Non-Game Species Encountered in the Field

I once encountered a porcupine walking towards me. I just stood still to see how close he would get. He came all the way up to me, sat up and reached with his front legs like he was planning on climbing my leg. that's as far as I let him go.

Another time I sat up against a tree and blew on my predator call to see if I could call a coyote or something. A squirrel in the tree started barking and coming down the tree. He came all the way down, barking all the way, and hit me on the head with his front feet before retreating back up the tree.

In the same canyon that I saw the porcupine I sat down and decided to see if I could call a coyote using a blade of grass as a call. A few minutes after calling I heard a growl behind me. I slowly turned my head to see a coyote about five feet away, ears back and teeth bared. That was pretty cool.

I had to pee once in the middle of the night, so I left the tent. I took a flashlight but since the moon was so bright, I didn't turn it on. As I was doing my business, I noticed something in the moonlight that looked out of place. I turned the light on and there was a skunk about ten feet away locked and loaded and ready to fire. That wasn't cool.

One summer I was surveying on a BLM crew. There were three of us on the crew. Two of us were outdoor fanatics and the other had never been in the woods before he got the job that summer. He was a motorcycle fanatic. One day as we were driving to the job sight the motorcycle guy ask us, out of the blue, if we had ever seen a flying squirrel. We both said we had but very rarely. Later that day the two of us were talking hunting while waiting for the other guy to get the total station set up, when a flying squirrel landed at the base of a tree a few feet behind him. We both started pointing and exclaimed that there was a flying squirrel right there. He just flipped us off thinking we were making fun of him. It turned out there was a mamma with three babies about fifteen feet up in the tree.

I got a million stories. While working in the Oregon coast range there was a road that I had to drive almost every day. There was an alder leaning across the road that I could barely drive under. One night it snowed, and the weight of the snow pushed the tree down far enough that I couldn't drive under it. I didn't feel like getting the saw and all the safety gear out, so I just grabbed my axe and climbed up the cutbank. As I was digging in foot holds, I notice a bobcat in the road. He was just sitting there in the snow watching me. I got the tree cut and the tree falling didn't bother him a bit. As I came down the cutbank he just walked off. After I got the tree cleared and started driving off, I saw him sitting on the edge of the road just watching me go.
 
Mainly owls, hawks and eagles. I was fishing in my little John boat once and a bald eagle came down a scooped a bass out of the lake in front of me. That was pretty cool.

I see a porcupine about once a year in a certain spot.

Don’t know if it counts but was predator calling along a creek once and two doe came in and began stomping my rabbit decoy. I had to chase them off. Killed a fox not long after though.
 
One time, walking into a hunting spot in the dark (with my headlamp off), I became aware that there was some sort of animal right in front of me. I couldn't see anything and when it obvious that something was standing there, I broke down and flicked the light on. It was a grey fox, standing just 10 feet away.
 
It’s so interesting people think badgers are rare . In Iowa they are a complete pest . Any farmer would gladly let you trap as many as you can . And it’s incredibly easy . Now grey fox here ? Rare as get out !
 
Technically it’s not non-game, but while sitting against a tree waiting for a blacktail a bobcat came bounding out of a bush and landed right on top of a mouse of some type. He was about 15’ in front of me and he just chomped that mouse up in 3 or 4 bites then just sauntered off.
 
One that pops into my mind was a little red fox.
It was a quiet warm day and I was stalking in on a herd of elk bedded in thick timber. I was at a stand still while a cow, maybe 50 yards in front of me, had her head facing in my direction. In between us was a slight little dip that led out to a opening on my right.
As Im standing there, midstep, I catch movement coming from the little opening. Here comes the little red fox along the opening up through the dip a few yards in front of me and off into the timber. Happy little guy just cruising along, didn't seem to care about me or the elk, he was headed somewhere. I often think of him on slow days. Ha
 
Not a hunting story, but about 3 or 4 years ago I drove by an irrigation pond here on the farm and a small group of ducks jumped up. They just circled around and went back to the pond, but one of them seemed to be following me and flew by me about 3/4 mile back to the shop. The next day I drove by the pond in the opposite direction and the ducks didn't even fly, except one that followed me for quite aways. Now, I was really curious so I slowed up and for another mile or so the duck just flew along side me. The only thing I could figure was that someone with a similar truck had raised him and he imprinted on that person and the truck. The next day there were no ducks at the pond and I never saw my friend again.
 
I seem to see Eagles a lot the last few seasons , and I always would come across an owl or 2 blacktail hunting the coast range IMG_9391.jpegIMG_4680.jpeg

Since moving to Montana I’ve come across a badger and a porcupine
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But the wildest for me was a preseason Rosie scouting trip to learn some new country, came across to heavy elk Trail the elk had been using that summer and so I decided to follow it into the reprod , down and old cat road. It was overgrown with ferns , all of a sudden, you can hear some big animals just take off to the sound of brush, snapping and popping the sound of hooves just thundering and away from me.

