View Full Version : Anyone ever have a close call, or worse?

November 19, 2008, 02:10 PM
Just wondering how prevalent are hunting accidents and close calls...anyone wanna share their stories?

Dallas Jack
November 19, 2008, 02:28 PM
While hunting with a buddy we were almost hit by stray bullets. We were crossing a creek when we heard something (didn't know at first that it was a bullet) and saw it strike 2 feet up the bank from us.

When we realized what was going on we moved out of the line of fire and headed up the creek to see what was going on. Found a guy about 400 yards up the creek sighting in his deer rifle. He had no idea anyone else was there.

Dallas Jack

November 19, 2008, 02:55 PM
A buddy of mine and I came up on a bear once with our a air rifles. He/she was pretty mad and we backed up slowly.

November 19, 2008, 03:03 PM
I was out sighting in a new Ruger M77 in .223 that I'd just bought. I was using a sand wash with a bend that provided a bank for a safe backstop, when all of a sudden a couple of GI's opened up with semi-auto .22's at the top of the hill above me. .22 bullets were zinging all around me, and I ducked into the truck for cover. I yelled, and the shooting continued. I shot once with the .223 (toward the bank behind my target), and the shooting continued. I finally yelled that I was fixing to shoot back when they finally realized I was there, and they took off.

A little while later, they came back to make sure I was ok. I was, but we had a nice little talk about shooting safely.

No harm, no foul, and hopefully they learned something from it.


November 19, 2008, 03:16 PM
I was about 17, out mending some barbed wire fencing on the center section of our well posted property when I heard the bang and saw bark fly off the tree about two feet away from me.

I hit the ground and started yelling "stop shooting, I'm not a <blasted> deer".

A few minutes later this guy came over to apologize and make sure I was alright, he was DRUNK beyond belief. I was so mad grabbed his gun out of his hands and threw it in the nearby creek just as my dad showed up to see what had happened.

Thought my dad was gonna kill the guy right there on the spot but we dragged him back up to the house and held him there until the sheriff arrived.

I was nothing but angry until we went back down to the creek for the shotgun (evidence) and then it dawned on me how close that had been and I threw up at least once that I remember.

November 19, 2008, 03:20 PM
I think it's important that someone chime in for the majority by simply answer "No." While it's good to hear the stories to learn the lessons and hunt safely, I think it's equally important that readers know these are rare exceptions to what most find to be a great and safe experience.

Glad you're all safe, either way.

November 19, 2008, 03:37 PM
NOPE/! Not me...

Brian Pfleuger
November 19, 2008, 03:43 PM

November 19, 2008, 03:53 PM
Nope, unless you call biffing a black bear with bearspray, after surprising him on his gutpile supper. That stuff is nasty, but worked. Had to take MY clothes off at the truck. Always carry full coveralls in the truck for emergency tire changes in bad weather thank God.

November 19, 2008, 04:06 PM
hunting, no. at the range twice. but that's a different story.

November 19, 2008, 04:16 PM
Not me either as far as firearms incidents goes.

I have had more close calls with equipment failures and uncooperative horses than anything else while hunting.

November 19, 2008, 05:30 PM
Not sure it counts as "close call", but I have been scoped a lot. In Oregon, it is legal to hunt bear with a rifle during archery season. Lot of times, as I am still hunting with my bow through the bottom of a hole, there is someone sitting on the landing above, watching me through thier scope.

Makes me nuts, and it is the one hunting reg that I think absolutely needs to be changed before a bow hunter gets shot for impersonating a bear.

There is also the aspect of a LOT of rifle shooting during this time, at least where we hunt, for very few bears killed. Cynical people might think that the rifle elk hunters are making it as hard as possible for the bow hunters by "bear hunting". But no one would really do that, would they :rolleyes:

November 19, 2008, 06:20 PM
Nope, but I've always hunted private land. This year I'm taking a couple buddies out on public land with lots of blaze orange.;)

November 19, 2008, 06:30 PM
I've had shots come VERY close to me on two different occasions, both while deer hunting. In neither case was I visible to the shooter. Spooky!

