Has anyone been shot at while hunting?

kthomas

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Today I was out hunting West of Benson AZ, just north of Mescal in Unit 33 for mule deer. I was hunting in AZ State Trust Land, East of Mescal Road by mile marker 3, to provide some context for those that know the area.

Didn't have much luck in the morning, saw a few doe but no bucks. By the early afternoon I ended up hiking to an area that was just a bit South of where I was hunting in the morning and on Friday, to see if there was any good terrain to glass from. While hiking around I heard a series of gunshots - at first I thought someone was just a really bad shot and shooting at a deer, but after the 4th or 5th shot, I assumed they may have been target shooting and didn't think much of it besides it being a bit odd (even though I don't think target shooting is allowed on AZ State Trust Land). I ended up on a hillside facing south, and setup my tripod and bino's to glass.

I was there for about 5 minutes, and then I would hear a gunshot and a second later the whizzing of a bullet flying over my head. Boom, another shot and bullet flying over my head. I hit the deck to reduce my signature, as I was pretty exposed on the hillside that I was on. I think one or two more shots went over me, then a pause. I got up in the kneeling position, and as soon as I did I hear another boom, followed by a bullet flying over my head. At this point I'm thinking "what the F...CK, someone is definitely shooting AT me". I waited another moment or two, then grabbed my backpack, tripod with binos and my rifle and ran over the crest of the hill so I was no longer exposed. No more gunshots after that.

I headed straight to my vehicle, which was pretty close at that point. I would periodically stop and scan with my bino's to see if I could see anyone in the vicinity. I never saw who was shooting me. I'm assuming they were shooting from a dirt road that runs parallel to Mescal, that had a few spots which they could've shot at me from. As I left in my vehicle there was two guys and a girl loading up an OHV on a trailer where the dirt road meets Mescal Road, but this is a popular hunting area and I'm not going to make any assumptions it was them without any proof.

I have no idea what to make of this situation. This is my first hunt ever, and only my second day hunting (and last) for this specific hunt. Tomorrow is the last day for my specific hunt, but after today's experience I'm just going to call it quits and cut my losses. I was really excited about picking up this new hobby, but this really puts a damper on my enthusiasm for it.
 

BBob

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Today I was out hunting West of Benson AZ, just north of Mescal in Unit 33 for mule deer. I was hunting in AZ State Trust Land, East of Mescal Road by mile marker 3, to provide some context for those that know the area.
^^^I know it very well. I haven't had the experience you just had and hope to never have it. Don't know what to tell you other than maybe call the unit manager and let them know what happened and who you saw in the area. You'll probably have to leave a message due to the time of year. I've had some sketchy unethical encounters from a few locals down there in 32 and 33 over the years so I'm sort of not surprised.
 

Packin_packout

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Sasabe. Welcome to the border. Same thing a few years ago. Anything south of Tucson can get western between drug smugglers and coyotes. All you have to do is take a look at how the wardens are carrying out there and that tells you everything you need to know!
 

slick

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What do the Warden's carry that's so different than any other LE?
 
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kthomas

kthomas

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^^^I know it very well. I haven't had the experience you just had and hope to never have it. Don't know what to tell you other than maybe call the unit manager and let them know what happened and who you saw in the area. You'll probably have to leave a message due to the time of year. I've had some sketchy unethical encounters from a few locals down there in 32 and 33 over the years so I'm sort of not surprised.

I'm definitely going to be avoiding this area in the future. Not the kind of action I signed up for :oops:
 

Lawnboi

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I don’t believe Iv ever been shot at deliberately but I have had rounds come too close for comfort and had to hit the deck.

All of this has been in WI mostly because the dumb ass neighbors don’t practice common sense firearms safety.

I’ll go out of my way to make myself know as not an animal during times in places that I see could cause a problem.

Go to the rifle range and look at what’s headed to the woods. Blows my mind every day.
 

BBob

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What do the Warden's carry that's so different than any other LE?
No difference I see for many years now. They are fully geared up anymore. They used to be a "game warden" and carried a sidearm but for quite some time now they've been "law enforcement", geared up and trained accordingly. It's a different world now from what I grew up with down here.
I'm definitely going to be avoiding this area in the future. Not the kind of action I signed up for :oops:
I'm not sure I'd totally give it up. My ratio of good to bad is still pretty high for the good around there. I feel you though, a bad encounter will spoil your day and the memory lasts a good long time.
 
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Packin_packout

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The difference in what you see when you bump into a warden in NM,TX,CO,WY,ID etc is that they will typically be armed w/ a sidearm on their person and usually a IIIa vest. The game wardens out there step out of their vehicle w/ SBR 556, plate carrier w/ mags properly oriented or on speed rig on waist. It's just a different challenge down there due to the border issues. I have bumped into multiple wardens down there and they have been great but they deal with a lot more smuggling issues and dead bodies from those who fail to survive the crossing. (The fact that they can be some of them can be so cheery with all they stuff they see is amazing). The CBP guys sitting at the check points don't seem to be as tightly wired but if you bump into the BorTac guys they are very much wired. I have had smugglers come right by my camp at night, had helicopters push them accidentally towards me before. It's just a different environment. Similar to what you see in south texas as far as smugglers getting punchy when their loads are at risk.

No orange, don't get skylined, always have comms, always have at a minimum a sidearm and a tracker. It's a beautiful area and don't let it put you off. I don't live down there but get to work down there a couple of months a year and run into issues maybe once every three years.

