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Thread: Outdoor Danger--(Nearly) killed by beavers! &other close shaves!

  1. #1

    Default Outdoor Danger--(Nearly) killed by beavers! &other close shaves!

    As outdoorsman,we all know that sometimes the unexpected happens--and danger comes our way.That's part of the allure for many of us--the call of the wild,if you will. In my own outdoor travels--I've tumbled into swift moving trout streams,gotten caught out in heavy snow,fallen on the ice so hard I thought I'd broken my back,fallen through the ice while tracking a swamp buck.....and moved in on wounded and growling bears in the brush and woods(which always came to a happy conclusion--bear steaks for dinner). But I think the closet I've ever come (so far) to being done in,in the great outdoors,was by a beaver! No--I was not attacked by a ferocious beaver....I was walking through a very thick swamp/marsh during a deer drive.I came to a spot where beavers had chewed off some small trees when I stumbled in the thick stuff. With my rifle in my right hand,I fell forward and a bit to my left--and almost fell flat --but my reflexes caused me to shoot out my left arm,catching myself from falling flat. Well--when I caught myself there was a sharp pain just beneath my left ribcage....a stump/beaver cutting,I would guess about 12 to 16 inches high and maybe a couple of inches in diameter,and coming to a sharp point,was poking me just beneath my ribcage--it did not break the skin with the hunting clothes I was wearing--but was jabbing me hard enough to be very uncomfortable. When I managed to get back up on my feet I contined with the drive. Later on I thought to myself that had my reflexes not caused me to shoot out my left arm in time...had I not managed to catch myself somehow,and had fallen flat...there's no doubt in my mind that the beaver cutting would have driven right through me! I would never have made it out of the woods. And yet,that place is still my favorite drive to this day. What was your closest shave in the outdoors?

  2. #2
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Walking in to mid air while coming off a mountain in the dark. Fell about 13 feet and stopped at the top of a 50 drop. Did not know any details until I climbed back down to where I fell the next morning to get my rifle which was lost in the dark.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    Walking in to mid air while coming off a mountain in the dark. Fell about 13 feet and stopped at the top of a 50 drop. Did not know any details until I climbed back down to where I fell the next morning to get my rifle which was lost in the dark.
    Well--I'm glad you survived. Maybe your flashlight failed? Or perhaps just a mis-step. Anyway,you made it out more or less in one piece.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce1965 View Post
    Well--I'm glad you survived. Maybe your flashlight failed? Or perhaps just a mis-step. Anyway,you made it out more or less in one piece.

    A flash light would have been nice. My policy now is to sleep where I get caught in the dark plus I carry a flashlight too.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    I wish beaver hats would come back into style so people would trap those varmits to near extinction again.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Me too, as remarkable as they are.

    I was walking along a creek a few years ago, and through a huge bunch of Birch trees. Every one of them and been chewed nearly all the way through and were dead or dying, and I figgered that any minute one of them could fall on me.

    Those Beavers can do a lot of damage to trees on your property. They can also build a dam and make a stream unapproachable due to flooding around it

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    I've had more than my share, wish I could pass some of it around.

    1992 crossing the Totatlanika River, broke through and was swept down stream under the ice. Managed to break through with my head and crawl out. It was 35 below, and I was soaked. When I got to the cabin, about 300 yards away my hands were so cold I was unable to light a match to start a fire. Luckily my buddy came along and built a fire to thaw me out.

    1980 had a horse rear up and fall off the trail. I fell about 45 feet, managed to stop just before going over a cliff and into the Kenai River.

    1975 caught in a blizzard in the white mountains. Temp went from 15 above to 55 below in just a few hours. Rolled my snow machine and broke the handlebars. Spent 11 days in a snow cave eating rabbits and grouse.

    1976 had a big cat spook my horses. They ran off with all my water and camp. Left me afoot at the base of the San Andreas mountains west of the White Sands in southern New Mexico. Spent two days walking in to the nearest facility.

    2001 had 2 black bear climb into our treestand at night while we were sleeping. Too dark to see to shoot, partner climbed up tree and one bear went after him and got kicked, causing it to fall out of the tree stand to the ground. I climbed out on a limb and lost my rifle, and flash lite. Spent the rest of the night awake clinging to a limb, listening to the remaining bear tearing our gear up, and eating what food we had with us.

