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Old 12-09-2016, 04:34 PM
BillM BillM is offline
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I was 12 years old and I, My best friend and his dad were camping in a rustic camp area.

The morning of the second day , we were going to pack all our gear in a small trailer we pulled behind the car , except for our fishing gear.

We were just starting to do this when I heard a child of about three say "puppy , puppy " .

I looked in the direction of the sound and saw the little girl leaning out of the door of one of those really small tear drop shaped trailers.

A large sow bear had exited the wooded area and was headed straight toward the little girl.

She had two cubs trailing her !

I shouted to my friend's dad and he turned and saw the same thing I did.

With no hesitation he grabbed a small camp axe and positioned him self about ten feet in front of the child.

My immediate thought was that he was going to be mauled or killed by the bear.

I ran directly behind him and pushed the child back in the trailer and shut the door.

There was a cooler setting on the ground in front of the trailer and it dawned on me that the bear was after the cooler.

I grabbed one handle of the cooler and ran with it and the bear turned toward me, just before she reached my friend's dad.

He was a former highway patrolman and he had not moved but when the bear turned he hit her with the axe.

I opened the cooler and dumped it on the ground and ran.

The bear roared when she was hit with the axe and the cubs ra n for the woods.

I ran around the trailer and when I got back to the camp I saw my friend's dad had retrieved his hunting bow from the trailer and he shot the bear in the hip to run her off with a blunt tipped arrow.

Because it was a 70 lb bow the arrow penetrated the bear's hip about six inches.

She ran after the cubs into the woods and I followed her because I saw the arrow in her hip.

About thirty yards into the woods I found the bloody arrow on the ground and started back but I heard some one coming behind me and I hid the arrow under the pine needles.

It was my friend's dad and he had his bow with a Brodhead Arrow nocked and ready.

He yelled at me and told me never to chase a wounded animal.

I told him about the arrow and he said lets go !

When we got back to camp there were about ten people from the camp area gathered and half of them wanted us arrested and the other half were for us.

While this was going on we quickly packed the trailer and left the park.

That was the day I learned what real courage was.

My friends dad took a stand for a strangers child even though he thought he was going to lose.

At 12 years of age , I thought until that day that the good guy always won.
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:36 PM
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One night, after a training parachute jump, I was heading cross country for home, traveling solo, and taking short cuts by crossing over numerous electric fences in German dairy pastureland.

Used my M16A1's plastic forearm to carefully press down the topmost hot wire, then even more carefully straddle and cross each live fence. As I made it into the next electrified pasture, a small herd of very young bulls came charging out of the ground fog in a V-shaped formation. Led by the largest and most aggressive male. Yearlings, but bigger than me. They charged, I counter charged, they charged again. I was eventually backed into a corner of electrified fences, with a big rucksack on my back, and no way to turn my back and do that careful fence crossing once again. Not without getting a bull impacting me in the ass.

That damn gang of animated sirloins just got more fearless and aggressive and I figured I was about to get head butted straight into shock therapy, tangled up in those hot wires.

Just then, I remembered that I had a warm can of Pepsi in the zippered lid of my pack top. I slung my ridiculously empty weapon (not even a blank round), reached back over my head, yelling at the young lead bull the whole time, and managed to unzip & grab that can. At first, I was just going to throw it and bean him, but...

I shook up the can then popped it when Ferdinand came in to head butt me. Sprayed soda right up his nose. He was terribly surprised, bellowed like a distressed calf, and fled in panic, with all his buddies in tow.

As the adrenaline rush from homo-bovine mortal combat sagged, so did I. Inadvertently leaning back into that forgotten but still hot fence. Zapped me good.

Shocked, coated in sticky wet Pepsi, hyperventilating, and standing in fresh bull crap.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:17 PM
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Yep. Several times. Only had to kill a couple of them. Snakes, raccoons, one rabid opossum, feral dogs a few times, feral hogs and a couple true Razorbacks, one cougar, one bear, one elk, one alligator, several black widow spiders, a whole colony of brown recluse spiders at one time, and upwards of 10 billion mosquitos.

Just my opinion.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:31 PM
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Some more mostly made-up animal encounters:

Once upon a time time, I picked out an under-the-stars layup position on the forest floor under a spreading oak tree. Just as I zipped up the mummy bag and lay my head down, a rather irritated and largish European Boar announced himself from about 10 yards away. Evidently I was bedded down on his favorite bed of acorns, and he was not happy. I kept absolutely still waiting for him to charge and then tusk me and the bag to shreds. I had nothing but a pen-gun flare in my pants cargo pocket...so I slowly and carefully got that out and screwed in a flare. I planned to shoot out of the bag's hood face opening as a last resort. He stomped, snorted, plowed dirt, and circled. I froze, flat on the ground, and waited for doom, pen-flare to hand. The adrenaline eventually started to wear off. I started yawning. I woke up at dawn. He had rooted everything around me after I fell asleep.

