Hunters Reveal What Scared The Camouflage Pants Off Them In The Woods
Hunting is an activity that comes with a certain amount of risk, and hunters know that. Just hiking in the woods can be risky, even if you do everything right.
When something out of the ordinary happens while you're out in the woods, it can be enough to scare the pants off even the most seasoned of hunters.
Speaking from personal experience, there are fewer things as freaky as the scream of a cougar in the middle of the night when you're sound asleep.
Reddit user u/CB-Nomad asked:
My father and I were following a trail for a while so we decided to take a break and catch our breaths, I sat on a log off the trail and my dad stood on the edge of the trail waiting for me to get up. I hear some movement and scan around and I see a man, dress casually, walking quickly down the trail with a Glock in his hand. He is not really following the trail, he is just walking toward my dad with haste. Before he comes up to my dad, he asks if he's seen anything (pretty normal). I keep an eye on him because I don't believe he was there to hunt, I think he was there to make sure my dad hadn't seen anything he wasn't supposed to.
He wasn't dressed like a hunter, he didn't walk like a hunter, and It was deer season and he decided he would take his Glock out to get a deer... I wasn't buying, so I put a round in the chamber and watched them talk. He seemed to be confident until my dad mentioned that he was here with me and gestured in my direction. I nodded and made a half wave.
And he seemed to lose interest in us and ended the conversation shortly after and turned around and walked back the way he came, just about as fast as he walked up to us. It worried us a bit but we continued on. We haven't been back to that area in a while. My dad told me that there have been drug busts near that area in the past. This isn't a supernatural tale, just an experience that made me not want to go back to that area.
A long time ago my grandparents bought a small cabin in the woods in Pennsylvania. My dad, uncle, and aunt are all small children. My father told me this story. They're all sitting around outside with a small fire going when they hear branches breaking and footsteps coming from the darkness. They think it's a black bear because it's close but they can't see it.
It's seems to be going straight for my uncle, the littlest of the children. He starts panicking while everyone tells him not to move. Now this big black beast is within arms reach of him and he's shaking like a leaf with his eyes closed. All of a sudden it opens it's jaws and starts licking his face.. turns out that the next property over is owned by a couple who raise Newfoundland dogs and one got out.
I work in the woods for a living and I've seen a fair amount of odd things... Carvings in trees, old beat up cars, random weird trash scattered through the woods, and a fair amount of animal carcasses. I've had instances where I've gotten spooked, stuff like jumping big critters is always quite jolting, but I can recall one rather butt puckering experience. I was working with a few other people at the time, spaced out of sight but not out of ear shot.
I crossed over a little ridge at least 2 miles from the closest road, in the middle of the woods, and I saw what looked like a full skeleton of a cow tied together with twigs and a little bit of twine. Who ever made it had fashioned it to be sitting on a log. They left a very neat pile of bones in front of the thing, and nothing anywhere else. I saw it and about fainted. Definitely really odd considering how far we were off the road, and how thick and steep it was. I ended up getting the folks I was with to come check it out, really just for laughs. I took note of it and we moved on to the next plots. I have a picture, but I'm new to this whole reddit thing so I'll try to figure out how to upload it.
There is a place in Kingston, Idaho or the other side of Fernan Saddle- depending on which way you go to get there. I call it the snake pit, and no I don't mean the restaurant. I still visit the area now once in a while and camp there. Anyways next to where I camp in the trees is a basin, and it has a bunch of old 1920s-1930's rotted cars in it, overgrown by bushes and trees but sunlight falls on the cars. First time I camped out there I walked into those woods and the leaves all started to move. The snakes were running from me while they were sunbathing on the cars. Creeeeped me out. I don't go in there for wood anymore and I don't see the snakes leave that spot so I just let them be.
My family owns a couple hundred acres of forest in eastern NC. No one lives on the property anymore, and hasn't for the last six or seven years.
We went down there to do some target shooting in October of 2017, and I decided to go walk through the outskirts of the woods to locate a good limb for our range marker. As I'm walking, literally and proverbially kicking rocks I come across a fairly nice, but practically brand new looking suitcase, full of clothes and other personal effects.
