Contributors to this thread:
UH OH Moments
Thinking about "uh oh moments" that I have had over the years, I am pretty sure that there are quite a number on here. I would really love to hear your most memorable ones. One that certainly comes to mind is the black mamba story regarding Pat in his blind. I have had many but three of mine kind of stand out for me, 1) I shot an arrow over my back fence across a heavily traveled street into a neighbor's front yard (2) while tracking a hit elk my son says "Dad, there's a bear standing right behind you" (3) returning to get my field dressed deer (that I arrowed earlier and left to get my pack out gear) only to find nothing. This is kind of a long story that I may elaborate on at a later time. Let's hear your "uh oh" story, Badbull.
Last year, I had a momma black bear strongly disliked that I was between her and her cubs. She was far less than friendly but ultimately ran off when I faux-charged her and screamed like Mel Gibson in Braveheart with my bow over my head to look big. I may also have pooped myself a little...
The only thing that comes to mind is when I was trying to belly crawl on a Wyoming antelope, (who was no longer there), I was looking for rattlers, but came face to face with a badger. He just appeared about 6” from my face (10 feet) and we had us a little Mexican standoff for about and hour (30 seconds). It sure seemed closer and longer at the time.
Then there was the time that I had a standoff with a big black boar hog while I was headed to my deer stand in the dark. I could see him, or his shape, standing in the two track that I was traveling. I had a piss poor flashlight, just enough to see where I was walking, but it was in my pack. I was armed with a .40 S&W but it didn’t feel like enough gun. Luckily, with me taking baby steps toward my stand, he turned and walked off into the brush. I looked over my shoulder the rest of the way. Most hogs will run, but every now and then, one won’t. I know guys that have been hurt by hogs, and they never saw it coming.
About 50 years ago I had this old bolt action 22 rifle (I was 9). It was mine to go hunt partridge out behind the house.
Every so often when I put the bolt forward to put a bullet in the chamber it would go off. It wasn’t every time and not often. I didn’t think much about it (since I was only 9)
Well, one evening I was doing some plinking in the farm yard and put a bullet in the chamber and put the bolt forward. BANG.
The next thing I heard was my moms car tire hissing….
Yeah. That didn’t go over so well.
When my old man got home I told him what happened (and what had happened prior) he took the gun and bent the barrel and that was the last time I saw that gun.
Definitely a Uh Oh moment
One time my target buck came walking up the trail just as I dropped my pull-up rope down with my bow on the ground already… buck walked up to 15 yards and nothing I could do…
Elk hunting this year, about 10a.m. after the elk shut down. I hear a bull moose grunting in the timber across a small drainage from me. I figured what the hell let’s have some fun. I start grunting and he grunts back as he’s walking parallel but keeps going. I switch to a cow call and I hear him closing the distance. When he reaches a small meadow in the bottom I get my phone out to take pics. That’s when I hear elk coming to me on my side, I turn and get ready but the wind swirls. I hear the moose still coming the whole time. When I turn back he’s 20 yards and I get a good pic, but that’s not good enough. I call more to see what happens. He’s hooked and really thinks I’m a cow and gets to 10 yards as I’m scrambling up the ridge to get away with him in hot pursuit! Cap comes off bear spray and he finally realizes something ain’t right after he chases me 20 yards up hill. Probably not the smartest thing I’ve done, but if I ever draw a tag I guess I have a convincing cow call.
The first time I went black bear hunting in Qubec a sow with 2 very small cubs came to the bait. One of the cubs immediately runs up and starts climbing the tree I'm in stopping just short of the platform . I immediately start stomping on the stand platform and yelling to scare the cub. There was no way I wanted the cub to get past me leaving me between it and mama bear. Luckily the cub retreated. Mama and the cubs each then climbed seperate trees. They stayed there the duration of the hunt with mama making moaning noises practically the whole time. After it got dark, I heard claws on bark as they finally came down and left. I'd have to say that was the most intense uh oh moment I've ever experienced.
I was leaving the woods after a hunt and heard a mewing sound like a cat. I turned to look and saw a dog watching me that looked like a boxer 60-70yds away just sitting there. Houses are nearby and I didn't think it unusual, but also determined it wasn't the source of the sound I heard. I turned and continued walking away when I heard footfalls behind me. I turned and the dog was thirty yards behind me. It was a pit bull with it's ears laid back and not making any vocalizations. Quickly I clutched my pepper spray on my neck lanyard and remained facing the dog. I once again heard the mewing sound and it came from a small blond girl, maybe 10yrs old who was running our way. The dog is now crouched and slowly stepping my way. The little girl runs up behind the dog calling it's name, Neo, grabs it by the collar and begins saying she's sorry for losing control of the dog. I couldn't spray with the girl there so I lifted my empty hand to wave goodbye and the dog lunged towards me toppling the little girl to the ground. Thank God she remained clutching the collar and the dog stopped at no more than ten feet from me. As she regained her feet I slowly backed away from them both as she was tugging with all her might to drag the dog back home. As I backed away I lost sight of them and finally turned around and hustled back to my truck. Only three weeks earlier I bought the pepper spray because I had a black bear watch me climb up the tree.
