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Mar 25th, 2012
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Lost in the woods #7359492 11/27/18 03:25 PM
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My family and I have been hunting the same acreage in Oklahoma since I can remember. It belongs to a close family friend in North Oklahoma on my Dad's home turf. This is where he was born 71 years ago, and along the banks of sand creek where he grew up camping and fishing. The property is located where sand creek has carved out a valley from the surrounding prairie. Steep elevation changes and rocky outcroppings leading to the prairie up above, and lush pastures in the valley below. The deer hunting is phenomenal.
We get together as a family and hunt there every year, and have done so since I was 10. The owner has purchased adjacent property through the years, so some of the property is not as familiar to us, and coon hollow was one of those purchases. Nine years ago, when it was first purchased, I hunted it and killed the biggest buck of my life. Two shots from my .270 brought him down. Last Saturday evening, my Dad decided he wanted to hunt coon hollow. He had never hunted there before, so I walked him in and gave him the lay of the land. "Take this trail in and just across the wet weather creek, you will follow the creek up about 200 yards and you will find an open oak flat. Up against the creek, there are two trees growing out of the same base. That's where I was sitting when I shot my deer. It's a good spot. If you were to continue all the way to the top, you'll run into the Nature conservancy's fence up on the prairie. If you go down, you would eventually spill out into sand creek right underneath the Judge's cabin" I figured this was enough to let him know his bearings...besides, he was only 300 yards into the woods from a road that was very well known to him.
Come dark, My son and I were the first back at the cabin, so we started cooking dinner. Everyone started to filter in, and were swapping stories about what they saw, what they missed, and what they didn't shoot at. After I had expected Dad back, we realized that he was nowhere to be found. Buck and I took my truck over to coon hollow and went in with lights, calling for Dad, and walked all the way to where I expected him to be...then a little farther. We figured that we had missed him walking back somehow, and that he was probably back at the cabin. No luck. We gathered a search party, and split into groups with each group having an assigned area to search based on where we thought he might have been able to end up on foot. Me and my nephew took the Ridge over coon hollow as I hunted up there often and was very familiar with it.
About 2 hours after dark we found him on the ridge. He described what happened. He started walking out with just a little bit of light left, but couldn't find the flags for the trail. He did run into a fence, but said he didn't remember a fence walking in. (From what he described, he was probably only 30-40 yards from the open gate where we walked in.) So he tried to walk back to his starting point to get his bearings again, but darkness had fallen and he couldn't find the spot. All he had was a pen light. Pretty bright for a pen light, but still, just a pen light. After unsuccessfully trying to find his way out a few times, he decided to walk all the way to the top of coon hollow to the ridge where he was eventually found. He knew there was a road there and if he could get there, he could find the road and walk back down a path that he was at least familiar with. That walk up coon hollow is a tough hike for a 45 year old in the daytime. Very steep in places, and very rocky. I know from experience. I'd imagine it's really tough on a 71 year old at night with just a pen light. Once he made it to the top, he found the fenceline, and found the gate that would tell him where the ranch road was. He found the gate...so he thought...but couldn't find the road. It was dark. He was out of water. And his feet were starting to really hurt. That was the point that he decided to sit down and either wait to be found, or spend the night. Once daylight broke, he would have very plainly seen the correct gate that would have led him to the road that he was less that 200 yards away from.
Once we found him, got him some water, and got him in the warm truck out of the wind. He was all smiles, and produced from his pocket two spent .270 shells with about nine years of Patina. He had found the tree that I had described, and upon sitting down, and brushing the leaves aside, he had found the two spent casings that I had killed that buck with 9 years ago.
Be safe out there guys. Be sure and let someone know where you will be, and when you plan to be back. It can be easy to get lost in the woods. Even woods that you are familiar with.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7359504 11/27/18 03:40 PM
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Glad everything turned out for the best. It's neat that he found your shells.


Ski cabin rental in Pagosa Springs.
www.pagosaspringscabin.com
Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7359511 11/27/18 03:47 PM
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Your dad had a hunt and an adventure. I'm glad he is fine and this will be a hunt y'all will remember for a long time to come.

Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7359544 11/27/18 04:11 PM
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Great ending to great story. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7359549 11/27/18 04:13 PM
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Glad y'all found him quickly. I carry a couple flashlights, one big mag light, replace batteries at the beginning of every season whether they need it or not.

Did he have a call phone on him? That would help with communication but also, depending on the strength of the signal, the map could be used to help him navigate to where he needs to be. I've used the satellite view a couple times to help orient myself in a new area, or even a shopping mall!


