We've discussed the need to expect the unexpected in the wild, but sometimes, even when we think we’re prepared, we can be caught off guard.
In some instances, unexpected animals might make appearances, and we might find ourselves safely hunting an animal of an entirely different species than we had planned to hunt that day.
In worst case scenarios, we could even find ourselves in eminent danger.
Even species we might not immediately think of as dangerous can turn that way under certain conditions.
I’m reminded of a video I saw recently, featuring a hunter who stumbled upon two whitetail buck deer in rut—one alive and one dead - with their antlers tangled and stuck together from a bout of sparring.
The man had found the pair while trailing a deer he had shot that morning. He managed to successfully and safely free the two deer by hand. Afterward, as his friend filmed him, he told his story, mentioning that he was amazed that the freed buck was still standing motionless, just feet away from him. The hunter then seemed to get lost in the moment and couldn’t resist finding out just how close he could get to this deer with his camera.
As you might guess, eventually the buck charged him, but fortunately, he was able to escape injury. Many people, though, haven’t been so lucky and have been injured or killed by charging animals.
I also remember a story related by a friend about a deer hunt gone wrong, when he and his hunting partner were faced with a charging feral hog.
My friend was perched in a high stand, and his partner was set up on the ground, at the base of the stand.
The hog charged straight for the ground-based hunter. He took a shot and missed. The above hunter knew that his buddy only had one shell in his rifle!
Appreciating the seriousness of the situation, he took careful aim at the head and made a clean shot.
The hog came to a rest, just a few feet away from the rattled hunter on the ground.
We can never be too careful or too prepared in the wild.