    But I think the closest I ever came to being killed was in 1983. Southern Turkey, hunting pigs. Ran into a bunch of raiding Kurds, out looking for Turks to kill. We were surrounded before we had the opportunity to find good shelter. We were outnumbered, but we had superior firepower. Chief invited us to sit and have chi. We drank with our left hands, keeping our guns in our right hands with fingers on the triggers. I kept my gun pointed at someone at all times. The person staring down the barrel let everyone know he was in japerty. The chief realized he could take us out, but the cost would be great. Suddenly he got up and they all left, leaving us sitting there sweating.
    Gun Control means hitting your target.
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    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Default Wow.

    Amazing stuff, Graybeard. Glad you made it through. The only problem, who is going to top that story? I was going to share an account about sliding down a rock face toward a cliff. I used to think it was a scary story, but now I just feel like a big sissy...

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    We were moose hunting this last fall, and it was late in the evening and we were going down this trail when this horrible, smell arose. It was like rotting meat, but we saw nothing. Then we could hear this crackling and digging noise, we come around a bend in the trail and there's a dead moose with a momma grizzly and her cub eating it. We threw up our guns ready to start letting the lead fly if need be when momma and baby decided it was time to split. We got out of their fast.
    Last edited by pike_palace; 07-20-2008 at 12:15. Reason: prevent confusion.
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    You want to have some hair raising experiences, start hunting on horseback.
    Gun Control means hitting your target.
    "Giving up your gun to someone else on demand is called surrender. It means that you have given up your ability to protect yourself to a power that is greater than you." - David Yeagley
    Calling Illegal Immigrants "Undocumented Aliens" is like calling Drug Dealers "Unlicensed Pharmacists"

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce1965 View Post
    As outdoorsman,we all know that sometimes the unexpected happens--and danger comes our way.That's part of the allure for many of us--the call of the wild,if you will. In my own outdoor travels--I've tumbled into swift moving trout streams,gotten caught out in heavy snow,fallen on the ice so hard I thought I'd broken my back,fallen through the ice while tracking a swamp buck.....and moved in on wounded and growling bears in the brush and woods(which always came to a happy conclusion--bear steaks for dinner). But I think the closet I've ever come (so far) to being done in,in the great outdoors,was by a beaver! No--I was not attacked by a ferocious beaver....I was walking through a very thick swamp/marsh during a deer drive.I came to a spot where beavers had chewed off some small trees when I stumbled in the thick stuff. With my rifle in my right hand,I fell forward and a bit to my left--and almost fell flat --but my reflexes caused me to shoot out my left arm,catching myself from falling flat. Well--when I caught myself there was a sharp pain just beneath my left ribcage....a stump/beaver cutting,I would guess about 12 to 16 inches high and maybe a couple of inches in diameter,and coming to a sharp point,was poking me just beneath my ribcage--it did not break the skin with the hunting clothes I was wearing--but was jabbing me hard enough to be very uncomfortable. When I managed to get back up on my feet I contined with the drive. Later on I thought to myself that had my reflexes not caused me to shoot out my left arm in time...had I not managed to catch myself somehow,and had fallen flat...there's no doubt in my mind that the beaver cutting would have driven right through me! I would never have made it out of the woods. And yet,that place is still my favorite drive to this day. What was your closest shave in the outdoors?

    Same thing happened to me except that it hit me about 12 inches lower. It would have been funny to anyone who saw it, but it hurt so bad I could barely breath.
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    Member KRS's Avatar
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    Took my Kawasaki KLR650 (dual sport) for a long desert ride in ... the desert.

    Crashed, hurt my wrist, the bike was high-side, tank hose came off, couldn't reach it and couldn't lift the bike (hurt wrist), spent 16 hours in the desert dying that day until rescued.... that sucked hard. I was lying under a little bush with all of the muscles from my neck to my calves cramping hard from dehydration.... that sucked hard.

    I no longer have that bike (wife made sure of that one), so now I ride street only on a new DL1000 Suzuki V-Strom.

  13. #13

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    Graybeard, ya could have waited to post your resume...who can follow that???? BTW, good handle, it fits.

    Anyway, here's my pathetic story.