November 19, 2008, 06:42 PM
Bout 6 years ago I had buckshot whistle over my head once as someone shot at movement (me). I was wearing a full orange vest and hat at the time. I dove for cover when it happened. The person immediately realized what had happened and ran for their everloving life as I was picking myself up off the dirt. Wonder if it had anything to do with me coming up muzzle first :confused:? I don't react well to being shot at.

Last year I took a well publicized tumble (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263730) from a tree stand. This is the biggest source of hunting injuries and deaths. I've since been certified as a Hunters' Ed instructor and hopefully can keep others from repeating that mistake.

Be careful up there.

November 19, 2008, 06:53 PM

Gawd Redneck, I'm traumatized just by reading that. I sorry you had to go through that ordeal. Are you still in rehab? I don't know how I missed that post the first time though, but I extend my sympathys.

November 19, 2008, 06:55 PM
Nope. I'm good now. Don't really have much pain anymore. Some soreness and stiffness now and then. I'm back to doing all the things I was doing before the accident. I am WAY more careful about treestands now, though and I am harnessed from the time my feet leave the ground.

November 19, 2008, 06:56 PM
I think it's important that someone chime in for the majority by simply answer "No." While it's good to hear the stories to learn the lessons and hunt safely, I think it's equally important that readers know these are rare exceptions to what most find to be a great and safe experience.

Glad you're all safe, either way.

I agree with this statement, even though I posted about one experience above.

A person has to realise that this was one exception that happened during a lifetime of hunting, shooting, hiking, fishing, and otherwise spending a great deal of time outdoors.

I've had far more "close calls" while driving, and my wife driving to work scares me a heck of a lot more than her going out in the hills hunting with me.


November 19, 2008, 07:20 PM
As part of our Hunter Education Instructor's commitment, we attend a Hunter Instructor's workshop to review the previous season's successes. We review a three state area in detail as well as general look at all states, including Alaska and Hawaii. When compared to past years, all states have seen and maintained a marked improvement. Most of the incidents could have been avioded but there are always some that just don't make sense and could happen again. The DNR's performs a CSI type investigation and hardly miss any details. All is documented and available to the public. Not sure of your agenda or point of departure but while making the measure, measure the successes. :confused:
For example, last year we lost more kids to baseball accidents than hunting accidents.

Be Safe !!!

November 19, 2008, 07:31 PM
Me and a buddy were squirrel hunting on a ridge. We kept hearing zings and things flying thru the limbs and branches above us. Then some hitting leaves and trees closer to us. We took cover and yelled down the hollar. Turns out 2 teenagers were down there with 22 shorts plinking. When we politely confronted them. They made their way up to apologise. I think they were better off for having us up there. We educated them on hunting safety and that bullets don't just stop where they were shooting. Luckly no one was hurt with that lesson. They acted humbled.

Also, walked upon a big black bear on the way to my bow stand one morning when I was about 16. Got to within 7 yards or so before I realized what it was. I was using the moonlight to get to my stand. It wasn't until I turnede on the mini-mag to see it was a bear. It turns out the best way to get a bear to turn and run over everything in their path, is ti yell "OH CRAP".

November 19, 2008, 08:16 PM
I guess my closest call was having an ATV flip over backwards while carrying a deer up a steep hill. :o

Wear your helmet guys and gals.

November 19, 2008, 09:02 PM
While whitetail hunting in Wi I had a Blackbear try to climb into my stand :) I convinced him it was a bad Idea with a poke to the end of the nose with a broadhead tipped arrow from my quiver.

As far as humans I have been peppered a few times with shotgun pellets pheasant hunting. A few randon zingers during the deer season came somewhat close. Had some douche bag take a bead on the bus I was in while we where going to the shooting range for my firearm safety class. He was checking out a friends new scope and was pointing a 06 at the bus it pulled past. He was promptly ejected from the range.

One evening at a local trap meet some guy got ****** off and tomahawked his shotgun into the back of his pickup... He was ejected from the range as well told to never come back.