No ID, nothing with any sort of identifying markers on them. But seemed to be clothes for four people; two kids and two adults, one male and one female. Had some food, coloring books, etc. there was a makeshift lean-to about 100 yards farther into the woods.
Set up a trail camera and left it there for three weeks, never saw anyone.
For reference, this is 35 miles from any sizable town or city.
I've got one good one. I have a hunting spot that I frequent. Not crazy far off the grid or anything like that, terrain is a pain, but it's a pretty hidden spot that is close to my house.
Anyway, I hunt a lot of small game there and see a ton of mule deer any time I go out. One morning I get there about 530am, and have some time to kill before I start my hike in. I have an odd feeling in the parking lot but just chalk it up to too much coffee on an empty stomach giving me anxiety. So, I decide to start hiking in and about 300 yards into my hike I notice this pile of downed trees/branches/general debris that I hadn't seen before.
It was my first time hunting this particular place this particular season, so I figure some folks came out and did some fire mitigation work. I don't pay too much attention to it until I notice there's an odd amount of movement coming from it. Pretty small movements, but it sticks out when a brush pile is wiggling on a still day. It was also about 545am, and the wilderness just sort of has this stillness to it at that time that any movement is noticeable.
So, I stop and start examining the pile to figure out what's going on. I figure there's a rabbit in there, maybe some squirrels. I figure I've hit the jackpot and I'm definitely about to bag something. I start deciding the best way to flush whatever is going on in there and still have my shotgun up in time to take a good shot. I realize I'm standing by a decent sized branch, and my best move is to just stomp on the branch. If all goes according to plan, everything will freeze, then whatever is in there will dart out. I try to figure out where the rabbit will come out of, get ready, and BAM I stomp on the branch and snap it in half.
The pile goes still, and that stillness and quiet is back. Then, a mountain lion, with a bloody nose and mouth, pops up out of the pile. At this point, I'm about 10 yards from the pile. I have my shotgun, but really don't want to shoot the lion. I also don't want to fire a shot off in the air to scare it, because all in all this was a pretty cool experience that very few people get to have.
It froze and was looking at me very quizzically. Then, in one quick motion it hopped out of the brush pile, ran up hill, got about 40 yards from me, and disappeared into the trees. I've never seen something cover 40 yards uphill in such a fast, graceful way. One of the cooler things I've ever gotten to experience.
I went to check out the brush pile when it left, and sure enough it was feasting on a mule deer. Still my favorite out in the woods story I ever tell.
When I was a kid, a poacher must have thought I was a deer or something and shot a round at me. It impacted on a tree above my head. I immediately fired three shots as fast as I could, not at the shooter but in the air. In my hunting group, immediate three shots means "HELP" basically. My dad and our hunting club immediately came out to find out what the heck happened by honking the horns of their trucks letting me know they were coming. I basically laid on the ground until I could tell they were near the dirt road. Told them what happened and guessed it was probably a road poacher trying to get a deer as it came from the same road. They didn't see him. It was private property and we were always very aware of who was at what location and who was hunting where. Nobody was supposed to be in the part I was at.
Scared the crap out of me. This was mid-90s. Reason why I don't like hunting on public property is cause of that and I don't know the people out there.
Not a hunter but I go backpacking and fishing quite a bit. I have an irrational fear of bears, and waking up to bear tracks around my camp was quite unsettling and I did not spend much more time in the area.
I've also had a creepy encounter with an overly friendly deer. I was in a pretty isolated area so I thought it was odd to see a deer that was so calm around humans, this deer would not leave me alone it walked around my camp all day and came back at night to scare the crap out of me by laying down outside my tent.
Copperheads.. Bow season in KY starts early enough that you can run into a ton of them. I learned my lesson years ago to wait until at least mid November before venturing out too deep.
when i went hunting with my dad one time we saw a homeless looking guy carrying what looked like a torn cloth and a screwdriver on one of the trail cams. this cam was pretty deep into the woods, and it was no one we knew so we were pretty creeped out to go back out there
I was being watched on the woods, it was the strangest feeling. I got paranoid enough that I began walking all the way to where I knew a park warden was parked. After about 100 meters, I turn around to make sure I wasn't being followed, and I see three bears smacking my stuff around. One bear was standing up in the middle of the access road staring right at me.
