All posts by calstaff

Haunted Hiking Trails

Bloody Lane Trail, MD
This 1.5-mile trail in Antietam National Battlefield was one of the deadliest Civil War battles in 1862. Which explains, visitors report seeing ghostly soldiers both day and night. Many soldiers are buried around Burnside’s Bridge, and phenomena include witnessing balls of blue light, hearing drumming, gunfire and battlefield songs and smelling gunpowder.

Chilnualna Falls Trail, California

Yosemite National Park is home to some of the country’s most beautiful (and deadly) hiking paths. The Mist Trail is more popular for its two gushing waterfalls, but the Chilnualna Falls Trail is more haunted (and boasts three waterfalls). The difficult 8.4-mile loop passes Grouse Lake, where, according to Awahnechee tribal legend, the cries of a young boy who drowned in the lake can still be heard, and anyone who jumps into the lake looking for the boy will also drown.

Transept Trail, Utah

The three-mile Transept Trail in the Grand Canyon’s North Rim is one of the best-known haunted paths, since stories of the Wailing Woman are well documented by hikers. She’s often seen at night wearing a white dress with blue flowers, bemoaning, according to local tales, her husband and son who died in a hiking accident.

Iron Goat Trail, Washington

The Iron Goat Trail in Stevens Pass in the Cascades was the site of one of the worst railroad accidents in U.S. history. In 1910 an avalanche knocked two trains off the tracks while they were snowed in at the Wellington depot, killing almost 100 people. After the accident the Great Northern Railroad abandoned the tracks and built new routes and tunnels. The abandoned tunnels and snow sheds still exist on the trail, and hikers share tales of hearing voices, screams and sounds around the crash site of Tye Creek in the (now ghost town) of Wellington. However, hikers aren’t allowed on the trail at night, and under no circumstances should anyone enter the tunnels, which are all in danger of collapse—if they haven’t already.

Warm Springs Canyon Road, California

This death seeking 16-mile hike in Death Valley National Park is not for the faint of heart, and not just because of extremely hot temperatures and abandoned homes along the route. Don’t let the pleasant-sounding name fool you, Warm Springs Canyon Road leads to Barker Ranch—the former hideout of the infamous Manson Family.

Charles Manson and his followers lived at the ranch for a period of time in the late ‘60s while on the run following the tragic Los Angeles murders of Sharon Tate and six others.

Manson and company was eventually captured at Barker, where he supposedly killed more people, although the bodies have never been found. A fire destroyed Barker Ranch in 2009, so now only the shell remains. Hikers who are brave enough are allowed to camp on the grounds, and some reported hearing screams, the feeling of being watched and smelling decomposing bodies.

Sources: TravelChannel.com

You really can find anything at Walmart – even a Deer

The whole town of Wadena, MN has been talking about its special guest at the local Walmart store, distinguished visit aka a “deer”.

As always the young deer was probably looking for food when it accidentally entered the building from the garden center. This created a panic amongst the current shoppers. Just like in the movies, when people started screaming, the deer obviously was freaking out. Running to look for an exit but instead running into people until finally ran into Tom Grasswick.

“It felt like I got slugged or something” said Grasswick when the deer ran into him. Then his instincts kicked in and he subdued the young deer. Tom must have been a wrestler as he easily tackled and held the deer as pictured above.

Look at that form, as a former wrestler that deer isn’t moving. Covering the eyes is a nice touch to keep the deer calm. Even though at 100 pounds the deer probably didn’t stand a chance. Shortly, after taking down the deer others came to help cover the deer’s eyes. Once it was blinded it was released with the aid of other customer’s outside and unharmed.

The young deer was said to be feeding on flowers in the garden center when it wondered through. To prevent this from happening again Walmart will be changing it’s door policies. Hopefully, that will be enough to keep the deer away. Anyone else wondering what plant drew the deer in despite all the people in the area? That’s what I need that in my food plots.

