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Well lads...
I have encountered some odd sights in our woodlands over the years, sometimes deep in the woods and sometimes on the edges...things like the time I sat and watched two huge bull moose fighting...or the time I encountered a big Snowy Owl in a hardwood ridge in deer season, or another time when I appraooched a stream in a valley in November on a new snow and watched to Otters playfully romp up onto a small knoll and toboggan for twenty yards right into a deep pool on the stream. I also recall one rainy morning in deer season when I was moving slowly along a good sized deer trail that intersected a cedar swamp and led into a hardwood ridge and spotted a small critter coming down the trail. I stood still and watched a Pine Martin approach to within ten feet of me. It was humorous. He stopped and stood on his hind legs...like those Meercats you see on tv, and panned me up and down slowly, resting his gaze on my eyes. we stared for a moment at each other and then he started chattering, sniffing the air as he did so and dropping back onto all four feet, turned quickly and beat a retreat. He stopped a couple of times and looked back at me, chattering viciously.I imagined him uttering threats as he did this...in Pine Martin lingo. "If I wasn't so busy today looking for tasty squirrels to eat...why I'd give you the beating of your life...hunter!" I stood there, way back in the woods all by myself and laughed quietly. Later on in that day, an eight point buck crossed in front of me...and became a nice trophy for the wall and venison mincemeat pies for Christmas.On six occasions, I've seen those critters that we don't have in New Brunswick,the Eastern Cougar and...I had witnesses with me every time. I know others have seen them as well and I know there are skeptics out there, especially some in government...but I really don't care what those people think. Got good looks at all the cougars...no they weren't house cats or Fishers or coyotes and I know we don't have an established breeding population...but we still have a few of 'em.I know most people have never seen them despite spending a lot of time in the woods...but I've spent a heck of a lot of my life in the woods and I had neever seen a Lynx until a few years ago...and I've still only ever seen one. One of the skeptics' biggest arguments is when someone says they saw a black cougar. Well, I have never seen a jet black cougar but...under the right light conditions, they can appear dark or even black to someone despite being a tawny brown/cream animal.Bottom line...no, may never had 'em on a trail cam or found much sign of them...but then as I said...they are few and far between. So, there are lots of wonders and oddities out there...what have you seen?
 

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I have touched with my bare hands the following live, wild animals:
a cow moose
a doe
a spruce grouse
a ruffed grouse

I have had the following close encounters with the following critters while on stand or doing observations:

a weasel walk up on my leg;
a squirell do same;
a ruffed grouse do same;
a chickadee on my gun barrel;
a magpie do same;
a great horn owl injured and taken to DNR biology for rescue;
2 50+ inch bull moose to within 3 paces of me while moose calling in late September
a young coyote walk on my left leg while sitting in a clearcut after doing a rabbit in distress call while moose hunting (nothing was happening!) and have same critter catch my wind, turn around and walk over my leg again!

a coyote out West come to within a foot of my back while sitting post at a fence corner on a windy day....don't know who was more startled...

Odd and / or rare critters I've seen:

a Royal Eagle, twice, truly majestic and grand;
an Eastern Cougar basking on a rock ledge, casually stood up, and walked out in the woods away from me, a mere 20 paces away;
marsh turtles;
albino beaver;
albino skunk;
albino deer;
piebald deer;
melanistic lynx (stuffed road kill, I could get pics of it...);
a color phase pine marten;
2 minks, caught side by side in a beaver sluice set in a 330 Conibear;
a partridge caught in a 280 otter sluice set;
numerous flying squirels caught in marten's pole sets; accidental catches.

the list could go on, I don't recall everything, I'm getting old and a little crazy... You don't have to believe me, I've just spent 30 some years roaming the woods hunting, fishing, trapping and guiding....I'm not a credible source of information....

PS: this week alone, I've already seen 2 bears, 6 moose, 2 deer, 7 flocks of partridges, hundreds of snowshoe hair, a bald eagle, an otter, and 2 beaver colonies.... but who's counting?

