Ever Mistake a Hunter for a Deer/Bear/Elk?

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
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Ramsay, MT
Once I was bowhunting elk in relatively thick cover. To cut to the point, another bowhunter and I were calling to each other. He bugled every time I cow called and I guess he thought I was a cow chirping every time he bugled. This went on for a while. We got closer and closer until we were about 30yds apart. I had an arrow nocked and was waiting for the bull to step into the lane I was very intently watching. Finally, I saw movement. It was, of course, another human, but to this very day in my memory, I remember seeing a pair of brown, fur clad elk legs. This was only for a moment and I never drew my bow, but still, I found it a little unnerving that I initially saw elk legs and not human legs in Realtree pants.

That was close enough for me to understand how it can happen. The firearm rule: KNOW YOUR TARGET and beyond certainly is never to be glossed over or discounted.
 

S-3 Ranch

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Jan 23, 2022
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West Texas - Hesperus Colorado
No, never
but I have been shot at by a hunter , luckily he missed
we where standing on a dirt road looking for blood of a wounded doe
and all bent over, when I hear what sounds like bee’s buzzing around
then I heard the rifle, looked and saw a truck about 300 yards away
and ran into the brush , the guy pulled up and got out looking, my buddy hollerEd at him , he nearly flipiped out, and long story short
he had a open sight SKS , and thought we where hogs eating in the road 🤯🤯🤯, foolhardy people exist ,
 
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Mallardsx2

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Apr 4, 2015
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NO.

But I have called in a lot of hunters in Colorado while elk hunting.

During the OTC archery season I set up on a guy bugling. He came walking out after 15 minutes of back and forth and I told him he was the most realistic bugle that I had ever heard. We laughed as he said it was the most action he had all week and I agreed that it was for me too and asked him if he would mind going back over there and blowing his bugle a few more times for me....lol We ate lunch together. He was from New York and was a super nice guy. He said my cow calling sounded pretty dang good and asked if that was me that coughed. "No, It wasn't" but I heard that as well." lol
 
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MTGomer

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Sep 25, 2015
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MT —> AZ
I’ve been called in by someone that did a really good job of mimicking an elk, in a place I didn’t expect to see people if that counts.

But no, I can’t say I’ve shot a human thinking they were a game animal
 

TheBenHoyle

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Dec 5, 2016
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Illinois
I have to be able to clearly see game in range for at least a couple minutes before I even kick into weapon up mode. I've often felt bad that I am so slow on the draw. but I think it's probably a good thing.
 

utah400elk

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Feb 15, 2012
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Sterling, VA
No but it has happened to me. I was taking my son in a rifle hunt in Florida. I taught him to scout and we put the tree stand up early.

Opening morning we were going to our stand early. He was maybe 4 foot tall and I am 6’4”. He had on a green head lamp and I had a red head lamp. We watched guys drive up in a truck on a closed road as we had walked a long way to ge the wind right to get into the stand. The guys were on a clearly closed road and only 300 yards from our stand. This was a LE draw hunt so not supposed to be many people.

When we got close they were talking loud and smoking. Neither one was wearing orange. When I asked why they weren’t wearing orange they said they forgot it at home and asked if I had any extra. We asked if they knew it was a LE unit and they argued is was open to everybody regardless of the draw.

One of the guys was white as a ghost. He kept saying he couldn’t believe we were people and how lucky he was. He said it five to six times. I final asked what he was talking about. These guys were absolutely bizarre. He finally said he was convinced we were a rare coyote with one red and one green eye. He said he had us in his scope for several minutes. He admitted he had taken his gun off safety and had his finger on the trigger a couple times. He was absolutely convinced we’re we a rare coyote. I pointed out the almost 2 1/2 foot height difference and the red and green head lamps. He just kept saying he was very lucky.

I almost lost it! They decided to move their truck and leave the area. They came back about 1 1/2 later to say the guy who had us in his scope had accidentally shot a doe and wondered if we had a doe tag to help him out.