Elk hunting in Colorado, had small patch of timber that held elk off and on, crept into it and interrupted a bull and cow moose getting in a little hot and heavy business. I didn't see them til I was too close to them so just set down behind a long that wasn't near big enuff and after a few bluff charges he got her out of there and I could breath again.
Tracking a bull elephant. Trackers stopped and pointed to our right, where a cow was dust bathing. You could just see her back above the trees about 30 yards away. Two more steps and a baby elephant about the size of a small cow jumps up and starts running to our left. Everybody’s mind immediately realized we were between them and without a word being spoken we ran!!
About a minute of almost pure fear and adrenaline.
I’ve bumped Brown bears in the thick alder draws of the Ak islands, crawled up on a rattlesnake in the Nevada sage brush one foot from my face…but my worst was trying to climb some straight up cliffs- no rope or climbing gear- on a sheep hunt in Alaska…we thought it was only about 20’ but 50 feet in we realized we were screwed, couldn’t go back down as it was hard to see foot and handholds. Full pack and bow on my back, I was starting to get sewing machine leg. Not good.
Deep breath, side slipped to a ledge, rest, regroup and side climbed out of there…all of a sudden killing a sheep wasn’t as important with small kids at home.
I had one this morning. I had one lighted nock arrow in my quiver. I nock it during the first and last 30 minutes of legal shooting time. This morning I was concerned about the top of my recurve string the roof of the blind if I got a shot. So I drew the bow a few times (with an arrow nocked). The last practice draw I tried canting the bow more than I would normally do. Yikes, the string slipped from my fingers and my low light arrow zinged out about 15 yards. Found it easily at hunt's end, but in need of touch up. I've never had this happen before. I realize this isn't as "uh oh" as bear, puma, or snake trouble, but that's as wild as my hunts go.
Interesting stories above and certainly UH OH moments all. bowwild, I can relate to what happened to you as I once did about the same thing with my compound. While checking my clearances in my blind, l accidentally fired a warning shot into the spot where a nice buck had been lurking earlier.
Sharted one time giving a speech on "being confident in front of people "... the podium was one of those clear plastic types... I just stick to hunting forums nowadays.
Had a polar bear running towards me and got as close as 7 yards before he veered to his right. Lost my footing on a goat hunt, and caught a root about 6 feet before I would have fallen off of a 600' cliff. I had a Wood bison face off with me at 19 yards....for 45 minutes he never moved....and neither did I. Called in a grizzly bear imitating a moose calf, never thinking that it would work...until it did, and the grizzly was walking at directly at me....head on at 29 yards. Dodged a rockslide on my desert bighorn hunt. Elk hunting in Wyoming, I knelt within 6" of a rattlesnake as I prepared to arrow an approaching bull....luckily it was cold, and the snake was lethargic. Then there was the time that my girlfriend and I were caught parking in a farmers field.
Most of mine involve helping other hunters that burned me in the long run!! Live and learn!!
Medicineman you should write a book
Those are some good ones Medicinemann. Reading these posts reminds me of more of mine. One of my most stupidest happened many years ago in Montana. I had taken my 15 year old son on a bowhunting trip when I ended up with a bent aluminum arrow with messed up fletching in my quiver. Not wanting to mistakenly shoot it ,although it was tipped with a field point, I decided to shoot it into some thick steep brush never to be seen again. With my son beside me,I released the arrow at about a 45 degree angle. The arrow somehow went straight up overhead and out of sight. I didn't know which way to run nor how to protect my son from an arrow falling straight down from the sky. Luckily it came down several yards away from both of us.
Jake, damn the book, you should buy a Lotto ticket !
Hiked 3.1 miles in. Climbed a tree first day of season. Killed a deer about an hour after light. Climbed down and tracked up the deer. It was at this point I realized I had no knife. Nothing. Had to hike out, back in, then debone meat and pack it out.
Was in college at the time. Decided to drive to the area we hunt in on the second weekend of rifle season. Brought my buddy who had never hunted big woods deer. We left at 10 pm Friday. Drove through and arrived at the parking area at 3. Was getting packed for the hike in when my buddy discovered he had reinstalled the bolt in his Winchester from the previous cleaning.
My latest was Saturday. I hiked off this ridge top to a tree I had previously picked out to hunt out of. It wasn’t that far. I’m guessing 600-700 yards. But it was steep.
I got to the tree and took my pack off to get my platform off. That’s when I realized I had forgot to put my saddle on. It was laying on the tailgate of the truck still.
It was cool Saturday morning. About 20 degrees. But, by the time I climbed back outta that hole, retrieved my saddle, got back to and in the tree, it was plenty light. And, I was plenty sweated up. The first two hours of daylight were cold.
