Strangest, weirdest, coolest thing seen in the woods?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Johnpl, Jan 11, 2003.

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  1. standingbear

    standingbear Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    most memorable..hunting groundhogs and noticed 4 or 5 buzzards in an ol dead tree.the guy that i was hunting with decided to mess around a bit with them.he got vomited on with the worst stuff i ever saw.i hadnt laughed that hard in 5 years.neatest....napping in the woods at the base of an walnut tree during squirrel season and was awakened by a deer sniffing my hair.
  2. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

    Dec 22, 2002
    west of Loveland, CO
    Selfdfenz, thanks.

    It was (both of them) pretty special treats. I think the Snow Story was one of my best times ever in the woods. So very cool to just watch a snowflake form & drop through such a so very blue, blue sky. Actually quite incredible. - even still.

    Thinking back though - The Wife & I did a winter backpacking trip in the Lost Creek Wilderness area once - around Presidents' Day - early Februray, as I recall.

    Was cold as hell - about -15F We woke up, got out of the bags & then started to FREEZE! COLD! Brrrrzzz ....

    Fired up the camp stove for coffee & did a fire for some warmth.

    The sky was as in the last recounter - a bluer than blue thing, but there was a noise, just barely audible - sounded somewhat like someone doing bacon about a mile away.

    We were, doing a winter camping trip at -15F, so alone that there was nothing else moving in our entire world.

    Turns out is was frozen air - the barest ice particles, if you will - blowing, with about a one mile an hour breeze, through the lifeless branches - it was making such a noise that I have never heard before, or since.

    The barest rustling, while overwhelming, after a second's notice of your surroundings.

    I couldn't ever write it, but it was the sound of your most close, dear-one whispering a Shhhsss in your ear/& bacon frying about a mile away.

    Elusive, yet everpresent, I'd guess.

    Nonetheless, we had the quick coffee & beat feet the hell outa there 'cause we were cold as all get out. The Wife still mentions my (dis)demeanor & breaking camp. ;-) Hey! I wuz COLD! ;-) My bad!

    Thanks again, BTW, for whoever started this thread.

    Brings back many a thing every time I get an e-mail refreshing this thread .....

    I remember another time, when the tide was turning out over the flats in the Florida back-country.

    A mereist of channels, but never you mind, it was The Only Channel for the water to pour out of.

    Prolly about 1000 miles of flatland washing out through a 6-foot deep channel & all off it was pouring through this one "river."

    Imagine it!

    Permit, snook, dolphin - everything! all pouring through this one area all at once.

    Utterly amazing! & the strength of this "tide" was, although only about a 6 knot deal (which is fairly outstanding in itself), took everything away from the flats through this channel.

    We body-surfed through the tidal flow withe the boat following behind us.

    Not too fun. ;-)

    Our lake froze over once with a deer dead somehow out on the ice.

    We had Bald Eagles eating that for over a month. Had easily a dozen fly over the house in a five minutes timespan.

    That was fairly rare.

    One time, again out along The Platte SWA, I was hunting quail/pheasants & my black lab Spook flushed & caught in his mouth a bobwhite.

    I thought that very cool & "what a conservation tool my dog is" catching a wounded quail.

    I bent down to pick the bird outa his mouth. There was about 4" of snow over a fairly heavy undergrowth.

    As I retreived the bird, the covey started to erupt between my legs.

    A flushing of quail - 2 to 3 birds at a whack.

    Spooked!? you betcha.

    I'd shoot once, twice, maybe hit a bird - or most likely not. Reload, just in case & .....

    Happened again & again.

    The covery erupted at least 5 times.

    Turned out, after 11 shots, I hit exactly two birds.

    The dog got one - live. I hit 2.

    Now I've had a covey split right there a time or two, but I have never had one explode between my legs - ever.

    Quite the hoot!

    As i recall, this was the same day we had the hawk chaising the pheasant.

    Not a bad day all-in-all.

