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Still Get the Chills !!

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posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 05:31 AM
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It was several years ago now, probably 6 I guess, and I still get the serious heeby-jeeby chills just thinkin' about it. Pretty ironic I would see a news story about something similar on the very anniversary of my experience. That story didn't end as well as mine.

It still stuns me at just how close I came and didn't even realize it until it was too late (maybe another 30 seconds or so and I might not be typing this right now). It was a 'perfect storm' of a situation, an absolute deadly trap, and I was lucky to have walked away from it. Perhaps some quick thinking in the moment made a difference, I'll never know for certain. What I do know is, I was close, really close!

I've told this story on ATS before, so I won't bore you with the details (again). On the evening of Sept 24 back about 2012 or so I was seriously stalked and very nearly attacked by a cougar. The situation still scares me to this day. There was absolutely no doubt I was the target, and when I look back on that moment I can't believe I ever let myself walk into that situation. All my clear escape routes were steep uphill, the snow was deep, daylight was not on my side. It was the perfect trap, and I walked right into it. My confidence (and maybe arrogance) got the better of me that day. In my mind, the thought of a cougar even being there at all never even entered my brain. That, coupled with the fact I was carrying a high powered rifle let me trick myself into thinking I was invincible. In retrospect though, I'd have never had time to unsling that rifle before it was too late.

The stalk came from behind (as they always do), and it was a game of cat and mouse, except this time there was a REAL "cat" and I was the mouse. To this day I still have my path that night saved into my GPS. They say it was most likely an old male, and he was a big one with a print fully 7" across in the snow (probably 170lb cat). They say the older cougars are the ones which prey on humans the most, likely because humans are easier prey than game.

It was the only time in my life I've ever been "hunted", and it's a downright scary feeling...when the hunter becomes the hunted. He was totally in his element, and I was totally OUT of mine. I often wonder how long he watched me from the shadows, how long he waited and set me up.

I often recount my plans for that night, and how I was going to hike all the way down that mountain. There was only 30-45 minutes of light left when I started out and there were loads of elk in that timber, we'd hunted them for nearly two weeks, but no one wanted to bushwhack their way down through that "dark timber". It was the second to last night, so I said I'd do it.

The guys would drive over the top and meet me on the road below maybe 5 miles away. It seemed like a good bet, most of my delay would be in the dark when it didn't matter. It was all downhill for me. I'd take advantage of the remaining light in the sweet spot for the elk and then spend the rest of my time down-hiking in the dark. It was the perfect plan...except for that cougar. You see, he had the exact same plan, but his was better. He wouldn't get an 800lb elk who was fast as the wind and way better in the heavy cover, no, instead he'd get a nice tasty, and much slower, 260lb hunter...from behind, in the timber, timber so tight you couldn't even hardly turn around.

No way would I have ever gotten my rifle turned around fast enough to get a shot off before he was on me. I still remember the fear that swept over me when I saw his tracks crossing mine in the untracked snow, twice, when I turned around. He was close, very close, but I never even heard a thing. I was probably within just feet of him several times and never even knew it. If I would have spent even 10 more seconds walking into the timber rather than turning around and walking back out into the open (where at least I had a little bit of an advantage) and uphill. ...in the last bit of twilight.

That experience really rattled me, a seasoned and hardened elk hunter of 40+ years. I had the shakes for a while that night. I still get the chills just thinking about it. BRRRRRrrrrrrrrrr!

The night the hunter became the hunted!
edit on 9/24/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 06:02 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

One of my scariest moments in the woods was because of a cougar and my mind playing with me.

I was alone and the night before I left,a cougar was spotted in the area.

The woods I was in were never cleared out from a big ice storm we had.
It was -21 and there was lots of branches snapping off every few minutes or seconds.
With all that snapping,you could never tell if something was walking up to you or if it was just the trees.
I sat there by the fire with my knife in my hand ( no gun or weapon) until I went to bed.

I hate admitting it but that scared the crap out of me and I slept with my knife.

Coyotes stalking at night is also a pretty scary thing when you aren't carrying a gun.
You turn around and see all these eyes looking at you.
Scary stuff.

When people talk about peace and love and being one with nature...I think of those moments and laugh at what the reality actually is.
Nature is cruel and honest.

Stay safe Flyingclaydisk!!
Do you carry bear spray or just the rifle?


edit on 24-9-2018 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 06:07 AM
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my only experience with a cougar was in amsterdam near a canal sitting on a bench
it was a black cougar with jewels hanging down its neck during my first and last marijuana trial.



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 06:28 AM
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i forgot to say it was the coolest thing i saw.




posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 06:31 AM
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a reply to: DrumsRfun

I don't worry about bears too much around these parts. The only bears are black bears and they're way more scared of you than you are of them. Now, up in AK that was a much different story, and yes, there I did carry bear spray on a regular basis. I honestly don't know if bear spray would turn a cat around though (I don't think it would). Cats get something on their mind and pretty much nothing stops them. Plus, they're so damn fast! You've got a lot more time with a bear.

The funny part about the night in my story was, I had elected to leave my pistol in camp to save weight. In hindsight that was really stupid. When I realized the situation I was in I instinctively reached for my pistol...and just got a handful of belt and nothing else. I ALWAYS have my pistol, but not that time. That was probably one of the things which scared me the most was not having my sidearm.
edit on 9/24/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 06:47 AM
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The other thing which spooks me about that night was what was going through my mind BEFORE I turned around.

