I’m not going to opine as to the truth (or lack thereof) behind this author’s work, but if folks listen to this and it inspires (or scares) them to take a personal locator/satellite communication device into the backcountry/woods, I would consider that a win. And I don’t mean any disrespect to those hunters who went missing or their grieving families, regardless of the cause, it’s a tremendous tragedy. Me personally, I’m not so much worried about the boogeyman, bigfoot, or aliens out there…I’m more worried about stepping over some deadfall, snapping my tibia and dying of hypothermia when no one knows I went out for a “quick afternoon hunt”. I bought a DeLorme Inreach this year for just such a reason and I have been pretty pleased with it so far.
And for the record, no, I don’t personally have any “strange” experiences that happened in the woods, just a lot of unsuccessful hours spent chasing hoofed critters, lol. Anyone here have any spooky stories along these lines?
Happy Halloween Everyone
I was 16 years old. I'd only been hunting a few years, always by myself. I had permission to hunt the same farm I do now, a large wooded tract that sits mostly up on a ridge top. There's an old truck road down the middle, which at the time I would drive, park at a certain spot, then walk a couple hundred yards to hunt.
I had done so, and was hunting around an old pond, in a climbing treestand. I saw some deer, but nothing to shoot, and as I was about to get down, a bunch of coyotes started singing. Now, I wasn't scared of coyotes then, and I'm not now. I stayed in the tree solely for the purpose of listening to them. I probably stayed 10-15 minutes after full dark. Got down, and gathered up my stand to head to the truck.
Now at that time, I was penniless. I did not own a flashlight or a headlamp. It never really bothered me, I had young sharp eyes, and could see pretty well in darkness.
This was a DARK night. Cloud cover, etc. I gathered everything up and started the 300-400 yard walk to the truck, mostly down this woods trail.
I hadn't made it very far, when I could hear something moving in the leaves. It seemed to be following me. I thought maybe it was a possum or coon, but when I stopped walking, it stopped too. It didn't bother me at first. But it kept following me. And it kept stopping when I did.
I can't remember what I thought it was, a cougar, some rabid animal, I can't remember. I just remember that after a few times of the this start and stop business, and the darkness of the night, I lost my cool, and ultimately took off at a dead sprint to the truck.
But again, being penniless, I wasn't giving up equipment, so I kept my stand on my back, and kept hold of my bow.
That thing chased me all the way to the truck!
I got to the truck, tossed the stand into the back, jumped in with my bow and fired up the Chevy 350 with aftermarket exhaust. That thing roared like a lion at startup.
Flipped on the high beams. . . . Nothing!
I locked the doors and sat there a minute peering in the darkness. I couldn't see anything, so finally I calmed down, and climbed out of the truck to make sure my stand was stowed okay, and there was the culprit. . . . my pull-up rope had chased me clear to the truck!
Still makes me laugh :)
And for those who don't have iTunes, attached is a link to the same interview on youtube.
That adventure, and later spearing myself through the calf, convinced me to start carrying a SPOT with me everywhere. Wouldn't likely have done any good if the cat jumped me, but hunting and adventuring alone like I do it provides some peace of mind.
I broke my ankle up in some hills here local...lucky it was only 1/2 mile down to my truck. I shattered it when falling with an 80# training pack....not good.....my foot was just swinging around worthless.
Doing that way back in some of those nasty wilderness holes we all travel in would have been a trick.
In the lower 48, I just used the buddy system (Check in and check out times- and give locations expected to be) , and made sure I had a basic survival kit. I had a few close calls in California - injuring ankles or a bad cut that took 6 hours to get to an ER. Never considered a SPOT or Delorme then, but I was also poor and didn't know any better.
I do worry some about accidents in the woods or mountains. My wife is under standing instructions to call a buddy of mine who knows the place I hunt well, if I happen to not return from a local hunt.
I always figure my odds are far better of getting hurt at home, probably in a treestand accident.
That said, I've had two really close calls in the mountains. One time I fell while skirting the head of a dropoff. I was about 1 foot from going over. Fortunately, I was only about 100 yards from the Ranger, but I still think it would have been difficult to find me.
The second was this year with my buddy. We had to hunker down in a little depression on an open mountainside while lightning raged around. We were far enough off the beaten path, and about hidden among little brush in that depression, that I'm not sure we'd have been found very easily, even by air. I don't know how a SPOT would have saved us, but I guess it could have given closure to our families a lot sooner.
I think about it every year. One of these years I'll probably invest in one.
He was interviewed one day on the Outdoor Channel
TrapperKayak, your dog story made me literally LOL!
My best friend and I had a similar experience once. When we about 10 years old we got up the nerve to camp in this thick stand of live oaks on his ranch we called the "spooky forest". Something kept rustling in the leaves around our tent, we were convinced it was a bear, or a lion, or some freaky rabid animal coming to eat us. Finally after over an hour we got our flashlights and .22s and went to confront our demon. It was a fat little toad, we felt so stupid...