I could type five pages of this stuff. I’ve had a lot of “UH OH” moments. Almost all of them were self inflicted.
Last Sunday, the bottom part of my climber fell about five feet as I was starting down. I was safe, but had to monkey down to the bottom.
Twice I've had rattlesnakes snap at me (I screamed like a little girl both times).
I was 15 yards from a mortally wounded mountain lion. Just as I shimmied to the side to get a follow up shot it growled at me... I instinctively stepped back and immediately fell down the cliff I was on the edge of... I flopped twice and caught myself and my bow (with knocked arrow) before falling another 50 feet.
Jake, I need to hear how you fell off a 600’ cliff and survived. Is Exo incorporating parachutes now? Grin
I’ve told the story here (in about 07) of an Aussie Water buff charging us and plowing our assistant guide- miracle he lived. No reason to tell that one- its on here.
I’ve had many crazy ones when hog hunting with dogs.
Chased a big boar in Norcal that killed one dog and drowned another. I came around a big redwood in waist high ferns and here he comes from 15’ away- my dog Tass jumped between him and I and took the full charge ( once in a lifetime dog)
They fought and tumbled off a ledge. As he spun I jumped down on him with my Buck General and sunk 3’ into rotten logs.
I pushed him away hard and they tumbled further down the dry creekbed. Once I extricated myself, I sheathed my knife and jumped on his back with my .357 right between his shoulder blades dropping him.
That hog had a turtle shell shield. I stabbed my skinning knife into his side and it only penetrated an inch.
There are some pretty impressive animals running around out there, and this was one of them- a couple of Oh Crap moments trying to put him down.
One time I was in a stand and I thought I had to fart, but it was actually poop.
Another time, a few years ago, I was hunting sheep in the Brooks and the ram I was after bedded down up against the base of a cliff with the cliff between us and the both of us at the same elevation. I decided to go up a chute to get to get to the top and then drop down to the other side of the cliff as it would give me about a 40 yard shot to where he was bedded once I came around the other low side of the cliff. I had to go up about 700 feet to get around.
I got about 80 feet from the top and the chute dead-ended with cliffs on 3 sides. To one side, there was a few handholds that I thought I could clamor up. I managed to climb to the top only to find that it was about a 15 foot wide stone ridge with cliffs on each side. As I climbed up, I got to a spot with cliffs on each side and a big expanse of nothing in front of me for about 8 feet with a cliff below. But the ridge dropped about 6 feet to the next ledge with a nice flat landing spot, so I jumped. No going back at this point.
Right about that time, I was thinking pretty highly of myself having just jumped over a huge chasm and as I climbed up, I got to the next break with cliffs on each side and a cliff in front of me, about 30 feet down. But this time, the next landing was level with me and about 12 feet away. There was no way I could make the jump and I was now stuck on top of a column that was about 45x15 feet with 30 foot cliffs on all 4 sides.
I sat there for a few minutes trying to decide if I should try and get a chopper to come get me or just die there or what, when I remembered that I had 100 feet of para cord in my pack. I lowered my bow and pack down first and then tied a bunch of knots in it and ended up belaying down, wishing I hadn't tied the knots as they each went painfully across my groin and through my hands. In the end, I got down pretty easily. That para cord is still attached to that rock, I assume.
I'd gone down the far side and was in another chute and was able to get up and over at that point. When I finally came back around and down to the far side of the cliff, the rams had gotten up and were feeding back the way I had come from and walked right by where I started this journey about 90 minutes earlier. If I'd have just stayed there, I'd have had a 20 yard shot.
It is a wonder that some of you are still with us after hearing your stories. All of you have made this an interesting thread.
The afternoon I cut my left hand off, wondered if I’d ever shoot a bow again.
ILbowhntr, wow Could you elaborate a little on the final outcome from your ordeal? I hope that you were able to recover as much as possible, Badbull
I think he made a thread on it several yrs ago. It was cringe worthy and had an incredible outcome.
badbull, had a incredible surgeon and team. Eleven hours later, hand was reattached, 6 months after that I was back to shooting a bow.
Complete amputation at the wrist with a compound miter saw. The picture is worth a thousand words.
