It’s no surprise there are so many crazy hunting stories out there. As one of the few activities where so many variables are constantly involved, a simple mistake can make all the difference between bagging your prized buck and going home wet, tired, and empty-handed. But while most outings are low-key and typically slow, every now and then you find yourself in a situation you really wished you hadn’t stepped into.
From unexpected encounters with black bears to crazy close calls and even the occasional bigfoot sighting (no - not really), these Redditors share some of their most notable first-hand accounts of roughing it in the wild. Some are crazy, some are funny, and some are just downright strange.
Either way, these hunting stories are definitely worth a read. At the very least, maybe the next time you find yourself hiding out in the woods you won’t feel as bad when you get spooked by your own shadow.
From Redditor /u/bennedictus:
When I was pretty new to hunting, my brother and I were up in this sort of open-ended, horseshoe-shaped canyon up in the mountains hunting elk (with bows). We both had radios so we could talk to each other.
Right around the bottom of the horseshoe, the foliage opened up and I could see my brother right down below me, about a hundred yards down the canyon. I kept an eye on him so I could match his pace. [He] kept walking forward when I saw something exiting the foliage that he just exited. I didn't have binoculars, but I did have my rangefinder, which has a small zoomed-in ability.
I take it out, look at the thing. It's a cougar, down in a stalking stance, following my brother. I get on the radio and tell him not to move, there's a cougar behind him and it knows he's there. So he just stops dead in his tracks, didn't even use the radio. It felt like I was watching that thing for forever before it turned around and left.
From Redditor /u/TapThemOut:
I headed to a WMA in northern Georgia. I had only had a short time to scout the area, but I had a basic inexperienced plan to go in early and follow a game trail to where it looked like it crossed a river. My plan was to sit quietly until the early morning deer began to move. I arrived around 4am and got my basic gear loaded and began my hike to the game trail with no light except a headlamp. When I got to where a few game trails converged near the river crossing, I looked for cover and found an old rocky foundation of some kind with stacked rocks and brush providing ample cover - I set up inside the roughly formed area provided by the rock and vegetation.
After about 90 minutes, it was legal hunting hours. I continued to wait but as the day light got brighter, I noticed a lot of things around me.
I was working as a lineman at the time and I noticed a yellow tape trampled down on the ground in a few places - the area was very wet and the yellow tape was covered in dirt and mud. It was similar to the tape we used to keep people out of hazard areas and off our trailers when they were in use. I noticed the remnants of paint on the ground - nearly missing lines. Similar to what was left when underground utility locates were painted weeks ago.
At about 7:45am, I hadn't seen a single sign of deer movement so I decided to move a bit further into the area. As I got up, I realized I was sitting in what appeared to be a small stone area that was built as a hut or fort or cabin of some type - the ground had a thin slab and stone was piled up making walls (some were knocked down ages ago, some were in decent shape). I walked up to the road that was about 100 feet from where I was sitting.
When I got to the road, I saw a display of colorful objects. I walked over to the display and it was a three-foot-tall by four-foot-wide pile of stuffed animals. It had been raining off and on all week and the toy stuffed animals were all soaking wet, covered in splashed up dirt and mud, and looking horrible.
Affixed to a tree above the stuffed animals was a barely legible sign that was streaking in the rain - it was a memorial for a child that had been murdered in these woods. My mind raced as I realized that the tape on the ground was a police line tape and the paint was likely designating the position of the body.
I was kneeling at the exact location of a murder scene - or at least where the body was recovered.
From Redditor /u/Godbullseye:
I was once hiking in rural Kentucky when I stumbled across a cabin. I knock on the door hoping someone there can give me directions back to the closest trail so I get back to my car but no one answers. I look through the window and see a very basic cabin but the creepiest thing I noticed was a bed with leather restraints at each corner and a dog leash wrapped around the top of the headboard like someone was leashed to the headboard. Got my a** out of there in a hurry.
From Redditor /u/pasteldepollo:
I was hiking in the black hills in South Dakota, this was my first time hiking ever. It should also be noted I was not very outdoorsy at the time having lived in Miami, FL, my whole life. Anyways, I was hiking and I saw a male Buffalo on the trail. Buffaloes can be pretty aggressive and charge, and they are so big that [that] alone scared me.
One of my friends gave me a plastic supermarket bag and told me that elk get scared if you shake the bag because they think it's a rattlesnake. I got behind a tree and shook it as hard as I could. Turns out buffaloes fall for the plastic bag trick too, and the thing ran off. I never went hiking without the bag ever again.