Worst day hunting?

tlee22

Senior Member
First time hunting ossabaw island on an early Sept gun hunt. I went out in the woods without putting on bug spray and did not take any with me fearing the wildlife would smell me. I hunted this really thick area that afternoon and was covered up with ticks, red bugs and sand nats. My dad pulled ticks off of me for an hour and I am sure I had over 100 chigger bites. We went home the next morning and skipped the rest of the hunt because I was eaten alive. I used 2 bottles of fingernail polish just to cover all the bites. Since that time I always were 100% deet when I go out there.
 

BDD

Senior Member
Was hunting with my TC Aristocrat single shot rifle (kind of new , hadn’t used it much). Had a doe blowing making a big circle around me, I thought
She was probably being chased by dogs. She was headed right for me and I didn’t get to excited until I could hear
The loud grunting, big buck was right on her. Did I mention the Aristocrat has a set trigger, I clicked off the safety
And he was right on me probably 10 yards away, I was pulling the trigger and pulling the trigger but nothing, they spun
Around and ran back straight at me, I thought the safety was still on and pushed it the other way, now actually putting it back on.
Pulled the trigger a few more times and nothing. The woods went silent and they were gone and I never fired a shot.
At first I had been pulling the set trigger, then put the safety back on, you don’t need to set the trigger if I had just been on the other
Trigger the gun would have gone off.
 
Had my arrow come off the string and threaded its way down the rungs of the latter of my stand like a plinko chip on the biggest buck of my life while he was standing broadside at 20 yards.

I still have nightmares of that buck.

He was 24 inches wide and 12 points scoring about 170". He was killed on the first day of rifle season that year.

I caught a glimpse of him through the trees at about 150 yards before I heard the gunshot. I was pretty sick about it all.
 

baddave

Senior Member
a friend and i had plans to go hunt a cedar creek gun hunt in nov. - we were going to hunt on my place in taliaferro for a day or 2 before cedar creek started .. he was in one of my hang-on w/ climbing stick.. we were going to take that stand w/ us.. i was supposed to come get him around 11:00 a.m. , get stand and head out . i get to the stand and he's sitting there against the tree w/ his boot off .. he released a ratchet strap w/o checking what all it was supporting . it was supporting the climbing stick . the stick bent over backwards and he fell and broke his ankle .. i had to carry his big self out w/ a 4 wheeler and then took him to newton co.ER.. no cedar creek hunt
 
Worst day for me would be when I got lost heading back to the truck after tracking a deer I had shot. I thought I was on the trail and then realized I was just hoofing it through the woods. Walked and walked until I finally came to a logging road. Luckily I guessed which direction to go correctly. I had walked about 2 miles in the other direction! On top of that my cell phone had died. When I got closer I could hear people shouting my name. My in-laws were out there looking for me!
 
UPDATED VIA ISSUE I HAD IN COLORADO LAST WEEK:

More to let people know what the real world is like out there in the world of OTC archery hunting in Colorado.

On the last morning of my hunt I was able to sneak in on a really big herd bull and his cows up in a rock slide.

Unfortunately, things fell apart and the herd busted and the bull circled underneath me and came right up the side of the rock-slide I was in. I settled the pin behind his shoulder and touched the release at 25 yards and I somehow made a bad gut shot (1/3 way up the elk 1/2 way between the hams and the back of the front shoulder) at close range on a very nice bull (6X6 or a 7X7) I have no idea in the world how I hit where I did. I dont know if I caught a strap on my pack or what happened. It all happened so quick and I was in shock where the arrow hit. Literally I have replayed it 6000 times in my head and I dont understand how it happened.

He was mine...finally at 25 yards after all the miles traveled..and trips taken.....I was calm, settled the pin and had a smooth release....and zing...right in the guts...The bull started trotting up the mountain in the wide open.

Realizing what had happened I quickly ran up the slide and I followed up with a poor shoulder shot at 60 yards in the blowing winds.

6" to the left and he would be mine. In hindsight I should have held mid-body and tried to just get another arrow into the center mass of the elk for the sake of just getting another arrow into something that would kill him. But I held lungs and the arrow just got taken the the right by the brutal gusting winds right into the shoulder.

I then sat there and watched the bull walk across a rock slide with guts hanging out the hole in his one side and go into a patch of timber where I felt he would bed down.

Upon leaving the slide I felt confident that if I was able to leave him overnight I would be able to recover him in the morning. I wasn't happy about the shots but with time he would definitely die.

When I left the slide I ran into a Resident hunter and spoke to him for about 15 minuted about the situation. We even exchanged cell phone numbers.