Show the pictures
After transferring to a district further north in Wisconsin I didn't have alot of spare time to scout but I had found a couple promising spots. Spent a Friday night at the range, excited for an east wind to hunt between some mature oaks and the Wisconsin river. Up early, drove to my starting spot and didn't even open the topper before remembering I had pulled my quiver with broadheads before going to range and hadn't put it back into the bowcase. Speed record back home, back to woods and a hurried hike in. Got the climber on the tree as daylight started to show. Had hardly gotten the bow pulled up when deer started meandering through toward the river. Less than an hour later a small 8pt caught my scent after he passed and couldn't resist stomping and being a pest. I quietly told him I really didn't want to shoot him but since I didn't have alot of time to hunt he should move along before I changed my mind . He continued his stomping so I picked up my bow and when he quartered away sent an arrow through his lungs. I saw him tip over after a 50 yd run so I climbed down, packed up my climber and found my arrow. I wiped it clean and put it back in the quiver, thinking that might be the end of my bowhunting for the year. Beautiful morning, maybe I'll take a little walk before dressing the buck. A couple ridges over I found an old rotted ground blind built at the end of a point facing east. I sat down on the stump in the middle to enjoy a few minutes of quiet before heading back to the buck. I couldn't have been there 10 minutes before I could hear something coming my way down the ridge. As it got closer I couldn't imagine why whatever it was couldnt smell me with the east wind. When it finally got where I could see it I was surprised to see a small bear, one of those 140lb bears people claim as a 200 pounder. It was maybe 6 feet from me and as it came even with my left shoulder it stopped, it's hair started to rise and it softly clicked its teeth. About the time I was thinking this would be cool on video I heard something right behind me that changed my mind. I sprung up, turning and raising my bow above my head just in time to scare the crap out of another small bear that was about to join me in that old ground blind. I heard the other bear run at the same time, but it only went 20 feet and was staring at me. As soon as we locked eyes it started marching back toward me. After giving it a couple hey heys I grabbed a chunk of rotted wood and threw it but missed. I didn't miss with the 2nd one because it was almost at the blind. After a couple jumps away it spun and headed right back at me. I nocked an arrow but didn't want to shoot so I chucked another chunk of wood. Another hit and as the bear turned away from the impact and again took a couple jumps away I jumped out of the blind and ran about 50 feet. As I stopped to look back the bear had went into the blind and was now marching my way again. It never ran so I quickly left it behind as I headed back toward my buck. Only after I was telling my wife this story did I think about the bloody arrow in my quiver and how smelling that may have confused those young bears.
I wanna see the pics too please. Pre and post op if you have em.
ILbowhntr, that is a truly amazing story that goes far beyond "uh oh" on several levels. So glad and inspiring to know that you came out of this so well. Good hunting to you. Badbull
No, no please don't post them here, please send PMs... I've killed, gutted, skinned, butchered a bajillion animals but can't handle exposed human flesh... Don't know why animal blood and guts don't bother me at all but human blood and guts freaks me out... I'm sure I'm not the only one here...
I was diagnosed with something called kertakonus couple years ago and now have to wear a special plastic lens in my right eye. It requires special tools to put in and take out. Anywho,got packed into elk camp this year and while unpacking I realized I had left everything to deal with it in the truck. I lost the first day of hunting while I walked 17+ mile round trip and 4K of elevation drop and climb to go back to the truck. Took me 11 hours and was soaked when I made it back to camp. It rained pretty good all the way back. Definitely something I hope to never forget again.
Zbone, that was a funny comment about critters and humans. I must be the same. I can gut a hog while eating a ham sandwich...doesn't bother me.
But when My wife was having a C section they said I can watch....OK, I saw them wrestling with my wife's organs- manhandling more like and they made me leave when I told the Doctor to be gentle.....thats OK, I wasn't really digging it.
My one buddy said he watched his whole ankle replacement surgery...Sawzall and everything- wow.
Had a good one this fall in BC. We were set up on the edge of a logging road in a steep cutblock. We were around a tight bend in the road, sitting on the inside of the blind curve. For some reason, my buddy decides he wants to climb up off the road so that he can get a better look at parts of the cutblock above us. Turns out he can also see up the road that we came in on - and there’s a sow and cub grizzly at 50 yards coming right down the road towards us. He side-hilled to get above them - when they got his wind they buggered off. But had we still been sitting around that blind curve, they would have been right in our lap before they would have seen or smelled us. Close call for sure.
We have more grizzly stories, but my ptsd is beginning to flare up. That’s enough for now :).
Beendare - I knew I wouldn't have been the only one...8^)
I've told the story lots of time here over the last 20 years... I won't repeat it entirely but it involves a short bloodtrail and quick recovery of the basement water heater...
I keep remembering various examples from throughout my lifetime, and every time I open this thread, I seem to have forgotten the ones I think would be fun to read about here… which may be an uh-oh of a different kind entirely…..
But the last deer I took with a firearm does come to mind…. It was a complete chip-shot — under 10 yards with a scoped 7-08. And just your typical 1.5 YO basket-rack — six-point, if you wanted to call it that, but the hard way. If I were a trail-cam and “hit-list” guy, I suppose I would have had to call him “The Stud”, because he was a 2X4….
So I thought I would be Terribly Clever and get the hide tanned (as I always have done) but without a hole in the middle of it, since I was 20 feet up and the angle would’ve put the entry wound quite close to the spine….
So I thought I’d just take a neck shot on this one. No big deal.,Squeeze… Boom. Then all hell broke loose.