On a separate note this bs can happen anywhere, had a group put some rounds over my head in wyoming ( they were liquored up and drove out and tried to use my orange vest as a target ). With as drunk & loud as they were I pretty much figured this was going to happen so I'd already left my orange partially covered by a tree and gotten behind hard cover/defilade. Sure enough they let a few fly from their vehicle up at me on the ridge and promptly stopped once they were reminded of the golden rule. Unfortunately the warden was not able to catch up with them ( had pinged my wife on inreach to relay what was happening but that is too slow ). I was not about to stand up and get exposed to get tags, not worth the risk.

Sorry it happened but that area is 100% the wild west.
 

S-3 ranch

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Not saying you’re wrong, but when you get shot at you hear the snap/pop/whiz of the bullet passing you and then only occasionally hear the report of the rifle.
That’s my experience also , whizz, bang , look ,whizz , bang , run
had a idiot start shooting at us after seeing movement, luckily he was 800+ yards And had a caliber not good for LR
 

dingle

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Yep. Once. Sucked. Leftover Colorado first rifle, two partners and I set up in two spots well before first light on the timbered edge of a park to ambush elk I'd found the day before. Before shooting light, a group of three other hunters (hereafter The Three Musketeers/3M) moved onto the far end of the park around 300-400 yards from my position and 250 or so from my friend. I saw their orange with the naked eye, glassed them and it looked like they were glassing me.

Over a small rise on private we heard shooting from a third, unknown hunter and the small herd we'd set up to intercept poured out a small saddle between us and the Three Musketeers, within 100 yards of them, and the 3M opened up. They fired so much I'm sure at least one of them had to have reloaded, and it was us three in orange downrange! Elk scattered through the park toward us and my friend hit the deck, later telling me he heard bullets whizzing and snapping in the grass around him. Once the three musketeers stopped shooting my friend popped up and shot the herd bull in front of him, dropped it, and notched his tag while walking up to it - because out came two of the musketeers arguing that the bull was theirs.

There was no way 3M couldn't have seen us in our orange, including one of our guys out in the open in the grass, within 250 yards. Lucky for us they didn't hit us, and lucky for most of the elk they didn't hit any elk.

Wear orange. Gesture to the morons who crowd.
 

def90

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Yeah, I’ve worked in rifle pits at long distance military style ranges before. You will hear a snap/crack which is the bullet sonic boom over your head, then you will hear the report afterwards.

If you were hearing a boom and then a whiz you were not being shot at. If you were hearing a whiz though it sounds like the bullets may have been deflecting off of whatever they were shooting at which is not uncommon in the desert southwest, a lot of hard ground and rock. If they were shooting at a rock the bullets may have all been deflecting in your general direction.
 

full choke

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I was hunting a cut wheat field one time with my dad for geese. We were using layout blinds and had silo's and full body decoys surrounding us. It was kind of a slow period and out of nowhere we hear a boom and three decoys, right at our feet ,went flying. I jumped up and asked my dad what the hell he was doing!? He was looking at me the same way. Then I noticed a SUV spitting gravel on the road about three hundred yards away. *^%er shot at the decoys with a rifle and then realized his mistake and took off. Just by chance he didn't shoot at any of the decoys that were directly around the blinds. Scary stuff.
 

go_deep

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While not hunting I was shot at while at work. Don't remember hearing any bangs, I do remember hearing the bullets hit the steel building behind me.
 

Wapiti1

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I've been shot over once, and shot at once.

A herd of elk were above me and I was moving in for a shot. Three "hunters" came in behind me and shot at the elk from about 800 yards. This was well before anyone had any business shooting at this distance. I was closing in and about 200 yards from the herd. The bullets passed overhead by a couple feet and harmlessly made dirt puffs 30 yards in front of the elk. Crack, boom, crack, boom, crack, boom. These were the safest elk on the planet at that point. I don't know the story from the other "hunters" perspective since they shot, and boogied. I can't imagine they didn't see a guy in an orange hoodie with orange beanie, but who knows.

The other time, my father and I were stalking antelope and were coming down a hill toward a herd with a decent buck in it. We were belly crawling and getting close to where we had planned to shoot from about 150 yards from the antelope. A Suburban came cruising along the road on the other side of the antelope, and it slams on the brakes. They open fire from a good 600 yards out and my dad and I had bullets making divots a couple of feet away all around us. 7 rounds were fired by two guys. Nothing we could do, but wait it out. Sagebrush and blue gramma are not good protection. When the firing stopped, we both jumped up waving our arms, and the suburban loaded up and left. Sadly, that buck was wounded in the barrage. The right front leg dangling, and a bullet low in the flank. I finished it off after a long tracking job and another belly crawl.

The next day we saw that Suburban at their camp and decided to have a chat. It was a group from Minnesota (sorry to guys from Minnesota, but I have lots of stories about your fellow hunters and most are negative). They didn't see us. They were too focused on the antelope. When we stood up, they panicked and left. Scared to death. In the end, they were decent fellows that just screwed up. But I give some side eye to Minnesota license plates anytime I see one. For this experience and a few others.

Jeremy
 

slick

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I too wonder if there was no malice, but just a target shoot that was in the proximity.

Especially if you have little to no experience, I could see how that might frighten someone, but I would guess it was someone shooting rocks near you, and just heard the ricochet as others have said.
 

Bearwhisky

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Yes, dad or grandpa had a kid out squirrel hunting with a .22. Had a fawn in front of me while bowhunting from the ground and they instructed the kid to shoot at it. He mag dumped and the fawn was directly between me and them. The bullets were impacting all around me, including the tree I was sitting in front of. Started hollering at them to stop and went and talked to them and they brushed it off like it wasn’t a big deal. Blew my mind.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Fartrell Cluggins

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Every time I have had a hyper sonic bullet fly over my head, there has been a sonic crack followed by the boom of the rifle. The sound of the sonic crack drowns out any whizz noise.
 
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