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True story from my elk 2022 hunt #9020046 03/16/24 04:52 AM
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When you're hunting in the Rockies and not very far from Yellowstone the subject of grizzlies will always come up. Wes and I were in the Bridger National Forest looking for elk, with little luck. The third afternoon a polite and talkative warden named Cody visited our camp. He asked if we’d mind if he let his German Shorthair out to stretch and we obliged. He visited about elk and hunting in general and was particularly interested in hearing about Nilgai when he learned I was from south Texas. Then he talked of grizzlies and how they had spread from Yellowstone into the surrounding mountains. When I asked if there were any around our area he quickly and strongly said “No, no.”

When Cody left Wes looked at me and asked “Do you know why he was so sure there are no grizzlies around here?”
I cocked my head and looked up slowly and said “No.”

“So he don’t have to look for or investigate em. They’re here. Not a lot yet but I’ve seen their sign. They're here.”


I never doubted Wes but those big bears weren’t high on my list of worries. My worry list was topped with the hope that my old horse, Grandpa, wouldn’t miss a step and take us both down the side of a mountain at an extreme rate of speed. Number two was seeing a legal bull.

We came off the mountain that night without spotting any elk. As we rode quietly through Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine that night my mind wandered to bear stories, I could remember as a child reading in magazines like Outdoor Life the occasional stories of Grizzly attacks. With the tall trees blotting out the stars and the pine needles soaking up sound it was an eerie silent ride. I could see the occasional spark shoot off the shoes of Wes’ horse when it clipped a rock, as Grandpa and I trailed him. I smiled as I thought of how Grandpa never ever tripped or stumbled when he was heading back to the feed bucket. I think Wes was nearly asleep on his horse when several grouse ( I think. It was dark and I don’t have the experience to know.) exploded next to him. The former NFR bull rider showed his talent and stuck to the saddle as his horse shot sideways. Grandpa barely looked up, he was feed bucket bound. Wes spoke a few choice words to his mount as I laughed heartily.

15 minutes later we were back in camp. I helped get the horses put up and as I fed them Wes started supper. We ate three cheese lasagna, a typical wild west supper, until I thought I would bust. Wes told quite a few stories of his friends and fellow guides and their run-ins with grizzlies. From stolen kills to horses bolting in fright it was a wonderful story filled meal. After we cleaned up and secured our food supply I went across the camp to my tent.

The half moon cast the pine shadows across my wall tent door as I stepped inside. My cot and sleeping bag sure looked good. Two long travel days and three hard days of hunting had me worn out. Getting my boots off tonight was a struggle. I took three advil and drank a bottle of water. I laid out clothes for the next day then lay down with my head next to the door and was instantly asleep.

According to my watch I woke up about an hour later, I wasn’t sure what woke me but I thought I heard a faint scratching. A few minutes of silence and I was back asleep but Ursus Horribilis walked through my dreams and sleep was fitful.

It was after midnight when I woke up again. The moon had set and the forest was dark and quiet except for the scratch of claws on the wooden pallet that was my front porch, I froze in my sleeping bag. My gun was laying on the other cot across the tent well out of reach. The scratching stopped. My breaths came slow and soft, I knew it wasn’t a dream but all was quiet again, nothing moved in the camp. Exhaustion was getting the better of me and I fell into the zone where I wasn’t asleep or awake.

My eyelids closed just as claws sank into my scalp. I screamed and threw my hands to cover my head. I felt fur as my hands grabbed and slapped for my life. I had a handful of fur that I yanked and threw toward the back wall. I sat straight up and hit my little flashlight. It lit up the back of the tent and there next to the other cot looking me right in the eye was the biggest rat I’ve ever seen! He lay there for a second looking at me, then he casually walked to the door and out into the night. I stood up, turned my sleeping bag around so my feet were near the door and my head close, real close, to the back wall and went back to sleep.

Then next morning when Wes asked how I slept I said ‘I think there’s a mouse in my tent.”

We never got an elk.


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020051 03/16/24 05:17 AM
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Yeah always sleep with your feet to the entrance and head slightly uphill if not level.

Thats a funny story. Good read

Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020052 03/16/24 05:19 AM
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roflmao

Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020094 03/16/24 11:55 AM
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Grizzly mouse roflmao


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020098 03/16/24 12:13 PM
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good story!


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020105 03/16/24 12:35 PM
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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020203 03/16/24 04:08 PM
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Good thing that mouse didn't drag you out of the tent!

Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020223 03/16/24 04:42 PM
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Thanks for the smile!!!

Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020228 03/16/24 04:51 PM
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rofl


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020229 03/16/24 04:53 PM
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lol. Great story.


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: BOBO the Clown] #9020731 03/17/24 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
lol. Great story.