I was also a mile or 2 away from those poor souls near Rice Lake Wi that got killed by Chao Vang a few years back. My ex brother in law was friends with a few of them..
Very very sad what happened that day. I will remember that day till the day I die we all where glued to the radio scared to go out in the afternoon as the initial reports where so inacccurate. Some people where saying a random person was driving around and just taking plunk shots at orange in the woods so we didnt want to be anyplace where we are not safe. We honestly thought some PETA person finally went off the deep end. I remember how the woods was empty the second day of the hunting season. People would stop by as we where leaveing the woods and ask if we knew what wa going on saying they just cant go in the woods. I know people who live in the area that to this day still wont deer hunt because of what happened that day.

November 19, 2008, 09:24 PM
One time back in high school I went pheasant hunting with a few guys in my class. I went to firearms safety training with all of them so I wasn't concerned at all. We came up to a crick that we had to cross so we were trying to find the most shallow part to cross. Just as a friend of mine crossed, another one's gun went off into the ground. It didn't hurt anyone but it scared the crap out of the rest of us. Needless to say I've never hunted with him since...

November 19, 2008, 09:26 PM
While whitetail hunting in Wi I had a Blackbear try to climb into my stand I convinced him it was a bad Idea with a poke to the end of the nose with a broadhead tipped arrow from my quiver.

You see, I wouldn't have to resort to that as he'd be dodging the crap coming out of me and retreating under the onslaught. :D

I have had a black bear wander in about 40 yds away and plop down under a tree for a sit. Wandered out a few minutes later.

November 19, 2008, 09:52 PM
I've never had a firearm related close call while hunting. I did however, almost step on a rattlesnake on my first Wyoming hunting trip.

Anyway, walking back to the truck after an unsucessful stalk on some antelop when I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. My buddy noticed it crawling in front of us and grabbed me, pulling me backwards. Had he not seen it, I have no doubt I would have stepped on it. He was a small one, no longer than 14" but it scared the hell out of me that I didn't see it.

When hunting out west, I'm much more aware of where I step now

Major Dave (retired)
November 19, 2008, 10:59 PM
A buddy and I had been dove hunting on public land, and decided to drive to another tract to see if we could find the birds.

He was driving, and I was in the passenger seat of his pickup. We drove into the entrance road, a "2 track", and we came upon a dove which landed in the road, and stayed on the ground as we slowly drove up.

Well, my buddy got excited about the bird not flying off, and he stopped, turned off the motor, and whispered, "I'm going to get him", as he slowly opened the drivers side door, left it open to prevent the bird from seeing him, and sneaked back toward the tailgate to get his shotgun out of the truck bed. He got his gun, and sneaked back up to the open door, and took a shot, missing the bird, which then flew off, apparently unharmed.

Through all of this, I had remained motionless in the passenger seat. So, he went back to the back of the truck to put away his gun.

Suddenly, the windshield exploded with a deafening roar, right in front of the steering wheel. I was confused and alarmed, because I didn't know what happened. I realized a shot had been fired, but I didn't know which direction it came from.

Then I looked over my left shoulder, trying to locate my buddy, and I was staring through a one inch diameter hole in the rear window.

Somehow, he had accidently discharged his 12 ga while putting it away in the bed of the truck. I don't know to this day how he did it. I only know if the muzzle of his gun had swung a little farther to the right, I would have died instantly (or a slow lingering brain dead coma death).

"Yeah though I walk through the Valley of
The Shadow of Death,
I will fear no evel,
for Thy rod and Thy staff
they comfort me

Amen and Amen

.41 rem mag fan
November 19, 2008, 11:19 PM
Not really hunting but..........

My dad has always been a 12 gauge shot gun shell reloader. Well one day returning home from duck hunting, we keep smelling somthing burning while riding home in the Jeep Cherokee. Three of us sitting in the front seat. Well we smell this burning smell long enough to stop and find out what the smell is. Turns out Dad who was a smoker, dropped a butt instead of in the ash tray, onto a bag of reloads under the front seat. The reloads were in a shot bag. A hole about the size of a grapefruit burned in the shot bag:eek:

Thankfully Dad doesn't smoke anymore but still reloads sweet loads for our Browning A-5s.

