I was maybe 16 years old living in Kentucky. I went squirrel hunting around Cunningham, Kentucky in a patch of woods I thought I knew.
I used to get out into the woods well before dawn so I could hear the squirrels as they began to move out of the nests and begin cutting hickory nuts.
You could follow the moving leaves as the cuttings fell and find the squirrel.
I was sitting on the ground in the dark with my back to a tree.
Something came up behind me and let out a roar that just about made me mess my pants.
I do not know for sure, but think it must have been a wildcat that got pretty close to me and smelled me.
I can tell you I have never been so scared in my life. Whatever it was, there was only the single roar and it was gone.
I have had raccoons walk up to me as well as foxes and sometimes dogs and have walked up on deer unexpected but this was different and it really got my attention.