Then there was the time I kept punching a skunk. Again in a mummy bag and under a tarp hootch in driving rain. I was snuggled up against a dead fall log. My friend was sitting up next to me smoking a cigarette before turning in. Something kept rustling the head of my sleeping bag... and I kept reaching my fist out of the cinched up bag (semi-asleep) to make it go away. In my sleep, I finally started punching the hole in the log that the noise was coming from. Then I fell deeply asleep with my arm extended over the log.

According to my friend, the striped skunk that was trying to get out of his den finally pushed my arm out of the way and emerged. He then walked over my sleeping bag and sat down at edge of the tarp hootch... watching the pouring rain from under the tarp. Decided he didn't like the weather and went back to his hole after a few minutes. My bud said he was frozen motionless for the whole episode...allowing his cigarette to burn down to his fingers. He expected the skunk to spray us both at point blank range at any second.

Then there was the bigger-than-my-spread-hand Camel Spider that hopped onto my sleeping bag inside of a cave in Eastern Afghanistan. Right as I turned off the light set and zipped into the bag. Damn thing fell off the roof of the cave, landed on my bag, jumped off the cot, and ran to my buddy's cot. Alien life form bigger than the law allows. Out of the bag, lantern on, e-tool in hand, and a general search of rucksacks and sleeping gear until we found that monster. Briefly considered shooting him with a pistol. Smacked him with an e-tool instead. Just could not sleep with that nightmare hunting for mice and lizards so close to our snoring faces. Solpugids. Can't stand 'em. Big enough to carry you off into the night...

I like to sleep outdoors at night. Just hate getting woken up. Disrupts my circadian rhythm or something like that...
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:36 PM
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In the mid 1950's I worked 10 days on and 4 off for a power company in remote are of the Sierra.
I took my 4 days and packed cross country with a compass and topo map. It was in June, and still some snow on the ground. Pack was up the tree hanging off a branch on paracord. I laid out on a ground cloth and a tarp over my mummy bag. I always kept my .357 in the sleeping bag with me. I awoke about 2 AM--a black bear had come into my camp, and was approaching. I slowly brought the pistol's barrel straight up, and held my breath as the bear sniffed me and then sauntered off. I got up, and re-kindled the fire. Didn't get too much more sleep that night... I have had a number of fairly close brown bear encounters in AK, but never quite that close.

One day our crew was repainting penstocks to the power plant. We had seen a good sized rattler, and one of the crew had sprayed it with the silver spray paint. I was chipping paint under that penstock. About an hour later, I spotted that same snake on the other side of the pipe. The snake had crawled thru the same space while I was chipping away. on the second sighting , we stoned the snake. We were not allowed to have guns when on the job. Another day we had a close encounter with a mountain lion, but I doubt that there was any risk due to the number of people in the crew..

I have had enough encounters with critters, including wolves, bobcats, and the above mentioned, enough that I had always hiked with at least a .357, and a .44 mag in AK. Since I often solo hiked, on several occasions, I had encounters, with folks who appeared less than friendly--and was always glad that I had my weapon.

Birds--been attacked by gulls on a number of remote Mexican Islands--always held a piece of brush over the head to prevent their attack when hear the nests.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:56 PM
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Have you ever had to defend myself in the wild?

Yeah. Things were pretty wild in Iraq.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:30 AM
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I've fended off aggressive sharks several times while freediving and spearfishing off my local beaches. The largest one was about ten feet long. It was just a little shorter than my kayak. It followed me closing right up on my fins from behind (twice), I outmaneuvered it in the water just before it was on me and then positioned myself above it and then when it didn't loose interest, I punched it behind the head as hard as I could to try to chase it off. It just shuttered a little and kept circling. It didn't leave until I made up my mind to punch it a second time. at which point it turned away and went back down and away. You have to get aggressive with aggressive sharks to get them to leave you alone. If you run and act like food, you will be food. Just like with a dog or any other top of the food chain predator.
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Old 12-10-2016, 03:52 AM
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This one isn't my story but one a buddy of mine told me.