Full-on Rodeo . He immediately reared up on his hind legs, which was when I first realized just how big a deer this was. Then he bucked his way in a big S-curve, passing so close under my stand that at one point I could half-way imagine him leaping up and hitting my platform. Then he stopped, head down and heaving for air about 20 yards out through the laurel, with a clear shot at just a patch of his neck. It was a good, safe angle, so I found him in my scope and tried to time the shot on a bobbing target. And missed. He ran hard and flat this time.
But with the binoculars, I was able to blood trail him to where the blood disappeared into a laurel thicket without even climbing down. With that much blood on the ground, he HAD to be dead. Climbed down and glassed out along the trail and spotted him almost right away. Bedded. But with his head still up.
Then I noticed something odd in the background, so I focused out past him through the woods and found I was looking through the window of a neighbor’s house a few hundred yards out. Someone was home, watching TV.
At this point, if I had been more clever, I would’ve gone back to the vehicle for a bow, but instead, I attempted a flanking maneuver so that I could get a safe shot, because with the rifle…. And I bumped him.
Watched him move off on a trail on a low ridge that ran between where I was and the landowner’s house & other buildings, and I didn’t like the backstop AT ALL, so I had to just watch him out of sight.
Now…. Having fired 2 Very Loud rounds and having passed up 2 follow-up shots over safety concerns with the high-powered rifle, you’d think it would have occurred to me to go get the recurve, “just in case”. But I was certain that he was dead on his feet and couldn’t get far. So I went over to where he’d been bedded and saw blood almost everywhere. Almost. Except on the trail he had left through the leaves after I’d bumped him.
But he was not moving very well. Trail through the leaves was fairly obvious… Right up until it led up close to the top of the ridge, where there was a fair amount of exposed rock and the leaves had all blown off on the breeze.
But I told myself that was OK, because I noticed he’d been on pretty much a bee-line, due South.
Straight towards the property line.
So I got our toward the end of the ridge where it dropped off pretty steeply and I stood there glassing for a few minutes, scouring the edge of the forest curtain for any movement or a little bit of white. Nothing. And then when I lowered the binos, he was standing right in front of me, broadside at about 8-10 yards down on the beginnings of the steep section. With that neighboring house again directly behind him and now a lot closer and less screened. So we stood there wondering what to do about each other for a moment before he bounded off, rather weakly, headed straight for that house.
Fortunately, he began to list to the right and ended up running an arc which kept him on the right side of the property line until he crashed and laid there, kicking just strongly enough to make me pretty sure that he would probably be able to get up again if I gave him a good reason to.
I now had a safe angle for a finisher, but I was uncomfortably close to that neighboring house for such un-subtle weapon, and he was now lying close enough to the road for me to be visible to passing vehicles during the recovery if I were to give anyone a good reason to be looking for me. Which was when I heard the school-bus.
So I sat. And watched. And listened. And waited….
I wasn’t keeping track of the time, but I’m inclined to say that it took him a VERY long time to die. I’m sure it wouldn’t have seemed nearly so long had I felt I’d had the option to go pack up and get the sled to collect a dead deer, but as it was, sitting tucked into the hillside with my Very Loud Rifle, hoping to not have to expend a third shell, but thinking that I would have no choice if he were to get up a third time…..
So after a bit, with the school-bus well on its way, I saw the minivan drive away from the neighbor’s house; TV was off, no kids in the yard, and the buck hadn’t kicked in several minutes… I left my rifle and my blaze orange out of sight and made sure he was finally Most Sincerely Dead, and then the work began….
Turned out that at such close range and such a steep angle, the bullet had struck about an inch and a half below the crosshairs, and rather than taking out the body of the spine, I managed to get just the left-side carotid and jugular. With any other weapon— .45/70, .54 roundball ML or any kind of bow, I would never have thought to get fancy with the neck shot, and all of those Uh-oh Moments would have been prevented. Had I simply acted like a responsible bowhunter and given the deer an hour to expire in peace before getting down out of my stand, all but the very first of those Uh-oh Moments would have been prevented. It was just an overabundance of confidence and a shortage of patience which led to suboptimal decision-making and turned a perfectly enjoyable afternoon in the woods into the worst hunting experience of my modest career…
So since then, I assume that no animal is dead until it’s been poked in the eye, and that until I have heard it crash, seen it go down hard, or spotted it lying belly-up, it is stopped or bedded down, it’s watching its backtrail, and that if I am so careless as to bump it, I will never see it again. Hoping that the Abundance of Caution approach will save me a lot of effort over the rest of my hunting days….
Corax, That is what I would call a complete rundown of of some Uhoh moments, Badbull.
Never happened to me but I think as a hunter or fisherman "Uh Oh" is something that you don't want to hear from your guide in a situation where you are approaching camp and a "Game Wordan" is waiting for you or hear at any time from your "Bush Pilot".
Yup, that day was kind of a Cluster… I just think of it as getting about 10-15 years worth of mistakes out of the way all at once. Only one real lesson to learn though — just Patience. It’s like the Old Cowhand saying: When you get into a wreck, don’t just do something, STAND THERE.