I asked him what his plans where for the day and he said that he had intended to go up into the area where my bull had just laid down. I told him the story about what had just happened and I repeatedly requested that he not go up into the area because I didn't want to bump the bull from the slide area because I knew we would be getting some rain that afternoon. Sneaking up on the bull in the position he was in would be almost impossible and I didn't want to chance it so I decided against that.

The guy agreed that he would circle low and go WAY out around to avoid bumping the bull. So I thanked him many times and we parted company. I then left the slide and so did he.

Sure enough, we got an inch of rain that afternoon/evening.

I went back in the next morning and saw fresh man tracts had been up the trail heading to where the bull had bedded. We walked up to where the bull had entered the timber and there was no blood just a bed where he had laid down and some bile in the bed. I recovered both my arrows and they were clean. I then spent the day on a 45 degree slope and many miles covering that timber patch and a huge surrounding radius of the area. I tracked my every track with my GPS and I looked everywhere. Later that day I found two little pieces of meat where the bull had entered the trees (And I mean little) . I personally put at least 10 miles on looking for the bull and my friend out the same amount of effort in before throwing in the towel. We just could not figure out what had happened. Where could he have possibly gone? He was so freaking sick and just wanted to bed down....

We headed back to camp.

Later that evening, the same guy strolled into my camp and asked me how things were going. I told him not good that I was not able to find my bull and that I could believe that he had went out of that timber patch and that I had looked everywhere for him.

Then the guy tells me that " Oh we were up there yesterday after you left and we found blood in the rock slide above where you said he went into that timber patch"

I didn't even know what to say...

He then went on to tell me how "he had shot at a bull up there after he had left us and had missed it with his bow"

I said "I though I asked you to stay clear of that slide because I had gutted that bull up there and I didn't want to push him?!"

He said that they had "gone around well below the bull but his other buddy was up there anyways"

I just looked at him, still not even knowing what to say....

Trying to get any form of closure, I then asked him if he had followed the blood and shot at an elk or if he had called in a different bull and he hesitated and then he had told me that they had "just seen a bull walking through the timber and he shot over it"

I was floored. Not really knowing what to think of the situation.

One of the nicest bulls I have ever seen on public land. And he got bumped by another hunter who couldn't respect my wishes and now he is gone forever.

Makes me sick.

Things I have accepted form this hunt:

# 1 - I made a poor shot and this is on ME not the other hunter.
#2 - I made a poor followup shot and this is on ME not the other hunter.
#3 - No matter where you are at there are people and you will NOT be able to control or persuade them to not be knuckleheads.
#4 - Public land is public land. People are going to do whatever they want whenever they want.

If anyone hears of anyone finding a 300+" 6X6 or 7X7 in the Colorado Flattops this season please let me know.

If anyone wonders, Yes, I punched my tag and did not go after another bull.

In 23 years of bow hunting this is the first animal I have mortally wounded and never recovered. It truly makes me want to throw up.

Sad ending but thats my elk story for 2019 and thats a wrap folks.
 
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Waddams

Senior Member
Not my worst day, or even really bad by most standards, but I gave up early this past Saturday evening. The heat had flat worn me out. Saw a little 6 pointer, but there was too much vegetation between me and him for a clean shot (I was ground sitting), and he turned and went away from me. Didn't know I was there, no tail up, just cruising.

We were staying at local camp, wife was back there relaxing, and I thought "I can sit here in the heat more, or I can go back to Yurt with A/C, change into comfy clothes and sandals, take a dip in the lake, and have a nice icy beverage. She might even have dinner ready." So I got up, marched out, and I timed it so dinner was ready within 10 minutes of arrival. Had a nice drink with it, and enjoyed our Yurt site for the evening. I then passed out and slept for 12 hours straight. Didn't get up Sunday morning to try again, just enjoyed the site and quality time with the wife.

I have to admit, the prospect of hauling a deer out in the heat Saturday evening, when I was already toast, just didn't appeal to me. I did find a pretty big wild hog skull with big tusks though on the walk out. The top and bottom half were about 20 feet from each other. She took it into her class of 5th graders today, it's going to be there room mascot now.
 

Bucaramus

Senior Member
UPDATED VIA ISSUE I HAD IN COLORADO LAST WEEK:

More to let people know what the real world is like out there in the world of OTC archery hunting in Colorado.

On the last morning of my hunt I was able to sneak in on a really big herd bull and his cows up in a rock slide.