Not a hunter, but a fly fisherman who spends every weekend out hiking remote rivers and streams in search of brown trout.
I live in Montreal, my normal routine is to drive down to a river that starts in upstate NY, fish a couple kilometers of the river where no one really lives or goes. Then head cross the border and head back down to the river on the Canadian side.
So I'm out there on morning by myself, I had been out there over a hundred times so it wasn't new territory by any means. That said, I was getting close to the area where other anglers had warned me about angry land owners and threats from dudes with shotguns so I was pretty alert.
I come down to the section of river there it kinda splits, around a little island (50'x100' kinda island) before it reconnects and the who river veers off to the left. Most days I stay left of the island, there are few holes. This day I went right, so my view up the river was obscured until I came around the corner of the island. I get to the point look up and about 250 feet in front of me I'm standing there looking at a beige golden animal that's crossing the river.
First thought, someone's dog. Hmm, no homes... Too remote of an area. I'm standing there looking at this thing crossing the river, and the things are just racing through my head because what I'm looking at doesn't make sense for where I'm standing. This thing still hasn't seen me, it's just gingerly making its way through about 1-2' of water trying to cross across at a determined walk. That's when I notice the tail... I know a lot of dogs, but I've never seen a tail like - ... Hair on the back of my neck goes up... Holy crap, I'm looking at a mountain lion, in upstate NY about a kilometer from the Canadian border. I take a step back behind the tree... I stood there for another few seconds watching this thing cross, when it got to the other side it bound up a wash out bank up about 20' in a couple bounds there was no doubt about what I saw.
I decide I've gone far enough for the day, start making my way back to the truck which - with the way the river bends is pretty much in the same direction that cat was headed. Ah f*** me. Get back in the truck, make my way home and contact NY fish and game. I provided some data, they say "sure we'll look into it". Most buddies who I fish with out there think I'm nuts - obviously. About a month later my parents send me a local news clip:
Couple years later I come across this article, literally that area:
So needless to say, I feel a little less crazy, my fellow anglers and myself exercise a little more caution in the area...
Camping alone in the middle of Missouri the night before turkey hunting. The place I found was a fairly well used campsite but no one was there. About to go to sleep when I hear a truck come up. I find a reason to come out (use the restroom) so I can get a look and maybe even ask for some good places to spot turkey.
It's a dude and his girlfriend drinking beers and going for a ride. They are super nice but they mentioned after our chat and before leaving "watch yourself out here.. lots of meth heads and they won't stop for birdshot. Want a slug? I probably have a few in my tool kit." I did not sleep at all that night.
I walked up on a meth lab (not sure if that is the right term) while scouting for a hunting spot. I noped the hell out of there immediately. I had never encountered such a thing before, and in hindsight the smell should have been a dead giveaway. It wasn't until I was standing there looking at what looked like a bunch of garbage under camo tarps and such that I realized what I was looking at.
I walked back to where I had cell service, called the sheriff and showed him on a map where it was. Bunch of them went in (found nobody), and made me wait with another officer for over an hour by the cruisers.
I think the creepiest thing I've experienced was one time while walking home from school through the woods. I heard people talking in the distance, and I couldn't hear what they were saying but they seemed to be arguing. They were quiet for a minute, and then I heard them again, really close now. The forest was really dense here so although they sounded maybe 15-20 feet away I couldn't see them or pinpoint exactly where they were. This time I could hear what they said:
Guy 1: "it's messed up you guys always make me-"
Guy 2 (in a hushed voice): "shh! Someone's coming!"
Guy 1 (now also hushed): "s**t"
Guy 3 (from a bit further to my left than the other guys, who sounded to be mostly right in front of me): "hurry"
Guy 1: F***!
Guy 2: SHH!