Sources: Wadena PJ, Jake VanDeLaare
Photo from
Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Getting Real Close to this Hog

There’s close… and then there’s REALLY too close! Watch as a hog almost takes this hunter out.
Let me set the scene: A trio of hounds have a large hog pinned to the ground while a hunter shouts commands from some 15 feet away. Well, at least that’s how it begins. The scenario quickly unravels, however, as the pig suddenly leaps to it’s feet and begins a direct charge forward.

This intense video shows why hog hunting isn’t for the faint of heart. Things can change in a split second, and as you’re about to see, this hunter came within inches of getting seriously hurt – or worse.

Think this guy thanked his lucky stars for getting that shot off at the last second? Talk about fight or flight.

One thing’s for certain – that’s a heck of an adrenaline rush!

Sources: Hit em Hard Outdoors Facebook, Justin Hoffman

Georgia DNR looking for leads on Poached Duct Taped Deer to a Sign

Else where in the U.S., Georgia authorities are looking for your help to nab whoever taped this deer to a road sign.

Officers said the deer was found on Highway 90 after several people called 911 to report it. According to officers, the deer had been shot, so they are investigating if the deer was illegally hunted.

In a photo posted on Facebook, you can see someone duct taped sunglasses on the deer, and it appears they also put a shirt on it.

Photos of the deer first appeared on Facebook on Tuesday. And now WALB reports authorities are saying the deer was shot and they are investigating the incident further. A reward is also being offered for leads in this strange case.

Not only does it appear the deer was shot, but the person or persons responsible also apparently put a shirt on the animal and taped sunglasses to its head.

If you have any information on this strange case, contact the Georgia DNR on their poaching tip line at 1-800-241-4113.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that this has happened of someone duct-taping a dead deer. Back in January, authorities in Ohio were looking for leads on the carcasses of several deer that were found with holes bored in their bodies and wrapped in tape.

Information unknown of any arrests relating to that case.

Sources: WALB News, Travis Smola
Photo from WALB News

Ever had a Big Fish Break your Line?

Is there a worse feeling in the world than when a big fish breaks your line?
But very few get a shot at redemption on the same fish.
Thats what happened to this Angler

Watch as he hooks into a big gar and loses it. But he gets a second chance when they just happen to run across the float a couple of hours later…

Now that is just a crazy fishing tale! It’s great that he’s got it on video. Not many would likely believe the story otherwise. That was some excellent work to get the line re-tied without spooking the gar and having it run again guys.

Although it seems the gar had the last laugh in this story when it knocked the fisherman flat to the ground. Still, an incredible catch and tale these guys will no doubt be sharing for a long time to come.

Photo: Screen Captured from Youtube
Sources: Lunkers TV, Travis Smola

13 Awesome Hikes within 5 Miles in Northern California

1. Stout Grove, Jedediah Smith State Park

Only 9 miles east of Crescent City is this gorgeous state park. It lies alongside the Smith river and has LOTS of hiking trails. Feel like being lazy? Take the half-mile hike around Stout Grove, or as we call it, “Mother Nature’s Cathedral.”

2. Boy Scout Tree Trail, Jedediah Smith State Park

Since you’re already here at Jedediah Smith, you might want more than a half hour hike? Then take the 5.3 mile Boy Scout Tree Trail. We’re bending the rules with this one. If you go up and back it’s twice that, but this hike is so worth it and it highlights some of the most incredible parts of Redwood forest known to man. Make sure to get there early. This one is getting more popular.

3. Montgomery Grove Trail, Mondocino

Take this scenic road in (Orr Springs Rd.) to meet the trailhead in Montgomery Woods. This spot is pretty remote and at least a 30 minute drive from a freeway. But the ride there is scenic and lovely. Only a 2 mile hike, this is the Shangri-La of hiking spots for sure.

4. Tall Trees Grove, Redwood National Park

This trail is 3.9 miles long. You’re going to climb over 650 feet as you walk this path. Here’s where you’ll find the Libbey Tree. Once believed to be the tallest tree in the world, it’s since been overshadowed by a few others, however, no one knows the others’ whereabouts. They’re kept secret.