He was off bow hunting for elk hiking through the woods and saw a boulder in his path. So he just hopped up on over the boulder and dropped 8ft down the other side. He found himself in the rather precarious position of having a black bear 10ft in front of him and rock walls on the other three sides. The bear had been sleeping and was rather surprised by his intrusion. It woke up and started snapping it's jaws at him. At this point my buddy dropped his bow and snatched his .45acp from his drop leg holster and dumped the mag into the bear killing it. He then hiked out and told the appropriate authorities what happened. He literally crapped himself during the encounter.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by swamppapa View Post
Feral dogs between 29 palms and old women springs.
Some drunk was smacking around his girlfriend in a campground in Victorville ( god I hate California ) and she decided to run and she ran straight in to our site ( guess it isn't really wild ) and ex-1 adopted her.

Both were improvised but had been thought gamed previously.

What's the saying " no plan survives first contact with the enemy."
murphy's laws of combat #8

those are still wise rules to live by.

I refer a lot to law #9
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:10 AM
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I had posted this in the creepy outdoor stories a while ago. I was camping with friends on a remote local site, we were around 14. The place was rife with wild dogs and we knew not to feed them and stay away from them. We set up our camp on high ground overlooking the acreage, part of camping 101 for us.

This was a popular spot and would be full of mostly teen boys in warm weather when we had no school. Some scout groups used it as training at the time.

One group of kids far from us decided to feed the wild dogs, we could hear it from our site when things went bad for them. We thought it was just a dog fight. A few of the kids were bitten up but survived.

We were set to defend ourselves, we brought our bows and arrows and we had sharp machetes. We learned about the attacks the next morning and never camped there again.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:47 AM
Billofthenorth Billofthenorth is offline
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It seems that in many if not most encounters the animals want as little to do with people as we do with them. Along those lines my few minor experiences...
I was on a run with a friend on the trails at Camp Pendleton, we heard a horn beeping and turned around and a young buffalo was running behind us with a base conservation officer in his pickup trying to wrangle it back to Case Springs. We just moved off to the side and they both went on past us.

A few years later we were sleeping under the stars in a place in Colorado called Skull Gulch. I always have trouble sleeping the first night out. Everyone else was asleep; as I was starting to doze I noticed some dark shapes moving in the dark through our camp. I was unable to articulate what they were so just sat up in my bag and gave a yell and then finally got the word BEARS!!!! out at the end. Well 3 horses took off running when I yelled and I had known they were horses but just couldn't figure out what to call them, I was so out of it. Fortunately one of the others heard their hooves so they believed me that something had wandered through camp.

Another trip backbacking in Utah, we were on BLM land where they let the livestock graze and we began exploring a box canyon. We got up on a bit of high ground and in the near distance we saw one of those big white grey bulls wander past the mouth of the canyon. He was no immediate threat to us but we had nowhere to get away from him or protect ourselves if he got aggressive. We had no experience with bulls and just hid til he left and hoped we didn't run into him on our way back.

It really is a helpless feeling sometimes when you're following the rules and have no recourse in protecting yourself if things turn ugly.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:10 AM
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feral dogs, yep on my own front porch. out in the wild have been shadowed by puma, had a bobcat climb up in a treestand with me, a boar when I first started hunting them, and being a novice I took a bad angle shot. snakes, my nemesis seems to be copperheads, been Bit 5 times so far in my life. Black bear twice, first one was a sow and her cubs, somehow I got in tha middle of em. extricated my self out of the situation, but was a lil touch an go, with no injuries, second was what my Uncle called a Rouge , bear had been shot recently, Hungry ,hurt and ****ed. that one got put out of his misery.
you live/stay out away from folk, sooner or later you will have a confrontation with something.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:56 AM
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Many years ago I went on a 3 day camping trip with (at that time) my girlfriend and she forgot to mention that it was that time of the month. I swear I was lucky to come out of that with all body parts attached 8-)
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:26 AM
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Not me personally, but decades ago my own dog was part of a neighbor's litter that, after years of being caged, broke free and went feral in the local woods. My dog was free to roam as he pleased, and I don't know if he was actually hanging with the pack (I never saw them), but he started dragging deer carcasses home during that period. The police stationed patrol cars at the bus stops when school started, and after fall, with the foliage down, they used sharpshooters out of helicopters to hunt them down (kept our dog inside for that).

On a side note, I was bicycle stealth camping 2 months ago, and watched a flock of turkeys, and a deer, walk right through my campsite while I was sitting not more than 15 yrds away... amazing.
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Old 12-11-2016, 12:27 PM
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Lots of close interactions with bears, moose and mountain lions, but no shots fired. Just a lot of caution, retreating, taking off the safety and excitement. Every one of those events makes it easier not to panic next time. The scariest was being sniffed by a sow and cubs through the mosquito netting in Alberta back in the 1970s.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:40 PM
ljcygnet ljcygnet is offline
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Presumably rabid bat, once. Attacked my stepmom, not me -- fortunately, it latched onto her backpack and never made contact with her skin.

