bad situations

huntin geek

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just wondern what was the most life threatning situation you have been in while on a back country hunt,personaly i havent had to many other than a few cliffs, dehidration, and hypothermia
 



DEERSLAM

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I was on a backpack hunt in ID and had pushed myself too hard to get up the mountain and find a place to camp and got caught in a blizzard out in the the open in the dark. I was in bad shape and had just enough sence left to realize that I had better back track to where I knew I could find shelter. I dropped my pack and just grabbed my bivy and sleeping bag and headed back down the hill for shelter. I was physically and more importantly losing it mentally. Once I made it back to tree line I couldn't get that that bivy set up quick enough.
 

wvbowhunterinalaska

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Haven't had one myself yet, seeing as how this is going to be my first hunting season to hunt here in Alaska. Although I have heard some stories from some of my co-workers, like one guy was archery hunting mountain goats up here and had hiked all the way up to the top of a mountain ridgeline, only to find no water up at the top and on top of all of that finding that the way he came up was nearly impossible to get back down. Or this same guy caribou hunting on the Haul Road after September (when the limit is 2 caribou, instead of 1), I think he said that the temperature inside his tent was -30 F I believe. He was a pretty hardcore guy, but that is going a little past crazy if you ask me, but he also had some super nice trophies to show for his time up here in Alaska(a dall sheep that he harvested in the Delta Management Area, 2 or 3 nice P&Y caribou, etc).
 

SDHNTR

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On top of a peak at the crest of the Continental Divide in Southern CO. Our summit climb. Bluebird when we left, inside a thundercloud when we peaked. Metalic taste in my mouth, every hair on my body standing straight up, buzzing sound around my head. I turned around to look at a buddy and he had sparks jumping from his head out to the hood of his jacket. This happened so fast it caught us off guard, once we realized what was happening we ran off that shale covered slope for lower ground as fast as we could. A guy with us was from West Texas and had lightening hit the goal post when he was on the 50 yard line in high school, he said this feeling was way more intense. We got really lucky.
 

Zbearclaw

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Fallen and busted my ankle pretty good and had to climb out with basically one leg. A four to five hour hike in took almost three times as long to get out.

That's the worst I have been in, got caught in a few bad thunderstorms but was somewhat mild weather and no lightening near me, no where near freezing, so that wasn't bad.
 

BackCountryHNTR

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Been in some hairy situations but not life threatening until last year while bowhunting A North... I was dehydrated and exhausted and with the high temperatures got heat stroke...long, long hike to the car man...I didn't want to scare my wife, but I was in bad shape, at some point after your body gives you plenty of warnings it just shots down...needless to say, I learned plenty on that trip...
 

suavegato

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Only time I can recall was packing in one time, filled up with water at the bottom of the valley and humped up the other side to the peaks where there was a spring we knew of from past years. So we killed all of our water on the hike up the side in the 90 degree heat, “knowing” that we had water at the top. Well, got to the spring and it was dry! now we were miles away from water, empty canteens, hot, exhausted etc. and it was dark. We decided to stay the night there and hunt our way back down to the river the next day. What a LONG night, tongue swelled up, couldn’t swallow etc. and on the hike back down the next day I stopped sweating! Weird thing was, when I did get to the river and pounded some water, about 10 mins later it was like someone turned on a faucet! I just poured sweat out all of a sudden, even though I was just sitting in the shade. I dumped my pack and filled up a bottle and hiked back up about 1/2 way to my father who was behind me and gave it to him, he did the same thing! Weird how it just came pouring out as soon as we refilled the tank! Guess there was some cooling that needed to be done and some salts to flush too?

First, last and hopefully ONLY time I experience severe dehydration. I didn't pee for about 12 more hours even though I probably drank over a gallon of water.