5. Sun Trail (OR) 6. Dipsea Trail, Muir Woods

There are two trails to choose from here. Sun Trail is 4.7 miles of scenic views. Climb a hill that gives you a breathtaking view of Mt. Tamalpais. Don’t feel like taking this one? Then follow the arrow to the Dipsea trail. This 3.7-mile loop hike takes you to ocean views and back into the Redwoods again. While these trees aren’t as impressive as other areas, there are fewer folks who know about this one. Be warned: there’s a 14-rung ladder that can be slippery. Not always fun for children – or nervous parents.

7. Floating Island Lake Trail, Tahoe

Just 1.6 miles until you’re seeing this. Walk along a wooded path with the most amazing nature sites around. Don’t wait for a better weekend. Go now!

8. Bridge Trail, Pescadero County Park

This trail is 1.1 miles of lush green ferns and a babbling creek. What more could you ask for? Stop along the bank and read a book for awhile. Snap photos of wildlife beneath the canopy of trees.

9. Hidden Falls Trails, Auburn Regional Park
10. Codfish Falls Trail, Auburn


This trail is 1.7 miles and takes around an hour. The difficulty level is easy to moderate – even a mom with a baby can do it. Follow along some pretty parts of the North Fork American River. Just know, there are some steep drop-offs to the river below. So if heights aren’t your thing then this one isn’t for you.

11. Pfeiffer Falls Trail, Big Sur State Park

This 2.5-mile hike is the most popular one at Big Sur. Begin by the lodge and climb a tree-covered hill to reach a pretty awesome waterfall. Then head on a bit farther to see the valley below. Gorgeous!

12. Bumpass Hell Trail, Old Station

This trail offers 2.9 miles of hiking wonderland, but it’s only open from June until October. This hike boasts nature’s still busy volcanic activity below. A popular hike not only for the scenery but for the occasional streams of thermal mist that come from the earth below.

13. Cascade Falls Trail, Lake Tahoe

Ever looked DOWN a waterfall? Here’s your chance. Only a two-mile jaunt into heaven. Walk along the mountainside with Cascade Lake in view, and you’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale. Bring along a camera. You’ll want to remember this.
It’s pretty safe to say that Northern California is the bomb when it comes to meandering paths and rocky peaks that are just waiting for our hiking boots. You’ve been given your marching orders, people. Get out there and enjoy the prettiest part of the country that you get to call home.

Wild Game Cuts – Illustrated Guide

If you’re interested in how to butcher your own deer harvests, you might like this illustrated deer meat guide.

This illustration by artist Nadia van der Donk shows where the different cuts of meat come from on a deer.

A single deer can provide a lot of meat that can last for months if rationed properly. The hide can also be used for a wall hanging or carpet.

Butchering at home requires a lot more than a deer meat guide. You’ll need the right knives for skinning the hide, a hacksaw, wet stone and gloves for cleanliness.

Plus, the process can get a little dirty, so having a safe place to do it without risking a seriously messed up kitchen is key.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll be much better off taking it to a deer processing facility or experienced butcher.

But, if you’re up for the challenge of learning how to do it, this handy guide will help out big time. You’ll know where the steaks, loin and roast section comes from. Perhaps only cut the area of the meat that you only want instead of dragging the whole deer back to your camp, which could be miles.

Getting a deer from the field to the freezer starts with properly field dressing the animal. Make sure to store and hang the meat in a cool and dry environment that is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sources: nadiavanderdonk.com

California Criptid Walks – Seven Places for the Paranormal

When there’s something strange and it don’t look good, it can be quite a thriller of a ride, but lest you fall into the Twilight Zone by accident -or if you want to go looking for trouble- here are a few places for California Criptids and paranormal pacers.

Moro Rock Trails – Tulare, CA
Starting off easy in Tulare, there’s the Moro Rock Trail, where the walk may be beautiful, but when you try to take a picture of the scenery, you may find yourself with some Phantasmic Photobombers trying to get in the picture. I wonder if they’ll pose for a selfie?