Before I turned around I distinctly remember thinking my mind was just playing tricks on me, and the cat tracks I'd seen earlier were just old...and that I should keep going (and I almost did!). If I hadn't turned around and backtracked for a bit I would have never seen his tracks over the top of mine, tracks I had made not seconds before! Even then, I still tried to talk myself out of turning around. So I turned back around again and headed back down into the trees. That was when I saw the cats tracks over mine behind me a second time. He was circling me, and staying behind me. That's when I knew for certain I was the target, and not just some crazy coincidence. I was actively being hunted...right then! He was just trying to get into the best position to attack (likely from above and behind). He was probably in a tree when I turned around each time.

By that point my heart was pounding, and I humped it uphill to the nearest clearing to put some real estate between me and him. At least out in the open I could see him coming. I figured if I could put 30 yards between me and him in all directions I at least had a chance. I honestly believe it was that decision which probably saved me from an attack that night.

ETA - It was a long hike back to camp once I got back up to the road, and my ride was long gone, clear down at the bottom of the mountain waiting for me. The whole time I could swear that cat was still following me! I'd turn around every few steps and swear I saw eyes in the trees (probably all in my head at that point)
edit on 9/24/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 06:57 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I am noticing a lot lately that I have been getting cocky and have been caught with my pants down a few times because of it.
You tell yourself you can do without something and as luck would have it,that 1 saying plays itself out in front of you.

Better to have it and not need it,than need it and not have it.

Its those little details that bite us in the ass.


edit on 24-9-2018 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 07:20 AM
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a reply to: DrumsRfun

And my experience was a classic example of just such overconfidence and lack of preparedness.

Starting out that evening, my mind was saying it's all downhill tonight, and once I got in the heavy timber the snow wouldn't be as bad. I was looking forward to making my way down in the dark, I'd done similar hundreds of times before.

If I only would have considered the exact reason why this was such a good idea was the exact same reason it was a bad idea. I overlooked that important detail. The confluence of terrain, snow and timber had led me into a perfect trap, the only way out of which was uphill (steep uphill too). And then not having my pistol was the icing on the cake once I realized what was going on.

MAN!! BRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrr!!! (there it goes again!)


edit on 9/24/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 10:50 AM
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I think being eaten by something, especially a cat, would probably be one of the worst ways to die. Glad you made it out of there.



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: Fools

I'll Say!! There probably wouldn't be a whole lot to experience though. The big cats are pretty efficient killers. They come at you from behind and go for the big chomp to the neck / base of the skull.

It was just amazing how fast that cat could maneuver around behind me, no matter what way I turned. Didn't take more than a few seconds.

Interestingly, in India and places in Asia, people wear a mask in the image of a face on the back of their heads to ward off tiger attacks. The theory is, the tiger can't tell which way a person is facing and will go elsewhere. Now I understand why they do that!



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I really don't know enough about wild cats. I assumed they were like domestic cats and play with something they are going to kill before they kill it.

Luckily where I am there are very few sightings of cougars. Here and there you will hear about a sighting on the news but it doesn't seem like there is enough of whatever it is they need to raise a family and start a population around here.



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 02:31 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Love reading these kind of stories,
i have seen brown bear tracks a couple of times when out in the woods, makes you feel like a piece of soft butter.


No way to tell, what an old animal, with broken teeth will do. They are very desperate creatures.
edit on 24-9-2018 by solve because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 05:02 PM
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Re the OP - thanks for sharing that terrifying experience.

Tbh, at first I thought you were referring to a human female stalking you in a Glenn Close 'Fatal Attraction' manner! But I soon focused.

Did becoming the "hunted" change how you approached elk hunting in general? Do you instinctively look behind you more often?



edit on 24-9-2018 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

I usually always check behind me, but not for predators, more to see what the terrain looks like behind me so when I need to go back I'll know my way. It's a good skill.

Now, I still don't really check behind me for predators. That was a once in a lifetime experience and I don't expect it will ever happen again. In that same breath, I will never willingly walk into a trap like that again either! It was foolish on my part, and I should have known better.

It was a one-off situation. I'm generally pretty aware of my surroundings, and I was that night also, but I ignored my better judgment and I nearly paid the price.



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 10:11 PM
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originally posted by: Fools
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I really don't know enough about wild cats. I assumed they were like domestic cats and play with something they are going to kill before they kill it.


No way! These animals come in for the kill immediately! They don't mess around, not even a little bit. To them, it's survival and a source of food. There's no "play" about it.


Luckily where I am there are very few sightings of cougars. Here and there you will hear about a sighting on the news but it doesn't seem like there is enough of whatever it is they need to raise a family and start a population around here.


Consider yourself lucky! I grew up in Wyoming and there are very few cats up there, so I never worried about them out in the wilderness (plenty of other food there). Here in Colorado there are lots of them, and they're very brave when it comes to humans. I mistakenly thought there were very few of them here too until my experience, and then I learned there are far more of them than I had thought.



posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 08:25 AM
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Sounds like you had a close call,thanks for sharing.When I was stationed in Ca back in the 80`s a buddy and I went bird hunting in Lucerne valley one weekend.We got a couple and cleaned them near the truck which I had a cabover camper on.Late that night nature called,the whole time I was out there I had the hair on the back of my neck feeling.When I rounded the camper I saw something coming out of the corner of my eye and jumped in the door fast.I sat down wondering if my imagination was playing tricks and then a unmistakeable cougar snarl came from outside the door.Martin said was that you? I said @##@ no! and it growled again outside a window.Needless to say neither of us ever went outside at night there anymore.Disliked cougars,4 legged variety that is,every since.Now the damn thing are moving into Tennessee and I for one am not happy about it.Don`t mind the bears and all the rattlesnakes,but cougars....



posted on Sep, 29 2018 @ 04:43 AM
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I know some chilly characters that give me chills. Some of them are hot and cold. That contrast? It can give you frostburn.

I myself used to be, but I switched, very quickly.

And found myself in the same situation.

Guilty as charged, by myself though. Well done!



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