fishing & hunting gear

Creepypasta #1122: My Bird Dog And I Went Hunting In The Desert Of Eastern Oregon - A Desert That Doesn't Like Intruders

Length: Super long

About six weeks ago, I went into the wilderness of Eastern Oregon with my 2 year old hunting dog (a golden retriever named Reggie) to hunt for pheasant, partridge, quail, and flyfish for steelhead. I was camping along the John Day River, which is in the high desert and carves a deep valley through the sage brush coated hills and black-rock cliffs. Something happened in that canyon that has changed everything I know (or thought I knew) about the world we live in. I’ll start with a bit of backstory before I get into the events.

I did this same camping trip with two buddies last November during my dog’s first bird season, and we were all psyched to have round two. Unfortunately, one of the dudes bailed because of work pressure, and the other because he needed time to prep for an interview.

So I decided to go alone. I’ve done plenty of solo camping and hunting before, and this time I had my bird dog so I felt even better going alone. There’s obviously no cell service out there, so I gave my girlfriend and some buddies my route and camping locations, and set out before sunrise on a Friday with plans to return late on Sunday. It’s about a three hour drive to the stretch of the John Day River basin where I was heading, and got there around 9:30. 

It was around 40 degrees when I got out at the BLM parking area to stretch and started to get ready to set out. My dog was really stoked (he knows we’re hunting when I put on my bird pouch and bust out the shotgun), and I was as happy as a pig in the mud. Sun was shining, and it had snowed a few days earlier so the red, tan, black, and green sagebrush-coated valley we started hiking down into was shimmering.

I had my big backpacking pack loaded to the brim with camping gear, winter gear, hunting and fishing gear, and dog stuff. I had my shotgun in hand (a double barrel 12g side-by-side), a field knife, and my Ruger .357 on my belt. I don’t always carry a sidearm, but with three days and two nights alone in an area infested with packs of coyotes (who don’t scare me but would love a golden retriever snack) and mountain lions (which definitely scare me), I figured why the hell not.

We (my dog and I) rucked about 6 miles into a more open part of the valley where I wanted to spend the first night. It was around 50 degrees at this point and absolutely beautiful, although quite muddy with the snow melting. I set up the tent on a little grassy plateau above the old trail, and put the dog in the tent with some water to chill for a bit to get his paws warmed up. 

I ate lunch and dumped most of my gear to set out with just my camelback, bird pouch, gun, and dog down further into the valley to start hunting (about as happy as a dude can be). It was slow hunting at first but eventually we flushed some quails and a few hen pheasants. After about 4 hours it was starting to get dark. We had bagged 3 quails and were working our way back to camp. This is when things got somewhat strange.

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