Originally Posted by Scott W
Re: Lost in the woods [Re: Scott W] #7359554 11/27/18 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott W
Glad y'all found him quickly. I carry a couple flashlights, one big mag light, replace batteries at the beginning of every season whether they need it or not.

Did he have a call phone on him? That would help with communication but also, depending on the strength of the signal, the map could be used to help him navigate to where he needs to be. I've used the satellite view a couple times to help orient myself in a new area, or even a shopping mall!


On our place cell phones luckily don't work. However, we all carry handheld radios with a base station at the main cabin. Everyone is always in communication with each other.

Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7359580 11/27/18 04:30 PM
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glad it all turned out okay ...


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

~PMK~
Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7359604 11/27/18 04:45 PM
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Yes, he did have his cell phone with him, but the only place on property that has cell service is the ridge that he walked up to. He had sent text messages to everyone hoping that one would go through. I received his text about the same time I found him, and my sister received her's the next day. LOL. Luckily, it is very remote property, and we really have not had many issues. I had to hike to the nearest ranch house once when my truck battery died. Took me about 40 minutes. Rained so heavy once that we got flooded in, and had to stay an extra day before the water receded. Otherwise we've never had a situation we have not been able to get ourselves out of.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7359616 11/27/18 04:54 PM
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Went in on the wrong trail in Montana, and after veering off stalking a bear, me and two buddies were turned around with the map in the truck. Thankfully in the 33 degree temps we gad fire making equipment, but it was tough with the snow/rain mix. Needless to stay, 2 days later, my friends frostbit pinky toe, and a pinetree lean-to, the sheriffs county search and rescue found us. One of the most, if not the most, humbling spiritual experiences yet. Be prepared! Glad all turned out well for yall! Scary stuff, but the .270 shells were an awesome detail for sure!

Re: Lost in the woods [Re: PMK] #7359642 11/27/18 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PMK
glad it all turned out okay ...

Re: Lost in the woods [Re: SenkoSamurai] #7359777 11/27/18 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SenkoSamurai
Went in on the wrong trail in Montana, and after veering off stalking a bear, me and two buddies were turned around with the map in the truck. Thankfully in the 33 degree temps we gad fire making equipment, but it was tough with the snow/rain mix. Needless to stay, 2 days later, my friends frostbit pinky toe, and a pinetree lean-to, the sheriffs county search and rescue found us. One of the most, if not the most, humbling spiritual experiences yet. Be prepared! Glad all turned out well for yall! Scary stuff, but the .270 shells were an awesome detail for sure!

I think the rest of the family was more scared then he was. He has spent the night under the stars in the cold on more than one occasion. This would have been the first time on accident, but, other than the lack of water, he would have been fine. Our biggest concern was that he was injured somewhere. Thankfully, other than an inflamed bunion, he sustained no injuries. Glad your ordeal turned out well. Scary stuff for sure!


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7360139 11/28/18 12:26 AM
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Got lost once back in my teenage years while hunting with a friend in Mississippi. Neither of us had a watch or compass and it was an overcast day with no sight of the sun to use as a directional reference. We both lost all track of time and direction and feared it would soon be dark. We eventually ran into hunters on a nearby lease who were convinced we were trespassing and refused to take and drop us off at the nearest public road where we could walk to find a phone to call our folks. The old man in the group told us to walk back in the direction we came on an old logging road. We eventually made it back to learn we had only been lost for three hours.


Dan,

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Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7360164 11/28/18 12:55 AM
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I got lost (really my 4 wheeler broke down) when I was 16 on family property adjacent to the ozark national forest in Arkansas. It was going to be dark in an hour and knew I would not be able to walk back before dark. So I stayed the night up in the woods with no phone service and walked back in the morning. I should have listened to my parents that told me not to go out riding by myself. They were pissed but glad I was not dead.

Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7360896 11/28/18 05:40 PM
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Great story, glad it had a good ending

Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7361312 11/28/18 11:10 PM
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Getting lost can do some strange things to a personís state of being, no matter their age.

A friend shared the story of how he once found a guy who had been lost in the National Forest for most of a day. My friend drove him in his own truck to where he had parked his car. When he opened the door of my friendís truck to get into his own vehicle, my friend told him not to forget his rifle. He told my friend to keep it because he would no longer need it.


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Re: Lost in the woods [Re: jim1961] #7361343 11/28/18 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jim1961
Great story, glad it had a good ending

up


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Happy Holidays!!
Re: Lost in the woods [Re: unclebubba] #7361433 11/29/18 01:26 AM
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Glad it ended well, havenít gotten lost yet but plan on hunting for quite a few more years so time will tell.


Don't take life so seriously, you'll never make it out alive!
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