Has anyone been shot at while hunting?

kthomas

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I just posted this on rokslide, but going to post here as well:

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.
 
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hafejd30

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    If your hearing the shot before the bullet it’s not coming at you

    You’ll hear the whizzing sound or crack of the bullet then the shot will follow

    The one that hits you you’ll likely not hear anything

    That bullet is much faster than 1125 fps or whatever the speed of sound is
     

    candyx

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    It was just getting dark out so the asshat let one fly at what he thought was a deer but it was another hunter.
     
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    kthomas

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    If your hearing the shot before the bullet it’s not coming at you

    You’ll hear the whizzing sound or crack of the bullet then the shot will follow

    The one that hits you you’ll likely not hear anything

    That bullet is much faster than 1125 fps or whatever the speed of sound is

    All I can say is that I heard gunshots and there was definitely bullets flying right over/by me.
     
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    hafejd30

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    All I can say is that I heard gunshots and there was definitely bullets flying right over/by me.
    Understandable

    Just stating the obvious. It’s possible they were shooting crossways and what you were hearing is the ricochet. Maybe a 22 or handgun round in your direction?

    A rifle round you’d hear the bullet before the report of the rifle. If it’s coming in your general direction
     

    wpeach1912

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    I haven’t personally, but my friends that hunt with us on our land have had bullets whizz over their heads from neighbors shooting at deer. Paul Harrell on YouTube has a couple stories of actually getting shot at. Rounds coming over your head like that is definitely spooky. You should hear the crack of the bullet before the bang too if it’s incoming fire.
     
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    kthomas

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    Understandable

    Just stating the obvious. It’s possible they were shooting crossways and what you were hearing is the ricochet. Maybe a 22 in your direction?

    A rifle round you’d hear the bullet before the report of the rifle. If it’s coming in your general direction

    Didn't sound like a .22 ricochet. Those have a pretty distinctive twang to them. Plus the gunshots were a lot louder than a .22.
     
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    kthomas

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    Center fire if it's close sounds like a cattle whip cracking next to you if it's still super. @hafejd30 is right though, you would hear the crack of the bullet before the report if it was supersonic

    That's true, you and @hafejd30 bring up good points.

    I don't really have a good explanation for what happened. I can't say it sounded like a cattle whip.

    Maybe they were ricochet's. Maybe it was .22. I'm not really sure what happened.
     
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    kthomas

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    The shots were also pretty close to each other. Perhaps I was interpreting the bullets fly past me with the gunshots that occurred before it, rather than the ones afterwards? A lot of the shots were in fairly quick succession of each other.
     

    Longrangeprecision762

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    a0nppyqjoiz61.jpg

    Next time leave your jacket on that tripod and hoof it for some cover 🤣
    In all seriousness that's a crappy way to start the season for sure. Glad your here to tell the tail 😉
    Cruising through the countryside today and saw brown cows with white sheets tied around them. It took me a minute to put two and two together 😂

    My grandfather had someone put a bullet six inches above his dome on a tree he was leaning against. He popped up rifle shouldered, ready to return fire and the guy waived at him and raised his rifle. Thankfully the guy had no idea what his drop was at that range or I wouldn't be here today.
     

    AK35Whelen

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    Reminds me of a joke we used to tell up in Montana.
    North Dakotan hunter comes up to my friend all flustered and says, "Hey buddy, that's my elk you're standing over!" Friend squints at him for a minute, then says, "Ok, but can I at least get my saddle off it."
     

    Faronth

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    I just posted this on rokslide, but going to post here as well:

    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.
    I have hunted that area extensively (understatement) for white tail, mulies, and pig. There is a lot of game there, but the big drawback is it is too easy to get to and way too close to Tucson. The place is crawling with hunters. During the Dec late rifle hunt RV towns appear just north of the old movie set and it is Razor/quad town for weeks.

    I have never been shot at in that area (have been shot at intentionally when hunting but that was in Massachusetts many moons ago, they missed) but it has way too many people. Sorry it apparently happened on your 1st deer hunt. My suggestion is to find an area at least mile or so from the nearest dirt road only accessible by good old-fashioned hiking.

    You will find even a short mile hike from the nearest dirt road eliminates the vast majority of not too serious hunters. PM me if you want specifics on where I hunt in that area or more on Unit 33 spots with less people. I would hate for your 1st deer hunt to go bad.
     
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    MK20

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    Incoming rounds deserve outgoing rounds maybe?

    If you were being shot at, you'll know it. Nothing quite sounds like it and your brain definitely knows something is wrong.