Last month at the Buck Shack... 120.9 mph winds one night according to the wind-o-meter. Thought I was a goner for sure-the whole place was shaking,creaking and groaning. And so was I...
Full story coming soon.
Lets keep this alive;
Decades ago I did my first hunt on Kodiak with a buddy. It was mid August and we got dropped off by a float plane up high. I told my buddy that I wanted to see a Kodiak brown bear and he said, “no you don’t.” I got my wish.
I had shot a buck about a half a mile from camp. We boned it out right away, and put the meat in a dry bag and sunk it in the lake.. we ate lunch and walked back out the same trail, where we see a huge brown pile of dirt at the kill site. Weird I thought, the bear had already found the site and dug up the bright green foliage all the way around it down to the dirt.
Except, it wasn’t dirt. As we got closer, there was a huge brown bear laying on top of the carcass. We turned and made a huge loop.
Later that night, the wind picked up ( pilot told us later 90mph gusts) and it broke the tent poles on the windward side of my Cabelas Alaskan tent. We propped our cots against that side but didnt get much sleep. I heard the canned goods rattling just outside the door of the tent. The wind can’t be that strong…..”bear!” My buddy held the shotgun and flashlight as I fought with the zipper. When I opened the tent the pizza plate bears head was a foot from me digging the canned goods from a hole in the tundra. Frankly, we were so close together, I was more worried about getting a load of 00 buckshot than the bear itself.
Luckily he thought I was the ugliest thing he had seen in awhile and took off lightning fast.
(1) shot a cow elk up on the Blackfoot River few years ago, watched it bed down and sat in my treestand for 4 hours until I was sure it was dead. It wasn't, watched it cross the river and go down in the willows, thought I saw it was dead. 6 hours later went back with my gear to quarter and haul out, only took my flyrod and fished my way in. Looked in the willows and the cow head was sticking out of a pile of leaves, twigs and dirt, a griz had buried it! Two weeks later a 900 pound griz was hit by a truck about 300 yards away on the county line, right where I parked. (2) shot a mulie in Wyoming, tracked down the mountain for about a mile and found it dead on a sandbar on the Clarks fork river about 3 hours later. Forgot my knife back at camp, that fortunately was only a few hundred yards upstream. Tied my tag on and went back for the knife and game cart. On the way back 30 minutes later, I was doing a video to send my brothers and came out of the thicket and looked up. No deer! I could see the drag marks up the bank and griz tracks all over. God sure protected me on that one, I would have been bent over the deer gutting it about the time the bear showed up. WY F&G offered me a new tag. No thanks! haha
I had a natural ground blind I had made built in a mound of dirt in the edge of a green field. Probably about the 3rd time I had used it I pulled the bushes back and got in my blind, unfolded my chair and sat down. Looked to my right and about 3 foot from my chair was a coiled up Diamond Back rattler. I was the bionic man that day moving out of that blind. Strange thing is..he never rattled.
My heart was probably beating 200 beats per second. Lol
Sitting in a blind while hunting over a waterhole a few years ago, was getting tired and thinking about laying down for a nap. When I noticed a Rattler crawl under the Blind right where my feet would have been if I had layed down, it then coiled up for a rest. I can tell you for certain they do not understand English or cussing. Took arrow out of my quiver and directed it out of the blind then reached out of a window with the arrow to keep it going away. At which point it decided to come back in (more cussing and yelling that it did not understand) now it is pissed, rattling and striking when I move. Finally took a judo head out of quiver and pinned it head down then cut it off with a broadhead. I was shaking for the rest of the day with not thoughts of a nap.
Once while hunting Mule Deer I was walking down a narrow dry wash, watch for Deer more than anything. Looked down to see where to step next and spotted a coiled up sleep rattler that I would have stepped on if I kept going. Backed up and decided I wanted a hat band and not wanting it full of holes pulled out a rubber blunt and thumped it in the head. All that did was wake it up and piss it off, it is trying to crawl off while striking at anything that moves. I hook it with another arrow and pull if back until I finally crushed it's head with a rock, then cut the head off and put it into a ziplock bag and into my pocket. Crossed a valley and up the other side when I hear a snake rattling which caused me to jump straight up and off to the side, then sneak back with arrow nocked looking for it. Took me awhile to figure out it was the one in my pocket.
Not a fan of Snakes!!!!
HUNT MAN, Like you I learned that one the hard way.
Rock, I’ve heard some of your old friends learned that as well.
My moment happened today. Not while hunting. But looking like it cost me a hunting trip to Colorado 4th season.
My 14yr old son had his hoverboard out riding it around the house today. He left it in the kitchen when he was done. I was walking thru and seen it so I hoped on it and was cruising around. My little girl ( be 10 months old in 2 days) came walking in wanting me to pick her up. I didn't think anything about, just bent down and picked her up. Slowly cruising around the kitchen going backwards and forward. Not sure what happened but it happened fast. I felt the board start to leave me going forward. So I thought I would just jump straight up off of it. I must not have pushed up very evenly. That sucker went out from underneath me like a rocket. My feet went way up in the air and knew I was going to hit the travertine floor on my back /head. All the while my little girl is in my arms. All I could was hold her straight up in the air. I hit the floor HARD. My wife was in there and watched it all. She screamed and came over and grabbed the girl. She was fine as never hit the floor, just scared.
