The worst hunting jam you've been in

Talk about Big Game Hunting with Dogs
lawdawgharris
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The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:11 pm

What's the worst hunting jam you have been in? Over the years there have been a few for me. Two that really stick out in my mind were summer time hunts.
First one happened a day after I had a plate and screws put in my left arm because it was broken pretty bad. I took a couple of big pups out so they could explore the woods while I scouted this place. I also took a very green catch dog. He might have caught once maybe twice in the woods. As luck would have it, the pups bayed a big boar hog about 225-230 pounds. For those of you that aren't real familiar with hogs, that's a man size hog. It takes a pretty good hog to weigh an honest 200. Well, they were bayed in a dry creek bed with straight banks on either side. So me being me, I decided to send the bulldog to him. He eared him and I bailed off in there. This is when the pucker factor hit me. I realized right away that my left arm was useless. I'm not a little guy at about 6'2'' and 200+ lbs. My hands didn't nearly reach around this sucker's hind legs. Being one armed I couldn't get him thrown over. I decided after what seemed like forever to try and stick him but I didn't have enough strength in my left arm to stick him through the tough hide and heavy shield. I tried to push him against the bank but still couldn't keep him there without using my good arm. I wound up dropping my knife and stomping it down about a foot deep. By this time I was getting wore out, my catch dog was hot and the hog was past mad and those two pups were still aggravating him. Turning him loose wasn't an option, there was no place or way to get out of the way and no doubt he was gonna come to me. Then I remembered that I had my hand cuffs. I pushed him back against the bank again and reached under and cuffed his far front foot and then pulled it under and across him and got him flipped. Then I used my knee and the bend of my bad arm to pull the hind leg up to meet the front and cuffed them together. Then I took a dog lead and snapped to the cuffs and ran the lead up over a big root high on the bank so that the hog was laying with his feet straight up. Then I went and dug my knife out and with my good arm stuck him. Myself and the dogs went about 150 yards to a tank (pond) and just layed in the water for a while. We were spent to say the least.

The second was a hunt with a buddy. We had caught a couple hogs that morning and the third hog decided to check out. My Clyde dog got it stopped and bayed in a briar thicket that the rabbits and mosquitoes avoid. Army crawl in was the only way in. Well my buddy wanted to send his catch dog. He thought she was a cracker jack of a catch dog. He called her a red nose pit but I promise you she was half Rottweiler if she had a hair on her. We send her in and she hit. I started in and he decided he would wait outside with my catch dog just in case. As I crawled around a bend I see about 180 pound sow standing there looking right at me. My Clyde dog is on the opposite side of her from me baying and this cracker jack catch dog is laying down about 2 foot from the hog planting. I tried to sick her on the hog but she no savvy. The hog understood though and here she started to me. I have no way to stand or get out of the way because I'm on my belly. Luckily Clyde hammed her and she tried to spin and swat at him. When she did I dove out there and legged her and started backing out with her. That catch dog never moved. When I got her out I stuck her and I let my buddy know that his croaker jack was just a cracker and she had crumbled. He had to crawl back in there and get her because I wasn't.

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Ndigs
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby Ndigs » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:23 am

Man those were a couple of Great amazing stories, had me holding my breath for a while there. I don't have anything that will begin to compare to that, couple bear bay ups that got a bit scary, and a sow with Cubs put me up a tree once and kept me up there for 9 hrs. I think that may be why I prefer to chase lynx, their about as dangerous as a rabbit.
lawdawgharris
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:46 pm

Lol 9hrs, that's awesome. Oh man that is funny. I guess you made her mad!

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david
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby david » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:05 am

Great stories! I enjoyed reading them.
I don’t hunt dangerous game except lion occasionally. So my biggest jams always include water and/ or ice/ frozen bog, etc. Those can be life and death situations for sure, but would be boring compared to your stories. Some one recently told me you have to be a little crazy to be a hog hunter. Now I see why.

Just last tuesday I had a situation I hope I never have to repeat, fishing in the wilderness of Alaska. Frequent Rain storms had swelled a river I had to cross to walk 11 miles out of there and catch the ferry and flight home. I had to cross it at low tide, which was still dark out, just starting to see light on the horizon. I had a heavy pack and the shallowest place was over my belly button with extremely heavy current.
It took all my strength, and some I didn’t know I had (and probably didn’t) to get across there without getting swept out into the bay. I figured on swimming at some point and had tied an empty jug on my pack to hopefully float it. I am glad I didn’t have to swim with a heavy pack, as I really don’t know how that would have turned out. But I am still giving thanks for whatever enabled me to stay upright even though I was hydroplaning and and being pushed along.

I have never taken on a hog with one hand, and am pretty sure the hog would win that one.

