Do you ever go hunting? If so, there is a good chance you have had at least one unexpected and rather unnerving experience. Maybe just the stillness of the cold, early morning led to you being startled by some sudden movement. Did the shrill cry of a mountain lion made you think a woman was screaming? If you keep hearing strange noises or seeing your camp moved around, you probably want to invest in a trail cam. These cameras will record anything that crosses its path. So you can see if it is a racoon, bear, or human messing with your stuff! If you catch something creepy on your trail cam, you can share it with the internet. Well, at least that’s what these Reddit users did! Here are some great stories shared about hunting. Sure, some of them are funny, but most are creepy, and others are just downright strange. Check out these terrifying trail cam moments that will scare anyone.
24. Ghost Wolf
As if encountering a real wolf wouldn’t be scary enough. A deleted user wrote, “I live in a part of my state where the DNR claims that there are no wolves or mountain lions around. Imagine my utter bafflement when I capture a massive grey wolf on my trail cam. Somewhat related, my dad has seen three different mountain lions in our county and has told the DNR of their whereabouts, and they’ve completely denied it having happened.” Commander-Cook wrote of a similar experience, “One time my dad’s trail cam caught a picture at night of about ten pairs of eyes looking straight at the camera, and you couldn’t tell what they were because they were all at different heights and nobody outlines. Just blackness and glowing eyes.” Ghost wolves? Who knows?
D_KC wrote, “Not so much creepy as scary, but I had some pictures of an eastern coyote on my trail camera that was bigger than most wolves. This normally wouldn’t bother me too much, but it was only a month or so after the story of a coyote killing someone was all over local news and was only about an hour’s drive away from where it happened. The coyote walked by my tree stand once every day or two for a couple of weeks then disappeared.” Would you rather see a larger-than-life coyote immediately after someone in your town was killed by one? Or would you rather be haunted by a ghost wolf?
A deleted user wrote, “I’m not a hunter, but when my family lived on a ranch for a while (my parents still live there), we had motion cameras set up on deer feeders. They were mostly just to check to see if we had any javelinas or which parts of the ranch our cattle were staying most often. Anyway, my uncle came up to the house one day after camping out, saying he had heard something big rustling near the deer blind he was sleeping in and had brought the camera. There were about 20 pictures. The first few were a man looking on the ground around the feeder. Then he went up to a tree and was doing something; we couldn’t tell what. A second man, a little smaller, comes into the picture. He looks at the tree, and they both leave.
We went out to that feeder to see what was up and saw a string tied around the tree. On the other side is a deflated helium balloon, like the kind you see at birthday parties, except it didn’t have any design on it. Naturally, this sort of freaked us out, and for the next few days and nights, my uncle and dad stayed out in the deer blind to see if they came back. They never did, and we couldn’t identify who they were due to the poor quality of the cameras. When you live on a large ranch, you get used to somewhat creepy instances… there are no people nearby, lots of animals, and your mind wanders. But this was the first time we had documented proof of people who weren’t family on the property without our knowledge. Kind of sets you on edge.”
A deleted user wrote, “My dad’s friend owns some land that we hunt on. We decided we’d camp on the land and hunt in the morning. I wouldn’t say there are any deer nearby; we mostly shoot at the dove and pheasant that reside in the area after the combines pick all the corn. So I have trouble sleeping, and I hear plenty of rustling at night, figure its coyotes. After we get up and finish hunting, we pack up, and I walk around, take in the nice day and the nice sounds of being away from the suburbs. There on a tree was a game camera, crudely duct-taped, pointed right where the tent was… Wasn’t my dad’s or his friend’s. We all were a little creeped out and slightly on edge when we found the film missing. We noped the hell out of there.”
Braced Polecat wrote something similar: “I went hunting with my grandpa back in 2004 in Alabama, and we set out with no luck; we didn’t even see a deer. The woods were eerily quiet, so it freaked my grandpa out, and we set up a camera in a hunting spot and left. Once we came back and checked the footage, not even 10 minutes in, what looked like a 7-foot-tall man walked in to frame. The guy looked freaky as hell and wore animal skin and then walked out of the frame, and that’s it. I recognized it was a weirdo, but my grandpa claims it to be the wendigo.” The wendigo is a monster told off by Native Americans on the East Coast and into Canada; it is a corrupted human who feeds on other humans who are weak or do not belong to society.
