What on earth did I see? Was it.a spirit?

May 20, 2010 by Bowhunter  
Filed under Bowhunting

Randi M asked:

Ok, first off, I know a bunch of people are going to read the first line, and if they're against hunting, even people who aren't vegetarians, they won't even bother to finish reading and just tell me "how dare you kill animals," but I would rather eat something I killed myself, that's had a chance to live and mate and run free and even escape, especially since I have to hide and ambush, than something that's lived in a pen all it's life, in cramped an inhumane conditions, it's only purpose to be eaten.
As for the story:
My boyfriend, Andrew, our friend, Sheldon, and I went bowhunting a few nights ago. I sat in a tree stand about 1/2 a mile away from Drew. About sunset, Drew let me know that there was a buck headed in my direction, but the way I was sitting in my stand, I couldn't turn towards the trail to shoot, so I climbed down out of my stand and stood against the tree and waited...and waited...and waited...never saw the buck. When it was too dark to shoot, I climbed back up and undid my tree stand, took out the pegs, packed everything up, put my backpack on my stand. I swung my stand on, but I couldn't get one of the shoulder straps to fit comfortably, so I took it back off to readjust the backpack. There was suddenly a dim light shining on me and I turned and was surprised to see whom I thought was Andrew or Sheldon about twenty feet away, coming around the curve in the trail with his headlamp on. I was a little embarassed bc I'd been fighting with my stand, so I didn't say anything and turned back to what I was doing. The light went out. I turned around again to ask if he'd turn the light back on so I could see what I was doing. No one there. As in NOBODY standing there, nobody walking past me...nothing. He would have had to walk RIGHT past me to continue down the trail. The moon was out enought that I could see the trail perfectly, and...aside from myself, there was NO ONE on it. I swung my stand back on, and started walking slowly up the trail. I said, "Andrew? Andrew..." and got no answer. I then thought how loud my feet sounded, crunching on the leaves, and then realized that when the light had shone on me, I hadn't heard anyone walking. With all the leaves on the ground, you could hear a person approaching from 60, 70 feet away. The light had been 20 feet from me and I hadn't heard a thing. If they'd walked off the trail down into the draw (which would have been a stupid move on their part bc it was a ten foot drop straight down), they would've made even more noise than on the trail, what with sticks and rocks falling, painful screams, etc. I hadn't heard ANYTHING. I suddenly felt very...alone. I KNEW then, without a doubt, that there was no one on the trail but me. And still, I couldn't quite believe it. I walked slowly up the trail, calling Sheldon's and Andrew's names once or twice, telling them this wasn't funny, peeking around every tree; I just knew that Andrew or Sheldon was going to jump out and try to scare me. And it never happened. I didn't become genuinely scared until I stopped where the trail meets the road and looked down to where my stand had been, with the moon shining bright as a spotlight on the trail, the tree I'd been in, the field beside it. And realized that if there HAD been someone wearing that headlamp, I would have seen them under it, what with all the moonlight shining all over the place. I ran back to the car as fast as my little legs would carry me. My suspicions were confirmed when Andrew came walking towards me across the parking lot with his green headlamp on. The moon was blocked by the trees, but I had heard him approaching from at least fifty feet away, and when he stepped out onto the parking lot, even in the shadows, I could see his outline against the trees.
And STILL I just couldn't believe it. I asked Sheldon if he'd walked down the trail twenty minutes earlier, but he'd been a mile away, packing up his stuff. He also didn't have his white headlamp with him but even if he had, it's just like mine, an LED light, and much too harsh to be the soft light that approached me in the woods. He had a flashlight, but it was really bright, and the light I saw had been fairly dim. Andrew doesn't even have a white headlamp. It's green (because for some reason, deer can't see green light).
I finally accepted the fact that I had seen something I could not explain. Needless to say, it creeped me the **** out. I've never actually believed in ghosts or spirits. I asked Andrew about it, and he told me that this actually happens to a lot of people hunting in the woods. We live in southern Missouri, down in the Ozarks, and I do know that this is where my ancestors, Osage Indians, lived. (My great-grandma Turner is 3/4 Osage Indian). Drew told me that he's come to accept the fact that the Indians were onto something in the belief that there are spirits living in everything.
I just still...cannot believe it. What could it possibly have been?

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