    Me and a friend were goose hunting on a small island below a dam on the Missouri River. We waded out to this island and were just barely able to get through the current. We set up and waited for geese but none wandered by. A ton of ducks did though of courese, and of course they were not in season.

    So end of shooting hours comes and we decide to wade back to shore. I decide to wade back on the downstream side, opposite of the way I came in. So I start out and don't get very far when I realize this is deeper and faster then the way I came. I take a step and all of a sudden I am belly deep in a strong current. Not good. One tiny little slip or mis step and I would be at the mercy of the current in my waders. I would have been a goner. Somehow I manage to work back against the current to the island which to this day I dont know how I did it. First miracle.

    In the mean time, my buddy went up to the upper side of the island to start his wade back to shore. Little did we know, that extra water was being let out of the dam about the same time we decided to wade back. I returned to the island and walked up to the upstream side (about 80 yds) and started across again. My buddy was now only a few yards into the water and I quickly passed him. I was about 175 lbs at the time and he was maybe 135 soaking wet. As I crossed I noticed large chuncks of ice floating in the current about 2 or 3 square yds in size. They were breaking off due to the increas in water flow from the dam. I finally get back to shore and my buddy is not even half way yet and I am getting concerned. As I am watching him i notice a very large piece of ice, about the size of several pool tables and about 4-6 inches thick just upstream of him floating his way. I get a very unpleasant vision of me telling his wife about the last time I saw him and what happened. I yelled at the top of my voice, "Terry... Ice" and pointed to the chunk of ice coming at him. He looked up at it and then started walking on water. Second miracle. He quickly got back to shore and I breathed one of the biggest sighs of relief I have ever breathed.

    And as for beaver stakes...I always thought they were fairly dangerous. Usually ran into them when fishing and thought, man... dont want to fall on one of them.

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    Default Beaver Stakes

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    And as for beaver stakes...I always thought they were fairly dangerous. Usually ran into them when fishing and thought, man... dont want to fall on one of them.
    I was hiking up Eagle River last Saturday - same day as the Crow Pass Crossing race. One of the runners came by us on our way out. Just past us he caught a toe on a root and did a face plant right in between three of these beaver stakes. It was one of those straight downward falls where your hands cannot react quick enough and his torso hit the ground about the same time as his hands. A couple of inches either way and it would have been real ugly.
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    All good stories!
    I was elk hunting in Montana in 89 and a blizzard caught us on a slope. I turned back to get our suburban about 2 miles away and when I hit flat ground I cut across some pasture land. About 200 yards from my vehicle my feet hit air and I fell straight down into some kind of shaft - only thing that stopped me was my rifle was still slung and I am 6-2 225lbs so it wedged me with my shoulders above ground! Snow was now about 6 inches deep and really coming down - my feet were still dangling in air - after some praying, swearing and shear effort I crawled out. Looking into the hole I could not see a bottom! If I had went down a few feet they would have probably never found me and a big mystery would have developed!
    But topping that I got married 32 years ago and have live'd in fear ever since!

  16. #16

    Default

    Me and a friend of mine got caught in a white out as well, bow hunting for elk in the Highwood Mountains. We had hunted the Highwoods before but not this particular location. We were up on the East Ridge and spotted a bull with some cows well below us. We tried to bugle him in, but no luck.

    The sun finally set and we started down the mountain back to my Bronco which was about 2 miles away. We could see some dark clouds brewing and about half way back we got slammed with a white out. I just headed in the direction of the Bronco not really knowing where I was. The visibility was less than 30'. I was real relieved to finally see the Bronco right in front of us. Talk about a shot in the dark.

    I don't think it would have been life threatening to miss it but it had potential for issues. We could have waited out the storm but would likely would have been in the woods all night.

  17. #17

    Default got a few...

    Where to start...

    1990 - Flipped a canoe out in a remote area of the China river. I was with my Dad and I was 10 and brother 8. It didn't seem like a big deal, Dad had done the float before, however, one sweeper is all it took. Canoe flipped fast, everything down river. I had waders on, in the boat, strapped 'round my belt. I anchored to the bottom, sideways w/ the current. Somehow Dad pulled me up as he drifted by and we got to shore. (straight mirracle next) Some folks in a group of canoes showed up right as we got onto shore, they were of a school training. We stripped down and they had extra clothes. They dried my face with a wool hat covered in bear repellent. Shortly, I thought I was going to die. Your face in a fire couldn't be worse. Got to Tax (small town) and the employees thought Dad was beating me in the bathroom, flushing my face with soap and water, 911 got called, the whole deal. Nutty.

