View Full Version : Hardiest Animal ????

December 3, 2008, 01:24 AM
I just read the thread about deer that got his revenge and other post about the resiliency of some deer. I started to think about other game animals/wildlife survival tales and was curious to hear stories (true of course) of other animal that refuse to give up the ghost.

Here’s mine.

While hunting rabbits in Utah with my beagles, the dogs jumped a jackrabbit (Black-tailed Jackrabbit - Lepus californicus). This usually resulted in a 200 yard sprint by the rabbit and the steady and noisy trailing by the beagles for the next 30 minutes or so until the rabbit circled and either me or one my brothers dispatched it. On this occasion, there was no sprint. The rabbit just started to lope away. While there was about 12” of snow on the ground, we’d never seen it effect a jackrabbit like that – usually slowed the beagles down but not the rabbit. This time the beagles caught the rabbit – after only 10 minutes of chasing - they’d never caught a jackrabbit on their own before! When we caught up to the dogs, we discovered the rabbit still alive (even the dogs were too surprised to kill it!). And even more surprising, its right hind leg had been broken off at at the shin was basically running on a boney stump - the foot was still attached by a single tendon! When it ran the foot just flopped around. The jackrabbit was otherwise in very good condition – and this was in late December! How it survived the broken leg, the predators and the winter is still a mystery to me. Black-tailed Jackrabbits have my vote as the hardiest animal.


December 3, 2008, 08:10 AM
My buddy shot a doe several years ago and the thought of it still amazes me, and to be honest makes me a little sad as a hunter.

Anyway, he shot this doe broadside at 50 to 75 yards and saw her drop on the spot. We gave her about 20 minutes and then went to get her, trouble was, she wasn't at the spot where he saw her drop at. We started looking around and finally spotted her up hill about 50 yards or so away from where she was hit, laying under a ceder tree looking at us. As my buddy went to finish her, she jumped up and took off at a dead run directly away from us. As she made each stride, her right from leg swung widely out to her side. Instantly I could tell that my friend pulled his shot and shot her through the front leg. At that point, we took off after her and saw her drop about 150 yards away from us. When we made it close to her again, we saw she was struggling to get up and was quickly dispatched. As we rolled her over, not only was she shot through the right front left, she was also shot through the left front leg. The right leg was totally broken and the left leg was shot through the bone and was a compound fracture with bits of the bone sticking out of her leg.

To see this doe run on two broken front legs still amazes me. Tough, tough animals and I have a lot of respect for them. As a hunter who strives for clean kills though, this is my worse hunting moment.

December 3, 2008, 08:48 AM
I recently saw a 200lb wild hog soak up 3 .44 magnums from a lever action Winchester before he went down. I don't know if wild hogs are the heartiest, but in my experience with them, they are damned impressive.

*Edit to add: Whitetails are amazingly tough. There are stories everywhere about them soaking up incredible amounts of damage and continuing to run. You have to respect an animal that has that strong of a lifeforce and an insurmountable will to live.

45Marlin carbine
December 3, 2008, 09:47 AM
I hate see an animal suffer, enough a wasted animal (raccoon run over) is bad and un-respectful of nature IMO.
that said I've lost track of the deer I've eaten, much less taken - not to mention other game.
I've taken 3 shots on large game I would not have taken if done over again (one was a bow on deer - never again for me unless I'm really hungry) they resultd in either long tracking into thicket or lots of flopping around (the bow shot).
the toughest animal around these parts IMO is the eastern mountain lynx or 'wildcat'. no telling how many have run off after being shot, I used to call/bait them in for the hides and shoot them with a .22LR semi-auto. head shots. only a dead center brain shot will take them w/one shot. raccoons are tough also but I hate to have to take them now.
the animal 'xperts' say they have no 'reasoning power' - not IMO.

December 3, 2008, 11:19 AM
any Aoudad sheep

December 3, 2008, 11:45 AM
I've had easy kills and hard kills with about everything I've hunted over the years. Seems to me though that the elk have the toughest constitution, and ability to travel long distances after absorbing incredable punishment.
Anyone who has followed one for a couple of miles after a "kill shot", will start believing that they must make new blood as fast as they lose blood. jd

December 3, 2008, 01:23 PM
I would have to say that deer & elk are certainly in the running, but pound for pound, I think nothing beats Sea Ducks.

I was personally involved in this: One sitting on the water, 5 of us thought we had wounded it a few minutes earlier, so we HEAD SHOT IT TWELVE MORE TIMES from 25 yards with steel and hevi steel 3 1/2 inch loads, size 2 and 4 shot, and it just kept diving down after each shot.

AND THEN IT FLEW AWAY when it got bored of this "game".

:eek: was the expression on all our faces.

And even the ones you retrieve won't die until they let themselves die...it's as if you are powerless to kill them.

Simply incredible.

December 3, 2008, 10:30 PM
Killed a deer back about 1984 that had three legs and a half of a tail. All healed over nicely and was in great shape. He was even outrunning the dogs.

December 3, 2008, 11:40 PM
Buddy of mine shot the front leg off a nice buck at about 75 yards. we tracked this thing for miles! finally lost it in a swamp. To this day we kid him about the ghost of the three -legged deer coming to haunt him!:D

December 3, 2008, 11:43 PM
one time when i was 7 i shot a crow 3 times with a BB gun before it died

December 10, 2008, 08:25 PM
Found A Wild hog dead next to a pond one time. i remember shooting this hog, 2 weeks before. I also had help from a relative with mass quantities of Sks rounds. Anyways, this pig had probably 8 holes through the chest cavity, at least one of them being a 300 Mag. Last I saw of him he tore through a barbed wire fence like it was sewing thread and ran off into the woods, I found him 2 weeks later a mile away. tough critters. If you dont believe me look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4fIiijYiOY itll make you think twice about hog hunting.

