Weirdest thing to ever happen to you out hunting?

Allen

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Because of the other two threads describing some crazy stuff that happened on a ND hunt, I have one story in particular that still stands out and haunts me after some 40-plus years of hunting in ND.

Back in 2003, my ex and I had drawn muley buck tags out in 4E. She filled her tag on opening weekend and I continued to pass on smaller and medium sized bucks throughout the season. Come the last weekend, we had friends over on Friday for dinner and about midnight I announced I was heading to the "Lodge" out in New England so I can get an early start to the weekend's hunt. The Lodge is really just a place owned by some friends and I in NE. Anyway, this was back in the day where we only had one cellphone between the ex and I, so I left it with her so she could use it to talk to our friends as they all headed out to the Lodge on Saturday.

I got up and left the Lodge around 0400 as the area I wanted to walk into required a really early start so I could get back in a mile or so by daybreak. Nothing really unusual up to this point other than the wind was howling and there had been some fresh snow overnight with temps in the single digits to teens overnight.

To get to the Badlands from NE, I take highway 21 out to highway 85, then go north a few miles until I hit the access road to the National Grasslands. Not surprisingly I was probably running 15-20 minutes late, but figured I'd be able to make up for it with my lead foot. Everything was fine until I turned north on Highway 85, there sitting at the crest of a hill maybe a mile north of the junction of 21 and 85 was a car in the northbound lane, but its lights were on and its front end was pointed down into the east ditch. At first I thought maybe the guy was having engine troubles, or had hit a deer, or ????, but as I got closer to the car it was apparent that it wasn't disabled since the engine was running and it wasn't stuck since its rear wheels were up on the pavement, so I made plans to stop and see if everything was OK even though something about this whole thing seemed really odd.

When I was about 100 yds out, the dome light popped on in the car as a man dressed in a long western style duster of an overcoat quickly exited the vehicle and ran over into the northbound lane. I was still slowing down so I figured I would just pull over into the southbound lane and roll down my passenger window to talk to the guy. Next thing you know the guy jumps over into the southbound lane and just stood there, hands in his pockets. I start thinking "WTF is wrong with this guy" as I continue to slow down and pull back over into the northbound lane. Sure enough he slides back over into the northbound lane and I end up stopping about 3 ft from him as he just stood there with his hands in his pockets and his head down looking at the hood of my truck. At this point I was absolutely sure something was amiss and I made sure my doors were both locked and unclasped my hunting knife from its sheath in my door compartment. For what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only 20 seconds, he stood staring at the hood of the truck as I partially rolled my window down.

Conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey buddy, everything alright?
Him: Merely lifts his head and looks at me.

Me: You need any help?
Him: Walks over to my window and says "Kill me...please, I'm dying...slowly".

Me: Excuse me, but what did you just say? (me thinking the howling wind garbled what I thought I had heard)
Him: in a very polite manner repeats the request "Kill me, please" as he eyes my rifle sitting beside me.

We had a fairly brief conversation after that as I told him, man I just can't do that. But please don't go jumping up in front of cars coming down the road at night because you never know what's going to happen as the next car could be a woman with young kids in it and she could wreck trying to avoid you out on the highway. I do remember telling him that if he truly wanted to commit suicide that he could just take his coat off and lie down in the ditch and he'd freeze to death in fairly short order. I also remember distinctly him telling me that he was from Sauk Centre, MN. Anyway, after just a minute or two of small talk, I told him I had to be on my way and I felt kind of bad doing it but I refused to even shake his hand, and I also forgot to memorize his license plate as I pulled away.

SO, I began driving northward again and almost immediately started cussing myself out as 1. I didn't have the cellphone with me, and 2. Even if I drove back to New England, it would be a half hour at least before I got to a phone to call anyone and probably over an hour before a deputy would get there since one might have to be woken up in either NE, Bowman, or Belfield before they even start heading this direction. and 3. In order to not alert him, I would have to take a fairly marginal gravel road back east to get around him and there was a legit chance it was blown in with snow. So not too proud of my priorities at the moment, I kind of talked myself into just ignoring him and going about my business. I was maybe a mile or two down the access road to the Grasslands when my conscience made me turn around in an effort to call the sheriff.

As I pulled back up to Highway 85, I could see his car still south of me on the crest of the hill, but wait...is that a vehicle coming from the north? It sure was, so I pulled out onto the highway and did everything I could to flag this car down. Eventually he did stop and I explained to him what had just happened to me and told him that as he continued south that guy in the car would run out onto the highway and try to get him to run him over. Then I asked him if he had a cellphone. The look on this guy's face was one of complete disbelief, but I was persistent and he finally said that he did indeed have a phone on him. I thought AWESOME, but as he opened his phone he quickly came to the realization he didn't have cell service. I was like, no problem...when you get down by White Lake at the turn to Amidon, there is a cell tower and you will be able to make the call, which is a lot less time than it would take me to get to NE and find a phone. Promise me you will make the call!

