What’s your spookiest hunting experience?

Cousin and I were lobstering backside of Anacapa Island. Had to wait until midnight for the opener and then did a night dive to grab some bugs. Got on the weather channel and the Santa Anna winds were already starting to kick up, blowing offshore with gusts to 45 knots, increasing to 65 knots in the morning. My vote was to hole up in the cuddy until afternoon the next day when the winds died down. He had to get back for some reason and talked me into heading home. It is 11 miles or so from the E. end of Anacapa to the harbor entrance, directly upwind, making for an 11 mile 'fetch' to build wind chop. The islands pretty much block the whole bay up there with only a few miles separating them, so wind driven current, or a 6' tide swing trying to fill that bay through the gaps generating enormous currents sucks water from front and back of the islands off each end due to the venturi effect. I've even spun in tidal whirlpools drifting for halibut off of Santa Cruz.
Anyway, I told him that once we rounded the end of the island there was no way to turn back without turning broadside to the chop and sinking immediately, and we would be sucked away from the island and blown out to sea if things went south. He still wanted to get home so off we went. I figured we could motor in at about 5kts. and slide down the back of the waves, then pop over the top.
So we rounded the end of the island past the arch and were hit by 8 foot wind chop with about 2 feet of foam on top. 8' chop on 8 second intervals is called a 'square' wave. This was 8' chop on 5 second intervals...
Instead of sliding down the back of each wave, we dropped 6 or 8 feet or so and landed with a bang, then the bow dug in and as we came up through the wave it flung about 2 solid feet of foam over the windshield. Time to duck!
Well my boat was a very old 1965 18' glasspar deep vee with a new 65 hp. Yamaha two stroke, and a tiny cuddy cabin up front.
First order of business was to secure the hatch up front that was banging up and down due to a broken hinge, letting enormous quantities of water pour into the cuddy. I climbed around the windshield on the six inch or so wide 'gunnel onto the bow while my cousin took the helm. About half the bow had a railing to grab onto in front. The plan was to string a line back and forth over the hatch to keep it somewhat closed. All this whilst getting completely submerged every 5 seconds or so.
Second order of business was to turn on the bilge pump and the bait pump overboad, maybe 10 gpm total. Then, of course I pulled the drain plug out because it was above water level due to the raised deck.
Next I radioed the harbor patrol and let them know the situation, and asked if there were any ships in the channel. They cruise at about 25 knots and are dead quiet, sometimes pulling a barge with a mile or so of steel cable. Thankfully there were no ships at the time. Obviously the harbor patrol couldn't see us on radar due to the chop.
So we continued dropping, plowing, and ducking deluges of water every 5 seconds or so. I was hoping the chop would subside by the time we got to the oil rig 3 miles offshore, but no dice. Obviously I kept a close tab on the portable fuel tanks (sloshing around in the stern) in order to swith them prior to running out. Had that Yamaha quit we would have turned broadside and sunk within seconds, which brings up another point. Thanks be to God for Yamaha engineering, it took the whole thing in stride, getting constantly deluged with water and such.
The glaspar was so named because it has fiberglass 'spars' that separate the hull from the deck, making for positive flotation. No foam. The boat was so old, however, that the deck had all kinds of cracks in it and water just leaked through, filling up the area between hull and deck. There is a small plug to drain that but I couldn't reach it as it was on the outside, the main plug I always put in from the inside.
Anyway it was pitch black with no moon but thankfully we had radar so could make out the breakwater and slip in behind it. The harbor patrol was there shaking their heads in disbelief. When we got to the ramp a mile or so farther I was unable to pull the trailer out due to all the water in the hull under the deck. It took about 30 minutes or so to drain it out through the small plug.
My cousin was given strick instructions never to tell the wife about it.
 