    2000 - Went on a hunt with some greenhorns. This guy got a 50 foot boat, never even owned a kayak. I was living in Valdez and I got invited since I had a truck. Anyway, towed the boat, launched it at night and the guy heads out. Middle o' the night, no lights. i'm about to jump off and swim to shore, so he turns around. We leave in the morning. Get out to Naked island (80 miles, half way between Valdez & Whittier) AFTER going 40mph or so through the Columbia glacier field. Titanic came to mind, I thought I was going to die...again. Somehow we get through it and get to Naked island. This dude launches an inner tube (his version of a skiff) 100yards off an East bay. We (3 of us) got on it with our guns and packs and oared to shore. Hike up the mountain (their kickin' rocks an' talkin' loud...nightmare to hunt with) So I get up in from of 'em a ways hopin' to see somethin'. I get to the top of the island and look back, there's a white dot on the horrizon...it's our boat. I yell "THE BOAT" they look back (half mile below me) and start running to the shore. I met them there at the same time and we got back in the tube and hauled out to the boat. Hours later we caught the boat. Homeboy put the anchor out but didn't leave enough for the tide to come up...neat. Then left the battery on. It's a coast guard call, hours later a fishin' boat shows up to jump us. Barelly get back in Valdez in time to get back on the ferry to Cordova to install a network for the college....ordeal.

    Dec. 17. 2002 - Eureka - Went snow machinin' after my first major mod. Rode the sunset on a ridge like a cowboy an' dropped down the other side and didn't have enough power to get outta the bowl ('98 Arctic Cat Z440 fan cooled, 62hp stock). It was dark immediately and luckily I was the most prepared out of our whole group. Pulled my sandwich out, stiff. Pulled my liter water out, froze solid, -32f. Heli came over the hill at about light, it was a long night...

    Last Fall - Culross Island from Whitter, 16ft Mercury, camped and had a good time but on the way back it got outta hand and had to get towed in. It was a coast guard call an' the whole deal too.

    I'm about to get one of those SPOT devices...

  18. #18
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Wow!

    Have you considered it might be best to stay in bed?

  19. #19

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by EBobo View Post
    Where to start...

    1990 - Flipped a canoe out in a remote area of the China river. I was with my Dad and I was 10 and brother 8. It didn't seem like a big deal, Dad had done the float before, however, one sweeper is all it took. Canoe flipped fast, everything down river. I had waders on, in the boat, strapped 'round my belt. I anchored to the bottom, sideways w/ the current. Somehow Dad pulled me up as he drifted by and we got to shore. (straight mirracle next) Some folks in a group of canoes showed up right as we got onto shore, they were of a school training. We stripped down and they had extra clothes. They dried my face with a wool hat covered in bear repellent. Shortly, I thought I was going to die. Your face in a fire couldn't be worse. Got to Tax (small town) and the employees thought Dad was beating me in the bathroom, flushing my face with soap and water, 911 got called, the whole deal. Nutty.

    .
    Where can I can get some of that bear repellant? : ) Is it a DEET product?

  20. #20
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Oct 1996
    Hiking (limping) home from an unsuccessful DS-140 hunt. It snowed for 5 days straight on my first solo sheep hunt and I was unprepared. I failed to flag my path through the broken cliffs and alders on the way in. Wet and/or froze and tired I said to myself "Screw it" refering to the alders, and decided to bull my way mostly straight down hill. About half way down I encountered a wide band of mature alders. I successfully cursed my way through those only to emerge atop a 100ish or so foot cliff.

    My only recourse was to back up or sidehill (side weave) my way about 70 yards to a break in the cliff and steep finger of firm scree that I was betting I could "ski" down. But first I had to get rid of my pack. Dropping it off the cliff was not an option (Yard Sale!) so I broke out the 550 cord. I routed it through some alders in a cats-cradle looking belay, then tied off one end so if all else failed it would still be attacted to something solid. I tied the other end to my pack and began paying out line which worked for about the first 50 or 60 feet. It was at this point that the 550 cut through the outer bark. When it hit the slick inner layer there wasn't enough friction on the line and it began zipping through my hands. (Rope Burn!) I tried wrapping my hand around the line. Big mistake.