I came around a corner and expected to see them, but I couldn't see anyone. I kept walking, cautious and trying to be aware of my surroundings. About ten feet past the corner I saw something to the left of the trail (close to where the voices we're coming from) that caught my eye. It was a bunch of stuff wrapped up in a big tarp. It wasn't completely wrapped up and you could kind of see into it. All I could see was something glass and I wanted to see what it was. I scanned the forest behind the tarp to make sure nobody was watching, and then stepped towards it. Suddenly, one of them says "keep walking" very calmly.
I looked back into the forest but still couldn't see anyone. They said "go," still calm. I looked for another second, still unable to see a soul, and then turned and kept walking like nothing happened. I don't know what was going on but the whole thing gave me the creepiest vibe I've ever gotten.
Went on a camping trip maybe 10 years ago and in the middle of the night we heard this incredibly loud "SMACK" way out on the water. Water carries sound really well, so it woke us all right the heck up. My first though was some drunk/deranged jerk with a gun was shooting out over the lake and the sound was a bullet skimming off the surface.
Turns out it was a beaver that smacked the water before diving under. It happened again in the early morning and we laughed it off, but the notion of being out in the middle of nowhere with some homicidal jerk taking potshots at you creeped me out pretty good.
I didn't see it but hearing my dad say, once we were safely in the car, "a wild dog was stalking us that whole time" made me more than a little uncomfortable
Didn't happen while hunting but when I was 12 I was looking for bottles in a creek on a dense forested hillside. Hear heavy footsteps behind me. They're slow and sound heavier than a human or even a buck. I almost get paralyzed when I turn around and see 2 holes on a rough leathery bump. A few seconds and a heart attack later, I realised it was just the neighbors cow that got out and its nose was a few inches from my face.
I used to be a field appraiser (you might call it assessor where you live) for a county in rural KS. I was at a parcel looking at and data collection some 20 foot shipping containers that had appeared in the last several months. It was obvious they were being used as hunting cabins during hunting season. As I was finishing up I turned around to walk back to my vehicle and standing right there were two hunters. They were dressed head to toe like snipers with ghillie suits on with large caliber rifles pointed at me. That scared the heck out of me. Of course they were mouthy and pissed off towards me, then when they found out what I was doing that escalated things even more.
I don't blame them, really. They saw me walking around looking and measuring everything and taking photos of the place.
I spend a lot of time in the backcountry in the winter time. Usually it's just me and a friend, most trails we do are popular in the summer, and totally dead once it starts to snow.
Winter in *2014, we've hiked about two miles in and see this small black backpack in the middle of the trail. We hadn't seen any other cars at the trailhead or any people around, but this backpack hadn't been there long because there wasn't any snow on it (it had snowed the night before). It was a very odd sight, we figured if it was still on the trail when we looped around we'd pick it up.
About 4 miles in and my friend and I are chatting away when I notice a large figure flailing in some trees up ahead. We go quiet and can hear this man rambling while he's pacing. At this point we're pretty freaked out and decide to turn around when we hear "Oh, HI THERE" and this guy starts walking towards us... and then out pops another guy with a very pricey looking video camera.
It turned out this flailing guy was actually a rapper and they were filming a music video for one of his new songs out in the forest. They had parked before the trailhead so we didn't notice their car. They ended up being super friendly and gave us a card, and we figured out it was their backpack we had seen on the trail the few miles before. We said our goodbyes and walked out. But hot damn I was sure we were about to be killed in the woods.
Thought about hunting, went out on a trip with my dad once way back. Middle of the trip here comes a HUGE bear strolling right in front of our tree stands. Yeah. I'm not a hunter any longer, was a lustrous 4 hour career though.
In Illinois there aren't many predators, but the scream of a Bobcat nearly made me crap my pants.
My dad's story not mine: "I had been walking for a couple hours, and I decided to sit under a tree for a while, just see what would happen. As I was relaxing, I noticed this light that kept flashing past my eyes. I looked over to where it was coming from, but I couldn't see what was there. Then I looked down and there was a red dot on my chest. Some a**hole was using a laser sight and aiming at me. I yelled at him and started walking towards him, but he ran off. I went back to camp for the rest of the day."
He didn't think someone was actually trying to shoot him, but if people aren't going to be safe with their rifles, he didn't want to be out there.