Elk I smile, so I sit still for a while and don’t move and just listen because it’s thick, I couldn’t see where they went . But ahead through the brush I can hear him snorting and flaring his nostrils , I’m like that elk is trying to smell me. Because They took off running at the sound of me without knowing who, or what I was and then stopped.

So I slowly begin to stock very quietly archery style to try to see if I can get a glimpse of the herd or see what’s going on and all of a sudden the old cat road begins to open up again and I see a meadow in front of me and it’s 2 freaking horses wild as all get out !!! I’m like what the hell is this?

So I begin to gently talk to them and the one who wanted to come closer to me, but the other one was so freaked out and would just run in circles and just snort and was getting really nasty and then I didn’t know if they had escaped or somebody at dumped them because they couldn’t afford to take care of them anymore, but I ended up backing out and marking the location on onX and reporting it to fish and game and then found out that the horses had escaped hell and gone from where I found them. They were able to be recovered and return to the lady that owned them , I got to talk to her on the phone for a bit, and she was so thankful that i found her horses
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Almost forgot, I almost walked into a skunk scouting some river bottom for a possible whitetail spot last fall , it was under 15 yds walking right at me
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I took a non hunter out for his first duck hunt on his property. Across the pond we saw a poplar tree get finished off by a beaver. Timberrrrrrr We both thought that to be a “one of” for the rest of our lives.

My second cool thing for me was pheasant hunting near Corsica S Dakota after a heavy dumping of snow. The next morning I was walking a fence line to be a blocker. I happened to follow a set of rabbit tracks for quite some distance and then they disappeared. Wing tips from a bird of prey were around the last set of bunny tracts. I really wish I had a photo of that. Well before we had cell phones with cameras.
 
A few years ago a couple friends and i were dropped off by float plane in Northern Quebec at a cabin for a week of fishing. One afternoon while relaxing with some adult beverages, we watched a martin chase a red squirrel around for about 5 minutes before it caught the rodent. We once had a Golden Eagle make several passes at our duck decoys in Saskatchewan. I videoed a bobcat walk by my deer blind last fall as it carried a freshly killed gray squirrel in it’s mouth. One year while fishing in Northern Quebec, my wife and I witnessed a mature Bald Eagle snatch a Black Duck duckling from a brood swimming with it’s mother. I have had coyotes pounce on my plastic goose decoys several times. 😂
 
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The obligatory badger pic. I was walking out from a complete bust of a hunt and he walked right up to me.

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Looking for turkeys and came upon this guy. Grazing on green grass like a little cow. He grazed right up to me. Kinda cute.

No pic but calling coyotes once I was sitting on a cold snowy hillside overlooking a creek bottom and an eagle came flying around the hill slightly below me, then turned uphill and tried to land on my rifle. Totally ruined my set 😂.

Had lots of coyotes and a bobcat or two walk right up to me while sitting somewhere. Can’t think of anything very unusual, but always fun to see even the common things up close.
 
I have so many memories of critters while game hunting. I still have daily encounters at home.

I was hunting deer from the Sierra cabin. Out the back door hunt.

A martin walking a log I was sitting on,just hopped off and went around me and back on the log. He went to the nearest tree and watched. The usual pests the Douglas squirrels come out to harass me and one runs to the martins tree and he snatches the squirrel like a flash.
That martin took 2 more from his perch that morning and for the next 3 days he was outside the cabin waiting for me to go hunting in the morning. He followed me and waited for my tormentors to arrive.

My ex didn't believe me.
I took her out the next morning and there was the martin on a round by the fire pit behind the cabin. I sat down in a chair with my coffee and she sat in another with her tea. The martin was 20 feet away. We just watched each other.
I went in for a refill before going out to work on breaking down my buck hanging from a tree.
The martin stayed and started following Deanna around that morning. Even with the dogs out that martin became her friend.
He would sit on the woodpile and wait for the tea lady and the dogs to get the squirrels distracted.
 
As a kid I found a dark black momma porcupine with a tiny white baby clinging to her. I've read white porcupines are very rare.

Sitting on a corn feeder with my nephew, we watched a bobcat stalk up slowly underneath, wait for a bird to land on the spreader, then jump straight up trying to catch it. Did a backflip in the process, but sadly missed. He looked disgusted and just slowly walked away. The only full daytime bobcat I've seen in 51 years of walking the woods.
 
Tons of hawks, eagles, and owls. A couple snowy owls. They’re always special.
Fishing in northern MN a while back and I went to net a rainbow trout my brother was reeling in and as I went for the scoop, a lion shot up from the deep dark and I about netted it. He was chasing the fish on the line. That was neat.
 
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