    If it is at long range, the bullet will sound like a very fucking big angry bee as it goes by. Otherwise a 22lr Crack sound describes it best.

    I have been down that way before for different things. Let me say that if I was hunting in AZ a AR10 or a SCAR would be a strong contender as getting shot at is a possibility. I have a friend who is a Sheriff deputy down there and he has told me too many stories of hunting the cartels down there for me to think those mountains are somewhere to tread without treating it like a combat patrol.
     

    kthomas

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    I think I've determined that I probably experienced ricochets, I'm guessing centerfire ones from the muzzle reports.

    Probably a group of hunters that ended their hunt and wanted to finish off what ammo they had with some fun. They just happened to fly over my head as I was glassing.

    Pretty unnerving, but I guess unsurprising some would be so reckless. I'm not sure how else to interpret what happened. People are right that I would hear the bullets and sonic crack before the muzzle report if I was being directly shot at, and upon reflection that doesn't match my experience.

    I guess better to know it probably wasn't malicious. Still reckless.
     

    kthomas

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    I have hunted that area extensively (understatement) for white tail, mulies, and pig. There is a lot of game there, but the big drawback is it is too easy to get to and way too close to Tucson. The place is crawling with hunters. During the Dec late rifle hunt RV towns appear just north of the old movie set and it is Razor/quad town for weeks.

    I have never been shot at in that area (have been shot at intentionally when hunting but that was in Massachusetts many moons ago, they missed) but it has way too many people. Sorry it apparently happened on your 1st deer hunt. My suggestion is to find an area at least mile or so from the nearest dirt road on accessible by good old-fashioned hiking.

    You will find even a short mile hike from the nearest dirt road eliminates the vast majority of not too serious hunters. PM me if you want specifics on where I hunt in that area or more on Unit 33 spots with less people. I would hate for your 1st deer hunt to go bad.

    The joys of being so close to a major population center :ROFLMAO:

    The majority of hunting I did was hiking around miles from roads, so it was nice and peaceful for most of the days. Rarely ran into anyone. I certainly don't mind hiking around while hunting.

    I'll shoot you a PM tomorrow, would love to learn about some spots that are away from other people.
     

    MK20

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    @kthomas

    If you are ex military, PM me as I know of some hunting locations and options that may or may not be available to you depending on certain things.

    None of this take a vet hunting bullshit but just special tags and prices, etc.
     

    kthomas

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    @kthomas

    If you are ex military, PM me as I know of some hunting locations and options that may or may not be available to you depending on certain things.

    None of this take a vet hunting bullshit but just special tags and prices, etc.

    Appreciate the offer, but not ex-military
     
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    AK35Whelen

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    Don’t let this push you out of hunting, but like others have said, try and get away from popular areas, or try and figure out where people are at and go elsewhere. Also, don’t matter if you don’t know exactly what happened, doesn’t change what could have been a bad outcome and that is right to feel shaken up about.
     
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    cas6969

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    Shot at? Not really

    Been down range of turkey's that other people shot at... on two different occasions. So mostly pellets in the trees over my head. Still not what I'd call fun.
     
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    kthomas

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    Don’t let this push you out of hunting, but like others have said, try and get away from popular areas, or try and figure out where people are at and go elsewhere. Also, don’t matter if you don’t know exactly what happened, doesn’t change what could have been a bad outcome and that is right to feel shaken up about.

    Definitely not letting this experience push me out of hunting.

    So far, I absolutely love the process of hunting - even if I didn't harvest anything this year.

    Going forward I'll probably avoid more popular areas, to avoid people doing dumb shit like this.
     
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    kthomas

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    Shot at? Not really

    Been down range of turkey's that other people shot at... on two different occasions. So mostly pellets in the trees over my head. Still not what I'd call fun.

    Seems like most accidents appear to happen bird or turkey hunting.

    I listened to a podcast a while ago (can't remember the exact one), and in it there was a short story about how a guy got shot on two separate occasions, in the same place, turkey hunting :oops:
     
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    Fig

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    I have hunted that area extensively (understatement) for white tail, mulies, and pig. There is a lot of game there, but the big drawback is it is too easy to get to and way too close to Tucson. The place is crawling with hunters. During the Dec late rifle hunt RV towns appear just north of the old movie set and it is Razor/quad town for weeks.

    I have never been shot at in that area (have been shot at intentionally when hunting but that was in Massachusetts many moons ago, they missed) but it has way too many people. Sorry it apparently happened on your 1st deer hunt. My suggestion is to find an area at least mile or so from the nearest dirt road on accessible by good old-fashioned hiking.

