Favorite Wildlife Watching moment.

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
2,713
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Once while deer hunting, my husband and I sat on some rim rock overlooking a coulee. It was ponderosa type country, with grass and shrubs in the bottom below the rim rocks. We watched for a while, and I eventually caught some movement through the brush, coming up the bottom. I expected a whitetail, but instead a large bobcat sauntered out of the brush, walking right up the trail in the bottom. When he got even with us at about 30 yards, my husband squeaked at him. He froze mid-stride, one foot in the air, and stood there completely still looking right at us. That little sound, and he knew exactly where we were. He was frozen there for probably 5 minutes at least. Very slowly, he lowered his foot until he had all four on the ground. Then he very slowly turned to face away from us but never took his eyes off where we were. Then he’d take one long, slow step at a time until he finally disappeared into the brush on the other side. The best look at a bobcat I’ve ever had.
 

Ben Long

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
1,213
Location
Kalispell, MT
The summer I was 3 years old, my parents took me to a zoo because I liked animals. In one paddock was a herd of zebras. A mother mallard duck walked cross the paddock leading a train of fluffy yellow ducklings behind her. The male zebra took offense and stomped each duckling to death, one by one. It has nothing to do with hunting but it did leave an impression.
 

Dakota79

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
348
A couple come to mind.

Watching a mule deer shed his horns.

Sharp tailed grouse doing their mating dance.

Eagles killing an antelope.

Having 27 mule deer bucks in velvet walk right around me.

Having a buck antelope come so close to a decoy I could see his eyelashes and nostrils flaring.
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
4,756
Location
SW NM
Deer hunting a Sierra canyon I sat in a log jam at the bottom of a meadow along a creek,waiting. Snow all over,cold breeze in my face. Looking upstream. Dead quiet just before daylight.

Out from behind me a martin loped along a log I was leaning on,right over my shoulder and arm resting on the log. He stopped 10 feet away,turned and grinned. Went on down the log to the bank bounding now in the snow.

Then a big Great Gray owl takes off silently from the tree he was perched in an he flew right over my head without a sound.

The topper was the big black bear that crossed the meadow on the deer trail I was watching and waiting. 50' away just waddling along,a 400lb blue black boar. And me with no bear tag in my hand for the 1st time in years during deer season.

The whole moment was in black & white tones with mist. Took no more than 5 minutes before sunrise. Wow.
 

LuketheDog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2015
Messages
2,956
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
I've seen lots of great stuff, but one that comes to mind was just a mouse. I was sitting on a hillside watching for elk in the Flat Tops, there was some kind of grass all around me with really long stalks, like 3' tall. This little mouse would climb up to the top and stuff his mouth full of seeds while the stalk slowly bent over to the ground under its weight, then the mouse would run off to wherever mice go. I sat there for at least an hour and the mouse did it probably once every 2-3 minutes and always within just a couple feet of me, I was bored and tired and it was absolutely fascinating. I mean, who the heck sees that kind of stuff unless you're sitting still in the woods and waiting for something to happen?
 

ashersdad

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
3,833
Location
Happy Valley, OR
Great thread! I have a couple that I'll always remember.

Killed a black bear in Alaska one year and the next day there were 3 wolverines feeding on the carcass. Watched them for the better part of an hour. Very cool critters.

Another time while bear hunting in Idaho I watched a white wolf steal a whitetail fawn from it's momma. This was before a wolf season in Idaho so I just watched nature take it's course.
 

SO7mm

Active member
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
250
Location
East SF Bay Area
Great thread. I was on a real good glassing knob in Nevada and had a small four point bust though a brush patch below me like he was being chased. There was no one else around and I was trying to figure out what happened when I saw a mountain lion move across an open hill side from the direction the buck had headed. Being able to watch that lion move across the hill like that for a couple of minutes was awesome.

I was at a club we used to hunt ducks with my previous chocolate lab and two spoonies landed in the decoys. I already had most of my limit and was holing out for something else and the dog was not having it. The spoonies got up and the dog and I watched them fly about 100 yards when a hawk came out of nowhere and hammered one of them. I swear that dog turned her head and looked at me like I was an idiot.
 

noharleyyet

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
29,281
Location
TEXAS
A morning post on a waterhole in a swale of aspens behind some good sized deadfall, the wind got up blowing dust, quaking the trees, and moments later rain and thunder turning to snow...a herd of cows and a few spikes came in and milled all around me. A few I could've touched, the whirling wind having them completely confused. I remained still and watched the show for at least 10 minutes. After they left I was very emotional...stayed there all day and took a nice bull that evening.

It was a solo elk hunt less than a week after my big brother's funeral.
 

CPAjeff

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
365
Location
Beneath these Western Skies . . .
Great thread!