December 10, 2008, 08:42 PM
I once watched a hog soak up all of rounds from one of my brothers .357 Mag. 336 Marlin and 2 rds. from a 30-06 (mine) before dropping. A big boar is one tough critter.

December 10, 2008, 08:54 PM
I shot a coyote about 4 years ago with a .30-06 (150 gr. Nosler BT Rem Premier factory load) at under 50 yds. Hit that critter right behind the shoulder. I watched him growl and snap and drag himself at least 100 yds through brush before I lost sight of him. I waited for awhile before getting down from my tree stand (I was deer hunting at the time, not yote hunting). I had good blood and started tracking him. I got to within 25-30 yds of him in the thicket and heard him start growling and scrambling again. I hunkered down and drew my sidearm, wondering if I was in trouble. He stopped kicking and growling and I thought he'd finally given up the ghost. I started forward again on the blood trail and darned if he didn't start scrambling away from me again. It started getting on toward dark and we were now about 200-250 yds from where the yote was hit. I finally decided to back out of the thicket and leave him to die.

Never did find that one. Came back looking the next day and the day after.

I've shot a few more who seemed to take longer to die than they should. Seem like hardy critters to me.

December 11, 2008, 02:03 AM
a Canadian Goose that absorded 3 rounds from my 12 ga at close range
#2 shot and still flew over 200 yds before dropping.

December 11, 2008, 02:32 AM
I shot a Pig from about 120-150yd with my .300 win mag earlier this year. It was a perfect boiler room broadside shot. The 180gr accubond doing 3000fps left an exit hole the size of a tennis ball. The pig dropped on the spot so i thought.

After shooting the second pig we drove to the first one only to find it not there. It had got up and ran 120yd at least to the edge of the wheat before dropping dead. Pig weighed about 85kg (185lb). Not a big one.

Feral cats are also tough barstards one took 2 shots form a shotgun at 15yd and i had to finish it with the .22. http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=39348&stc=1&d=1228980647

The brindle one was the tough bugger no tusks on him.

December 14, 2008, 09:00 PM
I once watched a hog soak up all of rounds from one of my brothers .357 Mag. 336 Marlin and 2 rds. from a 30-06 (mine) before dropping. A big boar is one tough critter.

I can believe that! But I cannot believe that a nine year old boy killed one with a pistol.


December 16, 2008, 12:58 AM
in saying that pigs are tough, which they are. I witnessed my uncle take one out with a .22lr, shot was in the soft part just behind the front leg. The little power point entered the lungs and put the pig down. Not a big one but still a pig.

Im not saying you should take a winging shot with a rimfire at such game, but it did the job that one time.

December 16, 2008, 01:14 AM
My vote goes to the porcupine... They are hardy devils, I have had one soak up quite a few .22 stingers at point blank after our Golden Lab tangled with it. Another took 5 or six rounds of 7.62X39 at point blank, once again after tangling with our golden lab.

The last two I shot each took one load of 3 inch magnum BBB full choke at close range. One was out at the end of our driveway and the dog went and rolled on it after I shot it.

I think you are seeing a pattern of dog/porcupine encounters here but we cant shoot the dog and we cant seem to shoot all the porcupines so we just get the quills out and carry on.

December 16, 2008, 01:17 AM
Probably not the hardiest of al, but he can soak up some punishment and still manage to commit suicide (cowboy off the roof routine). Then again, the brown bear can seem near impossible to kill at times as well. Two years ago a friend saw a big Browny hit twice in the "vitals" with a .375 H&H. The still had to track him into the alder jungle...Creepy.

December 16, 2008, 02:41 AM
i was walking out with a buddy last day of deer season when this doe pops up running about 150m away.
he pulls and shoots, the deer drops.

it was in tall grass so we decide to wait a bit till we saw something moving at waist high in the area the deer dropped.

we thought coyote or dogs after the deer. we sneak up to she spot to see the doe scooting along on the front legs dragging the back. it had traveled about 50m.

my buddy shoots it again, this time in the head(knight in line rifle 100gr powder 200gr .44 saboted bullet).

the does head smacks the ground, and its up scooting away by the time the smoke clears. it made it another 10m with its left eye hanging out before he ran up and slit its throat.
you could push on the side of the head and it was like pushing a bag of jello.

the original shot had severed the spine behind the shoulders.

December 16, 2008, 12:37 PM
My vote is for Porcupines

December 16, 2008, 03:33 PM
My vote is for Porcupines

I'll second that, and I've seen some extremelly tough big game.

December 16, 2008, 04:31 PM
People can be pretty tough...

December 17, 2008, 12:05 AM
Helped trail a deer once that was shot low with a 30-06. We had no problem finding the trail. Pieces of intistine, and other entrails were left on the manzinita brush. We tracked the animal for almost a mile when we came upon him bunched up under a tree next to a log. It was still trying to get up when it was promptly dispatched. Upon examination, the deer had almost emptied out its insides.
Just heart, liver and lungs were left. I have no idea how it kept going.

December 17, 2008, 12:15 AM

December 17, 2008, 12:56 AM
People, I had a neighbor who had been thru the japanese camps in burma, and if 1% of what he told me was true, he's tougher than anything else that ever walked ...MIND YOU I don't doubt one word of what he said, but 1% of what he said would make almost anything else seem like a mild diversion.

He and another POW having to carry teak logs out on their shoulders to the saw mills, even when they were soiling themselves as they worked from dysentery.