November 20, 2008, 01:16 AM
Guess its all what you grow up around/with...have had many sub-twenty yard encounters with black bears, and have kinda learned to take them for granted...but my hair stands up on end at the prospect of poisonous snakes. I remember the Vang incident clearly as well, and the mark it left on many in this area.
I had a friend who I frequently went pheasant hunting with that had an AD of his A5 while laying it on the back seat of his car during a break in the hunt. The discharge hit another friend standing outside the opposite door just above the knee. A frantic high-speed trip to the ER, with one person literally holding the femoral artery shut ensued, and the person who was shot survived and received a brand-new knee for his trouble. Fair or not, I never hunted with that guy again.

November 20, 2008, 01:50 AM
I know it's not hunting, but it's probably appropriate for the thread. I was out shooting at a fairly well known un-supervised public range in the Colorado Springs area. I was out on the 100 yd. range, shooting my nagant and .357 between 50 and 100 yards and i was on the far left side of the range. Well, another guy, about in the middle of the line was shooting at home-made steel plates at 25, 50, and 100 yards. Well, i wasn't really worried about this as i had been over and talked to him about it, just makin sure he wasn't shooting anything jacketed at them (he was shooting cowboy style loads out of a very nice 12ish in. barrel colt python). He def. looked like he had been doing silhouette type competition in the past. Well, as this range is sometimes known for, as it's a public, non-fee range, a bunch of "questionable" individuals set up with their ak's and polymer somethings at the far right side of the range. I was on the complete opposite side of the range, and didn't think much of it. Well, i'm happy as a clam cause i'm hitting milk jugs at 100 yards with my 357. Next thing i know, the brilliant individuals on the right side of the range decide to start shooting their jacketed ammo at the 25 yrd steel plates, and inevitably, i start getting hit with jacket splaters. I was p!ssed. The guy who owned the plates and i went over and politely (at least with as much candor as i could muster) asked them to stop shooting the steel plates. there were about 20 people on the line when this happened, and after that, i'd say about 15 of us just called it quits for the day. Certainly freaked me out and really shook me up. I haven't had the you-know-whats to head back up there yet. I'm just really thankful it didnt turn out any worse than a few scratches and come bullet jackets laying on my shooting gear.

November 20, 2008, 11:21 AM
One of my cousins ended up on the wrong end of a Dick Cheney incident.

November 20, 2008, 05:30 PM
Well guess I wasn't as lucky as most of you. The man who was the first to say "don't shoot unless you know what your shooting at" but was also a good shot managed to put a load of 12ga. no.4s in my head and upper body. lost an eye and some hearing but recovered. Had the whole outter body experience and that is a strange feeling. His eye sight was going and he thought I was a turkey in the tree. We all carried shotguns and the second round was buckshot. When he got to me he was in a panic and all he could say was "I almost shot you again". Seems he had already taken slack out of the trigger when I started yelling (now though I was a bear).

November 20, 2008, 05:59 PM
wow [email protected], so sorry to hear that.

i read of a turkey hunter who died from one single pellet in his eye that severed a blood vessel...after that I now always wear shooting glasses when hunting, as an added precaution

November 21, 2008, 09:30 AM
Two stories:

First, had a 14yr old kid shoot at us twice. Myself, my Father, and the kids' Father. They say that when a bullet goes by you sounding like a very angry bee on steroids, that is too close. Pretty much how it sounded.
Second, went in to get the last 2 quarters off of my mothers' moose. Got about 30yds away and realized there was a 4-500lb bear on the kill. Had been packing meat all day so...you guessed it, no rifle. I did have a .38spl smith. Shot once to the side and he ran about 10ft and sat down as if to say :that didn't hurt:..
Shot again and he didn't move. Finally did the jump and scream method which scared him off,,probably only briefly. We got the quarters and hauled butt.

November 22, 2008, 12:25 AM
My Dad and I were walking a cutline while whitetail hunting with about 2" of fresh snow, heard a couple of shots somewhere way behind us. well on the way back you could see where a bullet struck the ground at one of our footsteps, kicking fresh dirt and snow into one of our tracks.

Not really a close call but kind of freaked me out.