Murklerr wrote, “I will see if I can get the photos, but my best friend’s family is really well off and owns a ton of property out in South Dakota that they do a lot of hunting on. It’s a cabin out in the middle of nowhere, and I mean nowhere. They had a camera set up by one of their hunting blinds that were even further out in the middle of absolute nowheresville. You have to take some ATVs for a good hour to get there. One night around dusk, the camera took a few photos of a guy walking by—just some regular guy wearing street clothes. I don’t even think he was wearing any hiking boots, definitely no backpack or anything. Not hunting, not fishing, just meandering through. Maybe not creepy, but insanely bizarre and improbable considering out isolated and inhospitable the terrain is.”
Extrasherman had an eerie encounter, saying, “I was hunting in northern Georgia years ago. We have a camp up near Hiawassee. I was up there alone and wanted to do some deer hunting. Long story short, I had a huge black bear walk up right behind me…maybe 10 feet away before I actually saw it. I slept in my car that night.” Imagine a giant black bear being that quiet and stealthy! And for the record, a car won’t protect you from a black bear. It’s like a Christmas present that the animal can rip open to get the gift inside.
“When I was about fifteen years old (22 now), my dad took me to some land that he was given permission to hunt on so we could scout for the upcoming deer season. The land itself had not been touched in a few years, and there was some pretty solid swampland on the backside of the property that we planned on setting some trail cameras upon. My father sent me to one part of the back of the property to mark trails and try to find the back of the property line while he set trail cameras on a few choice areas. Well, while I was setting trail markers, I kept getting the feeling that I was being watched.
I radioed my dad, and he said I was overreacting and told me to head back to him. I did what he said, but I still felt very uncomfortable on this land. When I got back to where my father was, he showed me where he placed the trail cameras, and we headed back to the house. Fast forward a week or so, and we head back out to the property to check the cameras before opening day off primitive weapon season. After retrieving the photos, we find a few hogs and a few deer in two of the areas, so we decide to set up in two different spots when opening day arrives. A week and a half or so later, we head out for the opening day of primitive weapon season and begin to set up in our respective spots. After about two hours sitting in my blind, I hear noise coming from my right, so I freeze and wait to see what is heading my way.”
“A man that I have never seen walks straight through my sightline and up the path towards my dad. At this point, I’m completely crapping my knickers and am staying as still as I possibly can. The man does not seem to notice me and continues his journey toward my dad. Once I think the man is out of earshot, I muster the courage to radio my dad and tell him what I saw. He tells me not to move and that he will be there as soon as he can. Expecting my dad to meet this man on the trail, I’m expecting the worst, but he shows up within a few minutes and tells me there was no sign of someone walking the trail.
I’m completely freaking out. My dad tells me to pack up and that we’ll get the photos from the cameras. He tried to calm me by telling me it was probably a friend of the property owner who was hunting in the same area. Well, we get the SD cards from the trail cameras and go to view them on my dad’s computer. The first few pictures contained the usual hog and deer and whatnot, but not too far into the pictures was the man I saw on the trail just staring at the trail camera. Then it continued with the guy just toying with us by having a photoshoot on our trail camera. We showed the photos to the man who owned the property; he had no idea who the man was. My father then turned the photos into the local authorities, but of course, nothing was ever done about this crazy mystery man on our trail cameras.”
ConBro8 wrote of an encounter that could have ended badly. “Last November, I was sitting on watch on the end of a ridgeline with a 20 or so foot drop down into an area full of beech trees. Behind me, the ridgeline dropped down to a streambed. Perched along the top of the ridgeline were various trees, stumps, logs, and decent-sized rocks. So there I was on my watch, about 4 hours in. It was a wet day, and the freezing rain had decided to change to snow, and the wind was constant from my left. All of a sudden, I notice movement to my immediate left.
I snap my head to look, and a coyote is about 6 feet from me. Where I was seated, a boulder was about 8 feet to my left. This coyote had come from around the back of it and right on top of my perch. However, being downwind from him as I was, I think he was just as taken aback as I was. I am a left-handed shooter, so my rifle was facing the opposite direction than what I needed in order to pull upon him. So, I snapped to my feet as he booked back the way he came. I went after him, but he was long gone. It definitely raised my senses to my peripherals after that!”