He just looks at me kind of funny and says, yeah...I'll call it in. So, I sat and watched long enough to see this guy approach the crazy man on the road and sure enough, as he got close enough, I saw the dome light come on in the car as the door opened and I could see crazy man run out onto the road in the new guy's headlights. The guy headed south did all kinds of funny swerves, to the point he was even partly in the ditch as he made his way by the guy.

At this point I now felt like I had done what I could, to alert the sheriff and was confident that the guy with the phone would make the call as he reached cell service. So, I headed towards the Badlands. I was now 45 minutes or more behind schedule and knew I wouldn't get to where I wanted to be for sunrise. Damnit!

I get out to where I wanted to be well after sunrise and huddled behind a rock to get some shelter from the wind as I watched over an intersection of 4 different draws I sat there until about 1030 before I figured it was time to start hiking and beating the brush after not seeing a single damn deer even though there were a couple times I could have swore I heard footsteps. Anyway, I stood up and just as I reached full stretch, I saw a single deer out about 250 yards from me that just pivoted his head to look at what just made the sound of a cheap plasticky vest rub up against a rock. Oh shit, I ducked back down really quick to hid behind the rock again before I remembered that I was the one armed in this encounter, so I peeked my rifle up over the rock and this buck was a shooter, so bang. I took a shot and that buck bolted, and in rapid succession I fired twice more before he disappeared around the corner. I was pretty sure I hit him with the first shot, but not sure at all in the next two. Oh well, at least he ran off in the general direction of my pickup.

So, I stood up again and started to reconfigure my clothing, I will often wear as little as I can get away with when it's cold and I'm hiking, but I put an extra jacket, warmer gloves, etc in my backpack for sitting. After a couple minutes changing clothes I started off in the direction I last saw that buck when it dawned on me that I now only had one shell in my Rem Model 700 chambered in 7mm Rem Mag. I paused to reload the rifle and as I chambered a round and closed the bolt, BANG...I shot a perfect 7 mm diameter hole in the ground about 5 fricking feet ahead of my own feet. I have never, and I mean NEVER, heard such a loud shot coming out of a gun. I suppose that was mostly due to the surprise, but I just froze trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Did I have a piece of my glove/mittens in the trigger? Right about now I needed a timeout, so I parked my ass back on the ground to just review the whole morning and try to figure out what the good Lord was telling me.

After about ten minutes, maybe even more, I finally collected myself and started off in the general direction I had last seen that buck. I ended up finding him about 75 yards up the draw from where I had last seen him, good shot that went through both lungs. The second two were complete misses.

Got that bad boy field dressed, hiked the mile and a half out to the truck and returned with the green sled of death to drag out the buck. I suppose I was back at the Lodge around 3:00 in the afternoon, and to this day I am not 100% sure even my ex and good friends that were there fully believed the events of my day.

BTW, while I did swap out the trigger assembly on that rifle because of this, in hindsight I think the 3 shots in quick succession simply melted some snow which eventually froze the firing pin in the fire position, not really sure though but it's never been an issue before that day, nor since.
 
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remm

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I haven't been there in a few years, but the other owners use it frequently. Volleyball and cross country now fill a lot of my fall weekends.
It's probably haunted by that dudes ghost, probably best to stay away
 

johnr

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A good friend has 2 Lodges here in SW ND, he makes a damn good "second" income renting these out to pheasant hunters, of course he also provides guides, meals, and about 18,000 acres of land to hunt with that place to stay.
 


Allen

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A good friend has 2 Lodges here in SW ND, he makes a damn good "second" income renting these out to pheasant hunters, of course he also provides guides, meals, and about 18,000 acres of land to hunt with that place to stay.
We do not rent it out. Mostly because I want nothing to do with the liability of such an endeavor, or the headaches of bringing an older home up to code for a rental.
 