Unfortunately, things fell apart and the herd busted and the bull circled underneath me and came right up the side of the rock-slide I was in. I settled the pin behind his shoulder and touched the release at 25 yards and I somehow made a bad gut shot (1/3 way up the elk 1/2 way between the hams and the back of the front shoulder) at close range on a very nice bull (6X6 or a 7X7) I have no idea in the world how I hit where I did. I dont know if I caught a strap on my pack or what happened. It all happened so quick and I was in shock where the arrow hit. Literally I have replayed it 6000 times in my head and I dont understand how it happened.

He was mine...finally at 25 yards after all the miles traveled..and trips taken.....I was calm, settled the pin and had a smooth release....and zing...right in the **** guts...The bull started trotting up the mountain in the wide open.

Realizing what had happened I quickly ran up the slide and I followed up with a poor shoulder shot at 60 yards in the blowing winds.

6" to the left and he would be mine. In hindsight I should have held mid-body and tried to just get another arrow into the center mass of the elk for the sake of just getting another arrow into something that would kill him. But I held lungs and the arrow just got taken the the right by the brutal gusting winds right into the shoulder.

I then sat there and watched the bull walk across a rock slide with guts hanging out the hole in his one side and go into a patch of timber where I felt he would bed down.

Upon leaving the slide I felt confident that if I was able to leave him overnight I would be able to recover him in the morning. I wasn't happy about the shots but with time he would definitely die.

When I left the slide I ran into a Resident hunter and spoke to him for about 15 minuted about the situation. We even exchanged cell phone numbers.

I asked him what his plans where for the day and he said that he had intended to go up into the area where my bull had just laid down. I told him the story about what had just happened and I repeatedly requested that he not go up into the area because I didn't want to bump the bull from the slide area because I knew we would be getting some rain that afternoon. Sneaking up on the bull in the position he was in would be almost impossible and I didn't want to chance it so I decided against that.

The guy agreed that he would circle low and go WAY out around to avoid bumping the bull. So I thanked him many times and we parted company. I then left the slide and so did he.

Sure enough, we got an inch of rain that afternoon/evening.

I went back in the next morning and saw fresh man tracts had been up the trail heading to where the bull had bedded. We walked up to where the bull had entered the timber and there was no blood just a bed where he had laid down and some bile in the bed. I recovered both my arrows and they were clean. I then spent the day on a 45 degree slope and many miles covering that timber patch and a huge surrounding radius of the area. I tracked my every track with my GPS and I looked everywhere. Later that day I found two little pieces of meat where the bull had entered the trees (And I mean little) . I personally put at least 10 miles on looking for the bull and my friend out the same amount of effort in before throwing in the towel. We just could not figure out what had happened. Where could he have possibly gone? He was so freaking sick and just wanted to bed down....

We headed back to camp.

Later that evening, the same guy strolled into my camp and asked me how things were going. I told him not good that I was not able to find my bull and that I could believe that he had went out of that timber patch and that I had looked everywhere for him.

Then the guy tells me that " Oh we were up there yesterday after you left and we found blood in the rock slide above where you said he went into that timber patch"

I didn't even know what to say...

He then went on to tell me how "he had shot at a bull up there after he had left us and had missed it with his bow"

I said "I though I asked you to stay clear of that slide because I had gutted that bull up there and I didn't want to push him?!"

He said that they had "gone around well below the bull but his other buddy was up there anyways"

I just looked at him, still not even knowing what to say....

Trying to get any form of closure, I then asked him if he had followed the blood and shot at an elk or if he had called in a different bull and he hesitated and then he had told me that they had "just seen a bull walking through the timber and he shot over it"

I was floored. Not really knowing what to think of the situation.

One of the nicest bulls I have ever seen on public land. And he got bumped by another hunter who couldn't respect my wishes and now he is gone forever.

Makes me freaking sick.

Things I have accepted form this hunt:

# 1 - I made a poor shot and this is on ME not the other hunter.
#2 - I made a poor followup shot and this is on ME not the other hunter.
#3 - No matter where you are at there are people and you will NOT be able to control or persuade them to not be knuckleheads.
#4 - Public land is public land. People are going to do whatever they want whenever they want.

If anyone hears of anyone finding a 300+" 6X6 or 7X7 in the Colorado Flattops this season please let me know.

If anyone wonders, Yes, I punched my tag and did not go after another bull.

In 23 years of bow hunting this is the first animal I have mortally wounded and never recovered. It truly makes me want to throw up.

Sad ending but thats my elk story for 2019 and thats a wrap folks.
Sorry to hear about that one brother. Man, that just sux. I made a bad shot on a 140" deer years ago never to be found. Then in turkey season another member said "look what I found in the edge of the swamp." You guessed it! Finders, keepers. That one stung for a while and then came back to sting some more several months later.
 