Bashed my head up good, hip down to below my left knee is hurting bad and bruised up good. Getting more stoved up as the day goes. 3 days to get back up and going.
Yes I know. More a head up ass moment than UH-OH.
Too many to count, but one favorite happened a half century ago when I was a pup and shot my first muley buck - with a rifle (warning for the easily triggered). Field dressed the deer and dragged it back to camp, and tucked it into the shade of some cedars away from camp to cool.
My best friend took me to Laramie and bought breakfast to celebrate. Coming back over the hill to camp, we spotted three DOW trucks in our camp. Then I remembered I hadn't tagged the buck in my excitement. So I quickly filled it out and punched it, and Bruce advised me to roll it around my index finger and poke it inside the ear.
Wardens approach. The usual "Did one of you shoot a deer this morning?" "Yes sir", I replied as politely as I could. I led them over and deftly stuck the tag in the ear. Then when they caught up, I reached in and pulled it out and handed it to the closest one.
"We received a call from someone who said you shot a doe". This was bizarre. I told them I heard a shot over the ridge at daybreak, but I only shot once - at mine. Interrogation ensued, spitting us up, walking us through the story over and over. Our stories matched.
The wardens finally left to go to the other camp. Very long and bizarre story short, a guy in the other camp was driving out when they got there. He had shot a doe and tagged it with his wife's license. She was in town for their son's football game. She admitted it when they called her. Tickets written and deer confiscated.
The warden who came back tobour camp to tell me this was really puzzled about why that guy had falsely called me in, when he could have just taken the doe home and not been caught. That warden has since become a good friend and sometimes fishing buddy. I told him about the tag-in-the-ear trick from 40 years prior, and he laughed and told me he had seen it all, but not that.
Good one Jaquomo. I was waiting for an uhoh moment that involved a warden. As a teenager I was bird hunting with a buddy that was riding with me with a loaded double barreled shotgun. I warned him that a warden would ticket him if he saw it loaded while in a vehicle. He said that it would be no problem as he would be fast enough to break it open and eject the shells. About two turns later, a government vehicle with a uniformed driver blocked me off bumper to bumper. My buddy was too slow on the draw and got cited. The ironic thing is that my buddy later became a lifelong high ranking officer in the local sheriff's department. Still an uhoh moment that I will never forget.
Black Bear hunting yrs ago in Manitoba. I'm a relatively new bear hunter at this point. I checked my trail cam when I walked in, had several decent bears and a big sow and 3 cubs that regularly came in at dusk. Hunted all evening to see only one small bear who wouldn't even approach the bait. Decided to leave early before the sow and cubs showed up so I wouldn't be climbing down to a protective mama bear. Just as I'm packing up my gear, she appears earlier than normal and comes in, but acting nervous as all get out. Never stopped to eat, just pacing and clacking her Jaws. I decide to get comfortable and wait them out. They'll eat and leave quickly, hopefully. Nope. With maybe 5 minutes of light left, her cubs suddenly race up a nearby pine tree. And she starts to get loud and aggressive sounding. I mean really loud. Then she runs up the tree (yea, they RUN up trees)! I am looking around, dumbfounded as to what's happening, completely unaware of the massive boar that suddenly appears from behind me. He's down wind, coming in on the trail I was about to leave on. It's a giant boar!! An absolute unit!!! Looked like an oversized plush sofa going for a stroll. I have still to this day never seen another black bear that compares. Im so distracted by the awful noises coming from the sow, shocked by the size of the boar, it took me a moment to realize I was hunting and not just there to observe nature's domestic violence. I go back into predator mode, but the boar never stops or gives me a clear shot, and so close to dark I was reluctant to take any type of marginal shot on a massive bear. I can tell you guys. The sounds a pissed off couple of bears can make in the woods at dark can make your skin crawl! Especially when you're not able to see much. Things got real western with the sow eventually climbing down and squaring off with that boar. They tussled a bit and man was that one pissed off sow!! Me with just a bow, alone, no cell service, miles in the back country. First time I ever felt vulnerable and helpless against nature's fury. The boar eventually wanted no part of Karen bear and moved off, busting trees and branches as he walked away in a show of power and frustration I'm guessing. If mama bear was nervous before, she was now in a "don't even think about it" mood. I stayed up in that tree past midnight, eventually snapping small twigs to make sounds like another bear might be coming in. The sow got nervous and left with her cubs and I nearly jumped from my stand and got the hell out of there. The longest walk of my life back to my truck, I now call that spot "the green mile".