We have an incredible ressource, readily accessible at our fingertips. Get out there and enjoy the NB outdoors....so what if people don't believe ya?....
 

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I have seen or encountered many things, the best for me personally was last year calling deer and had a lynx come in to 150 yds, climbed up on a deadfall and looked around for a bit before deciding to take off. It ran another 100 yds down the side of the stream I was on. What a great sight.
 

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The funnyest thing that i saw during hunting were both last year while i was in my ground blind hunting for deer. First one was a partridge that walked right out in the open, looking around, doing his own thing. Then all of a sudden he starts to flutter up and down about 3 feet? I had apples in the trees so he was trying to knock them off the trees! haha

Second was a little squirrel that grabbed one of the big apples i left on the ground for the deer. Then he decides he wants to take it verticaly up a tree with him, well i gotta say it didnt work haha. He tried for about 30 mins with no success, getting more aggrevated with every attemt, kept me occupied while wating for that ole buck!

And the only rare wildlife i can think of that i saw was back when i was about 12 years old and i was partridge hunting with my grandfather and we saw a silver fox.
 

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Ive got a few close encounters, some odd animals and some funny sights. I have had gray jays/whiskey jacks/gorbies whatever you want to call them land next to me and take bits of beef jerky and trail mix from me while sitting in a deer stand, then follow me most of the way home before realizing i have none left. I ran into a fisher one morning late in deer season while hunting a swamp around a beaver dam, I only saw him for a few seconds while he stood in a small clearing , looked at me then took off. Ive seen both silver and very dark almost black foxes, the silver being when i was really young bird hunting with my dad in a gravel pit,he walked up on the edge of the pit about 40 yards away and gave us a really good look at him until he went about his business. The funniest site ive seen was a big old grouse who would come into my deer stand every day at almost the exact same time and eat the skins off the apples, i never bothered shooting him because he was such entertainment. One day during a heavy rain storm he would sit right under my tree stand until the rain let up, then go out for some apple then run back when it started up again. He was also very protective of his treasured apple pile, i wathced him on several occasions puff up and chase blue jays and gray jays away, and he would also put the run to theiving red squirrels. When the deer showed up he would just look at them and then leave...guess he wasnt man enough to take them on. The creepiest encounter would have been late January one morning while checking my rabbit snares, which some are a long ways out , i was walking out to check my last furthest snares when i just had the feeling something was watching me and every once in a while i would here something running behind me, so i turned quickly and behind me was a lone coyote( or atleast i assume he was alone) standing right in the trail about 50 yrds away, i put the gun up on him but he bolted, i never fired as all i had was lead #6 in the gun and he was way to far, i quickly checked my last snares and went home always looking behind me , on the way back i was his tracks and realized he had followed me for atleast a half mile and kept criss crossing the trail behind me, since then i always carry a few 3" BB or the 17hmr with me while checking snares
 

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I have seen a few unusual things that most people will never see while out on the woods, like a buffalo, yes a buffalo, we figured it must have escaped from a ranch or farm nearby but he was hanging out on the side of a hill in a snowstorm. You think moose are big? Nothing I have ever seen in the wild can top that for pure mass. Saw an Emu once, have it on video, no idea what he was doing but at the time he was trying to figure out how to get across an old barb wire fence that he could easily have just stepped over but it certainly had him confused. Lots of cougars and Grizzly bears and wolves in alberta, never one of either in NB.
In the none wildlife category I have stumbled across a WW2 POW camp that was obviously abandoned and almost retaken back by the forest, a old airplane wreck and an abandoned truck and homemade camper from at least the 50's parked a long way from any road that I knew about.
 

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I have seen and experienced some neat and wonderful things in the woods. Experiences that immediately comes to mind are:

Called a coyote to me with a deer call;

shot a partridge, walked over and picked it up, looked back and Mr. bobcat was sitting in the same spot I was just standing;

Seen a pair of snow owls;

Had a cow moose walk so close to me, I could almost count her eye lashes!