Rowdie

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We were driving early one snowing morning to set up before dark and set up for deer hunting. While driving west of Little Eagle on the Grand River we couldn't help but notice one set of tracks in the snow and they were using the entire road to say the least. At last we come upon the car making the tracks and surprisingly it wasn't stuck, just stopped on the side of the road. Here is a young man sitting in the car and all he had on was a uninsulated army coat. He was pretty cold, and had ran out of gas. Well we couldn't just leave him so we gave him a ride back to Little Eagle. We had got about 6 inches overnight and it was still coming down. After dropping him off and coming back down the HWY I noticed a guy standing right off the road who wasn't there earlier. This guy wasn't bye any houses really and there were no tracks to him. He was also shaking so violently he looked like he was dancing! I can only assume he passed out in the ditch and the snow covered him up overnight! Holy cow, can you imagine? You never know what you might see on the rez. BTW we never stopped for this guy.
 

Rowdie

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Same road different Year....Late 90's..Another snowy morning. Three of us riding in a 85 Chevy with no extended cab. The lights were on dim as the snow was blinding up and my brother is driving. I'm in the middle and our bother-in-law is riding shotgun. This road is a little hilly and just as we were coming up from the bottom of a hill our light shined eyes from fence line to fence line. I braced for impact as we plowed through a herd of black cattle. You could feel us hit three waves of them and sure enough we took our six of them. Truck was totaled and my head hit the windshield hard enough to put a pretty nice egg on the ole noggin. When it got light we test fired our rifles and they were all knocked off so bad we needed to sight them in. I can't remember who came and picked us up. My brother had a old bag phone so I know we called someone.
 

svnmag

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I was attempting to have a bowel movement and accidently got a beer bottle stuck in my lower intestine. A ND State Police Wildlife Division Officer was finally able to get me to the ER at 3am. Be careful out there. You never know.

Another time in 3A4 I was lured into a barn by a farmer's daughter and her hot 3rd cousin. They made me spread hay while they spread each other. When the farmer caught us he lost his shit. He said behind the barrel of a shotgun I was "lucky we weren't in Utah" or he'd make me marry them both. He forced me at gunpoint to spank the girls with a girdle then escorted me off the farm on a dogsled. I was admonished of applying Bag Balm and various additional ointments on his wife should I return.

I felt this to be weird.

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KDM

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While bow hunting with my oldest cousin, we decided to do a two man push of a shelter belt. He would walk around and post up on the end and I was to slowly push with the idea that the deer wouldn't bust out the sides if I went slow enough and would try to sneak out the end past my cousin. Well, while on the way down, I saw a small 4X4 laying in the grass on the edge of the belt. He wasn't big enough to shoot so I eased over to the other side to go around him and leave him be. Well, as I went by, he stood up and looked right at me. I kept on moving slowly along and the darn thing started to follow me. I thought he just didn't know what I was and was curious. He came right up to me. I put my hand out and damn if that little buck didn't walk right up and smell my hand. I thought WTH!!! Was he tagged from a deer farm or what. NOPE. I continued down the shelter belt with my new buddy in tow. There were no other deer in the belt so when I got to about 40 yards from my cousin I told him I had a friend behind me. When I got to my cousin we both stood there and tried to figure this deer out. He looked healthy. No wounds or anything and even started to browse around us as we talked about him. After a bit of conversation we decided to leave the deer and head back to the truck. No dice. The buck followed us all the way back down the shelter belt (a half mile) and right to the front bumper of the truck and then stood there waiting. We put our gear away, got in the truck, started it, and the deer just stood there. We backed out and drove away with the deer standing there watching us go like a lost puppy. It was a real strange experience I can assure you.
 


CatDaddy

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While bow hunting with my oldest cousin, we decided to do a two man push of a shelter belt. He would walk around and post up on the end and I was to slowly push with the idea that the deer wouldn't bust out the sides if I went slow enough and would try to sneak out the end past my cousin. Well, while on the way down, I saw a small 4X4 laying in the grass on the edge of the belt. He wasn't big enough to shoot so I eased over to the other side to go around him and leave him be. Well, as I went by, he stood up and looked right at me. I kept on moving slowly along and the darn thing started to follow me. I thought he just didn't know what I was and was curious. He came right up to me. I put my hand out and damn if that little buck didn't walk right up and smell my hand. I thought WTH!!! Was he tagged from a deer farm or what. NOPE. I continued down the shelter belt with my new buddy in tow. There were no other deer in the belt so when I got to about 40 yards from my cousin I told him I had a friend behind me. When I got to my cousin we both stood there and tried to figure this deer out. He looked healthy. No wounds or anything and even started to browse around us as we talked about him. After a bit of conversation we decided to leave the deer and head back to the truck. No dice. The buck followed us all the way back down the shelter belt (a half mile) and right to the front bumper of the truck and then stood there waiting. We put our gear away, got in the truck, started it, and the deer just stood there. We backed out and drove away with the deer standing there watching us go like a lost puppy. It was a real strange experience I can assure you.
Someone's "pet" deer? Raised as an orphan and allowed to go free once old enough?
 

bravo

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12 or so years ago, late august pre-season scouting for elk with a friend in the grasslands around grassy butte, we were FAR off the beaten path, miles from the nearest road. We glassed a man in the distance cooking something over a small dakota fire hole, a couple shirts hanging from a makeshift clothesline. It looked like he had dug out a little cave home in the side of a butte and covered it with a brown tarp. This wasn't camping, he definitely set up shop out there for the long haul. Don't know if he was just out roughing it, or hiding out from something. Eerie for sure, we didn't want him to see that we saw him, so we just backed out.