    You will find even a short mile hike from the nearest dirt road eliminates the vast majority of not too serious hunters. PM me if you want specifics on where I hunt in that area or more on Unit 33 spots with less people. I would hate for your 1st deer hunt to go bad.
    ^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^

    Daddy, why is everyone fishing on the boat ramp? Is it good fishing here?

    No son. This is just the easiest place to get to. Fishermen are lazy bastards and won't walk to where the good fishing is. (same for hunters)
     

    2aBaC̶a̶

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    If your hearing the shot before the bullet it’s not coming at you

    You’ll hear the whizzing sound or crack of the bullet then the shot will follow

    The one that hits you you’ll likely not hear anything

    That bullet is much faster than 1125 fps or whatever the speed of sound is
    assuming the guy was shooting a rifle.
     
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    308pirate

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    I just posted this on rokslide, but going to post here as well:

    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.

    Maybe you were hunting the wrong prey
     

    wvfarrier

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    Ive actually been shot while hunting. I had a duck hunter fire a shot into the woods while shooting at some ducks. I caught a pellet in my forearm and one in my calf. Fortunately neither went very deep and I was able to dig them out without ruining my hunt.
     

    BullGear

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    The sound of the round and then the splat when hit the tree I was leaning against is something I'll never forget.
     
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    Siefly

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    1972----Edson Range, Camp Pendleton. While pulling targets in the pits a bullet from a M-14 came down into the pits and struck me in
    the chest. Surprised the hell out of me and one of our Drill Instructors seen it happen and asked if I was alright. I had seen the bullet
    strike the ground after it hit me. It was obviously a ricochet....

    Years later someone asked if I kept the bullet. I told them the bullet didn't hurt me but the Drill Instructors sure in the hell would when
    they caught me with it.
     

    308pirate

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    1972----Edson Range, Camp Pendleton. While pulling targets in the pits a bullet from a M-14 came down into the pits and struck me in
    the chest. Surprised the hell out of me and one of our Drill Instructors seen it happen and asked if I was alright. I had seen the bullet
    strike the ground after it hit me. It was obviously a ricochet....

    Years later someone asked if I kept the bullet. I told them the bullet didn't hurt me but the Drill Instructors sure in the hell would when
    they caught me with it.

    I competed in NRA rifle for several years before electronic targets were a thing. The crack of a bullet going overhead is unmistakable.
     

    Dough300

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    My cousin ended up getting shot in the back while duck hunting a public pond a few years back. Apparently some guy came in after him and set up to hunt behind him about 10 yards. My cousin didn't even know he was there. First group of ducks coming in, my cousin stood up to shoot and took one in the back. The guy apparently never saw him. Cops were called and ambulance came but all ended ok. He still has a couple pellets in his shoulder today.
     

    Ledzep

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    There is an area northwest of Rapid City, SD that I used to go sight rifles in at on Hidden Valley road... It's a tiny isolated piece of national forest that I think got leased out to be a gravel pit or something and it's off limits now.

    Anyway, some dumb fucker was up there one day with targets in between himself and the entrance road to the area. I parked and stepped out of my jeep to hear pistol bullets (ricochets) knocking through the trees directly overhead.

    My first year after moving to Nebraska I tried hunting the Halsey Nebraska National Forest area. I went up the weekend before the season to check it out and it looked great. Went back opening weekend and it was like a carnival crew moved in. Campers and vehicles fucking everywhere. I walked around 1/4-1/2 mile away from the roads all weekend and ran into 5-6 people for every deer I saw. I didn't take any fire that trip but I have since talked to people who have and won't go back. What was amazing to me while I was out there was watching people walk up on and spook deer then sling 4 rounds (all misses) at a running animal... and the fact that literally NOBODY fired a single shot. boom, boom, boom, boom, every time... I'm done public land deer hunting.
     
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    mtwarych

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    I got patterned by a guy shooting at a pheasant that flew between us. I know it can't be true but I swear I felt the pellets hit me before I heard the shot.

    The only thing I can think is that it was a high speed steel load. The guy shot holes in my brand new 5mm neoprene waders. The waders still pisses me off more than being patterned.

    About the waders, I was lucky enough to be good friends with a land owner with a rice operation in Northern California. A group of us would hunt ducks and geese and the remainder of the ranch was a pheasant club. Pheasant hunters weren't allowed to hunt the duck blind area. I got shot standing in the parking lot. A guy named Gary, Gary's rear truck window, my brand new waders and the back of my head were all victims.
     
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