Spooked a partridge once. Walked away, came back about 1/2 hr and made chirping noises like a partridge. Lo and behold, he pops out of nowhere!

Had a bobcat run out from beneath my front step, brushed my pant legs and ran underneath my jeep;

Heard bald eagles circling the house and within minutes of mimicing their sounds, I had an immature eagle circle and land in a tree in my backyard;

Been put off the Miramichi River by a huge bull, in June;

In the spring time, had ducks and deer eating off of my front lawn.
 

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Hey guys...
This is great! A large part of hunting enjoyment /witnessing things that most pople will never see or experience! Bull's Eye...you have quite a list and yes...I am with you...doesn't matter if some don't believe you...there are always gonna be people who won't believe it unless they see/experience it themselves...so why should we care what they think.daveyn and 700 Lefty...good lists as well and Pond Jumper...that was quite a grouse/partridge...I have had similar encounters with them...and don't you wonder what that Coyote was doing... just curious,or was he stalking you? Scanner 66, have you seen more than that lone Lynx? As I stated in my first post...I have only seen one in the woods in my life...and Arseno...funny stuff as well with the grouse and squirrel! I hope we hear more of this from other forum users! It's great stuff and it all makes priceless memories out there in the backwoods...thanks for responding guys...getting closer to my favorite time of the entire year!
 

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I just remembered another incident where I kick my arse for not bringing a video camera.I was driving along a cut road and as I looked over to my right, two nice bulls were standing looking at each other. I watched for a minute and they were not concerned at all. I drove down to the end of the road, turned around and came back (about 10 minutes later) and they were still there but turned different directions. I would say they were about 40 yards away and I made a few grunts. Well, they swung around towards each other and sparred for a few seconds and the battle ended when one bull gave the other lad a big shove. He looked at me with a huge tuft of hair on his antlers as to say " You wanna piece of this as well?"

It was a sight to behold and to hear the antlers tinkling was something else!
 

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I was fly fishing sea runs on the Mirimichi a few years back. I favored one particular pool and was there a couple hours before dark. Within a few minutes I could hear something coming out on the far side of the river. Out steps a young bull moose. He looked at me for a minute then eased out and started feeding off the end of the pool, within spitting distance. I kept fishing and even landed a couple, which didnt seem to bother him none. We both stayed that way till dusk started coming on. I had a 1/4 mile walk back to the truck down the river so I started out. When that bull saw me leaving he followed along behind just like a dog keeping close. I kept looking over my shoulder not trusting him. When I stopped he stopped, when I started he started, kind of give me the willies
. Anyway he stayed right behind me all the way back till we got in sight of the houses then he stopped, kind of relieved me.
I was bowhunting one day and could hear some coyotes yipping around me. Never thought anything about it. I heard something coming and waited. Here comes this snowshoe hare on the dead run right at me. I don't think he even saw me as he went right by. There was a coyote hot on his heels but as soon as the coyote saw me he hit the brakes and also cartwheeled. He turned inside out and was gone in a flash. I think he was more scared than the hare

I think I've seen every critter we have while out hunting. I particularily enjoyed watching a fisher hunting one day while I was out moose hunting.
I had a group of coyotes split around me one morning while checking traps, they never stopped yipping and yapping the whole time.
Seen a few piebalds but only one albino.
Found a baby skunk one time that fell in a hole and couldn't get out so I scooped him out and sent him on his way.
Had a few birds land on my arrows while on stand and one crazy squirrel run right over me.
Had a number of bear encounters that left me quivering
One little female bluff charged that just about scared the crap out of me
and had one old sow close enough to touch before she Whoofed and took off.
I remember one evening on the bear stand that I had a sow and two cubs on the bait. I had dropped my flashlight getting into the stand and broke the bulb. The cubs had climed a tree in front of me and they all stayed until after dark. They finally come down a momma and them moved into the bushes behind the bait 15 yards away. I slinked out of the tree while I could hear them behind the bait. I just started slinking out the trail trying to keep quiet while keeping a watch over my shoulder but it was so dark I couldn't see jack. Then I hear a big "Woof" right on top of me accompanied by a crash. I though "oh crap" and spin around only to realize the woof was in the other direction. It was another bear coming in on the trail I was going out on. I don't know how close he was and I'm not sure who was more scared but it left me weak kneed