Also had a huge bighorn sheep walk within 10 yards of us hunting pronghorn down by Marmarth. That was weird.
 


Wall-eyes

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A good friend has 2 Lodges here in SW ND, he makes a damn good "second" income renting these out to pheasant hunters, of course he also provides guides, meals, and about 18,000 acres of land to hunt with that place to stay.

Would your friend farm south of Scranton? I have hunted down there 3F1 for years
 

Wall-eyes

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No Regent area
Pheasant hunting was great many years ago, then they took out all CRP and everything else. I would guess with his business he is great stuart of the land. I have hunted down in that area. I knew a guy had two places with two stories setup dogs on main and sleep on second floor
 

svnmag

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While bow hunting with my oldest cousin, we decided to do a two man push of a shelter belt. He would walk around and post up on the end and I was to slowly push with the idea that the deer wouldn't bust out the sides if I went slow enough and would try to sneak out the end past my cousin. Well, while on the way down, I saw a small 4X4 laying in the grass on the edge of the belt. He wasn't big enough to shoot so I eased over to the other side to go around him and leave him be. Well, as I went by, he stood up and looked right at me. I kept on moving slowly along and the darn thing started to follow me. I thought he just didn't know what I was and was curious. He came right up to me. I put my hand out and damn if that little buck didn't walk right up and smell my hand. I thought WTH!!! Was he tagged from a deer farm or what. NOPE. I continued down the shelter belt with my new buddy in tow. There were no other deer in the belt so when I got to about 40 yards from my cousin I told him I had a friend behind me. When I got to my cousin we both stood there and tried to figure this deer out. He looked healthy. No wounds or anything and even started to browse around us as we talked about him. After a bit of conversation we decided to leave the deer and head back to the truck. No dice. The buck followed us all the way back down the shelter belt (a half mile) and right to the front bumper of the truck and then stood there waiting. We put our gear away, got in the truck, started it, and the deer just stood there. We backed out and drove away with the deer standing there watching us go like a lost puppy. It was a real strange experience I can assure you.

Back in the day, back in the Hills (July--1986); pards & I decided on a last remote "hurrah" about three weeks before I went to Farce Basic. Dropped off on top of Cheat Mountain; we then retardedly hiked down Harper's Trail packing a lot of shit with the promise of being picked up in seven days. We were loaded for SMB as by all accounts any rail stocked trout were long dead due to high water temps and acid rain. Once we hit the river we went downstream about a shit-furlong off-trail and found a damn good virgin/clearing/campsite(?!!).

We set up camp; waded across the river to the tracks that evening and found the trout to be lousy: I don't recall a single bass caught. This venture initiated my "bass for other species" quest in life. I caught a 14in brown on a Jitterbug. We ate so many trout on that outing I'm sick of them to this day and my taste for hotdogs was almost ruined: It may be due to the pine boughs used to restart the fire: Pine smoke and food don't mix.

Anyways, on the fourth night Greg (now gone) & I were plotting the logistics of getting back without a ride due to the allure of Mike's restored hotrod Impala and it's pussy appeal. We were sure Mike was hauling additional pussy in our absence as 3rd Pard was snoring in the tent.

Suddenly there was something walking just outside the firelight.

As we "joked" about bears/Bigfoot and no whiskey to soothe our deaths; a doe appeared at the edge of light.

She browsed about while Greg cut a potato. Greg then fed her potato slices out of his hand at the edge of firelight. I was able to bring her into the "circle of friends" with a cut apple. Greg wanted to club her for camp meat and I wanted to lure her in the tent to give Pard 3 a grand surprise.

As we "debated" she just seemed to drift away. This is all polygraph true.

The next morning it was decided to leave with all the shit. We cut though all the switchbacks and hitched a ride at the bottom of the mountain. That night me, Mike and Greg cruised in the Impala stuffed with various chicks. I think Greg got to squeeze a tit.

That is all.

 
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