Cousin and I were lobstering backside of Anacapa Island. Had to wait until midnight for the opener and then did a night dive to grab some bugs. Got on the weather channel and the Santa Anna winds were already starting to kick up, blowing offshore with gusts to 45 knots, increasing to 65 knots in the morning. My vote was to hole up in the cuddy until afternoon the next day when the winds died down. He had to get back for some reason and talked me into heading home. It is 11 miles or so from the E. end of Anacapa to the harbor entrance, directly upwind, making for an 11 mile 'fetch' to build wind chop. The islands pretty much block the whole bay up there with only a few miles separating them, so wind driven current, or a 6' tide swing trying to fill that bay through the gaps generating enormous currents sucks water from front and back of the islands off each end due to the venturi effect. I've even spun in tidal whirlpools drifting for halibut off of Santa Cruz.
Anyway, I told him that once we rounded the end of the island there was no way to turn back without turning broadside to the chop and sinking immediately, and we would be sucked away from the island and blown out to sea if things went south. He still wanted to get home so off we went. I figured we could motor in at about 5kts. and slide down the back of the waves, then pop over the top.
So we rounded the end of the island past the arch and were hit by 8 foot wind chop with about 2 feet of foam on top. 8' chop on 8 second intervals is called a 'square' wave. This was 8' chop on 5 second intervals...
Instead of sliding down the back of each wave, we dropped 6 or 8 feet or so and landed with a bang, then the bow dug in and as we came up through the wave it flung about 2 solid feet of foam over the windshield. Time to duck!
Well my boat was a very old 1965 18' glasspar deep vee with a new 65 hp. Yamaha two stroke, and a tiny cuddy cabin up front.
First order of business was to secure the hatch up front that was banging up and down due to a broken hinge, letting enormous quantities of water pour into the cuddy. I climbed around the windshield on the six inch or so wide 'gunnel onto the bow while my cousin took the helm. About half the bow had a railing to grab onto in front. The plan was to string a line back and forth over the hatch to keep it somewhat closed. All this whilst getting completely submerged every 5 seconds or so.
Second order of business was to turn on the bilge pump and the bait pump overboad, maybe 10 gpm total. Then, of course I pulled the drain plug out because it was above water level due to the raised deck.
Next I radioed the harbor patrol and let them know the situation, and asked if there were any ships in the channel. They cruise at about 25 knots and are dead quiet, sometimes pulling a barge with a mile or so of steel cable. Thankfully there were no ships at the time. Obviously the harbor patrol couldn't see us on radar due to the chop.
So we continued dropping, plowing, and ducking deluges of water every 5 seconds or so. I was hoping the chop would subside by the time we got to the oil rig 3 miles offshore, but no dice. Obviously I kept a close tab on the portable fuel tanks (sloshing around in the stern) in order to swith them prior to running out. Had that Yamaha quit we would have turned broadside and sunk within seconds, which brings up another point. Thanks be to God for Yamaha engineering, it took the whole thing in stride, getting constantly deluged with water and such.
The glaspar was so named because it has fiberglass 'spars' that separate the hull from the deck, making for positive flotation. No foam. The boat was so old, however, that the deck had all kinds of cracks in it and water just leaked through, filling up the area between hull and deck. There is a small plug to drain that but I couldn't reach it as it was on the outside, the main plug I always put in from the inside.
Anyway it was pitch black with no moon but thankfully we had radar so could make out the breakwater and slip in behind it. The harbor patrol was there shaking their heads in disbelief. When we got to the ramp a mile or so farther I was unable to pull the trailer out due to all the water in the hull under the deck. It took about 30 minutes or so to drain it out through the small plug.
My cousin was given strick instructions never to tell the wife about it.
I had that 18 footer too years ago and there is no way I would be out in those conditions. You guys are incredibly lucky! Lessons learned.
 
A grizz roaring at me from 50yds away. Found out later that my 44 mag wasn't loaded :S

A few years ago I was about 2 miles back in Colorado hunting elk with a bow. Was hunting with a buddy, had a great time hearing elk scream at us but couldn't get closer than 80yds. Didn't see another person the whole time. On our way out we came across footprints in one dusty open spot. Barefoot human 👣, not vibrams. Could see all the individual toes. We were still 2 miles back and in some nasty stuff. Kinda spooky, kinda odd but those archery guys do some weird stuff.
 
This wasn't like a scary thing just a real BAD day.I was out fishing for Macks in my Wooly AK 17,OB jet.Well the wind picked up and I was maybe 5-6 mile from launch.I hugged shore as waves got to about 4'.The problem was they where rolling straight to launch.Well I was solo and thought I could beach it fast and get my jeep pulled in ok.Away I went.As I was close to getting on trailer, I had hand winch hooked and I wasn't quite deep enough and I broke my winch line, by the time I backed in and tied knot.The boat was tacking waves over its low back and the waves pulled it out a bitt in seconds my seat where floating and I had forgot to buckle them shut, I had 100,s off small clear Plano boxes floating all over.I finally got boat 1/2 loaded and had to let it drain to load, was total frozen as it was spring, went home came back and found about 4 lures.Im sure somebody had a good day finding all my tackle that floated off and down a local creek. Lost 5 years of collection.
 
