October 30, 2013, 12:23 PM
Yup, opening morning deer season , was ideling down a fire lane , heading to my blind, when a stump I didn't see cought my transfer case and broke in in half.I did hunt that AM but had to get the truck home so I quit at noon. I found a used case in the want-Ads 100 miles away for 50 bucks, so with the case, gas, new fluid and a gasket I was back on the road for about 100 bucks. hdbiker

November 3, 2013, 08:30 AM
Only when hunting for people.
As volunteer fireman i have helped search for four people over the years. Only had one happy ending.

Wear those safety harnesses friends!

November 3, 2013, 12:12 PM
I was early one morning at a public hunting ground . My front passenger side tires fell on the ditch. I didnt have 4 wheel capability. I got stucked until another hunter came along and gave me a pull out. Im glad i got a rope at hand . If not , i wont be able to hunt the rest of the day.
Big lesson, dont underestimate depressions out in the country. You can get stuck ...

Loyalist Dave
November 3, 2013, 03:00 PM
The only "bad day" I had was once I was out and saw nothing. No, not just no game, but nothing. No birds, i.e. no crows, nor buzzards, nor bluejays, and no geese flying. No sounds of birds. No chipmunks nor field mice. I also noticed on that day that a bunch of the trees looked dead or dying. It was like I was hunting in an area that had been "sanitized" or something weird. Like out of a movie and the doomed, lone hunter doesn't know the secret, underground, government lab, located nearby, has had something "escape". (I watch to much Sci Fi) Gave me the creeps.

When I go out, even if I see a deer waaay over yonder on another farm, or game like squirrels or a rabbit, or maybe even a fox, even when I'm not out for them, that's a good day. A flight of geese winging overhead to some destination..., that's a good day. Watching a couple of hawks work a farm field for a mouse or two..., that's a good day. Even if I don't see any deer, but other stuff is moving around..., that's a good day. I can always learn something. As for my first paragraph..., thinking about that day gives me the willies.

OH, and I've been back to that spot mentioned above, and that's never happened again. I figure that I had just hit a day when the critters were dormant or something. There were trees that were dying but they have been replaced by the forest, or they recovered. Don't know why a bunch looked bad that day...,


November 6, 2013, 10:42 PM
6 years ago hunting in late December, cold for texas that day in the mid 20's, and I'm sitting in an open chair blind. The only heat is in my truck, and at the campfire, assuming someone is there to keep it stoked. No deer. No life of any kind, and I am COLD sitting in that chair tower. With darkness descending, the afternoon hunt is now coming to a close. Prior to leaving camp, I was asked by the only other hunter there that weekend, if I could help him with any deer he might kill. He's in his late 70's, not in the best of health and I readily agreed.

With my legs and feet nearly numb, I can barely feel the metal steps of the ladder as I descend. I misstep around 4' from the ground, and topple into a huge cactus patch. This is central texas, heart of the hill country, with cactus from hell. I am sporting more thorns than a porcupine. I can't sit in the truck like that for two reasons, first, sitting was impossible, and second, it would ruin the leather. Time to strip. Fortunately, getting naked pulled most of the thorns, except for the ones that managed to find access to the most private crevices. Did I mention it's cold?

I get in the truck, unable to feel my hands or feet, shaking violently, and sit there while it warms up. I drive the two miles back to camp, wearing only my boots and briefs, bleeding, and cold. There stands "Tom", the elderly hunter, anxiously waiting on me to exit the truck to cash in on the promise I made to help him with his deer. The man had not shot an animal the entire season, but he got one that afternoon. Awesome.

I step out, naked, and he asks me to help him with his doe. He did not ask why I was naked, only that he expected my help. I said I would like to change into some clothes, and he impatiently waited while I used half a roll of duct tape to pull the remaining thorns.

I changed jeans, put on a new shirt, but had NO COAT. The porcupine coat was not salvageable, and there was no way I was putting it back on. I found, loaded, strung up, gutted, cleaned and loaded that doe for that old man in roughly six minutes. He asked where he should take it, I said Cherokee was close. I then asked him if he wondered why I came to camp naked. He said he just figured I needed to have my privacy respected. He didn't renew his lease that year.

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