    Have you ever seen two hawks doing their air-dance, in the sky for mating, or for play?

    I have once.

    I once shot a grouper so large that the 3-banded spear-gun bounced off his head while me & my bud looked with delight that we din't git 'em - we would've been towed AWAY, or lost all our gear.

    & the moray eel so large that it was easily 3' high & over 8' long - just after.

    I saw a shimmering cloud-like-thing coming at me in a cannel (where a 12' hammerhead shark was recently caught) - there was no way out. Turned out to be a school of about 10-lb tarpon. While "hiding" in a cluster of seaweed, I got to watch this 50+ school of fish swim by .... the scared flashed by - after about an hour. ;-)

    A floatilla of roasetta spoonbills passing by as a southern summerset .....

    Clear white egrets on a full moon, flying to roost - dark night, while clearly illuminated.

    A brilliant el dorado in an emerald sea, on-rod - caught, or not.

    Brookies rising at a high-altitude lake enough to call it The Porpoise Show. We caught these fish to no end & while my lab Spook was swimming not 10 feet away sometimes.

    A close whisper from My Wife, the view from my own window, the recollections of things I have beheld,

    Backpacking the Everglades through Yosemite, skippering boats out of Islamarada (east & west), hunting The West & The East - I have seen some things.

    Yep. Yes Sir!

    Thank you, God!

    I've seen a thing or two & cannot thank You enough.

    What a wonderful world we have - to see, to hold & to cherish.

    & what a hoot to be able to get out there & play.


  3. grampster
    • Contributing Member

    grampster Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Wilderness of West Michigan
    I don't know when I have enjoyed a thread so much as this one. Ain't bein alive and having an appreciation for the wild and wilderness great?

    I live on a lake and have a deck off the great room with a scrub oak growing next the deck, about 10' from the slider. One late winter day a bald eagle is sitting on a limb looking in through the glass. He then turns, spreads his wings (huge) and hops down to the couple feet of open water of the lake before the ice sheet started and plucked a large northern pike out of the water and then flopped onto the ice. He tried to fly away, but the pike was too heavy and one talon was tangled up in the fish. He had to eat his way free over the next half hour before he could finally pick up the fish and fly away.

    Same eagle and his mate land on the ice and appear to be having a confab about the flock of ducks in some open water several hundred yards away. "Listen, baldy, you go left, I'll go right. You swoop and move them ducks to your right and I'll drop down and get one and we'll go Dutch on lunch, OK?" So they do. Something to see. In the summer they hunt our lake almost every day around 3 PM.

    Had a doe and two fawns come up to me while sitting on a stump during deer season. One of the fawns nuzzled my foot till mama bleated and they wandered off.

    Had another fawn come up to me to be petted and fondled while bumping me. He had one eye torn out and was crippled up. Must have had some feral critter try and eat him and he escaped. Very sad. I thought about putting him out of his misery, but decided to let nature have its way. Very sad.

    Have seen and been in close proximity to coyote's, large flocks of turkeys, foxes, black bear etc. Fun, but nothing special. Well.....I guess it is special, in hindsight.

    Once while rabbit hunting with broth in law and fath in law, spotted peter cottontail sitting along the edge of the road. We stopped the car and exited and opened the trunk to get a shotgun..brother in law won the race and grabbed his shotty and ONE shell. I said ya better load up John...to which he replies...."only need one shell". Well........he missed from about 5 feet and Peter hops slowly away. The rest of us were laffin too hard to do anything else. We did push the field though and took about 5 other bunnies.

    My brother and I were up a long two track following a creek west off 189 near Big Piney, Wyo in the Bridger-Teton range. That day was so special. Sky was cobalt blue and the higher we got the deeper the snow. Finally had to turn around and backtrack. We were in 4wd lowrange most of the way. We saw hawks, eagles, moose, elk, deer, various birds, other furry critters that I don't even know the names of, say nothing about the terain and wild flowers in the clear patches between snow drifts. It was the first week of June.
    Late that night we were holed up in Big Piney and having toddies and dinner in the local pub. When the locals asked what we had been up to....when they heard where we were, they laughingly told us if a sudden snow had come up, they would have found our bones in a couple of years. Couple of Michigan morons in the BIG wilderness. What a place to die, though.