November 22, 2008, 12:36 AM
Hunting pheasants about two weeks ago someone from another group lobbed some bird shot at my group. 5-10 seconds between when we heard the first pellets hit and the last. Just stood there and listed to them go through the sorghum. NO one got hit and probably would not have hurt us as it was about 200 yards away and high angled.

November 24, 2008, 11:43 PM
i was elk hunting in utah and blew my own hat off. while walking through some brush the safety on my remington 700 must have gotten snagged and pulled off. i reached back to adjust my belt and my thumb went through the trigger gaurd and off she went. blew my hat off and gave me some good powder burns on my neck, needless to say i was shaken pretty bad and went home. it wasnt the gun, it was my lack of sense that day, i usually check my safety often while out hunting. i know some guys dont load their guns till they get ready to shoot, but out here on public land you better be able to shoot quick when you jump em. dont ever put total trust into a machine, if man can make it it can and will fail at some point.

November 24, 2008, 11:54 PM
My dad had his sawed off .410 in his hand back about 1972 and was stoned as heck on weed... My aunt who lived in the adjoining apartment and babysat got all flustered at him and he says "It ain't loaded..." KABLAM.... Seems another viet nam vet paranoid, stoned and drunk had put a #4 in it and failed to remove it. This was there home defense iron. All I thought (I was 3, almost 4) was "COOL THERE IS A HOLE IN OUR CEILING"
then recently about 2 years back I was headed to my pickup in the yard next to my porch 250 feet from clay road hearing pistol fire in the woods a couple hundred yards diagonal away. I had a bullet whiz by guessed at just 3 or so feet above and to the side of my head 'tween me and my truck!:eek: Man I woulda been miffed if they had hit that cab!:mad: I walked up the road calling "SHOOTER COME ON OUT HERE..." Loud enuff he heard me but wouldn't reply.... A few minutes after rtuning to the house another one zinged by so I sent near 3/4 pound of lead his way... all his shooting stopped for at least a year. All he had to do was come out so I could point out the weaknesses in his backstop...

November 25, 2008, 04:23 AM
ceasars creek ohio, anual thanksgiving pheasant hunt 1998.
my family had been participating for at least 10yrs.
the ohio dpw realeses a crapload of phesants, and the hunt starts at 8am sharp.

the last time we went, after the second load of shot passed over head (930am) we decided to pack it in. on the way out we encountered a guy who had just gotten his britany spaniel killed, it even was in an orange vest.
if a game warden handnt been right there somebody would hae been shot.

we havent been back since.

November 28, 2008, 01:34 AM
Many years ago a friend told me how he had been kayaking on a large lake down south in midwinter and noticed a "log" floating some way off. He thought it looked a bit strage so out of curiosity he paddled over and found a guy clinging to the remains of a canvas kayak and just about all-in.

After getting him to shore and reviving him he found out what had happened. The guy had been hunting black swans or something and kept his 12ga between his legs under the foredeck. In his haste to get out the gun to take a shot he accidentally discharged it blowing the front of the kayak to pieces.:D

Sounded funny at the time but the guy would have been a goner if my friend had not paddled over. No lifejacket and near freezing water.

November 28, 2008, 01:57 AM
About 10 yrs ago I was hunting in a small patch of woods that was surrounded by open farm fields. There was maybe 150 yds from one end of the relatively thick woods to the other. All of a sudden as I walked, I heard the "pop pop" of a .22 and then heard a lot of rounds zinging in my direction. I jumped behind a tree and yelled that someone was in the woods. The shooting continued and rounds were bouncing all over the place. I jumped from tree to tree until I got far enough away from the shooting to feel somewhat safe. Unsure if I was being hunted or not, I stripped my orange off and stashed it. I then took up a defensive position behind a fallen log with my own .22 rifle in case the perps came after me. I then got on my cell phone and called 911. Responding officers found a husband and wife at the other end of the woods. They had a .22 rifle and pistol and were shooting tin cans without checking what was behind them. Both were drunk, he was a felon in possession of a firearm,they didn't have the pistol registered, and they didn't have the owner's permission to be on his property. They also parked their car along railroad tracks, which is a no-no. On top of all that, I pressed reckless use of firearm charges against them. They both did 6 months in jail for the whole affair. :)