I'm much more careful with my water now and also talk to local hydrologist about spring flows etc. before heading in. That was a REALLY dry summer, so the spring just dried up! The hydrologists can “usually” tell you at what contour line the springs below “should” still be flowing, depending on the winter.
 

slyck68

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The only time I thought I was a goner was my first high altitude hunt in Colorado my junior year of high school. I live 65' above sea level and at that time my hunting consisted of 100* A-Zone hunts. Needless to say, a Rocky Mountain winter at 10,000 feet was on the other end of my hunting spectrum. The first day of hunting it was near freezing and I was over-exerting myself wading through the snow. I was cold and didn't want to drink water and I wanted to keep moving to warm myself. Before long the cold weather coupled with over-exertion and dehydration took over.

I suddenly felt like I was on fire and began stripping my clothes off layer by layer until I was down to a t-shirt. My old man tried to explain that I was hypothermic and I needed to stay clothed even though I felt like I was burning up inside. I got real irrational and couldn't speak clearly even though it sounded fine in my head (he said I was slurring real bad). My body and brain were beginning to shut down and were not working at all. I was speaking jibberish and moaning like I was dying, my dad was so afraid I'd do something irrational that he actually emptied my gun just in case! I don't remember too much more, but I do know it took several hours huddled up with a fire under a thick grove of pines to get me back to normal. I spent the remaining day and a half in the tent with fever-like symptoms.

I am still amazed at how quickly I went from feeling fine to being in big trouble. I was captain of my high school track/cross country teams and I was in great shape physically. I thought "if my old man can handle hunting up here, this should be no problem for me!" Wrong. I learned some valuable lessons that I try to share with everyone to save them from making the same mistakes. I learned the importance of listening to your body and slowing down, not to mention acclimating yourself to high altitude. More importantly, I learned to always stay hydrated regardless of the weather. Any activity will dehydrate you, and wading through deep snow will make you sweat just as easy as hunting in 100* weather will.
 

BackCountryHNTR

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (slyck68 @ Jun 11 2008, 11:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I learned the importance of listening to your body and slowing down, not to mention acclimating yourself to high altitude. More importantly, I learned to always stay hydrated regardless of the weather. Any activity will dehydrate you, and wading through deep snow will make you sweat just as easy as hunting in 100* weather will.[/b]


Very important to learn to listening to your own body. It cannot be stressed enough.

I'm glad you are OK man, I've hear of SAR people saying that they usually find bodies with their clothes all teared open when they die from hypothermia, so I guess you're close to the edge...
 

slyck68

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Thanks BackCountryHNTR, I'm glad to still be here as well! I've too have heard stories of finding hypothermia victims stripped of clothing. The thing to remember is heat stroke, hypothermia, and over exertion have a lot in common. Most notably the impact they have on the brain and one's critical thinking ability. It only takes a very small deviation up or down from your body's normal core temperature to run into trouble. Once you get to the point of compromised brain function it's already too late. Your brain ceases to function normally and your good judgement goes out the window without you even knowing it.

I can't stress this enough. You don't know you're functioning abnormally once the brain's blood flow slows. In your mind you are doing just fine. You make bad decisions without realizing it. In a normal state of mind you know when you are hot or cold and you know the proper responses to bad situations, this is not the case when brain activity is compromised. The best woodsman around would be in a real bad way under these conditions. I can't stress this enough. I hunt alone 90% of the time and feel very comfortable in the back country, but if my dad wasn't with me at this particular time I doubt I would still be around. The point is, listen to your body. Drink plenty of water, even in cold weather.

On a similar note, I recently read an interesting study about decreasing temperature and/or blood flow to the brain and its symptoms. One of the more common signs of decreasing brain function were dramatic mood swings. Test subjects would become irritable and frustrated, in a few cases rage was even noted! Inexplicable anger and aggravation was almost universal, while others would experience irrational fear and succumb to panic attacks. Keep these things in mind.
 

DEERSLAM

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Back in about '83 or '84 I was hunting elk near the Tetons in WY. It was very cold with deep snow in the area. I was crossing a large, what I thought at the time, park. As I was crossing towards the next stand of timber I all of a sudden busted through ice into a lake. Thankfully only my right leg busted through and I got my rifle into my left hand and planted it in the snow, shifted all my weight to the left and pulled my self outta the drink. It scared
the heck outta me. I was by myself without anyone even near me. Could of been big trouble. Thank God it wasn't!
 