But that river wanted me and didn’t get me. It got me really really cold, but other than that “nah nah nah nah boo boo...” we won.
Thank you Jesus.
lawdawgharris
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:37 am

That water can be bad business. I knew 2 different hog hunters, both were strong mature men that had been hunting all their lives that both drowned. Both were hog hunting and both were caught up in some rising water. That water is no joke. I can see where you would be a little nervous.

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lawdawgharris
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:27 am

I live in central Texas so we don't see what I would consider a lot of "hard" winters. There were 2 different times though that I got wet when being wet was NOT what a person should've been. The first time it was below freezing when we cast the dogs that morning. My buddy lived across the county road from a boy scout ranch that the hogs had really been doing a number on. The dogs bayed and we sent my buddies catch dog in caught hog. Well the dogs rolled over and were bayed again just 150 or 200 yards away. I told my buddy and his 17 year old nephew I was gonna go to the dogs while they took care of that hog, because we were trying to put up some numbers and help the place out, plus they were all but done tying that hog. When I get up there, there are 2 sows bayed and they are on high ground where 2 gullies feed into the lower end of a tank (pond). At this point it is sleeting and some snow flurries, something we don't see a lot of. Anyway I send my catch dog and she hits and her and the hog and bay dogs all go rolling down the bank and into the water. There are just a very few taller cedar trees with pretty much no under brush o this knowl we are on. Being so cold I guess the second sow said she wasn't getting wet so I was standing in her exit and here she came. There weren't a lot of options so go up to me and threw her head at me I caught her by both ears. She was about 150 pounds so holding her by ears with cold hands wasn't the easiest. About the time all this happened the other 2 guys walked up and started laughing at me. They came down and legged her because I couldn't turn loose to do it. I went over to the dogs and my catch dogs vest was hung up on the limb of a dead cedar tree laying in the water and she was fixing to drown. So I ease out in the edge of the water one step then 2 and 3rd one was a doosie! Down I go. It went from shin deep to chin deep in one step. The hog had got away when they rolled down that bank but was bayed on the edge of the water just a few yards up. We caught her and the dogs rolled over again. I was shaking like a leaf so my buddy took me back over to his house and I got in the warm shower then put on dry clothes and we went back and continued hunting. That was the longest short ride I've ever taken.

The second time I was wet was another Cold winter. We actually had creeks and rivers iced over. Again, it was trying to sleet and snow while we were hunting. We bayed a big boar, well over 200 pounds, and he broke bay and was going to cross Reese's creek. Wel the spot he chose to cross was straight banks on both sides of the creek and he just baled off in it. Well being straight banks he could get out either side and the ice on the creek was so thick that he couldn't go up or down the creek. Me being real smart and all I thought well I'll just fish that sucker out with my catch dog. I snapped a couple leads together and crawled down that bank and let my catch dog go to him. My feet were less than a foot from the water hole that this hog is swimming circles in. Well when my catch dog lunged to ear him, he was at the end of the lead and it jerked me just enough that the root I was holding onto broke. So now it's mister boar, my catch dog, and myself in some sure enough cold water. Lucky for me I had plenty of help that morning. I handed the lead to on buddy got the catch dog off the hog and then put I tie rope on one hind leg and handed it to a couple more guys. It was so cold the hog didn't fight real hard after I got my hands on him so they were able to control him pretty easy. Me on the other hand, I was a human pop sickle by the time one of my buddies got back to me with the truck.

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david
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby david » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:19 am

Hypothermia is a killer. Doesn’t matter if it’s Texas or Alaska

I have been through the ice and unable to get back out until one last try, and I still don’t know how I did it. It is a very helpless feeling.
It was very cold and the ice was good over the swamps, but I went through where there was beaver activity. It was up to my armpits so I could touch bottom, but it was not solid and I could not get myself out.

They always say “you have two minutes to live” in those situations. But more than once I have been in for twenty minutes to half hour.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s what’s wrong with me.

Panic is a killer also, and I don’t know if you have ever witnessed real panic in someone you know, but they become different people and it is a spooky thing. Maybe even terrifying. Thankfully, I think my brain is too slow to panic or something as there have been times when panic would have killed me. But there was a time when some one else’s panic was about to kill me, and I will never forget it. It was far out in the water of Puget Sound where our canoe went over. ...water again. Another “two minutes to live” situation that took about half hour for help to come. I had to stay away from him, and speak calmly and re-assuringly over and over. It was weird.
lawdawgharris
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:08 am

Man I don't envy you for those situations. I have witnessed the same change that panic brings on a person and your right it is something that you don't forget. David, you and in may hunt together on day but it won't be around water lol