Mrshakyhands wrote of an uncanny experience with big cats, “Some local hunter caught a mountain lion on his trail cam. Now the old folks have told stories about seeing/hearing them for years, but no one has ever killed or caught one on film. This son of a gun did! It was all over the newspapers. Almost everyone that had my number sent me the picture saying, ‘Holy cow, dude, they were right. We have them down here.’ I’ve heard the screams a few times. It sounds like a woman screaming, and it will send chills down your spine. I had never seen anything that I couldn’t explain away until that dude got one on his trail cam.”
But what do you do when the camera itself disappears? Marcbmann wrote, “So, this is somewhat related. I had a hunting camera set up for a few weeks to monitor a corn pile I set up. One week a bad storm came through, and I wanted to check on the camera. Well, the camera was gone. So was the tree it was put in. Along with the stump. Just… Gone. I know I was in the right spot for multiple reasons, including that I could see what was left of the corn pile. But nothing of the tree remained.”
DHLucky13 posted the creepiest story of something he caught on a trail cam: “We hunt in the middle of nowhere. Absolutely nobody lives anywhere within miles of us. I had my camera set up in the middle of a field with a three-shot burst. Each picture is taken about half a second apart. In one sequence of 3 shots, there’s a picture with nothing in it, then a picture of a man standing across the field on the tree line, then nothing again in the third.”
Ridingshotgun wrote of a similar experience, “My aunt and her fiancée in the suburbs were hearing tapping noises on their bedroom wall at like 1 am (their wall had the outside yard directly behind it.) They set up a deer cam to catch somebody if they heard it again, but the tapping never happened again after that. It was creepy to think for several nights some person had been doing that to them on purpose.”
Greee3nMachin34u wrote, “My father and I were following a trail for a while, so we decided to take a break and catch our breaths, I sat on a log off the trail, and my dad stood on the edge of the trail waiting for me to get up. I hear some movement, and I see a man, dressed casually, walking quickly down the trail with a Glock. He is not really following the trail; he is just walking toward my dad with haste. Before he comes up to my dad, he asks if he’s seen anything (pretty normal). I keep an eye on him because I don’t believe he was there to hunt. I think he was there to make sure my dad hadn’t seen anything he wasn’t supposed to. He wasn’t dressed like a hunter, he didn’t walk like a hunter, and it was deer season. He decided he would take his Glock out to get a deer…
I wasn’t buying, so I put a round in the chamber and watched them talk. He seemed to be confident until my dad mentioned that he was here with me and gestured in my direction. I nodded and made a half-hearted wave. And he seemed to lose interest in us and ended the conversation shortly after and turned around and walked back the way he came, just about as fast as he walked up to us. It worried us a bit, but we continued on. We haven’t been back to that area in a while. My dad told me that there had been drug busts near that area in the past. This isn’t a supernatural tale, just an experience that made me not want to go back to that area.”
Bumpercloud wrote, “A long time ago, my grandparents bought a small cabin in the woods in Pennsylvania. My dad, uncle, and aunt are all small children. My father told me this story. They’re all sitting around outside with a small fire going when they hear branches breaking and footsteps coming from the darkness. They think it’s a black bear because it’s close, but they can’t see it. It seems to be going straight for my uncle, the littlest of the children. He starts panicking while everyone tells him not to move. Now, this big black beast is within arm’s reach of him, and he’s shaking like a leaf with his eyes closed. All of a sudden, it opens its jaws and starts licking his face. It turns out that the next property over is owned by a couple who raise Newfoundland dogs, and one got out.”
Butyouremyannie wrote of a similar experience, “I went to visit my grandmother in a hospital rehab facility in a town that’s small but surrounded by warehouses and farmland. I walked into the building, and in the corner of my eye, I saw movement, and it looked like a bear cub waddling down the hallway. The nurse had a good laugh because it was a patient’s dog who was somehow allowed there, and they would visit all of the other patients. It was a Newfoundland. Man, I’ve never seen a dog that massive before. When people tell me my lab, who’s around 70 pounds, is big, I just laugh. Like you’ve never seen big till you mistake a dog for a bear.