BackCountryHNTR

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"dramatic mood swings...irritable and frustrated, in a few cases rage...Inexplicable anger and aggravation" Slyck68, for a moment I thought you were describing my wife!!


On a serious note, I'm glad we still here sharing these "close calls", so we can learn from each other

Thanks for sharing guys!
 

huntin geek

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this past season for the first time i hit the edge in my book,we walked in the day before at about noon it took only around 3 hours but it was in a foot of snow i had around a 50 pound pack on the way in at around 8000 foot elevation,i set up camp had some hot coco an read some huntin articles then the wind kicked up(i had to plug my ears)which = no sleep also no dinner,next morning i was woken up by some one asking if any one is home
i raced out of bed freaking out got completly ready and took off to where i was goin to hunt,i check the time and had two hours till day light
but i was ready and forgot to eat break fast(yes i packed food,yes i was excited to hunt)the snow froze over the night so it made for horable walkin,i coverd around 6000 foot of elvation change on one snickers and 32 ounces of water in half a day chasen bulls.when i got back to camp i planed on eating about four mountain house! and sleeping for a few hours,but after the second bite of mt house my dad came on the radio and told me to pack up and meet him at the top of the ridge,no time to eat cuz big storm is moveing in,i packed up and headed back to bc i was doin fine till i meet my dad and the strom hit.my bodie just shut down.zero energy.the three hour hike on the way in took the rest of the day on the way out,i would stop a fall a sleep wake up and go then stop and take another brake after every dozen steps then it turned in to half a dozen steps then every few steps,but made it to the truck i almost fell a sleep ten steps from the truck while tacking another brake right in the road
! it was pathetic.next day we were forced down around 3000 foot elevation, there is no excuse in not eating and not geting the calories but thats what i did,next year im packing two water botles and at least 1200 calleries in my day pack
 

inchr48

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Not much back-pack hunting here in Indiana, but had a close call fishing a Michigan lake on the bass opener a few years ago.

We were on the water at daybreak, but by 8 AM rumbling could be heard in the west, and the clouds were darkening and the ceiling dropping.

We made our way to the boat landing and were waiting our turn to pull out. I casted a 1/16 oz crappie jig on my ultralight w/ 4# test mono. I saw the jig hit the water, but the line just held it's arc, suspended in midair by static electricity. Needless to say we both got as low in the boat as we could and beat it for the nearest place to beach the boat.
 

bodega

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Lightning, dehydration and hypothermia. Been there, done that, and probably will get in the same situations again. Great stories guys. Good reminder for us to relearn the warning signs. The trouble with hypothermia is as you slip into stage 2 (stop shivering, feel warm now), you lose the ability to make smart decisions. If you're solo, you're in deep trouble.
 

huntin geek

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (SDHNTR @ Jun 13 2008, 07:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
1200? Try twice that +.[/b]
i hunt from a spike camp and im able to return for lunch what i ment was i was goin to pack 1200 in my day pack + what ever is at camp for b-fast,lunch,and dinner i usualy plan a 2900 callories per day (give or take)
 

JD HHI 6092

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Thankfully nothing's happened to me. Last year while hunting by Gunnison, CO there was a older guy that flipped on his quad. He we heard him yelling so we hiked back there and found him, then hiked back out and went to a small country store to use their phone and call for help. We ended up helping haul him out then they helicoptered him to Grand Junction for medical treatment. We thought his back was broken but ended up just being banged up really bad.
 

Zbearclaw

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I have considered throwing a Meal Replacement shake or two in my daypack just to maximize calories while minimizing extra crap. That in addition to what I will eat during the day. Though I figure when hunting with AS or SD I can throw a 12 pack in their pack and a pizza and them never know till too late.

Seriously though I will have at least two quick clot bandage thingys in my backcountry pack. Also probably take one along for day hunts in A zone this year.

After my busted ankle up north last year, and road rash from by bike this year I will tote a little more emergency stuff just in case. But the best fix all is duct tape, I usually carry an entire small emergency roll just because I am kinda accident prone.
 

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