I had that 18 footer too years ago and there is no way I would be out in those conditions. You guys are incredibly lucky! Lessons learned.
Never seem to learn...
Should have at least drilled some holes in that deck and shot in some waterproof foam.
Some time later a storm came up just as the squid boats had taken record catches. They have huge light booms and are pretty top heavy. Most made it to shore but several of them couldn't get angled enough to make the harbor so had to stop just offshore. All three sank and there were fatalities on all three boats. Don't blame them for hauling in what they could with the regulations crushing them. These days some commercial boats are required to house and $$Pay enviro observers onboard with no room for the crew even. Too bad there were'nt observers onboard...
Anyway, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
 
This wasn't like a scary thing just a real BAD day.I was out fishing for Macks in my Wooly AK 17,OB jet.Well the wind picked up and I was maybe 5-6 mile from launch.I hugged shore as waves got to about 4'.The problem was they where rolling straight to launch.Well I was solo and thought I could beach it fast and get my jeep pulled in ok.Away I went.As I was close to getting on trailer, I had hand winch hooked and I wasn't quite deep enough and I broke my winch line, by the time I backed in and tied knot.The boat was tacking waves over its low back and the waves pulled it out a bitt in seconds my seat where floating and I had forgot to buckle them shut, I had 100,s off small clear Plano boxes floating all over.I finally got boat 1/2 loaded and had to let it drain to load, was total frozen as it was spring, went home came back and found about 4 lures.Im sure somebody had a good day finding all my tackle that floated off and down a local creek. Lost 5 years of collection.
Ok, I'll admit it. I launched my old '65 Glass 18 footer with the bilge plug out. Not good. Serious brain fart. Almost sunk it on the ramp. Had quite a crowd watching with intense riotous laughter. Could I have been any more dumb?
 
Sweet...elaborate on that story and show pictures if you have any....
On another thread.... "ItsTime" .....
I'll put it in the best hunting story thread. Everything other than the bear incident made it an amazing trip. Good enough for me to put in for that unit again.

Another story since folks are talking fishing. Around the time of my first job, July 2011, my younger brother and I really wanted to get into coastal fishing. I was working in Fort Worth, and he was in Arlington Texas. We both bought 16ft sit on top kayaks and started buying gear for fishing reds in the gulf and doing beyond the breakers stuff.

So the week of our first trip we find out a storm is brewing up in the Gulf. News says it will only be a tropical storm. So my brother and I who grew up in Waco, several hours from the Gulf, think it's nothing but child's play. We made the trip down to Rockport one Friday after work, drove all the way into the AM to get there. Threw a tent up on the beach and went to bed somewhere around 3am. News said the storm was going to hit in the afternoon so we wanted to fish a couple hours before it hit. Woke up Saturday before the sun and look out to 5'-6' waves. We decide that we are going out, it's called beyond the breakers right? We loaded up our kayaks, tied everything we could down, sat down and paddled as hard as we could straight for the waves.

First wave hits...we are good. Paddle paddle paddle, second wave...we are good...paddle paddle paddle...up another one...down again. Adrenaline is through the roof. I look over and my brother is going hard, head down and paddling. I keep going, foam all over the water. Up another wave....and all I can see in front of me is wave after wave after wave...endless white crested waves under a gray dawn sky. Waves taller than us sitting on those kayaks. Then I hear it.... "I'M TURNING AROUND DAVE!!!!!!".

I look back and see that we are about 200 yards out. My brother starts turning around in the valley between two waves that seems a little wider than the others. I go over the next wave and start to turn around in that valley. I manage to get it turned around in time for the next wave to hit me from behind. Wave picks up the back of the kayak and takes me for a ride like a surf board. The kayak starts to go sideways and I can't get it to straighten up. The kayak goes hard right and sends me under. I come up and am immediately slammed in the face by the kayak. I try to swim as hard as I can with the wave to get away from the kayak. I come up, get a breath, and open my eyes to the kayak being slammed into me again. As I'm under water I remember a conversation with a friend about kayaking. "Never let a kayak be between you and a wave." I stay under and swim under the next wave. I come up and see the kayak past me being rolled by another wave. I take my time swimming to shore, staying away from the kayak.

