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Chappy
09-30-2015, 14:10
Anyone ever encounter anything unusual at this shelter? I recently had an experience that dropped me to the ground...flashbacks of war!

SteelCut
09-30-2015, 14:16
You've raised my curiosity level. Do tell more.

bigcranky
09-30-2015, 14:24
The Army Ranger school runs training in N. Georgia, and sometimes shows up at Hawk Mountain Shelter or near the old Justus Creek camp sites. It can get exciting, especially for Army or Marine vets. :) I have not heard of them further north in NC, though.

Chappy
09-30-2015, 14:37
The Army Ranger school runs training in N. Georgia, and sometimes shows up at Hawk Mountain Shelter or near the old Justus Creek camp sites. It can get exciting, especially for Army or Marine vets. :) I have not heard of them further north in NC, though.

Yes, I'm very familiar with the Ranger training. No, this was not Rangers, but it seems the shelter was either booby trapped or someone shot at me from close range. Relying on my Army training I dropped and rolled. :) Mid afternoon I walked toward the shelter because it had a privy. The shelter was between me and the privy so I walked thru the shelter to get there, but I never made it. I noticed an egg crate type mat fully extended on the sleeping area and a blue tarp (the cheap kind you can buy to cover things) rolled at the foot. There was no pack, no food, nothing else, just those items. As I continued on there was a sudden sound like a shot from a starters gun or maybe a 380 handgun. That's when i hit the ground! I looked around for a few seconds, determined there was no one rushing me so I quickly left the area. I was quite surprised by the event. Would someone purposely booby trap a shelter? Strangest experience I've ever had on the AT. This happened recently, too.

Stubby
09-30-2015, 15:09
Very odd, and frightening too.

Did you hear the bullet zing by, or hit anything?

It could have been a hiker down a side path to a creek or overlook or something, who decided to fire off a shot, not even knowing you were there, and just aiming at a distant tree or something...

Pretty minimal gear, might have been some stuff a thru-hiker decided to ditch... or maybe who was just getting some water, and took some stuff off his backpack which he then took to the water source, out of sight. Maybe?

bigcranky
09-30-2015, 15:21
Wow, yeah, that's not good. Could be all sorts of things, and getting clear of the area was the best thing you could do.

You might send a report to the county sheriff's office.

daddytwosticks
09-30-2015, 16:01
Mystery solved. Bet it was an acorn hitting the metal roof of that shelter. Sounds like a gun shot. Scares the crap outta me too. :)

Chappy
09-30-2015, 18:35
Mystery solved. Bet it was an acorn hitting the metal roof of that shelter. Sounds like a gun shot. Scares the crap outta me too. :)

Sorry ol' friend...26 years in the Army has taught me the sound of a weapon firing.

daddytwosticks
10-01-2015, 07:22
Sorry...only trying to help. :(

Very unusual situation. Glad you were not hurt. I've seen hunters along that section in the fall. Don't know if it's hunting season yet. :)

Chappy
10-01-2015, 19:11
Sorry...only trying to help. :(

Very unusual situation. Glad you were not hurt. I've seen hunters along that section in the fall. Don't know if it's hunting season yet. :)

Thanks! Never encountered anything like this over many years being on the AT. Very mystifying.

MuddyWaters
10-01-2015, 20:49
Thanks! Never encountered anything like this over many years being on the AT. Very mystifying.

Its not a mystery that a local yahoo packing a firearm might want to fire it now and then.

Muzzleloader season for deer started Sep 28 in NC. Small game starts Oct 12.

Rhughesnc
04-23-2017, 21:39
Hope that doesn't happen when I am up there

GaryM
09-29-2018, 17:41
Who knows, just because a gun fires in the woods doesn't mean it is pointed at you.
Here is a technical question, did you hear the sound on the gun firing or the crack of a bullet as it passes close by?

(there is a difference, pulling targets during a highpower match will teach you this


ETA; Currently there are multiple seasons open in NC. You can report it to local LEO but I would be willing to bet all you get is a shrug and an answer such as "Hunting season".

capehiker
09-29-2018, 18:08
Iíve had gun fire experiences two years in a row by this shelter. My theory is that itís locals who have a make shift range nearby and head to the hills to shoot targets. It feels like you get really close to the firing and then the trail veers off in the opposite direction.

Shooting Star
09-29-2018, 21:21
I did a summer trip on that section 5 or 6 years ago and heard loud gunfire coming from down in the valley
within 1 or 2 miles and it was clearly some folks target shooting. I think I was a mile past Wayah Shelter
heading north when I heard the shots and this went on for 15 minutes or so. Nothing sounded like it was
coming in my direction so I just hiked onward. Some of the road signs and AT signs in the area were pretty
well ventilated.

scope
09-30-2018, 09:26
Well, wasn't there, but sure sounds like your Army training to drop and roll took priority over realizing where you were and what might not be happening just because you heard shots. Here them all the time on the trail, and its mostly folks down below. We don't know how close we are to "civilization" most of the time. Sometimes its hunting season, but I figure you'd know that. That's not to say maybe even another hiker was taking a shot at something, likely/hopefully/surely not you. There's always possibility that some yocal is having some "fun" at your expense, but probably not.

Regarding the shelter stuff, blue tarps are commonplace at shelters, and other stuff like a foam pad is not uncommon to see left behind.

Mike Steger
09-30-2018, 16:44
late april 2012 got to wayah shelter late afternoon ....approaching shelter looked like someone was their from a distance...rain coat hanging , pair of good black boots , some other small stuff and a BIG BOTTLE of GRAIN ALCOHOL with enough left to get plenty lit , nobody around at all....2 lawyers from tallahassee florida showed up about a hour later , told them i donot drink its all yours...they donot drink either lol....young dude from boston limping real bad and young indian dude form florida showed up later on and mixed it with gatorade.....nice campfire that night and good night in my tent