Saw a sow take on a boar one time twice her size and pummelled him, jumped right on his back
. He pulled back shook his head and waded back in and took a second pummelling. After that he decided she could have the bait site. Lots of other great encounters with wildlife too numerous to mention. Couple of cool things have happened to family members as well...
My brother in law got chased back into his boat one time on a marsh while duck hunting by a bull moose that had just won a fight with a bigger bull.
Dad had a fox run between his legs one time chasing a snowshoe hare.
Keep em coming fellas, great reads...
 

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Each year I have experiences that make me love being in the woods even more. Here are a few notable examples:

- One sunny day I walked up on a cougar that was basking in a patch of sun on an unused woods road. Sprawled out like an old house cat with his ears twitching at the flies
- Had a bobcat walk under my deer stand last year and give me a real good talking to when I bleated at him - raised fur, hissing and growling before he melted back into the forest like a ghost when he couldn't find the source of the sound
- Watched a bald eagle try to lift a full grown seal out of the water with it's talons. It got the seal about half way out of the water before realizing it was too heavy
- Watched a monster ten point buck chase and beat down to the ground a yearling doe trying to breed her
- Had a doe come so close behind where I was sitting with my back to a tree that I could feel her breath on the back of my neck
- Had a doe and two fawns run by me (spooked by someone else) bleating the whole way. I stopped and bleated softly. A second later, another fawn comes bouncing toward me the same way my Labrador Retriever does when I have a treat for him. The deer stopped with it's snout three inches from the end of my gun barrel, looked a little confused and slowly walked away.
- My dad and I were looking for deer tracks after an early November snow storm. When we had circled back to our own tracks we found two sets of sizeable bear tracks on our original track. A little investigation showed that the bears had continued to follow our tracks around the enture loop and logic said that they had to be within 100 yrds. My dad never gets nervous in the woods but this was one time he called an early end to the hunt.

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences
 

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...good lists as well and Pond Jumper...that was quite a grouse/partridge...I have had similar encounters with them...and don't you wonder what that Coyote was doing... just curious,or was he stalking you?
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I think he was more curious than anything, he took off without a trace after he realized i was on to him, he was prbly following me to see where all my snares were set so that he could beat me to them next time haha
 

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A couple of years ago while staking my duck blind i witnessed a hawk attack a passing duck in mid-air. The duck got away though.

Also one time I was walking into the deer camp after dark, on an old woods road, and met an owl flying down this trail towards me at just about eye level - at least it seemed pretty low. I ducked but I suspect the owl really wasn't that low, just seemed like it, especially when it came right out of the blue like that.
 

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I've been in the woods for over 50 years,have seen some unusual things including a U.F.O. landing in a huge gravel pit,{had a witness with me and no we were not drunk}, but the most unusual and which is still a mystery today,is the morning I was headed in to my tree stand a few years back.I got to my ladder and at the base was a huge pile of partridge feathers.Well the first thing that came to mind was naturally,some predator had ambushed it and had it for breakfast right? Well when I climbed up the ladder to get into my seat,right there in the middle of the platform was a huge talon.I assume it belonged to whatever killed the partridge,but then what happened to the raptor? There were no feathers,blood or any signs of a struggle. To this day It's got me stumped,any suggestions other than an extraterrestrial one,I just know someone's dying to use that one!
 