    Watched a big black bear munching on a car hit dead deer in the ditch along US 131 just north of Big Rapids, Mi. This is rural but a college town, so there is a lot of traffic and people in the area. Had to call my son on the cell phone, he was travelling behind me, to see if I was seeing what I thot I was seeing. I was.

    Once had a great white snowy owl sitting in my front yard (on a little hill overlooking our lake) He was sitting on a RR tie that is used for landscaping the slope. It was snowing pretty hard and shafts of sunlight were spiking down through the clouds and splashing off the snow on the fozen lake below. Kinda surreal and beautiful.

    I am also reminded about the old geezer hermit who lived in a trailer out in a several hundred acre woodlot in the Manistee forest nearby. He was arrested for ahem, cough, uh, having "relations" with the local animal population. When he was appearing before the magistrate he wished to plead guilty and the magistrate was quizzing him about his cough, ahem, behaviour. Clyde, did you have relations with goats? Yes your honor, guilty. With sheep? Yes, your honor, guilty. With large dogs? Yes your honor, guilty. With turkeys, Clyde? :what: !!!???Turkeys???!!!:what:

    :D grampster:D
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2003
  4. Johnpl

    Johnpl Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Great posts! And people ask me why I hunt, fish, and hike!

    Since the time I started this thread, I've lost my dad...and I guess I've been thinking more and more about time he and I spent together in the outdoors: watching his hands tie on a lure, wondering if my hands would ever be so big and strong; watching him as he fired a rifle, and wondering if he was remembering firing a rifle in France, as he got a distant look in his eyes; having him read tracks in the woods as if he was reading a book laid open for us. I go out in the woods now and I feel close to him again. That's what the woods can do!
  5. LifeNRA

    LifeNRA Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    North Carolina
    Very sorry to hear about your dad. My dad was my best hunting buddy before he passed away. My dad fell getting into a tree stand one year and broke his back. The top rung broke and when he fell his back hit a root sticking up out of the ground. Poor man lay there for an hour unabale to move until my brother (who had gotten up late) came along. Hunting was always painful for him after that.
    On a lighter note I remember one time he and I were walking in the woods before daylight with flashlights to go deer hunting. I was not yet old enough to hunt on my own and he was going to let me stay with him all day. He wanted to hunt a ridge that he had not hunted before so I was behind him taging along. Next thing I know he disappeared up to his waste in an old grave that had sunken and was filled with leaves. My dad let out a cry I had never heard form him before. Scared him to death just about. No one even new the graveyard was even there. Very old one with only rocks for tombstones. The old man who owned the property said his grandpa had told him of a slave graveyard way back in the woods but he had never seen it.
  6. PWK

    PWK Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Pearland, TX
    In coastal S. TX I saw a Mexican eagle once flying overhead with a snake it had just caught. The snake was wiggleing back and forth so must have just snatched it off the ground. The snake was about twice as long as the eagle. That image has stuck with me for 10 years.
    That was really cool.
  7. Guyon

    Guyon Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Over Yonder, Tennessee
    Great thread. Here's one from last turkey season.

    Had a hen come right up to me while I was calling from the base of a tree. I wasn't really behind any cover--just hunkered in plain sight on my little portable seat. She walked up within about ten feet of me, clucking all the way, then puttered along to my left. Stayed there in sight for a good ten minutes or so, just pecking and clucking.

    As far as cool memories... will never forget my dad teaching me to fly cast on a river near our house. In the summers, I spent almost every afternoon in that river, catching bream and small bass.

