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Spooky Stories from the Great Outdoors

Scary stories from the field and the water? We’ve got some for you…

In honor of Halloween, we wanted to share some of our favorite and most memorable stories from a few of our writers, stories that take place while out hunting, casting a line, and being in the woods.

Now’s the time of year for these sorts of tales, and we hope you enjoy.

From Tim Kjellesvik

The 2008 archery deer season opened on a Monday. That previous Saturday I hung a final treestand in a large conjoined oak tree. The trunks joined at soil level to their twin and both were at least two feet in diameter. Severe thunderstorms broke out that Sunday, dumping inches of rain in a matter of hours. When I stepped into the predawn woods on opening day, though dark and drenched, the din of water rushing down the valley slopes resounded everywhere.

Nearing my stand, the shaft of light from my headlamp beam lit up a completely unfamiliar landscape. I couldn’t find my stand. Frustrated and confused, I zig zagged through the area frantic to get up into the tree before first light. Finding the two parallel trunks had never been this hard before.

Until I noticed something out of place.

The tag end of some black webbing lay sticking out of the mud near a fallen tree. I bent over to pick it up, but it wouldn’t budge. I dropped to my knees as my gut churned with a terrifying realization. This webbing was attached to the mangled frame of my crushed deer stand under the mass of the oak I hung it in.

Sometime between the time I was up in the stand on Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, its foundation failed sending thousands of pounds of hardwood crashing to the forest floor. That one massive downed tree changed the complexion of the entire valley and made me realize how close I had come to dying in the woods.

From Alex Burton:

Me and a buddy of mine, Tony, were pulling an all nighter catfishing for a fish fry one summer a few years back. We were at a friend of ours private pond way back on the 240 acre property.
It was about 2am and the fishing was slow.

We were just sitting in the light of a full moon listening to the coyotes howl while slamming back a few cold ones.

After a few minutes we realized everything got dead silent. No crickets chirping or anything.

On the other side of the pond we started to hear something big moving through the thick grass and brush. Then it stopped as we began watching the edge of the pond near it. I then had that weird feeling in the back of my mind you get when you are being watched creep up on me.

Tony looked at me and asked, “What was that?”

I replied, “A cow maybe?”

“I don’t think Joe has any cows down here. That’s why everything is grown up.”

We both got quiet and continued to watch the area we last heard the movement. Everything was still dead silent except for the sounds of our nervous breathing.

“If Bigfoot crashes through there, I hope you can keep up to the truck,” laughed Tony nervously.

We kept staring when whatever it was began moving again. We could just make out a large outline parting the tall grass going towards a stand of woods not far from us.

At that point we quietly reeled in our rods, grabbed the cooler, and booked it back to the truck in case it decided to come back.

We asked Joe the next day about cows and Tony was right. There hadn’t been any cows down there in years.

Joe told me that something had been making his livestock nervous at night over the last few weeks, but assumed it was coyotes.

We never saw it again whatever it was, and I hope I never do.

From Chris Buckner:

When I was younger I did some of my best sleeping while I was supposed to be hunting (Who am I kidding? I still do that). I was doing some spring turkey hunting and had been out trying a few different spots during the day.

Nothing happened in the morning, then I tried some stalking during the middle of the day, also to no avail, when I decided to sit down at the base of a tree bordering a field to wait for the turkeys to hopefully come eat towards sunset.

Leaning up against this tree with the sun shining was just too much to overcome and finally I succumbed to an afternoon nap. I soon discovered that I wasn’t the only person out enjoying the afternoon sunshine, as I felt something strike my boots to wake me from my slumber.

As I woke with a start the first thing I saw was a sillouet of a man hovering over me. Then as my eyes adjusted I looked at the implement he was carrying; it was a rake. But not just any rake attached to the teeth on the end he used to wake me was a dead squirrel.

Being young and alone on this hunt I didn’t know what to think or what this crazy old man did to kill that squirrel on the end of his rake. All I knew was that I wasn’t going to be next. As fast as I could I took off through the woods behind me and made it quite a ways before I stopped to look back.

Another story from Chris:

The wild turkey is an amazing creature. It’s a bird that doesn’t particularly like to fly but at the same time it spends every night at roost in a tree. They are birds that seem to have very predictable patterns but then just change their routine with the drop of a feather.

One particular spring day I witnessed a rafter of turkeys do something that I never expected and still can’t explain.

I was set up on the edge of an island of trees in the middle of an open field. I was hunting with a single shot 20-gauge and had been just watching and waiting since sunrise. At around 1100 I heard some movement in the lower part of the field behind me so I prepared for anything to come around the corner of the trees.

As I waited the noises kept getting louder and more often but not closer. Turkeys started gobbling but still not moving from the bottom of the field. So, ever so carefully I started working my way through the brush so see if I could get a shot.

It took a few minutes to make my way undetected to the other side of the island and when I got there I couldn’t believe what I saw. In the bottom of this field were 13 gobblers all gathered in a perfect circle. They were all evenly spaced out and were all fanned out in a strutting pose. By this point there were gobbles coming from almost every one of the birds at seemingly random intervals.

This amazing display continued for only a couple of minutes and then like they knew someone was watching the birds simply stopped and walked back into the woods.

Share your own scary stories with us on Facebook, and have a great Halloween!

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Spooky Stories from the Great Outdoors