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I've been in the woods for over 50 years,have seen some unusual things including a U.F.O. landing in a huge gravel pit,{had a witness with me and no we were not drunk}, but the most unusual and which is still a mystery today,is the morning I was headed in to my tree stand a few years back.I got to my ladder and at the base was a huge pile of partridge feathers.Well the first thing that came to mind was naturally,some predator had ambushed it and had it for breakfast right? Well when I climbed up the ladder to get into my seat,right there in the middle of the platform was a huge talon.I assume it belonged to whatever killed the partridge,but then what happened to the raptor? There were no feathers,blood or any signs of a struggle. To this day It's got me stumped,any suggestions other than an extraterrestrial one,I just know someone's dying to use that one!
May be a spacecraft was hovering over your tree stand to see if you where their so they could make an abduction. After seeing nobody was their they took off to find their next victim and the partrige just happened to walk by and the extreme thrust from the engines of the spacecraft blew the jacket right off him. Then the partrige ran home nacked as a j bird.
 

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It's great when we all enjoy gettin' into the woods as much as we obviously do.These things we watch and see out there are just icing on the cake that add to the experience.I can't recall all the cool things i've seen out there ,but heres some that come to mind.I watched a crow swoop down and grab a mouse [always thought they were scavengers until that day].Sat on the edge of the st.croix river one morning and watched 2 osprey and a bald eagle engaging in air combat for at least 10 minutes.Had a barred owl land about 8-10 feet from my ground blind and stare in at me for an hour before flying off.While watching a 3 way intersection of road in deer season had a huge bull with a cow come out about 40 yards away and slowly move off.about ten minutes later i heard some cracks behind me and out comes two young bulls that proceeded to move off in the direction of the big bull and cow.about twenty minutes after that, more noise and out comes a a mid sized bull right beside me,stares me down for a minute then heads off in the direction of the other four.[5 moose in half an hour].Had a little button buck buck bed down directly under my tree stand one time,kept me company for about 3 hours.lol.Had the #%@$ scared out of me one time while bird hunting.Walking a trail near a beaver pond all the sudden loud crash crack smash coming through the woods right beside me!!! out flops a bald eagle with a broken wing.I went to the car and called the rangers, we met up and went back into the beaver pond and there he was.A whole bunch of commotion later and he was in a burlap bag and off to get fixed up.Lots more stuff but thats some of it.
 

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May be a spacecraft was hovering over your tree stand to see if you where their so they could make an abduction. After seeing nobody was their they took off to find their next victim and the partrige just happened to walk by and the extreme thrust from the engines of the spacecraft blew the jacket right off him. Then the partrige ran home nacked as a j bird.
TOLD YA!
 

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I haven't been hunting for very long, so I haven't seen a lot. But one of the coolest things I saw was out duck hunting one time . . . was out on the coast and came across a tidal pool with three seals in it. They couldn't swim out to see because I was at the mouth of the pool. I've obviously seen them before out fishing or on the ferry, but never this close. They swam around in circles and hid but after a few minutes they figured out I wasn't much of a threat . . . so I just sat there and watched them and they watched me. They were less than 15 feet away, and snuffling like crazy. It was cool.

I took a picture of them, not sure where it is now.
 

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Found this little fella early one summer day. He and my Shi-Tzu seemed to hit it off. He became a resident of my in-laws' farm. I was sitting eating my lunch and he came up to me, bold as you please, as if to say, "Can I have a bite of that sandwhich mister?"


Now, this little fella below is quite a tale indeed. Every time I'd take a break by a spring where I like to hunt, this partridge seemed to be there. I'd toss him a piece of bread and he'd gobble it right up. Eventually he got so tame he'd eat right out of my hand! Here I am feeding him. I'm glad I don't shoot partridge while deer hunting or HE would have been feeding ME.


Twice I've had weasels run right over my boot. My favourite occurred just a couple of years ago when I sat down for a break and apparently was sitting on Mr. Weasel's house, because he got quite mad and ran circles around me for quite some time! You can see the camera shaking because I'm laughing so hard. I showed this to Nelson Poirier who suggested it is a bit rare to see one of these half brown and half white, as they change colours quite fast. These guys are fearless. And look at his tail, lol, this is one pissed off ermine!




 
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