    NRA4LIFE Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    The Apple Maggot Quarantine Area
    Was Muley hunting in MT this year and noticed quite a few of the fawns were real small for some reason. Came up over a little rise one morning with the wind blowing across me about 30-40 mph and here lays a little fawn looking directly away from me only 50 feet ahead of me or so. Decided to have a little fun. Snuck up behind it within 10-12 feet only and went "BOOOOO". Scared the bejeebers out of the little bugger. It only ran about 50 feet and stopped to look back and the expression on it's face was priceless.
  9. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Probably the oddest/neatest was walking along in some serious woods and finding an old cast iron cook stove.

    Turns out that the area had once been farms back in the 1800s, and the road leading through the area had been fairly well traveled.

    There were apparently a number of farms and the like along the road, all long, long gone. After some more searching through the brush I found a low stone foundation that had supported the house, some odds and ends of domestic life (buttons, a spoon, a few other things), and of course, the stove. When the place was abandoned it was apparently too heavy to move.

    For having been left rusting for the better part of 100 years it was still in fairly decent shape. I thought seriously about trying to get it out, but it would have been a monumental task.
  10. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Was hiking in the woods in the northeast a good number of years ago at night. Came over a small rise in the woods on the trail. Up ahead, maybe 100 yards, there was a cabin. The yellow glow in the windows told us the lights were on in the cabin, so we knew someone must have been there. We would be passing by it, but it was a bit off the trail. As we got closer, we could see something kind of grubbing around the back. (The back of the cabin was more towards the trail, but was probably 30 yards from the trail.) There was a small deck and the closer we got, we could hear what sounded like something going through garbage cans. We had heard in town the day before that a lot of people in the area had been reporting that their garbage cans had been scattered around, so we thought this may be what had been causing the trouble.

    As we got closer to the cabin, we could see movement around the garbage cans in the back. We stopped and looked through the binoculars (didn't want to suprise a bear). We could not make out the form, but could see it moving. It had evidently knocked over one garbage can and was going through the garbage. I picked up a stick and through it down the trail, making a little sound. The thing stopped and looked toward the trail. Still unable to make out what is was, we hiked just a little closer. The thing stood up.

    It was only about 3 feet tall. Kind of greyish-green, but more gray. Did not have any fur and stood on two legs. The arms were very skinny and a little too long for it's body. It looked like a very small man, but the head was much too large for it's body. The eyes were huge and the nose was so small we almost couldn't make it out, but it was there. There was almost no mouth - maybe none. Couldn't tell. Saw no ears.

    Then the thing saw us. It was almost like a predator stare. Both large eyes fixed on us like it was calculating. If felt like the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. I was sure it could hear my heart beating. At this point we were probably about 30 yards from it. I felt very uneasy. My friend and I whispered quietly, wondering what in the world this thing was. I could tell my friend was very nervous, too.

    The thing took a few steps in our direction and we turned and RAN in the direction from where we came. We had no guns with us, but we couldn't be sure if it was human or not, so would not have fired, anyway. We kept looking back as we ran and I felt sure the thing would be there, but didn't see it again. We decided to continue for a LONG time back towards town.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2003
  11. Outdoorsman

    Outdoorsman Member

    Oct 4, 2003
    Great thread, the stories are excellent.

    The family was up at the cabin in northern Michigan, and like many times before, my 4 year old son and me got up early to go for a ride to see if we can spot some deer. Well after about an hour of driving around, (no deer) a rabbit comes out the woods and runs right across the road in front of us with a coyote chasing about 20 feet behind. I got a good look, but my son didn't so I turned around and went back to where they crossed the road.
    We were both amazed to see that coyote sitting about 25 feet off the road with that rabbit in its mouth, just staring back at us.

    Another time while golfing, saw a Bald Eagle swoop down and take a trout out of a large pond while teeing off.

    And once had a bobcat run across the trail in front of me while snowmobiling.