2 come to mind immediately:

1) Drove down to my farm just after i bought it for a bow hunt. Got absolutely drenched by an unexpected gully washer that started before daylight but after i’d gotten in the stand. Rained cats and dogs but i stuck it out for a couple of hours. Finally gave up and trudged back to my truck, soaked to the bone, only to find that i’d Left the lid to my toolbox open and it had 2 inches of water standing in it and everything inside was soaked. Had to drill holes in the bottom to drain it.

2) Last fall i finally had everything come together on the buck i’d Been hunting. A real pig of 4.5 year old 8pt. I shanked the shot (knew it as soon as i pulled the trigger), shot twice more as he was running away. Thought he acted hit on the last shot. While i was calming down, the doe he was pushing stepped back out. When i shoot a buck i usually try to shoot a doe too. So i put it on her shoulder and let it rip at about 40 yards. She tucked tail and ran into the woods. I go to look for the buck, no sign of anything. Call my friend with a dog and wait a couple hours for him. While waiting i confirmed my zero. Friend with dog arrives and not only did we not find any sign of a hit on the buck, but we also trailed good blood from the doe but never found her. To this day i don’t know what happened to the doe. Unfortunately i do know what happened to the buck - 2 weeks later he shows back up on camera limping badly with one of his front knees blown out. Got pictures of him for a week or so and have never seen sign of him again. Spent a lot of time looking this winter all thru his core area. Makes me sick to my stomach to this day.
 
We were hunting orange groves in SW Florida on a friend's property. I was crossing an open field in my Z71 right before dusk that I had done hundreds of times before. Not a lot of grass but more sugar sand that is popular in that area. I didn't know that they had burned hundreds if not thousands of orange trees in the field during the week before we got there. The ash pit looked like sugar sand if you aren't paying attention.
Going about 30mph across the field my truck comes to almost an immediate complete stop burying me in an ash pit. Put it in 4wd and hammer it and I start feeling hot spots on my arm and I'm not moving. I'm flinging hot embers into my truck.
I immediate call one of my friends that just split apart from the way I was going. I get out of the truck burying my legs up to my knees in ash. I have to get my blood dog out of the dog box. I carry her about 35-40 yards and have her lay and stay. I run back to the truck to get my tow strap out and dump what little water I had on now melting tires. It was chaotic for sure. The dog sees me freaking out and she comes running back to me. About that time Connor shows up, runs into the ash pit to hook up his truck to mine to pull me out.
That was successful at least.
Damages incurred included $8500 worth of damage to my truck including burning holes through the skid plates (too close for comfort next to the gas tank). My dog had to have 2 of her pads on her paws surgically removed. Connor wound up taking a hot coal down his boot which caused 3rd degree burns on the top of his foot. A real ****ty day to say the least.
 
Thread starter #52

krizia829

Senior Member
We were hunting orange groves in SW Florida on a friend's property. I was crossing an open field in my Z71 right before dusk that I had done hundreds of times before. Not a lot of grass but more sugar sand that is popular in that area. I didn't know that they had burned hundreds if not thousands of orange trees in the field during the week before we got there. The ash pit looked like sugar sand if you aren't paying attention.
Going about 30mph across the field my truck comes to almost an immediate complete stop burying me in an ash pit. Put it in 4wd and hammer it and I start feeling hot spots on my arm and I'm not moving. I'm flinging hot embers into my truck.
I immediate call one of my friends that just split apart from the way I was going. I get out of the truck burying my legs up to my knees in ash. I have to get my blood dog out of the dog box. I carry her about 35-40 yards and have her lay and stay. I run back to the truck to get my tow strap out and dump what little water I had on now melting tires. It was chaotic for sure. The dog sees me freaking out and she comes running back to me. About that time Connor shows up, runs into the ash pit to hook up his truck to mine to pull me out.
That was successful at least.
Damages incurred included $8500 worth of damage to my truck including burning holes through the skid plates (too close for comfort next to the gas tank). My dog had to have 2 of her pads on her paws surgically removed. Connor wound up taking a hot coal down his boot which caused 3rd degree burns on the top of his foot. A real ****ty day to say the least.
Jesus!!! Now that's a bad day!! Wow.. Well I am glad that everyone and everything was ok! Could've been a lot worse!
 

ebrauns23

Senior Member
Bow hunting in the 98 degree heat with scent lock head to toe and the sun beaming down right on top of me. I think I had heat stroke. I was so dizzy,getting down out of my climber was a slow process. Never again in that kind of heat.
 