Speaking of dogs, acer34p3r wrote, “Grandparents used to have a simply massive German shepherd, about 120 pounds. In the summer and fall, I’d help Grandpa chop wood for their wood stove out in the woods surrounding their home. Good half hour hike in, hauling wood up to the truck. Suddenly a huge black shape is sprinting at me, and I nearly crap my pants. Then he slows and trots right up to me with a big, stupid grin. Their German shepherd decided to go romping around in the swamp and got coated in black muck. Dog about scared me to death. I figured it was a wolf coming to rip me a new one.”
Dr_Phag had a much scarier experience and wrote of it, “I had the strangest feeling that I was being watched on the woods. I got paranoid enough that I began walking all the way to where I knew a park warden was parked. After about 100 meters, I turn around to make sure I wasn’t being followed, and I see three bears smacking my stuff around. One bear was standing up in the middle of the access road staring right at me.” Apparently, he did live to tell the tale, but his belongings might not have been quite so fortunate.
NC-DE336 wrote, “My family owns a couple of hundred acres of forest in eastern North Carolina. No one lives on the property anymore and hasn’t for the last six or seven years. We went down there to do some target shooting in October of 2017, and I decided to go walk through the outskirts of the woods to locate a good limb for our range marker. As I’m walking, literally and proverbially kicking rocks, I come across a fairly nice but practically brand-new-looking suitcase, full of clothes and other personal effects. No ID, nothing with any sort of identifying markers on them.
But it seemed to be clothes for four people; two kids and two adults, one male, and one female. Had some food, coloring books, etc. There was a makeshift lean-to about 100 yards farther into the woods. I set up a trail camera and left it there for three weeks, never saw anyone. For reference, this is 35 miles from any sizable town or city.” Was this a family that had run off for some reason or another? Or was there possibly another reason why their belongings would be scattered around a field? NC-DE336 said he called the sheriff’s department to report the incident but didn’t hear anything back.
Tennmyc21 told a story that did not involve a trail cam but was still a pretty interesting and exciting experience while hunting. “I have a hunting spot that I frequent. Not crazy far off the grid or anything like that, the terrain is a pain in the butt, but it’s a pretty hidden spot that is close to my house. Anyway, I hunt a lot of small game there and see a ton of mule deer any time I go out. One morning I get there about 5:30 am and have some time to kill before I start my hike in. I have an odd feeling in the parking lot but just chalk it up to too much coffee on an empty stomach giving me anxiety.
So, I decided to start hiking in, and about 300 yards into my hike, I noticed this pile of downed trees/branches/general debris that I hadn’t seen before. It was my first time hunting this particular place this particular season, so I figured some folks came out and did some fire mitigation work. I don’t pay too much attention to it until I notice there’s an odd amount of movement coming from it. Pretty small movements, but it sticks out when a brush pile is wiggling on a still day. It was also about 5:45 am, and the wilderness just sort of had this stillness to it at that time that any movement is noticeable.” Keep reading to find out what he did!
“So, I stop and start examining the pile to figure out what’s going on. I figure there’s a rabbit in there, maybe some squirrels. So, I figure I’ve hit the jackpot, and I’m about to bag something. I start deciding the best way to flush whatever is going on and still have my shotgun up in time to take a good shot. I realize I’m standing by a decent-sized branch, and my best move is to just stomp on the branch. If everything goes according to plan, everything will freeze, and whatever is in there will dart out. I try to figure out where the rabbit will come out, get ready, and BAM, I stomp on the branch and snap it in half. The pile goes still, and that stillness and quiet are back.
Then, a mountain lion, with a bloody nose and mouth pops up out of the pile. At this point, I’m about 10 yards from the pile. I have my shotgun but don’t want to shoot the lion. I also don’t want to fire a shot off in the air to scare it, because all in all, this was a pretty cool experience that very few people get to have. It froze and was looking at me very quizzically. Then, in one quick motion, it hopped out of the brush pile, ran uphill, got about 40 yards from me, and disappeared into the trees. I’ve never seen something cover 40 yards uphill in such a fast, graceful way. One of the cooler things I’ve ever gotten to experience. I went to check out the brush pile when it left, and sure enough, it was feasting on a mule deer. Still my favorite out in the woods story I ever tell.”