    But by far the strangest thing to ever happen was during deer season last year.
    We had just had a successful late afternoon hunt (2 tags filled out of three of us) we headed to town to shower abo.ut 9:30-10:00. We're driving down a pitch black dark county road when we see a guy laying face down in the ditch along the road in our headlights. We figure somebody ran into him and left him for dead.
    We stop to help, but it appears as if he's not breathing. Mind you, its pitch black out, in the middle of nowhere, and we're a bit unerved by this. So we call 911. Cops come with ambulance.
    I tell this story only because there's a happy ending. Turns out this guy was on medication for some medical condition that reacted with another medication he was taking.
    He was driving for some trucking company and realized something was wrong, became delirious, and could'nt drive. So he decides to try to walk back to town and call his dad for a ride. (about 10 miles away)
    Anyways, thats the story the State Troopers told us the following day when we went back to see if he was OK.
  12. LifeNRA

    LifeNRA Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    North Carolina
    Here is a story my Dad always liked telling.
    Dad and my Grandfather went deer hunting one morning and Dad left Grandpa where he was going to hunt and went on up the mountain a ways. Dad said he heard my Grandpa shoot about 1/2 hour after he got to his spot. Dad decided he better go see if Grandpa had killed a deer. When he got to my Grandpa he asked where the deer was. Grandpa said thier was no deer but he had shot at a fox but had missed it. Dad went over to where the fox had been and there was a fresh roll of poop still steaming. I guess he missed it but sure scared the poop out of him. :D Just funny when you think about it.
  13. LifeNRA

    LifeNRA Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    North Carolina
    One more that comes to mind. Not really about hunting but kinda funny. I used to work in a plant for about 8 years. There was this one guy, I am sure everyone knows someone like this, that thought he knew everything about everything. I guess just about every man that worked there hunted all thier lives, we were all just a bunch of country boys. Well "Mike" as I will call him of course knew everything about deer and deer hunting :rolleyes: . Anyway the back of the plant was only about 30 feet from the river. We would see deer across the river all the time. One evening a small spike buck must have fell into the river and could not get back up the bank. Mike decided to laso the animal and help it to safety. He drove around to the other side and began trying to laso the deer. The deer took off across the river to our side, ran up the bank past us and into the highway in front of the plant where it was struck and killed by a car. Way to go Mike :rolleyes: .
  14. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

    Dec 22, 2002
    west of Loveland, CO
    Backpacking once with The Kids (~6 & 10) & The Ex (ugh) at the Ice Caves/Lost Creek, CO .... had a nice camp fire but with this 'coon that wouldn't stay away.

    Not rabid or anything, just "too used" to human companionship, ya know? the campground beggar in some parts.

    Tossed in for the night with all the food tied up in a bag & hung from a largish rock overhang. & as an aside, I have yet to really ever been bothered by any critter going after food, or otherwise (excepting one coon in Fla - another story .... )

    At about 2AM, I'm wakened by a nasty clattering.

    A flashlight beam reveales this coon jumping off the top of this rock overhang & trying to land on our foodbag .... Oops! missed again, & off he goes, bouncing off the rocks below & again to the top of the rock to try again ... & again, & again. Hoorendous noisemakings!

    Rascal! ;)

    Sighted him a few times through the .22 auto pistol & flashlight, but couldn't bring myself to. Seems he couldn't & neither could I.

    We both woke up next dawn ....

    These Ice Caves, if you've never been there are fairly cool enough.

    A huge pilings of boulders where the (Lost) creek flows in & out of various areas in this locale - hence, the name.

    On even a 100+ day, you can crawl down into these "caves" & find ice piled up, that has never melted in our lifetime, & the temp is a very cool 50-60 ... not so bad a deal when way too hot, huh?

    Got a story about a couple Boy Scouts getting sucked underground there once .... very dicey, that one ....

    Yesterday. doing some VCR taping for the kids - the Holidays, ya know - & a bald eagle flew past our front window - just below it! mind you.