They left after a few severely harsh words. Next up was an older guy, who had pulled up in his truck and walked under our stand throwing corn all around out of a bucket and sat at the foot of our tree stand on the upside down empty corn bucket. When we finally got his attention from our tree stand less than 10’ from him he asked if we wanted him to move. When I said yes he picked up his bucket and moved less than 50 yards away and sat down again right in front of us.

We made a call to game and fish for both and left the area for the season.
 
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Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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The Driftless Area
A few years ago in the international hunters education association magazine there was an article from a hunters Ed instructor in AK who was hunting deer with another friend on montague island. After not seeing a deer for several days he vividly recalls seeing and shooting at a deer. The deer started flailing his arms and screaming. It turned out to be his partner. Neither hunter had orange on.
 

Islander

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Jul 24, 2020
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Lowcountry, SC
I mistook a bedded deer for a coyote. At least it was at night. :)

I didn't shoot it! I was just walking the fields at my club.
 
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MuleyMB

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Nov 6, 2021
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Nope, but if you ever seen it hanging on the meat pole might want to worry !!
 

FoodIsMemories

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Jun 26, 2021
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SW MT
I’ve never mistaken another hunter for game but more than once I’ve glassed up other hunters that are glassing me with their rifle scopes… made me so mad. At one point I started waving, they didn’t wave, so I picked up and moved behind a Rocky outcropping nearby where I could peek over it, and glassed them again. They were still looking at me with their rifle but I could tell they didn’t know where I was exactly.. at this point I was worried if I stood up or gave them a shot they might actually take it, so i put my rifle and pack on the rock with rifle facing toward their hillside. I swear, the instant my rifle went up over that rock they dropped theirs and stood up. We were all in orange. Never got to tell them they were idiots, and still believe they might have shot me if I had just tried to stand up and do the rescue-me wave or even tried sneak out of there.

Last bow season i drug the wife and kids out on a long grueling hike we’ll before daylight, we got about 3.5 miles in to the spot and didn’t see or hear anything. The kids fell asleep for a nap and the wife and I glassed up a moose paddle and talked for awhile on the mountain. She’s not much of a hiker, so a memory I cherish. About halfway thru the day, noonish, she hears a bugle in the basin below, she tells me go after it so grab my gear and head down the logging road periodically calling to the bull below me, getting responses. As I’m chillin in the treeline watching this lane calling back and forth, I’m getting responses from the uphill side of me as well. They sound legit but I know the wind is going straight up to him.. long story short the hunter steps out knocked up and I’m knocked up, and when we lock eyes we both just WHEW lol he said I thought today was my day
- I laughed I said “shit me too buddy, my wife is up there with my sleeping kids couple hundred yards up the road, she’s got a gun so make noise on your way up. “ 😂😂 after about pointing arrows at each other from 20 yards I don’t think he risked walking the road past the wife.. he took the long way 😂
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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3,723
Had an ex wife i kept wishing would look like a deer
Yeah. Back in '82 just as I was starting to gut my bull elk there was a shot and bullet whizzed right overhead (in reverse order of course). Then another. What the ... Then another. The only cover available was the elk so I laid down behind it. A bit of a pause then thunk-bang. Whatever they were shooting at, they finally hit. Turns out there was a monster whitetail buck grazing just over the ridge and two guys were shooting at it from the bottom about 450 yards. Finally granddad decided to give it a go and shot the buck dead with one shot from his 270. We ran into each other as I was dragging out the bull. They both were mortified but entirely understandable. They couldn't see me from where they were shooting and pretty much impossible to hit me anyway ... unless someone makes boomerang bullets. I'm glad they didnt see me otherwise they undoubtedly wouldn't have shot that trophy deer.
 

bignest

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Mar 4, 2018
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Friend of friend was turkey calling with his back against a big old oak. Coyote came ripping around the tree and bit the tip of his ear off before it realized that was a human and not a bird. Scared the hell out of the turkey and the hunter. He never got the tip of his ear back lol.
 
Yeti

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