    I was yanked forward and my 70 lb pack came to a sudden halt as my right hand was sucked into the mess on first tree. I yanked my hand back in pain but only managed to extract my thumb and palm. My fingers, pinned to the alder were turning purple from the pressure and burning with pain. My pack only had about 10 feet to go before it hit solid ground.

    Of course, my knives were in the pack. I had my bow with me but it was just out of reach. I grabbed a stick and tried pulling it to me. I had to get on my feet a bit to reach it and when I planted my feet the edge of the cliff crumbed away. Cranked on fear and adrenaline I was able to swing my right leg and hook my knee around the same tree my hand was pinned to. Fortunately in the commotion my bow slid down to where I could reach it. I yanked an arrow out of the quiver and began sawing furiously at the 550 cord. The smart move would have been to cut the line between the pack and the cliff but at times like this it's hard to be smart. I cut the line closest to me...where I'd tied it off. As the last 6 or 7 feet rapidly followed my tumbling pack down the mountainside most of it cut into my fingers.

    I took stock and was pretty sure I broken my middle and ring fingers in addition to the deep 1/4 inch wide grooves burned into my hand. Oddly they didn't bleed. Still high on fear I was able to sidehill my way to the scree. I had to jump down about 8 feet. I did. The scree did not slide. It was hard packed. How I made it down without falling I do not know but I did. I retrieved my pack and was doubly lucky it had stayed together, relatively undamaged. I said some prayers of thanks, shouldered it and trundled on. Not but 15 minutes later I hear this horrible moaning and think "Swell I'm getting mauled by a grizzly". Not a moment later a cow moose in heat come whining her way out of the woods (my first live encounter with the moose rut--Oct 10th BTW) right behind her, noose stuck in her cow parts was a big bull. He was an honest 60 incher. Then he saw me. Evidently me and my pack resembled a young bull in need of a whoopin' because he immediately started cough/growling and rocking his head at me.

    Until that time I was not aware that I could run uphill with a 70lb on but as it turns out I could. Evidently I can hurdle downfall too.

    I put about 100 yards and nearly 100 feet elevation between me and the love birds and the bull went back to his date. I sidehilled for another hour and went...Oh about 35 yards. Well farther than that but it took an hour before I felt comfortable returning to the trail.

    The next 5 hours were uneventfull. Delerium inducingly exhausting but uneventfull. I was in pain but I was so tired I didn't care anymore. Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb was running through my head. Evidently Roger Waters was a sheep hunter.

    About a mile and a half from the Eagle River Visitors Center I thought I sensed something in woods to my right. I thought "Moose, Blackie, Grizz...who cares". A few minutes later I crossed a utility right-of-way
    and into the open, 60 or 70 yards away, steps a nice, fat, slick black bear with a perfect white V on his chest. He was about 6 foot. I watched it for a few moments and staggered on.

    When I moved so did the bear. It paralleled throgh the woods angling in closer to the trail. 200 yards later we came to another clearing and again the bear stepped out into the open only now it's about 20 yards off. I stopped, shucked my pack and unstrapped my bow quick-like. The bear is popping its teeth at me and woofing. I start chucking pebbles at the bear 'cause there ain't no rocks. I knock an arrow and move off the trail finding some sizeable stones. The bear cautiously crept forward about 5 yards and stopped. I had a couple of stones and my bow in my left hand. The next rock I threw scored a direct hit. Right on the noggin. The bear spun around and then stood up facing me. The next rock missed but #3 hit him right on the snout. He woofed and dropped to all fours. Out of rocks, I drew my bow hoping the one arrow I'd get off killed the bear before it could kill me. Fortunately the bear thought differently and turned away and walked off. I loosed the arrow into the woods over its head and heard it break into a run.

    I made the Visitor's Center not 20 minutes later only to find a State Park Ranger "playing" with a 40ish inch bull. He was calling and scraping with a shoulder blade. He'd hide behind a tree and call and the bull would come right in. Then he'd step into the open and the bull would run off only to be called right back in.

    I told him about the bear. He told me "Oh yeah that bear has been bothering people all summer. Good thing you didn't shoot it".

    "Well sombody ought to" I said before hobbling the last hundred yards to the truck.

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