    So cool Colorado is! ;)

    The mule deer rut is dialing down & just the 4-bys are out now, strutting for the left-overs. The 6-bys & +'s have gone back into hiding & we don't have the Big Boys in our yard any more ..... (sigh)

    When about 16 once, living in Bossier City, LA, we took a seinedown to the Red River to play some. Oneof us three had a 20 ga shotgun.

    We worked this one section partitioned by a sandbar to gather in some shad to sell to the local country store (prolly to get more $ for our illicit things to do) ...

    Two of us worked the seine whilst the other manned the shotgun - just in case.

    Shad started jumping their way over the net & ??? Johnson (I do disremember) started smoking shad outa the air - 20 feet max! & really doesn't matter what load you're shooting 2 lb shad with at that range. ;)

    Too funny still.

    Shooting gar, off a river bank witha 20 ga slug makes 'em look like a WW2 sub taking a torp hit a'broadside, BTW.

    If you've never bow-fished - you should. Whole 'nother deal.

    If you take 5 year old boys winter camping in Colorado, please do take extra clothes when dallying anywhere near anything akin to running water at all. There's a whole lesson there that I did pass. ;)

    When doing a Boy Scoutmaster deal once, we camped out at a handy spot (Lost Creel, again) where it was stop here, or go another 2 miles to the next sdecent flat spot - nasty weather.

    I woke early & headed to the creek for some extra water before making coffee.

    Turns out the Girl Scouts had camped across the creek earlier, & unseen, the night before.

    As I was filling my water bottles, a wonderous Scoutmaster of the opposite persuassion came out of her tent - note the words I just used are fairly inept a discription. "Oozed" is uncouth, as would be anything else I could say.

    This beautiful blonde unzipped her tent & did her normal thing to walk into the daylight.

    It is only our male inclinations that would ascribe anything other than what she wouldnormally do. We males are pigs, but justly so, I'd guess.

    But what an impact!

    She was beautiful! as every move she made was.

    Just the barest 1/2 T-shirt - nothing else.

    We made eye contact & exchanged morning greetings non-chalantally.

    Scouts are gentlemanlly, as are their women.... :cool:

    These Ladies, turns out, have a Troop of their own that takes to skinny0dipping in the creek.

    Was all we could do to watch over Our Boys to make sure they weren't "watching the creek Too Closely" through the day.

    Boys do need some supervision, no?

    Quite the treat, all in all.

    Went to the woods at least ahundred times & not a darned thing happened - didn't get a thing hunting, frooze some, had car problems, or nothing special ever happened other than just being out & away from the normal grind.

    & ya know?, each one of those times was better than not going out at all.
  15. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    Hehe.. funny thats NOT the reason Lost Creek is my fave place to backpack in Colorado.

    Too true you can walk under ground with the creek here and there.. wild place.

    I carried a fellow backpacker out of there once.. took three of us taking turns carrying her on our backs. Scoutmaster satyed with her at the trailhead, buddy and I forced marched back to the resupply area of our 50 miler.

    So the gist of it was.. 3 days early myself and buddy John had hiked 60 some miles, some of it off trail and through a high altitude methane swamp to link back up with the rest of the gang, 10 of it carrying someone else. I ended up with a strained achilles tendon that would "pop" everytime I took a downhill step. I rested up for a day but had to call it quits. Soaked in a hot tub for 3 hours a day for a week.. took a long time for my ankle to feel right.
  16. birddog

    birddog Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    Western NY state
    Duck Hunting.

    This was more of a "on the river" than "in the woods"...But, I think it fits the thread.

    After a long, hard, frigid miserable day of late-season duck hunting on the upper Niagara River, we finally managed to shoot one, lousy hen mallard just before dark. My friend's dog retrieved the still flapping duck to me, and I asked him if I could throw it out for my (then young, now old) own black lab to practice retrieving.

    I heaved the duck out toward the river, where it righted itself and flew off - literally -- into the sunset.