Ms461 wrote, “I work in the woods for a living, and I’ve seen a fair amount of odd things… Carvings in trees, old beat-up cars, random weird trash scattered through the woods, and a fair amount of animal carcasses. I’ve had instances where I’ve gotten spooked, stuff like jumping big critters is always quite jolting, but I can recall one rather a butt-puckering experience. I was working with a few other people at the time, spaced out of sight but not out of earshot. I crossed over a little ridge at least two miles from the closest road, in the middle of the woods, and I saw what looked like a full skeleton of a cow tied together with twigs and a little bit of twine.
Whoever made it had fashioned it to be sitting on a log. They left a very neat pile of bones in front of the thing and nothing anywhere else. I saw it and about fainted. Definitely really odd, considering how far we were off the road and how thick and steep it was. I ended up getting the folks I was with to come to check it out, really just for giggles. I took note of it, and we moved on to the next plots.” The picture was part of the user’s post. It looks like the skeleton of a cow sat down at a macabre tea party.
Like many other Reddit posters here, you probably have felt something — or someone — watching you from afar. What if that thing wasn’t… alive. Would it still have the same effect? This Reddit user explains a weird situation on the trail. Airmittens had a chilling experience that she recounted on Reddit: “I was hiking an easy trail with my 3-year-old son in Shenandoah National Park and got a really eerie feeling that something was watching us. I turned a corner, and a dead bear cub was about 5 feet away from the trail.
We were about halfway through the loop, so there was nothing to do besides finishing the trail. My son was getting tired, and I was acutely aware of something being out there with us. It was a different kind of fear for sure. I felt so vulnerable.” For the record, you’re better off encountering a full-grown bear than a bear cub. Most bears will run away, but if a mama bear sees someone near her bear cub, she can go into a frenzy. Keep reading about how the user followed up by talking about how she helped her son understand death.
“He didn’t see it since it was a bit off-trail, and I didn’t point it out to him because he is very sensitive. However, I have always been almost clinical in my descriptions of death (he’s interested in medical stuff—he’s six now). He believes in God, so he believes in heaven and all of that, but I do not, so I just sort of speak logically about the end of life. It hasn’t been a big deal in my household. When a bird hit our back door and died, he cried a whole lot, and I comforted him by telling him it was okay to be sad.
You’ll find the right words when the time comes. Don’t stress about it. My biggest advice is don’t use too many euphemisms about going to a better place or anything like that, because children can be so literal and need to understand that death is the end of life (you’ll need this understanding later on when teaching about safety, for example, helmets and looking before crossing the road—-kids are little accident-prone things and need to understand our motivations to protect them).”
AnacondaTMZ wrote, “I live in Montreal. My normal routine is to drive down to a river that starts in upstate NY, fish a couple of kilometers of the river where no one really lives or goes. Then head across the border and head back down to the river on the Canadian side. So I’m out there one morning by myself; I had been out there over a hundred times, so it wasn’t new territory by any means. That said, I was getting close to the area where other anglers had warned me about angry landowners and threats from dudes with shotguns, so I was pretty alert.
I came down to the section of the river there. It kinda splits around a little island (50’x100’ kinda island) before it reconnects, and the whole river veers off to the left. Most days, I stay left of the island, as there are a few holes. This day I went right, so my view up the river was obscured until I came around the corner of the island. I get to the point, look up, and about 250 feet in front of me, I’m standing there looking at a golden beige animal that’s crossing the river. First thought, someone’s dog. Hmm, no homes… Too remote of an area.” Keep reading to find out what the giant animal was!
“I’m standing there looking at this thing crossing the river, and the things are just racing through my head because what I’m looking at doesn’t make sense for where I’m standing. This thing still hasn’t seen me. It’s just gingerly making its way through about 1-2’ of water, trying to cross across at a determined walk. That’s when I notice the tail… I know a lot of dogs, but I’ve never seen a tail like … Hair on the back of my neck goes up… I’m looking at a mountain lion in upstate NY about a kilometer from the Canadian border. I take a step back behind the tree… I stood there for another few seconds watching this thing cross.