My favorite happened one early summer morning while sitting on a dock at Hebgen Lake. I was enjoying the peace and quiet of the morning when I looked to my right and saw three otters swimming my way. The otters seemed focused on the rising fish in front of me. They stopped about 20 yards from the rising fish, appeared to huddle together, and make a game plan. Each otter slowly disappeared under the surface of the lake and attacked their prey from below. All three otters burst out of the water - like something you’d see on Shark Week - with a fish in their clutches. Clearly looking up, the fish were obvious to the otters beneath.

I watched as the otters enjoyed their breakfast and then slowly they swam away.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
2,226
I heartily concur with the original poster's sentiment on this. It's one of the better parts of hunting to see what else you can see while you're out there. I'm a birder, as well as a hunter, and it's funny what I think of as almost a "trash bird" that my birder friends would get all excited about.

One such bird is the Northern Goshawk. A couple years ago we were hunting elk up on Hell's Canyon and a goshawk came out of the trees over our heads with a squirrel in its talons. This taught me about goshawk identification. If you see a hawk and wonder if it's a goshawk or a Cooper's Hawk, it's probably not a goshawk. On the other hand, if the bird explodes out of the trees over your head, and you start looking for someplace to hide because you're afraid the hawk might drop the squirrel and haul you away, then THAT'S a goshawk!

QQ
And if it's the wrong time of the year that might not be an exaggeration. Every year in the National Parks there are more serious injuries from goshawk interactions than any other wild animal. You will know it if you're in the proximity of their nest ... and the ER will know about it soon enough too! I remember a pair attacking the jacked up school bus that took visitors to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai. Their nest was barely visible almost a hundred yards from the road (calling that a road is extremely generous). Still, we were too close for their comfort.
 

Panda Bear

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
764
I know this is suppose to be what you see when hunting, but a lot of our interaction with wildlife is when we are doing other activities. Possibly the most is during the Caribou -----migration, two week mating and two week calving windows. We find ourselves up close and personal during these times with the caribou, wolf packs, wolverines, grizzly, snow geese, fox and lynx. We will even follow them when they cross bodies of waters via canoes.

Arctic wolves have come right up to us, simply because they have never seen a human before and our curious.

My husband prefers the mountain goat interactions We will land on a mountain lake and they will sometimes come to the lake to investigate.

Overall, probably my favorite is watching the young play, regardless of species, but bear cubs, whether black, brown or white, are fun to watch.
 

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
3,188
I spent the summer of 1993 in Idaho while attending the University of Idaho, as a packer and guide for St. Joe Hunting and Fishing camp, now known as St. Joe Outfitters and Guides. Will and Barbara Judge tutored me in the skills necessary to be a proficient backcountry horseman. For that I am eternally grateful. Here is a story that ranks as one of the strangest occurrences I have seen in the backcountry.

I’d just returned from packing in groceries and propane on horseback with a 6-horse string from the trailhead downstream on the St. Joe River. We didn’t have any clients in camp and it was about an hour or two before dark. I had unsaddled and fed all the horses. I was walking back to the lodge and saw a coyote in a large clearing on the way back to the main camp from the horse corral. The coyote was barking at the tree line and acting pretty agitated. About 500 yards to the left along the river a couple of horse campers had set up camp and had staked out their horses. I figured they were close to the coyote’s den and that’s what had the coyote agitated.

As I walked closer to the coyote, it would look over its shoulder at me, then turn and look at the tree line and yip and bark. It did this three times. Each time it barked and looked away from me I moved closer. Pretty soon, I was 50 yards from this coyote. As it looked over it’s shoulder one more time, a cougar came bursting out of the trees, after the coyote. The song dog just about turned inside out and ran to my right, directly through the Lodge compound, between the lodge and the clothesline, and out the front gate with the cat right on it’s tail.

I was standing there amazed at what I had just seen. Two secretive animals had just been seen feet from where we slept each night. It was then that I realized that it was as wild and untamed a place as I might ever be, despite the 70-year-old log buildings we used as our headquarters.
 

Walkathon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
1,247
Location
Central Minnesota
I was deer hunting in Montana last year in an area with very few elk. Had never seen one in the area, but the owner of the Block Management land had said they do see elk every few years. First morning of the hunt, I looked over my left shoulder, and a raghorn bull and 2 cows stepped out of the thick trees at the bottom of a canyon about 200 yards away. No elk tag in my pocket, and didn't have permission to hunt elk, so I watched them for about 10 minutes and they worked their way back into the trees and I didn't see them again on the trip.

Another cool experience was a bobcat that walked the edge of a field right before legal shooting light and stopped about 10' from me while I was sitting on the ground. It couldn't figure out what I was so it stared at me for about a minute and slowly turned around and faded away.
 