Not a hunter, but a herper. I was looking for amphibians and reptiles with a few classmates at a local park during a herpetology class last summer, when we came across 2 little wooden 'teepees' and a card table covered in animal bones. It looked like we walked right into the Blair Witch Project. Each of the structures had little altars that contained more bones in jars, plants, and other weird little trinkets.
We got out of there fast and told the volunteer coordinator we were working with. We found out a while later that apparently, some homeschooled kids nearby liked to 'play' in the woods and they had most likely collected the things we saw. I understand making forts in the woods but the structures these kids made were freaky af.
Not a hunter, but close enough. When I was in my teens, I was fishing with my dad at a lake that was a short hike (but not nothing) through the woods. It got dark and we started to walk back home, and something in the bushes right next to me growled at me. My dad said it was probably just some deer, but I of course knew that deer don't growl like that. Turns out it was a bobcat.
When I was younger, I used to horse-pack around Northern California for weeks at a time. This was during the late 70's, early 80's.
I rarely used a compass, but I always had a map of my area. I'm pretty good at dead reckoning via landmarks, and I've never been lost in my life. Except once.
I was in the Six Rivers national forest, heading south towards Trinity county. This is very rough terrain, lots of high ridges, steep hills, rocks everywhere, and nasty brush to tangle you. I was riding the ridges, heading generally south, and trying to find easy places to cross to the next ridge when it became convenient. The skies were partly cloudy, and it was cool ~60F... cold for that time of year, since it was early August, and the temps were normally 90+F during the day.
I found a reasonable spot to cross over to the next ridge south of me and started down. When I got into the ravine, it turned out that what looked easy from above was actually a rocky nightmare. I started walking up the ravine to find an easier place to get out of there. A wind picked up, and it started drizzling.
I walked for a mile or so, couldn't find anything that I wanted to risk my neck on (and more importantly, my horse's hooves), and decided to start up the side I had come down originally. I got to the top, took a look around to orient myself, and froze in shock.
The landscape was completely different.
I don't mean that it was lower or easier or less rocky. I mean that all of my landmarks were gone -- some of them were peaks that were 30-40 miles away, others were a lot closer. It was completely different. I had no idea where I was, and I was completely disoriented. I dug out my map, and started to review where I was, the angles on the hills I had been navigating by earlier, etc. I couldn't find anything that matched. The only thing that I could positively identify was the route up from the ravine that I had just come up. Since it was cloudy, I couldn't navigate by the sun; all I had were the landmarks that I used for dead reckoning, and those were gone.
The wind was picking up, and it was getting very, very cold... I almost expected snow. I had no idea where I was, so I decided to backtrack to my last known position and see if I could pick up where I left off. I started down the hill, got to the bottom of the ravine, and started the opposite direction up the ravine. This time I was very careful, watching for signs of my passage before, and the hill I came down in the first place. It stopped raining, the wind died down, and the day started to warm up. I found my original trail down the hill, started back up, and got to the top.
All the landmarks were there now. I was totally confused.
I kept going on the ridge, watching carefully to find where I had come up before. When I got to the spot where I thought it should be, there was no sign of it. I cast back and forth for awhile, trying to find my trail with no success. All of my landmarks were there to see. Eventually, I gave up and continued on the ridge. A bit later, I found an easy trail down, and an easy trail back up the other side, and continued on my way.
To this day, I have no idea what happened. Even though it was drizzling, I should have been able to see the closer landmarks, and honestly, the further landmarks were big enough to see. To that point, thinking back on it, there was no sign that it was drizzling when I continued on to where I had ascended the first time. And the temperature swings were wild that day... easily 30-40F. Not uncommon in the mountains, but really odd for that time of year in that place.
Another thing... originally, I had chosen to descend that at that point because there was nothing to prevent me from going up the other side. I could see easily from the ridge-top. But when I arrived, there were tons of boulders blocking me that I should have been able to see from top.
Eerie and creepy. At the time, sure, but I was more focused on trying to orient myself. But thinking back on it, even more so now.
My dad's childhood friend was killed in a hunting accident. He was shot right out of his tree stand on state land. This was back in the late 1980s, when I was young. Nobody ever turned themselves in and I doubt from the angle/caliber that they ever even found the bullet. To this day, his murder is unsolved.