Feral dog packs, a few times, and I see I'm not the only one who's had this issue.

Every few years you hear of somebody killed by a pack in Arizona, so I am alert when I'm hiking close to civilization. It's not common to see them in really remote areas.

I used to ride a pretty cantankerous old mare who'd been there, done that, and had zero tolerance for dogs and a heaping ton of confidence on how to deal with them, and we'd have dog packs come after us occasionally. She always won -- she'd kick, stomp, or bite any dog that got into range, and would chase them if I let her. She seemed to enjoy the chase quite a bit, though I don't think the dogs did -- she was nine hundred pounds and fourteen hands of teeth and hooves when she was on the warpath. I usually just held on to my hat, and let her have her fun.

I've seen lots of other critters, but off the top of my head I've never had anything else other than the occasional range cow challenge me, and that's usually a cow that's in our neighborhood and I'm on foot trying to drive it back out through wherever the hole in the fence is. (Our little community is fenced to keep cattle out, but it's really rough country, so wash outs and fallen trees happen.)

Bears and lions aren't even really on my radar for threats (unless rabid) but I am extremely cautious around cattle and javelina, and I am aware of the possibility of rabies in any animal. The last two lion attacks in Arizona were both due to rabies, and in one of them, the guy killed the lion with a cast iron frying pan ... now there's somebody who' got a story about defending himself in the wild! There was also a coyote attack on a kid at a schoolbus stop a few years ago in this area, and it was shot and verified to be rabid. So that is something I ALWAYS keep in mind.

The odds of a healthy bear or lion attacking you are pretty low. Not impossible, because sometimes animals are individuals and sometimes you get one with more attitude than brains, or there's a perfect storm of circumstances, but for the most part it's not a big threat. I worry a lot more about my safety when I'm in the city vs when I'm in out in the woods.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:46 PM
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Are rabid liberals considered wild life? If so I would spray them with a dose of LEO strength reality and common sense.

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Old 12-12-2016, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
Not in the wilds, but in the city. Loose pit bulls in alleys where our crews were picking up trash, I was a "refuse supervisor". Prohibited from carrying a gun per "work rules" but work truck was equipped, with steel rake, shovel, axe and pitchfork. A pitchfork is a most effective standoff weapon for vicious dogs until you can get back into the truck. If you can skewer the alpha dog and get him into the hopper of the trash truck and compact him into the load the other dogs will just whine and wander off. By the time the truck got to the landfill to dump its load alpha dog had no more fight left in him...

Animal control issued our guys bear spray later, but most crews preferred the pitchfork and the dogs learned to fear it, all you had to do was get it out and walk towards them and they would scatter...
How does the old saying go?

Oh, yeah..."every time a pit bull dies, an angel gets its wings."

You did the world a great service when you skewered that piece of canine excrement. Pit bulls (and their owners) are a scourge. I watched a pair of loving (that's what the owner called them) pit bulls attack and nearly kill a 14 year old girl in the streets of southern California several years ago. The big male latched onto the girl's thigh and shook her like a rag doll. The dog punctured the girl's femoral artery and she nearly bled out.

We had to cave the dog's skull in with an aluminium bat to make it finally release the girl's thigh. The owner was so livid that we killed her dog, she threatened to murder us. She rushed into her house, apparently to retrieve a gun, but must have thought the better of it when the police and paramedics started to arrive.

People worry about the wrong things in America. Every year 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the this country. 850,000 of these are serious enough to require medical treatment, and 350,000 are serious enough to be seen at an emergency room. Every year dogs kill between 40 and 60 people in America (the majority of fatal attacks are committed by pit bulls or pit bull mixes).

Conversely, mountain lions have only killed 24 people in all of North America in recorded history. Bears (black, grizz, and polar combined) only kill between 10 and 15 people per decade on this continent, and sharks (all species combined) only kill between 8 to 12 people per decade (usually less than one person per year).

We worry about being attacked by wildlife while we're camping, hiking, hunting, swimming at a popular beach, etc., but, we're many, many times more likely to be injured, mauled, or killed by our neighbor's pit bull, rottweiler, or German shepherd in our own yards or in our neighborhood parks than we are to be attacked by a wild animal.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:07 PM
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But people that live and work in the outdoors are around bears and lions all the time and there are no dogs.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:10 PM
Revmgt Revmgt is offline
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Had to run for my life from the projects in Newark NJ one night, does that count?
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adventure, animals, hiking, self-defense, survival, wildlife

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