Alum rock Trail – San Jose, CA
On a slightly more delayed schedule, the Alum Rock Trail in San Jose’s state park has visitors reporting not spooky daytime apparitions, but unsettling nightmares for long after, as if being chased through the park by a sinister but unknowable presence. Maybe, like Orpheus, we shouldn’t turn back around. It’s for the best.


Lost Coast Trail – Petrolia, CA
Things get Twilight-Zone-esque on the Lost Coast Trail in Petrolia, where hikers report the timeline being a bit wibbly-wobbly, and space and time get a little bit warped. Some say they’ve traveled back in time while hiking it, and disappeared for several minutes. A glitch in the Matrix? One too many drinks? I kinda want to find out. I wonder if you’ll run into any hikers from any other timeline?

Pear Lake

Pear Lake Trail – Sequoia National Park
The Pear Lake trail in Sequoia National Park is tough, and if you linger, you may hear others walking parallel to your trail, somewhere in the woods to your left. Some have reported seeing unearthly cloaked figures. To be fair, if I saw another human being in a hooded robe, I’d probably walk faster even if they were standing in a brightly-lit walmart, but let’s not dwell on what they were doing walking hidden in the forest.


Mount Diablo trail – Contra Costa County
Mount Diablo trail in Contra Costa County has its own legends. The name of the mountain may be explained by a plaque at the top, but some locals believe a somewhat more sinister tale involving a missionary feeling something sinister, with worrying visions and thoughts. Maybe he had a run-in with the guys from the Pear Lake trail.


Lake Chabot trail
In Castro Valley, Lake Chabot trail is great for hooking a few fish or getting a nice walk, but if you walk for too long, you may start to experience your worst fears clamoring into your mind as visions. Or, you know, you might have anxiety. You should probabl hike with a buddy either way.


Crystal Cave Trail – Sequoia Nat Park
Last, the Crystal Cave trail (no, not the videogames) in Sequoia National Park. Maybe you should just avoid walking in Sequoia National Park alone, considering this is the second trail of theirs on this list.
This one features a terrifying white, slimy creature hiding in the stalactites on the roof, preying on anyone who wanders off from their group. Yet, in spite of my investigations (read as: first page of google search results) I couldn’t find any more details about the creature except “White and slimy”, nor what it does to the hikers it finds.

Anyone want to go hiking with me?

by Sam Morstan

Sources: GoogleMaps, CA Wildlife, CA Hiking Associations

Bowfishing Heaven

Youtubers Bowmars are at it again with some sweet bowfishing action!
The Bowmars sleep and breathe outdoors, especially bowfishing. Here’s a recent clip to show how passionate they are is some clips from their resent bowfishing trip.

With bowfishing becoming more and more popular, it is always cool to see people like the Bowmars stepping out and getting in on the action.

The cool thing is that it is a sport that doesn’t take much money to get into at all. Picking up a simple bow kit, and making time to get out on some local water is all you have to do to start practicing your skills as a bow fisherman.

Sources: Bowmar Bowhunting Youtube, Jesse Males

Combine a dumb deer and some bad Shooting

And you’ve got the Funniest Bow Hunting fail.
We’ve all had those days in the stand when nothing seems to go right. It could be wind direction, out-of-range deer, or simply a missed shot. But if you think you’ve had some misfortune, try taking a look at this video without cracking a smile. (You’ll also realize your worst day wasn’t that bad after all!)

Tim Wells was the man behind the camera as his wife took part in a tree stand deer hunt. With a doe standing directly beneath her, it looks like a done deal. But as you’re about to see, this was one lucky deer – or should we say, five times lucky!

Watch how this comedy of errors unfold:

It doesn’t get much better than that! Makes you wonder if this deer realized that if she just stood still, she’d live to tell this funny tale. Not sure if she’s the world’s stupidest deer… or perhaps the smartest!

And this one-liner from Wells is pretty hilarious:

“Well there was one night with my wife that I’ll never forget and it wasn’t our honeymoon.”

Sources: Tim Wells Youtube, Justin Hoffman