    Catch & Release: It's not just for fishermen anymore.
  17. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    The Great State of California (Bay Area)
    I was working in a rural part of the county.Building a garage.
    Every morning a flock (?) of wild turkeys came through,a tom
    and 4 or 5 hens and some young'uns.Every afternoon they came back through.
    One day,as I was standing on a ladder nailing on some siding,they all came through.
    I would drive a nail and when I stopped,they all gobbled at the same time!
    They started to do this about 50 yards away.Soon they were all gathered around
    the base of the ladder doing the group gobble at the end of the hammering.
    At first I was thinking this is kind of cool,but they wouldn't leave!
    I was getting a little freaked out,they just stood there eyeballin' me and gobbling
    every time I stopped hammering.
    After about 10 minutes I called one of the guys I worked with to chase them away.
    He just laughed and said "I think they think your the leader".
    Thanks alot!
    They finally wandered away,but still were group gobbling when I stopped
    hammering till they were out of earshot.
    If I had my shotgun(or even a nail gun) I could of had eaten for a couple of weeks!
    Still can't figure that one out.

  18. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    In New Mexico near Apache Junction, a buddy took me to watch the antics of beavers and muskrats at a beaver pond. We were leaning against a barbwire fence when we heard a rustling. He tapped me on the shoulder and made a shush motion with his finger over his lips. Out from the grass came a large skunk. My first thought was to run, but my buddy put his hand on my shoulder. The skunk walked up, sniffed my left foot, my right, then moved and did the same to my buddy and then just continued on down the fence line.

    While surveying on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, I found a Victor 8" trap, snapped shut, long since rusted, containing the remains of 4 toes, the proximal digits. Sad. It is now in my library.
  19. Browns Fan

    Browns Fan Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    North Carolina
    When I was a kid, me and a friend of mine was walking the rails (you know, like a balance beam) on the set of railroad tracks by our house when we saw a headless opposum laying beside the tracks (maybe he was crossing the tracks when a train came along and "played 'possum" laying his head on the tracks?). Anyway this crazy friend of mine jumps off of the rail onto the body of this 'possum and all of the guts and maggots inside come spewing out. The smell was incredibly unbearable and the sight was just about the grossest thing I've ever seen. I almost puked, my friend did, since he got the mess all over his shoes.

    :barf: :barf: :barf:
  20. BTR

    BTR Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    While working for the Peregrine Fund's aplomado falcon re-introduction project, I was on a ranch in south Texas, observing baby falcons as they learned to take care of themselves... they like to play with objects. Most amusingly, they would sometimes "attack" hunks of dried manure, even to the point of grabbing it in their talons and flying off with it.
  21. Geezer

    Geezer Member

    Sep 21, 2003
    Cheney, WA

    Once, when I was a kid, seeing two cottontail rabbits box. It was a full moon, just after dark, and they would jump up on their hind legs and spar with their forepaws.

    Second, more memorable, I was walking along the gravel road to school, about 11:00 AM, when I hear a hissing in the borrow ditch. Looked to see what was going on and there was a big ball of garter snakes, all writhing around, tails and heads sticking out every which way, red tongues flicking in and out and all of them hissing. The ball was about 12" in diameter, and solid with snakes.

    Absolutely scared the liver out of me. I went for years, and never told a soul what I had seen, until I ran across some other folks who had had similar experiences. That was almost 60 years ago, I can remember my reaction like it was yesterday!

    Funniest one happened this summer. I have to set the stage..I built a barn, with the mandoor upstairs off the loft, it opens out onto the top of a carport which looks suspiciously like a deck. I got up one morning, and headed out the door aiming for the rail at the edge of the deck in order to urinate. Standing right there, right below me was a bull moose. If I had been quieter, in my not yet awake state, I would probably have urinated on his antlers.