After that, my mom forbade my dad to go hunting, and by extension, me. I hear too many stories of people getting piss-drunk and doing stupid things with guns in the woods anyway.
I'm lucky enough now to own 10 acres of property where I can take a deer just about every year with a shotgun, but I don't think I will ever hunt on state land.
So I have two stories.
First, the not so creepy one: I was about 20 miles out in the back country on a week long hunting trip. By myself. Woke up in the middle of the night to a bear sticking its snout into the fabric of my tent. I immediately started meditating to slow my breath and just weather the situation. Because I knew if I moved or made a run for my car I'd be dead. The next morning I found some paw prints and they were the biggest bear prints I've ever seen.
Second. Very creepy story. Was deep in the woods this time too. Set up camp in a very nice little ravine. When I woke up there was a ring of big rocks around my camping area. They weren't there when I got there/set up camp. I'm also a stout dude and I couldn't move any of the rocks.
I was raised in the woods and now I refuse to go out there without a large caliber gun and I refuse to sleep out in the woods anymore.
There is a place near where I come from that has all the hall marks of an excellent hunting area. Nobody goes there because there is a stand of giant Douglas fir trees that are at least 300 years old, and there are boots hanging by their laces, dozens of pairs, all hung in the very top branches of the trees. It's practically impossible for a human being to have done this and nobody has a reasonable explanation for it. Even the most seasoned hunters will tell you to stay the hell away from there...
I've seen a lot of "the usual" stuff out in northwestern Canada, but the only thing that made me really think twice about going into the woods out there was not wanting to find a body. There are dozens (hundreds?) of unsolved missing persons cases out there, many of them indigenous women but some men and white people as well. There are signs up everywhere with information about the missing. I hope they're found and their families find some closure, but I dreaded being the one to come across the corpse.
The other thing that made me think twice was the bullet holes everywhere. Blowing holes in highway signs is bad, but these jerks would shoot up outhouses. Nothing like taking a dump and counting the bullet holes in front of your face. Canada has some stricter gun laws than the states, but people still make bad decisions.
So nothing really spooky, just people.
After helping my dad and brother quarter a big bull elk in the middle of nowhere, I went up the hill first because I had the lightest load. I figured I'd get my quarters to the top and then go back down and help my dad with the chest cavity.
It had just stopped snowing and when I was resting at the top of the hill, I glanced down and saw paw prints in the snow....that had no snow in them. I knew based on the size it was either a wolf or mountain lion, but after looking closer I realized I just saw pads on the foot and not nails/claws making a mark in the front of the print. This meant I was definitely looking at the tracks of a big mountain lion who had been 50 yards from us as we worked on the elk.
My dad was at the bottom of the hill, I had a front quarter on my back, and a hind quarter on the sled I was pulling behind me, and no gun. I knew it was just three of us and I'd be around my dad the whole time who was armed, so I didn't bring an additional firearm. I was a walking buffet standing right where the cat had been a few minutes before, there's no question he was looking at me.
I calmly set the quarters down and made my way down to my dad. He agreed that I should have done what I did and even joked about it saying "at least our load won't be as heavy when we get back up there, I bet he took the front quarter."
We got back up the hill and my quarters had been untouched, with no additional cat tracks around it. All three of us were paranoid as hell walking back the 2 miles to the truck, not knowing if at any moment the cat might decide he was hungry. We made it back home just fine and laughed about the whole thing as we were cleaning and butchering the elk.
This happened today actually. I work in the utility sector and while working remote transmission lines I saw a sign that said "don't enter the woods". Proceed to walk down the right of way and notice something in the woods. It was a wooden gallows that had two dummies dressed in black that were "hung".
In September this year I was hunting Antelope out near the Red Desert in Wyoming. I had just shot my Antelope and was walking about 150 yards out to where he dropped so I could tag and begin field dressing the animal.
I should mention I'm about 40 miles from the main road and I had not seen another human or vehicle since I got off the main road. This area is so extremely remote it's hard to even describe.