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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby Rimrock » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:31 pm

I was bow hunting for elk in Oregon. My tree stand was a flat chain-on that was very solid. My seat was hinged with one lag screw holding it to the tree. Pretty stable, I thought. Late one afternoon a small band of elk began to filter through the timber, coming from behind me. A few cows and calves, and finally a small bull. He was about 30 yards away and partially screened by trees. In order to get a clear shot I leaned as far forward as possible, still sitting, and waited for him to take another step or two forward. All of a sudden the screw gave way and the seat dropped from under me. Safety must have told me to get rid of the razor sharp arrow, so I must have tossed it and the bow. I came to a sudden stop with my safety belt holding my fanny just below the front of the tree stand. Fortunately, I had enough slack to be able to squirm around and get enough purchase to lever myself back around to the tree and safety.

Lesson reinforced: 15 feet off the ground can be very dangerous. Never get in a tree stand without proper safety equipment.

I don't know what happened to that band of elk.
lawdawgharris
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:44 pm

Sure might have broke something without that safety belt or even killed you. Just goes to show how fast things can wrong.

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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby scrubrunner » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:23 pm

I have had 2 tree stands fail, both were years ago before we all knew we needed safety belts. 1 was a ladder type stand I came across in the woods near home. From all indications it had been there for years and I had never seen it, and I practically lived in those woods. It was a homemade job with lawn chair webbing for a seat. I thought, that looks comfortable I'm going to check it out. Well my butt just hit the seat when that thing folded up about in the middle of the ladder portion. There I was heading to earth head first, luckily my leg caught in the rungs and slowed my descent. But the top of my head was the first thing that hit the ground. I heard every vertebrae from my head to my tailbone crack. I knew I had broke my neck! But I jumped up and everything was moving ok except my knee on the leg that got caught, I could bearly put any weight on it but made it out. Of coarse I didn't go to the Dr. but I couldnt turn my head to the right for several days. Knee still gives me trouble every now and then.
The second time I was installing a lock on, standing on the top section of tree ladder type, the kind in 4' sections that u strap or chain to the tree. I had 3 sections a foot or so apart so my feet was close to 15' when the S hook on the section I was standing on gave way. Believe it or not, I remember thinking, good, feet first this time! What I didn't know was the ladder section was falling with me right under my feet. When it hit with my feet still on the top rung it kicked me horizontal so my back, right between my shoulder blades was the first thing that hit the ground. I jumped up again to make sure everything worked but could only take little baby breaths without excruciating pain, couldn't lift my left arm without the same. I was close to dark, I was a mile or so from my truck, no one knew where I was. I knew I had to make it to my truck, I about passed out several times, darkness would come into eyesight from the periphery, I would squat a minute, it would clear up n I would go on. I made it to my truck, drove 15 miles home but couldn't get out of the truck when I got home. Daddy was in my yard setting up his camper to go hunting with me the next morning. He and my wife got me to the hospital. They gave me morphine as soon as I got there (Man that's some good stuff). I separated my ribs from my spine, bruised my lungs but other than that I was ok. Somebody had to help me lay down and get up for a couple days. I was sitting on the edge of the coach twisting n turning the next day, daddy ask, what r u doing? I said, I need to go to the bathroom and I can't reach my ars! He said, wel u better keep stretching till you can because I'm not wiping your ars for you!
Lawdawg, we had cattle in a place when I was 15-16 years old that was infested with hogs. We trapped a bunch but I was forced to spend every spare minute hog hunting, pretty quick it got to where it was work and was not fun but had a lot of hair raising experiences with bad hogs.
I'll stick to running fox and cats now, not near as much work!
lawdawgharris
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:21 pm

That's hilarious! Your right it is work and I completely understand it turning into a job and taking the fun out of it. People ask me all the time why I don't make a profession out of it somehow and your answer is exactly what I tell them. If it was a job and become something that I had to depend on day in and day out, it would take a whole bunch of fun out of it and possibly ruin it. I've been running my own dogs for nearly 30yrs and love it too much to do that. Your very lucky that it didn't kill you. My father in law was coming down out of his crane out at the aluminium smelter and fell. He was a foot from being on the ground when he fell and it killed him. Count your blessings because the good lord was with ya.

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lawdawgharris
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby lawdawgharris » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:34 pm

I had a buddy once that was trying to start a bulldog puppy. When I say puppy he was around the 6 months old age. Well long story short, the puppy caught and was really liking it. My buddy goes up and manages to get the pup off the hog without waiting on me. So, at this point he has a big 40 or 50 pound shoat by a back leg and the pup by the collar and trying to keep them apart. One is wanting to get away and the other is wanting to catch. Somehow he wound up on his knees with the arm he was holding the hog with back between his legs with the hog behind him and the puppy is doing everything in his power to get to the hog still. All of the sudden the hog grabs my buddy by seat of his overalls and shaking with everything he's got. I'm no cry baby but I was in tears. I would've given anything to have had a cell phone back then. My buddy looked over at me and says " I guess you ain't gonna help me are you SOB!" Man it still makes my cheeks hurt when I think about that.