    Most interesting? Hearing a cougar eat a deer. Seems the cat didn't bother killing the deer, just started eating on it. The deer made a lot of noise for a long time. Also, at that same time of year, same place, (North Idaho), got to hear a cougar scream several times on several different nights. Unforgettable. It was especially interesting, because at that time, many years ago, zoologists claimed that cougars didn't scream. they said the night zookeepers who claimed that they did were just making it up, and the bush rangers, the trappers, timbercruisers and pack-in hunters who said the same thing, were obviously uneducated louts who couldn't possible be right.

    Ain't it amazing how higher education can make a person stupid sometimes? (Before you flamers jump my case for iimpugning the honor of the over-educated, let me remind you I am three classes away from being ABD.)

    Darn, this is a wonderful thread. I'm sitting here and remembering one story after another..the field of diamonds, the cougar in the park in ventura, CA, oh boy.

    God bless and y'all be careful out there.:cool:
  22. smokemaker

    smokemaker Member

    Sep 21, 2003
    Western NY...yes, The Peoples Republic of New York
    There are so many cooler stories than mine, but I want to add my $.02.

    This deer season, sitting on my little hunting seat on the edge of this field, but just inside the woods, I was intently watching this little red squirrel do his thing. You know, chasing grey sqirrels and generally being a noisy little pest. Suddenly the grey's all run like mad to the woods. And the normal bustle of the woods stops... except the red menace, standing on his hind legs, proud of himself for removing the offending trespassers and still barking. Next thing I know, a cooper's hawk comes out of nowhere and snatches that red squirrel up in one smooth touch and go.

    I had a fawn sniff my boots once when I was sitting in a snowbank. After a few minutes, I whispered "boo" and the little deer bolted in a cloud of powdery snow.

    My dad watched two bucks fight 40 yards in front of his treestand once. Said he just couldn't shoot... just too cool to interfere with.
    (Dad won't go near a computer, so I told that one for him)

    A word about dads if I may. For many of us, dad is the man who taught us basic woodsmanship, marksmanship, how to stalk, how to dress game... how to hunt. We owe much to dad, and must fill those shoes and teach our own kids these things. My most cherished times in the woods are those chances I get now, as an adult, to go hunting with that stubborn, crotchety, lovable old man. He still amazes me with his ability to shoot, his willingness to push through the thickest brush, no matter how much I protest, and his ability to kill deer in the worst weather, in the most improbable spots, year after year. I can only hope to be that good someday.

    Thanks Johnpl for starting the best thread I've read yet, and all of you for adding such cool shi-er-stuff to it.
  23. smokemaker

    smokemaker Member

    Sep 21, 2003
    Western NY...yes, The Peoples Republic of New York
    Jeez, I forgot the coolest thing... backpacking in TR national park in ND, down in the bottom of a coulie, me and two buddies, all AF medics, find a horse skeleton, complete, on it's side, with a broken back leg. As we're poking around the remains, I find an empty balloonhead 45-70 case on the ground. I still have that case (shhh!) We surmized that the horse fell down the coulie, and had to be dispatched by a cav trooper.
  24. squibload

    squibload Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    SE PA
    I almost got crapped on by a large blue heron...I was sneaking down the edge of a cornfield near a stream. I may have startled it as it came over the edge of the field, because it almost whitewashed me with a gallon of birdbomb.

    My dad has never laughed so hard in his life...he was about 15 yards behind me.

    That would be considered my "closest call" with wildlife.
  25. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

    Dec 22, 2002
    west of Loveland, CO

    Anytime you have critters crawling up your legs is a very cool thing. Means you've "disappeared" & are "invisible." = Good stuff & good doin's. You now get to watch unincombered & aren't really an alien part of your environ anymore.

    Not "the woods," but just a drive to take The Wife to work this AM:

    We live by a goodly lake & the air temp's about nothing - water's warmer.

    Huge cloud bank all around = way foggy, but just in most places.

    Sun rising through the fog - vagarities of reds, rust, fawn, blues-to-bruised.

    Very nifty sunrise & alas, no camera. :barf: :D
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