There we are in the early morning sun on a beach in Rockport. My brother's experience was similar to mine. We pull our kayaks in and see that we lost almost nothing. We go straight back to our Jeep and go to sleep. I wake up a few hours later to sand being thrown in my face by a stuck minivan. My brother and I, along with a whole group of girls, get the minivan out. We are hanging out with the girls on the beach watching the waves roll when the storm finally hits. I took the attached picture a few minutes before the wind hit. I was walking up to the beach, storm hit and all the girl's hair went straight back from the wind. Apparently it got upgraded to a category 1 hurricane.
 

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Like most have had some close calls, one that sticks out for making me feel the dumbest, was about 30 years ago or so.
Night fishing at Lake Oroville, up the west branch, was by myself, in a boat,Coleman lantern going, had a minnow on with a split shot, down about 30' for trout/landlocked kings. It was dead calm, and quite.
I get a bite, set the hook, start to reel down, and something slaps me in the leg...startled is a understatement... about kicked milk duds out of my pants leg. About a 3 # rainbow had blew to the surface, cleared the transom and hit me....in a mere second it seemed. Took me a few minutes to settle down.lol
Mike
 
Ok, I'll admit it. I launched my old '65 Glass 18 footer with the bilge plug out. Not good. Serious brain fart. Almost sunk it on the ramp. Had quite a crowd watching with intense riotous laughter. Could I have been any more dumb?
Those were sweet boats, a big leap forward from glass over wood.
 
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I once stalked a marmot, 300 yds across an alpine meadow. He had to keep an eye in all directions, so would occasionally turn his head away from me, at which point I'd slowly creep forward. I'd freeze when he was looking at me; without seeing movement, he was oblivious to my presence. After a good time, I was within 6 feet of him. I figures he could react aggressively with those impressive marmot teeth, so I let him know I was there at that distance. You wouldn't believe how fast a marmot can be!

I learned this stalking technique from my father, who stalked a buck mule deer in the same way, on his uncle's ranch near Goble, Or. They subsistence hunted there then, so he'd a Model 94 with him. The larder was full, so he backed away after achieving his stalk, stepped off into the brush, and watched the buck mosey on past down the way that Dad had come.

Most prey animals must keep a 360 lookout, affording a patient stalker good opportunity. I'm curious whether a human might be stalked in the same way but would never try it, due to courtesy and an instinct for self-preservation. Scaring others in the woods is bad practice. Any game warden practising stalking on someone is risking his own life and should know that.
Stalking a human can be done as well. Patience is paramount...just not recommended to startle armed folks that way! Reactions can put holes in places they shouldn't be. 🙄
 
Cousin and I were lobstering backside of Anacapa Island. Had to wait until midnight for the opener and then did a night dive to grab some bugs. Got on the weather channel and the Santa Anna winds were already starting to kick up, blowing offshore with gusts to 45 knots, increasing to 65 knots in the morning. My vote was to hole up in the cuddy until afternoon the next day when the winds died down. He had to get back for some reason and talked me into heading home.
You guys are very lucky not to be counted on Davy Jones roster!

So often trying to beat the weather can be disastrous. Have been keeping an eye on weather-related deaths and/or rescues in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a place you might think is pretty mild, but the area around Mount Washington has notorious weather and a lot of deaths. There are so many things to be learned when studying what went wrong, always a series of missteps, in those disasters. It is of interest to me because on a winter trip to climb the Presidential Range one year while I was in college, I might have become a statistic myself. Luck and some prior avalanche training in Ski Patrol probably made the difference for us. That was back before all today's precise forecasting. We were supposed to have some light snow, not 12 hours of sleet in February. Trying to beat severe weather is often a recipe for disaster. Luck and skill may save you, but it also may not.

Stalking a human can be done as well. Patience is paramount...just not recommended to startle armed folks that way! Reactions can put holes in places they shouldn't be. 🙄
Untrained people are often pretty easy to approach, it seems. I am a good enough still-hunter to get within short range of game, so I can be stealthy. But without trying to, I often walk up on other hunters who have no Idea I am around until I cough or clear my throat or make some human sound. It is not because I am not in orange, because I wear a lot, but they are either inattentive generally, or they are only concentrating ahead of them and not looking around. A lot of the time I just back off and take another path, so they never know I was even there. It does give me the heebie-jeebies to get too close to an armed person I am going to surprise.
 
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