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david
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby david » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:41 pm

This is an interesting thread to me. Especially when some of the stories are from people I have known a long time. You just never know what a person might have lived through unless they tell you, and some don’t like to talk about it. Some one with one of these stories sent it to me, but I wish he would put it out here for all to read. It doesn’t have to top them all. I just enjoy reading about people’s lives.

Here is another one from Alaska. This was less than two weeks ago. I had been drooling over a high mountain lake on my map, not far as the crow flies, but steep rough country with no trails. Then three athletes in their twenties boat into the area. They climb to the lake, catch a bunch of trout, and come back down, swim the river... all in the same day. I was thinking it would take me a few days just to get up there. So now I am pumped up.

Next day I take map and compass,set a course and go. I am not taking anything, not even a fishing rod. I only have my rain gear, a folding saw, fire starting stuff and a few items of fishing tackle hoping I could cut a cane pole and catch something with it. I have an 8 ounce water bottle, and a zip lock bag in case I catch some trout.

It took me almost seven hours to find the lake. And I was completely exhausted. It was so hard to be reminded of my age so convincingly. I knew there was no way I could get back down that day as some of it was vertical and my legs were jelly already.

So I find an undercut bank and build a fire in there to dry it out and warm it up for a place to sleep. It had been a nice day, but it was starting to rain a little.

This lake is high and out of the damp forest below, and the shore is facing south so lots of great driftwood for a fire. It was the only good firewood I had seen in weeks. So I had a roaring fire going under there in no time.

Where I come from, banks hold up because they are rock, and dirt does not burn.

Where I was, there were no rocks up in that bank and it was made of peat.

You guessed it. Peat burns really well once it gets dry.

So before long there is smoke coming up out of the ground all around me; 30 feet or more away from my undercut. Then the moss is drying on the outside and flaring like I poured gasoline on it. Then the bark on a cedar tree there drys and flares in the same way. And I am in trouble. I cut cedar boughs, dip them in the lake and start slapping flames. I get the flames out, but the peat is still smoking and threatening to flare. I am sending up tremendous amounts of smoke.

Then I hear a float plane coming up the mountain. And I am as close to panic as I can get. The plane shows up and flys over me three times. I am trying to act calm like this is what I want and everything is fine; all the while thinking they are going to fine me and/ or throw me in jail. And all I have to carry water with is my 8 ounce water bottle. I am filling it and making endless trips from the lake to the smoking/ sometimes flaming “earth”.

The float plane lands and taxis to the far side of the lake, which is a little less than a mile away. I just know they are sitting there with binoculars gathering evidence for all my infractions for the judge and prison sentence.
So I am trying to appear calm while making my endless trips back and forth with my little water bottle.

And I am loosing the fight.

The smoke is increasing. The flare ups are coming more frequent.

Then I am wracking my brain for a better way to carry water.

The gallon zip lock bag!!

And tha was my salvation. I now could carry water by the gallon. I spent about five hours trying to end the smoking and smoldering. I had to dig out every root and bit of peat that was glowing down under the earth.

And I was completely exhausted before I ever started the fire.

Now my bed was completely soaked from all the water I carried up there. I needed the shelter though, so elevated my bed with cedar boughs, and gathered fire wood for a fire ON THE ROCKY SHORE of the lake.

It was a long cold night without even a warm coat. But at least I was not out in the lake trying to escape a forest fire.

There is more stupidity to expose before I made it back to base camp the next day, but that is enough for now.

I enjoyed Alaska. But it sure is nice to be back where dirt doesn’t burn.
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Re: The worst hunting jam you've been in

Postby scrubrunner » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:50 pm

A buddy and I were fishing in a lake in my 14' Jon boat. A thunder storm came up and the lightning was sharp! I mean it was popping all around us. The hydrilla grass was thick so I was having a hard time trying to get through it with my old 15 hp Johnson. I would have to stop put it in reverse to clean the prop then go another 25 to 50 yards then do it all again. My buddy turned around and yelled at me, you have got to get us out of here! I yelled back, are you scared of dying, I'm not! It's not like we're tempting God, I'm doing everything I can do to get us out of here. He replied, no I'm not scared of dying but knowing mine and your luck it won't kill us, it's just going to hurt real bad.
After he said that, I got scared.

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