When it got to the other side, it bounded up a washed-out bank up about 20 feet in a couple of bounds, and there was no doubt about what I saw. I decide I’ve gone far enough for the day, start making my way back to the truck, which – with the way the river bends is pretty much in the same direction that cat was headed. Great. Get back in the truck, make my way home, and contact NY Fish and Game. I provided some data, and they said, “Sure, we’ll look into it.” Most buddies whom I fish without there think I’m nuts – obviously. About a month later, my parents sent me a local news clip about a mountain lion that attacked a horse.”
Giddyup_88 wrote, “Camping alone in the middle of Missouri the night before turkey hunting. The place I found was a fairly well-used campsite, but no one was there. About to go to sleep when I hear a truck come up. I find a reason to come out (use the restroom) so I can get a look and maybe even ask for some good places to spot turkey. It’s a dude and his girlfriend drinking beers and going for a ride. They are super nice, but they mentioned after our chat and before leaving, ‘Watch yourself out there. Lots of meth heads, and they won’t stop for bird shot. Want a slug? I probably have a few in my tool kit.’ I did not sleep at all that night.” Sounds like zombies on meth.
I have never ever followed up by saying, “During my freshman year, my roommate and I were invited to a house party, somewhere in the woods, south of town. The person who invited us was the manager of an auto part store. She was extremely attractive and promised us a good time. Neither one of us thought she meant the unlimited amount of meth when she said, “good time.” There were a ton of good-looking girls and extremely ugly dudes at the party. Everyone there was either doing meth when we arrived or had already taken a hit when we got there. I’ll never forget the half-naked girl laying on the trampoline in the front yard – knocked out unconscious. Needless to say, we dipped out of there really quick and started to buy parts from O’Reilly’s instead.” Best to avoid the zombies before you turn into one.
U/wizkid4987 wrote, “My dad was up hunting in South Africa with a guide whose name I have forgotten. But aside story about the guide is that he one time lost a tooth before he had met my dad, and when my dad saw it, he recommended he should get it fixed. The guy agreed and came back the next day after super-gluing it back into his head. During the hunt, they are driving in a pickup which they wanted to use to carry back the kill. They then pull up to a bunch of baboons just chilling in a tree.
My dad has his camera, so he gets out to take a pic. The guide he is with says, ‘Hey, those things are nasty. I wouldn’t do that.’ My dad shrugs it off, and they get out of the car. My dad takes a picture, and the flash makes them so angry that they start rushing them. Dukes of Hazzard style, the guide jumps over the hood of the car (more like slide), and my dad jumps through the window. They start the car with a bunch of baboons rocking the car.” Seriously, beware the evil baboons. They’re little monsters who will destroy your car and wreck your dreams.
Longcutdippers2020 wrote, “It was the first day of bear season. I got to where I planned to stand an hour before daylight. The issue all started with breakfast. Where I live, McDonald’s opened early for hunting season. I have some intestinal issues, but it’s normally manageable. I ate my burritos and steak egg and cheese bagel with that first-morning excitement. About 10 minutes before shooting hours, I felt the rumble started.
I couldn’t stand there any longer. I had to relieve myself, preferably outside of my pants, so I worked my way to the perfect log. You guys probably have been there, lol. I was almost finished when I heard a rifle fire somewhat nearby. Out of nowhere, I’m now face to face with a grown black bear that’s scared. I don’t know why, but he stopped and was huffing and popping his jaws at me. Guess those were his woods that I was pooping in.” Keep reading to see what happens next.
“My rifle was leaning against a tree, just out of reach. I didn’t know what to do, but I had an idea. I always carry a handgun. That day was lucky for me because I had my .357 Magnum. I know if I missed, I’d probably get bit or have him run off, so I had to be smooth. At this point, my pistol was on my belt around my ankles. I lifted myself up and drew. I fired two shots and two hits. He managed to run maybe 20 yards and fell over. I fired a third shot, but I don’t think it was necessary.
This was only my second bear ever, so I went running over, pants only half up and no rifle. That’s when my dad, after hearing my shots, came running over. I say, running because he knew it wasn’t my rifle he heard. So here I am, pants half down, standing by this bear with my handgun in one hand and toilet paper in the other. So that’s how I got my first bear with a handgun, and I will never eat McDonald’s before a hunt again.