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9020850 03/18/24 01:22 AM
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cheers

Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: BOBO the Clown] #9020982 03/18/24 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
lol. Great story.


That it was up

Nothing close to your encounter.

Several years ago I had an old rv trailer where I hunted at and mice were a problem. One night as I slept something bumped into my cheek, raised my head to see a little mouse scampering off, did not sleep hardly at all after that.


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9021111 03/18/24 04:50 PM
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eeks333 ... did you have to clean out your sleeping bag? funny story!


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9021446 03/19/24 01:01 AM
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Great story!! Well done!

Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9021463 03/19/24 01:16 AM
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I can tell you the Grizzlies are thicker than rats in Montana these last few years. But you haven't experienced a Montana pack rat until you wake up with one chewing on your big toe! Good story, brings up some funny and not so funny memories.


Just like Jesus, sometimes you gotta kill some hogs.
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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: RattlesnakeDan] #9021474 03/19/24 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by RattlesnakeDan
I can tell you the Grizzlies are thicker than rats in Montana these last few years. But you haven't experienced a Montana pack rat until you wake up with one chewing on your big toe! Good story, brings up some funny and not so funny memories.



I got time!!! lets hear it rattlebug!!!


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: BOBO the Clown] #9021606 03/19/24 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by RattlesnakeDan
I can tell you the Grizzlies are thicker than rats in Montana these last few years. But you haven't experienced a Montana pack rat until you wake up with one chewing on your big toe! Good story, brings up some funny and not so funny memories.



I got time!!! lets hear it rattlebug!!!

Not going into any Grizz stories here but when you are 10' away from a big boar and 20yds from a sow and cubs and you can not kill an elk w/o them showing up before you can get them boned out, then you have a Grizz problem and F&G are well aware of it. Certain areas I would not jog or ride my mt bike.
My brother had a place in the Missouri Breaks out in eastern Montana and we would go out there for a week to deer hunt. When we arrived at the old mobile home set up for camp we found it taken over by pack rats. I kept asking him why he was bringing a shop vac with when we didn't really have room for it in the truck and he would just laugh and say "you''ll see". Those dang things had made nests in drawers, inside mattresses and everywhere you could stuff a 2lb furball. There was pizz and crap everywhere and the smell was thick. So we got to work chasing those dang little kangaroo looking rats out of the place and sucked up so many pink babies and nests it was ridiculous. Afyer all that we had to clean and spray Lysol and such to try to make it livable for the week. Next was the strategic part of picking a sleeping spot. My brother picks the top bunk in the back room. I refuse to sleep back there, the mattresses were nasty and I guess he figured the top bunk was off the ground and the best bet. I chose to toss my sleeping bag on the couch and bunk down there for the night. Well, it took about 5 minutes after lights out to start hearing those rats scurrying around and scratching and chewing on things, I suppose there were some mamma's looking for their little pink babies that got sucked up and dumped out back.
It was hot too so the place smelled bad and you couldn't sleep inside your sleeping bag w/o unzipping it all the way. It didn't take long before the first one was crawling over my head and I kind freaked out and tossed that thing off trying to scramble up and yelling. I heard my brother in the back just laughing and tell me to be quiet. yeah right. Finally somehow I dozed off and woke to some weird sensation in my foot and took me a second to realize there was a dang pack rat perched on the arm of the couch and it was chewing on my big toe! Son of a B! Now I was pizzed off and tired and hot and wondered why I came out there in the first place.
Unrelated, the next day I we saw this couple living in a mobile home with a bunch of additions on it, in the middle of nowhere. So we went to talk to them, they were out picking juniper berries which they sold to make some $ having a meager existence out there. Ends up it was the leader of the Freedom group that was on the news bigtime back then and was harassed by the FbI and other law enforcement for standing up for himself. Great guy actually. He owned a big forestry operation in upstate NY and when the beavers flooded his land he took out their dams like usual but now was the new era of liberalism and the EPA came after him for harming the wildlife and and he spent millions fighting them until he was broke and pizzed off. They let him buy a piece of ground away from the world and allowed him one gun to kill his food with and that was it. A sad story of a hard working family that was destroyed by our illustrious woke gov't. But I digress.


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: RattlesnakeDan] #9021732 03/19/24 03:52 PM
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Damn shame Dan


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Re: True story from my elk 2022 hunt [Re: rmp] #9021769 03/19/24 05:24 PM
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Funny story Dan, but wouldn't rat poison or mouse traps or something been a lot more efficient in getting rid of the things? Seems it would have made sense to have something out there like a cat too....having said that, I would have made it one night then bolted. Don't need anything chewing on my toes or crawling across my face in sleep.

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