So as I'm walking out to the Antelope I look up and about 1 to 2 miles off in the distance I see this extremely bright light zooming over the landscape and headed my way. I thought it was probably a game warden on a side by side coming to check my paperwork and all. No big deal, I keep walking out and find the animal and look up and this light dives down into the sagebrush and I can no longer see it, it was about half a mile from me when it disappeared, I also notice I don't hear any engine if it is in fact someone on a motorized vehicle.
I'm mostly confused at this point, not sure what the hell this light is or where it went but I continue on and tag the Antelope, it takes me all of 10-15 seconds to put the tag on, then I look up and I see the light traveling away from me now and it's about 3 to 5 miles away from me and going at least 100 mph, it was really zooming way faster than any vehicle could travel over that type of terrain. Also there are no roads or anything where the light is traveling so I don't know how it was going so fast. I'm pretty spooked at this point.
I field dressed the animal as fast as I could and dragged it back to my truck, I just had a very uneasy feeling at this point. I have no idea what that light was although some others have speculated it was a drone but if it was a drone operated by the game warden why didn't he come check me out once I got back to my truck?
To begin, I'll admit that we were hiking, not hunting.
I was with my brother in law. In the Appalachians, it's usually snowy in December, but that year it was a constant 40F or so, and too foggy to see very well.
We made our way into a dense rainforest area and found what looked like an extremely overgrown, rarely-trodden erosion forming a path. This didn't make sense; it was on the back of an inconvenient mountain peak - very craggy, and not on the way to anywhere, not even another trail. So we followed it.
The deciduous canopy lay rotting on the winter ground, but little sunlight broke through anyway due to the deep fog and mountain's shadow. It felt haunted. We descended into a hollow with a small creek at the bottom, and rounded a bend into a dense clump of rhododendron. Inside this rhododendron brush, we started to see weird things, like decaying rope, rusted metal, paracord, and supplies. Then the trail ended. Between two oak trees that formed a window through the brush, we could see a rusted body of metal with face-sized holes of glass on the sides.
We made out the shape of a small plane from the scattered pieces. The body was only in two pieces, but the wings were unrecognizable. There was a bit of graffiti on the plane, but not as much as you would expect. It had clearly been there for a while, but some of the original gear was still in the body. I wrote down the number on the side for reference.
When I got home, I googled the plane number, and found a result.
ACCIDENT REPORT: MARCH 1977, WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR. 1 PASSENGER. 1 FATALITY. BODY RECOVERED. PLANE UNSALVAGEABLE.
We found the plane in 2016. That wreckage had been left to rot for 39 years, and some the gear still had not been stolen.
I know it was only one death, but that place had a deeply unsettling aura. I am not superstitious. I do not believe in ghosts, but there was something strange about that place, and I won't forget it.
I didn't crawl into the plane's body, both out of fear and because I wanted to be respectful to whoever died there, but I did take pictures of it all from the outside.
Growing up we hunted regularly as a family (my dad ,brother, and I) for boar and deer... but my story actually happened when we were on a backpacking trip.
In the mid 90's we went on a backpacking trip 11 miles one way, the location is Sierra Nevadas - Carson Iceberg Wilderness - Boulder Peak area - Boulder Lake. If you Google it, it's in BFE... We were going to camp at a lake for 3 days then hike out.
We get about 9 miles into the hike and we come through a clearing and there is a huge mountain of granite, it cascades away from us in large 30 foot flat slabs. We hike around it and pass by the last slab (which is like shoulder to knee height) and my dad gets startled and jumps back. My freaking uncle is naked sunbathing on the rocks. He didn't know we were going up there, we live like 3.5 hours away.....what the f?! He puts his clothes on and we have a casual conversation, then he heads down the trail and we proceed on. My dad said initially he thought it was a carcass lol!
So weird and so random.....anyhow, sorry for the story... it didn't really make me want to "not go back into the woods." It was just so random!
Nothing has made me not want to go back into the woods, but I have had some strange experiences and seen some disturbing stuff (mostly human origin). I have walked into 2 marijuana grows and into one still site. I backed away slowly from all three. The marijuana sites were strange because it took a minute for me to realize what I was seeing. When you are picking your way through fairly thick vegetation a plant is a plant....until it isn't!