Akcabin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
197
Yes this is nice. Nice to remember the times that were similar to what others have had. Kinda share the memories.
Were blessed to have a cabin in a remote area. One evening while my beautiful wife n me were out moose hunting .
It was dark when I got back to the cabin as I kinda enjoy watching what goes on after dark around the small pond that my blind overlooks. The wolves get active. Beautiful wife had a nice hot meal ready for me when I got home. We went upstairs to go to bed. After we were done getting settled n the coleman lamp silenced were laying in bed n my beautiful wife asks, did you hear that ? Well I'm generally pretty hard at hearing so I ask whats that ? She says it sounds like a goat. No goats in bush Ak. I open up the door to the deck n crawl back into bed.
As we listened to a pack of wolves taking down a moose near a hundred yards or so in front of the cabin. It was the moose bawling. I estimated it was a pretty large pack. It was hard to tell. I believe there must have been a bunch of pups also as there was a lot of yelping, it was exillerating ! Just one of those moments where you just have to be there.
Also glad I shared that moment with my beautiful wife. Take one make one.
Sharing a moment with our son when we harvested his first moose, 58" non typical. Or when I was looking down at our kids while they were on their way to spend a couple days together cleaning n cutting firewood so I didn't have to from the bush plane. Now they are the caretakers.
Picture of the view from my blind. 20210317_114745.jpg
But there is this thing inside me that says that the real story is over the next hill, and I gotta go see
 
Last edited:

Dsnow9

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
1,341
Location
Colorado
Awesome thread! I’ve got a bunch but the ones that really stand out are watching a doe give birth while turkey hunting. It was amazing how quickly that little bugger was up on its feet.

Watching a mountain lion stalk a heard of deer for an hour or so from about 300 yards away. When it disappeared from site it got a little nerve racking.

A friend once shot an elk uphill from me, I didn’t have a tag. The heard came barreling down the hill straight at me, a cow and nice bull planted their feet on the other side of the sagebrush and split. I could grab the cows ear and the anterior at the same time. I don’t remember yelling but my buddy yelled down to make sure I was ok because I felled so loud. Took two steps after they ran by and found a set of elk sheds 6x6.

Lastly I was in a tree stand trying to hunt elk on a small property and had a bear come up and try to climb the tree stand. Luckily I also had the bear tag.

E21AF05B-04FF-44F8-BB1B-EA13AFD5FEEB.jpeg
 

Beignet

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
159
Loving this thread!

One of my own that sticks out: I was doing a quick weekend solo fish/hike trip to some of the lakes up in the Rattlesnake Wilderness early September a few years back. Just the kind of weather where the early AM is pretty frigid but you’re in short sleeves soon after the sun rises above the mountains.

One morning I was hovered around my little stove boiling water for coffee and breakfast before things got warm, taking in the scenery. A small black bear popped out of the woods on the opposite side of the lake and did something like it’s little morning stretch then had a few drinks of water. Not ten minutes after the sun started to warm us both up it hopped into the lake for a swim.

I was convinced that it had some kind of destination in mind on the opposite side of the lake. But the thing just swam pleasure laps for about 20 minutes while I had my morning chow. After the exercise routine it hopped out of the water, shook off, then went right back into the section of woods from where it came.
 

trb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
305
Location
Colorado
Some great stories on here!

A few years ago I kayaked through Manitoba from Lake Winnipeg out to Hudson Bay with my dad, my brother, and a friend. In the last leg of the trip, somewhere around day 22 or so, we spotted movement along the shore of the lake we were traversing (the trip is comprised of 3 rivers and countless lakes of varying sizes). I paddled closer to see it was a black wolf pup. After a few seconds, it popped back into the thick brush. I paddled to within about 20 yards from shore to see if it would come back out.

Brush right in front of me started moving, and out popped the huge blocky head head and front half of the mom. I was close enough to her to be in awe of her size and the mottled black and brown fur (almost like a tortoise shell color pattern). We had direct eye contact and stared at each other for probably about 10 long seconds, and she slipped back into the brush and disappeared. I have seen a number of wolves before in Montana and Canada, but that was really special.

Also saw a polar bear at the end of that trip...but that's another story.
 

Backofbeyond

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
559
Location
Boise, ID
July 2004 I needed some time to get my head right after a friend's passing, so I headed up to my favorite mountain lake. I spent 3 days at the lake, and on day 4 I decided it was time to get back to civilization, but I also decided to take the long way out. I climbed up the long rocky ridge between the two lakes. Up on top I decided to take a little break, have a snack, which turned into me laying back, pulling my ball cap over my eyes, and drifting off to a light sleep.

I woke up to gravel crunching to my left, as something spun in a circle, then flopped down. Peaking out from under the bill I saw a large white ball of fuzz not 10 yards from me. I slowly sat up and made eye contact with a very impressive billy. He looked at me without a care in the world, then turned and surveyed the ridge below.

I slowly got up, put my backpack on watched all the while by the billy. I headed around the ridge back to the main trail and he was still there when I hit the otherside and dropped off the back side.

It was just what my soul needed.
 
Sitka Banner

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
96,865
Messages
1,469,635
Members
30,469
Latest member
AlexT.
Top