I’ve had a couple “UH-OH” moments over the years .................but nothing compares to being 2+ miles from help with no InReach or cell reception and being alone and you look down to see a large rattlesnake biting you in the leg! : (
A DISTANT second….. I only ALMOST put my foot down a few inches away.
About 4” of rattles…
Rut Nut, I remember your ordeal and that is a hard UH-OH moment to beat and deal with the results. Glad that you are still with us, Badbull.
I've got a warden one.
Second ever elk hunt. Only our second trip out west, and we got super lucky and drew great NM elk tags.
4th day we're at camp after the morning hunt, thinking of taking a morning nap, and a conservation officer pulls into camp. Super nice guy. We talked for an hour and a half. We'd found a dead head above camp and we showed it to him and he wrote my buddy a permit for it.
He was getting ready to leave and said he'd better check our licenses, which we had ready. But then he asked to see our national forest stamps. . . . Uh oh.
We had no idea we had to buy $15 worth of stamps. We did not have them.
Fortunately for us he was a super nice guy. He said he wouldn't cite us, he just asked us that next time we left to call home that we make sure and buy them. Just so happened we needed to call home that day, so we drove an hour out and called home and bought the stamps at a little general store. And my buddy killed a 340 bull that evening
Thanks Badbull! Me too! ;-)
Cmon, you guys have more of these….
2009 I was training for elk season in the mountains around my house and I used to do it with a pack loaded with these round cobblestones. I was up to 90# (bad idea) and I was out hiking with my young son.
We were humping back downhill trying to beat the sunset when I turned to see how far behind me he was and I rolled on a rock going down hard. SNAP, I landed on my lower leg and it snapped like a dried branch…it was loud.
My son walks up worried as heck, “ Dad, what was that sound? “ Just a branch Carson, now help me get this pack off and unload those dang rocks. I had him find me a walking stick. “ Dad, you are sweating like crazy” man that was painful. My foot was swinging around disconnected from my leg uncontrollable.
I told him if I fall again ( I didn’t want to say passed out!) go down the hill and knock on someones door. I made it off the hill but it wasn’t fun.
Shattered my ankle and I had to turn in my Co u76 tag that year.
One morning I crawled into my stand after indulging in a bit too much Titos the night before. Suddenly the urge to drop a deuce overwhelmed me. After scrambling down the tree and taking care of business, I realized I didn't pack any butt wipe. Uh-Oh. I had to sacrifice a sock.
Whole new meaning to " put a sock in it"... ;0)
I may have told this story before, some 45 yrs ago me and my younger brother were shotgun hunting in WNY deer season... we hear a shot 200 yds or so to the west, which would be behind a neighbor of ours house.
As we approach the area we heard the shot, we notice our neighbor laying on on a creek bank, legs hanging over bank and he is totally out... I yell his name Mr. so and so , not a movement, I yell his name again, not a movement. I tell my younger brother to run to the house and tell his wife Mr. was shot, call the ambulance! As my brother gets to the house our neighbor wakes up and asks me about all the ruckus, I tell him what transpired and he starts yelling at me saying I'll cause his wife a heart attack! Well we got to her before she called the local fire department and after much awkwardness we all had laugh and they did thank my brother and I for trying to help.
Was checking out some permanent stands before season for my daughter. Pressed for time & hurrying as usual. Platform was built in a triangle on 3 trees about 12’ up. The ladder was built on a 4th tree. I climbed the ladder & went to step onto the platform. The platform had a tall shooting rail & no midrail on the ladder side. I smashed my head on the shooting rail & knocked myself out. Somehow I fell backwards over the top step of the ladder with my left foot hooked under the platform. I was semi conscious but could not see. I grabbed the top step & tried to sit up. I was just about up & my fingers slipped off the 2x4. I went over & somehow grabbed enough of the tree to flip myself over & sort of land on my feet. I was goofy & couldn't find my hat so I ran back up the ladder. When I looked down I had been standing on my hat. Was punch drunk for several days. Probably the worst concussion I’ve ever had. Very lucky.
Was spring turkey hunting in WV. Set up, at base of a tree, on a bird and heard a rustling to my right. Slowly turned my head and was about a foot from a black snake that coiled and hissed in my face. Slowly turned my head away from it...he crawled off.
Maybe it’s just me, but when you’re out there unsupported, save maybe one partner…. And you get an Elk down… and you’re standing there, 4-5 hours away from the nearest road... and you’re standard there looking at #500 of Dead… And now it’s 100% YOUR problem to get all of that off the mountain in good condition….
If all of that doesn’t create a bit of an Uh-Oh moment for you….
Be careful if you happen to end up with a bottle or container of your urine behind your truck's seat especially if it is the same type bottle as your normal drinking water stash. In the dark this can turn into an Uh-Oh moment. Don't ask how I know that....Badbull
Basil, when I reread your post I realized how lucky you were. There may be more Uh Oh moments having to do with stands than any other one thing. Others are coming up with some stories across the board even more interesting than I expected. Thanks to all that contributed, Badbull.