I did have an unexplained sighting of a creature about 7 years ago that I'm still not sure what it was and i'm trained in animal identification by tracks, scat and sight.
I was younger hunting in the woods with my dad, we got in the woods just before dawn when it was still dark out so we could get in our tree stands. All of a sudden, we hear banshee screams from a bush a few feet from us. Turns out is was a startled fox. That day I found out the answer to "What does a fox say?". Daemonic screeches...
Climbed up a tree before daylight in a remote holler in southern Ohio. Just as it was light enough to see - shooting light we call it - I hear a rustling coming down the hill, maybe 150 yards away. Cruising toward me is what I can only describe as a tasmanian devil like whirl of brown and gray moving in a straight line along the ground at high speed down a sloped hill and then off a steep 15' drop off and then under my tree and then through the thickest brush imaginable behind me where the creek was, and then eventually out of sight and audible range.
So I observed maybe 300 yards of travel, although lost visual in the thicket, which all occurred in a very straight line at supernatural high speed. I'm in a perch with nothing else to do but put my entire focus on it and still I can't figure out what it is, and as it passed under me all I see, again, is a ghostly blur of gray and brown and leaves. Total time elapsed was less than 10 seconds. I've seen dozens of coyotes and several bobcats and yes that is probably what this was. But it's movement was so out of the ordinary at that moment my senses computed that it couldn't have been either of those.
I got tingles and the hair stood up on the back of my neck. It's a mundane story but the actual experience definitely felt supernatural.
My buddy and I decided to do a Halloween ride up a supposedly haunted trail at night. As we were making our way back to the main road I see a car parked to the right side of the trail with the lights on. I thought it was kind of weird that I would see a sedan parked in a dirt road so far out in the middle of nowhere. We pull ahead of the car and stop our bikes. When we look back there was nothing. No car. Just darkness. I could see how wide my friends eyes were from inside his helmet. I asked him if he saw a car parked to the side, he said yes. Then I got the most uncomfortable chilly feeling and my eyes began to water. I felt like I was going to cry and I felt every goosebump on my skin.
I remember the sound or the lack of it. No animals, no insects, I just heard the ringing in my ear. My friend told me that we had to leave but I couldn't move I think I was in shock or something. He told me again and this time I heard the fear in his voice, he sounded like a little kid. We both hoped on our bikes and rode as quickly as we could back onto the main road.
Only thing I've seen out in the woods that bothered me was a fox in a trap. Judging by the state of the snow around it, it had been there three days. It was still alive though, poor guy. Another hunter in my party put it out of its misery. No name/address tag on the trap. Check your damn traps.
The realization that I didn't tell anyone i'm out here and if I injure myself or drop my phone in the river or my keys, i'm screwed. Usually i'm not THAT far from a house but there have been times that i'm waaaaaay out in the country and there's nothing around. Like it's so easy to step wrong or into a deep hole or you don't want to lose that $10 lure that you cast once and it's snagged.
I do a fair amount of archery hunting when the weather permits & trap rabbits about 3 times a year (I release them if they're pregnant - I used to be a vet technician & just...nah can't do it baby bunnies are cute, sue me) but I think the craziest thing that ever happened was I was following some deer tracks - had been tracking the herd for a couple days - not planning on bagging one I just like to observe. So I'm hauling around a tree stand & my tent & bare essentials. Before my pup got cancer I would bring her but she's in chemo so it was a solo trip. I generally let her tell me when I wasn't noticing something but without her it got fairly creepy pretty quick. I notice I'm losing the light & rub my face in frustration.
And am suddenly waking up. I was just. Laying down. With my tent & everything all set up. Firewood under me (ouch...) & a rip in my jacket - nothing else to show for it except that it was WAY darker than before. I check my watch. I've got roughly 3 hours to sunrise. When/who set up my tent? They did it differently than I normally do (ok its kinda just oilcloth & rope I travel light) but it wasn't in my usual formation. The zippers on my pack were ALL open, I was gripping my (sheathed) field blade in my LEFT hand (I'm right handed??!) to this day it unsettles me.
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.