Bucaramus

Senior Member
Bow hunting in the 98 degree heat with scent lock head to toe and the sun beaming down right on top of me. I think I had heat stroke. I was so dizzy,getting down out of my climber was a slow process. Never again in that kind of heat.
And that was probably this past week!
 
Brand new property back in 2017. Had spent a ton of time scouting, hanging a stand and feeding. Finally got the right wind to hunt it. Had a good buck on camera regularly (bow season). Got settled in that evening. This spot is next to a swamp. Hurricane Irma had just passed through and brought massive mosquitos about twice the size of our regular ones. ThermaCell wouldn't start. I sat there for the next 2 hours getting eaten alive. I was so close to climbing down multiple times but didn't want to give up on the buck or spook him. I got bit thousands of times. Ended up not seeing any deer. When I got home, I had whelps on my face, hands and back that lasted several days.

The fact that I sat there and endured that is borderline insanity. I am absolutely nuts about deer hunting lol.
 

mpwarrak

Senior Member
We were hunting orange groves in SW Florida on a friend's property. I was crossing an open field in my Z71 right before dusk that I had done hundreds of times before. Not a lot of grass but more sugar sand that is popular in that area. I didn't know that they had burned hundreds if not thousands of orange trees in the field during the week before we got there. The ash pit looked like sugar sand if you aren't paying attention.
Going about 30mph across the field my truck comes to almost an immediate complete stop burying me in an ash pit. Put it in 4wd and hammer it and I start feeling hot spots on my arm and I'm not moving. I'm flinging hot embers into my truck.
I immediate call one of my friends that just split apart from the way I was going. I get out of the truck burying my legs up to my knees in ash. I have to get my blood dog out of the dog box. I carry her about 35-40 yards and have her lay and stay. I run back to the truck to get my tow strap out and dump what little water I had on now melting tires. It was chaotic for sure. The dog sees me freaking out and she comes running back to me. About that time Connor shows up, runs into the ash pit to hook up his truck to mine to pull me out.
That was successful at least.
Damages incurred included $8500 worth of damage to my truck including burning holes through the skid plates (too close for comfort next to the gas tank). My dog had to have 2 of her pads on her paws surgically removed. Connor wound up taking a hot coal down his boot which caused 3rd degree burns on the top of his foot. A real ****ty day to say the least.
You, sir, win the trophy for this thread!!!
 

4HAND

Senior Member
Early Co, about 12 years ago. Had a spot I wanted to hunt - fence row that a hardwood hammock necked down to. Really good deer trail coming from a thick bedding area.
Eased into the hammock only to not be able to find a decent tree to climb.
Decided to sit on the ground.
Walked back to my truck, left my climber, & got a bucket to sit on.
Walked back to the fence row & found a little clump of small oaks to sit in about 60 yards from where the deer trail crossed the fence. Brushed it in a bit & got settled - then came the skeeters. Started digging in my pack for my thermocell. I couldn't find it because it was in my truck.
Walked back to my truck & got it because the skeeters were killing me.
Walked back to my spot & get seated. By this time it's getting late, I'm hot, sweaty & aggravated.

Just as I get settled good, I look down the fence row as a huge buck walks across & into the hardwood hammock.
I didn't have time to get my gun on him before he crossed the fence row. I bleated & grunted, but only saw a couple of glimpses of him. I was sick!
We never killed that buck.

Still better than working!
 
October 22, 2015; I was 26 at the time. Just after lunch about to head back to the woods and my brother called me to tell me our dad passed away unexpectedly, was hunting with my now wife in a spot on a WMA my dad had been taking my brother and I since we were 5 or 6.....hunting just hasn’t been the same without him and it took me two years to go back to that spot.
 
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Thread starter #60

krizia829

Senior Member
October 22, 2015; I was 26 at the time. Just after lunch about to head back to the woods and my brother called me to tell me our dad passed away unexpectedly, was hunting with my now wife in a spot on a WMA my dad had been taking my brother and I since we were 5 or 6.....hunting just hasn’t been the same without him and it took me two years to go back to that spot.
Aw man I am so sorry to hear! I was hunting with my husband last year when I got the news that my grandmother had passed from dementia.. It's never easy to lose a loved one, even more when it's unexpected but I am sure he will always be with you in those woods! Being out there will only bring you closer spiritually with him and I am sure he is proud of you. If you have or decide to have any kids, take them out there and tell them the most memorable times you had there with your dad and they will appreciate it more than you think!
 
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