When dealing with wild game, any animal can pose a threat, but unfortunately, some animals are far more dangerous than others and can cause serious injuries or even death if provoked enough. For new hunters, this is especially important. This is because inexperience can sometimes lead to recklessness in many cases and should be avoided at all costs.
Archery, especially bow hunting, is not a sport to take lightly when it comes to safety, so make sure you’re taking the proper steps and doing all you can so that you’re not ending your hunt short with an injury or with a potential casualty.
Whether you’re hunting in North America, overseas in Africa, or both, this is a general list of what big game you should be careful around and a little bit about what you can expect from these animals and what damage they can cause if encountered.
There are a lot of unsafe practices in the world when it comes to archery, so I feel it’s only right to create a short list of animals to be wary of so that you know exactly what to look out for and what to expect when going hunting in unfamiliar or new locations
In no particular order, here are 12 of the most dangerous animals you can run into while hunting.
1) Cape Buffalo
Not exactly a huge threat when hunting, but if provoked enough these guys can cause some serious damage. Considering how much size they have to them, I think it’s safe to say that the Cape Buffalo is definitely not an animal you want to be near when it is mad.
These animals can and will charge you with tons of force behind it if you are close enough and they have the size, speed, and strength to kill if they feel they need to. Also known as “Black Death”, this particular animal is definitely nothing to mess around with and should be avoided altogether if you are not experienced with hunting them or are new to hunting.
With males weighing up to 2,000 lbs. in size, getting tackled by one of these would probably feel like getting hit by a mini-van, so I think I can speak for almost everybody when I say that nobody wants to experience or go out like that.
Cape Buffalo like to work in teams when they feel there is a threat, so serious damage can be done if you are ever in a situation to where you have to defend yourself but are really in no position to do so. With extremely thick horns and unfair fighting styles, this buffalo should be one of your top big game animals to look out for when hunting.
2) Grizzly Bear
One of the most common threats in the world of bow hunting, Grizzly bears. If you’ve ever had the slightest encounter with one of the beasts or have ever heard horror stories or seen videos of what has happened when encountered, then you know what Grizzly bears are capable of.
With thick claws and teeth that can rip through pretty much anything, these animals are one of the most commonly feared animals in North America and other parts of the world. There are ways to prevent or even stop a bear attack, but nothing you do is 100% guaranteed to work if you’re ever put in a position where you have to.
Although bear encounters can be difficult to get out of, it is very important to take the proper equipment with you so that you at least stand a chance. I know it’s tempting to run when faced with a bear, but believe it or not, bears are really fast and you will likely not be able to outrun one.
If you’re hunting in an area you’ve never been in or feel good and prepared enough to hunt in bear country, then always make sure you bring bear repellent and practice the proper steps needed to ensure your safety just in case you ever come face to face with one of these things.
All bears, in general, are very territorial animals and will also eat practically anything if they are hungry enough, so be extremely careful when and if you decide to hunt in bear country. Your life depends on it.
Thick, rugged and aggressive, the rhino is nothing to play around with. Whether it’s a black rhino or a white rhino, it doesn’t matter, both are equally intimidating. The good thing about this particular animal is that they do have poor eyesight, so if near one you have a better chance of getting away compared to other animals.
The bad thing is that they have a really keen sense of smell, hearing and will charge at anything for absolutely no reason, threat or not. With a history of turning over cars, injuring and even killing, I think it is safe to say that coming around one of these animals with little experience is not recommended.
If you ever decide to go rhino hunting, make sure to bring along a friend or acquaintance who is experienced with hunting them until you get used to them. Hunting rhino is definitely not something you want to do by yourself or even with someone else until you or the other person you’re hunting with is experienced enough in doing so.
If you reside in Africa or are a hunter who travels the world finding new spots to hunt, then it is suggested that you spend a little time around these animals with a ranger beforehand so that you can get a little bit of a feel of what’s to come when you decide you’re ready to go on that hunt.
Humans are not a lion’s first choice when it comes to finding prey to eat, but they will attack if they need to. Although we are the smartest species in the world, this, unfortunately, doesn’t make up for our lack of survival skills when compared to other species.
We are slow runners and are easily digestible to a lion, so hunting us is always easy prey. Lions are predators, but more times than not, they will not go out of their way to hunt us down, but that doesn’t completely mean that we are in the clear.
From what I’ve been able to find, lions can turn really aggressive if hungry or hurt, so bow hunting them can be very dangerous if not done properly. With most animals that are shot with an arrow, they typically run until they finally bleed out and die, but with lion’s, this will probably just agitate them to the point where they go into survival mode and attack until the threat is taken care of.
You have to really be careful and well-experienced when hunting for lion’s because one wrong move could potentially cost you your life.
With an average running speed of 15 to 22 mph on land, Crocodiles are just barely slower than the average human. When first researching this, I was completely shocked at how slow we really are compared to them and knowing that now makes hunting around crocodile that much more unsettling.
With killing mechanisms such as the “death roll”, powerful jaw muscles that can bite down at 5,000 pounds per square inch and sharp teeth that can tear through almost any prey, the crocodile is definitely one animal to be feared.
If possible, keep a pretty generous amount of distance between you and a crocodile when hunting so that they won’t have a chance of being in reach to attack. Like other animals, the crocodile will usually not attack unless provoked and even then will avoid any human confrontation at all cost.
But when a crocodile feels that escaping is not an option and that they need to go into attack mode, then you’d better watch out. With the strongest bite force ever recorded behind the Orca, crocodiles are a force that should never be reckoned with.
Crocodiles like to hang out around large bodies of water, so when out hunting be sure to avoid these areas by any means necessary.
Despite its size, I would not assume that elephants would be much of threat, but that is definitely not the case. Unlike most animals on this list, elephants can be very aggressive no matter if they’re provoked or not.
In India, it is reported that elephants are responsible for taking the lives of over 200 people per year. And considering how big they are, this is no surprise. At first glance, you may not think that elephants are very fast, but even with carrying up to 5 tons of weight, they can run faster than most humans.
With the weight of what seems to have the equivalency of a skyscraper and tusks that reach up to 8 feet long, surviving an elephant attack is pretty much out of the question. If approached by one of these things, you can expect nothing short of being knocked out or trampled.
Due to their size, hunting game like this should only be experienced by hunters who have a few years of hunting underneath their belt at least. When shooting a target as big as an elephant, making sure you’re hitting your target the first try is very important as you run the risk of being spotted and charged at like a raging locomotive traveling at top speed.
Known to hunt in packs, hyenas have been known to pose a threat to any human or animal that gets in its way. With great intelligence, these predators can calculate and execute a kill with ease without much of a struggle.
If they are hungry or feel threatened, they will attack anything in sight. With a biting force that can break through bones, hunting a human compared to any other big game species is like childs play to a hyena.
Just like the lion, we are not typically the first choice of prey when it comes to deciding what meal they should have next, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t approach us if hungry enough. With the amount of strength and sheer power these scavengers/predators posses, hyenas are not an animal you want to necessarily creep up on when hunting.
They are more than capable of taking a human down with little effort and have proven to be able to do this many times to many tribe members and residents in Africa in the past.
So if you’re a hunter who loves traveling overseas to Africa to hunt the big and dangerous game, then keep in mind that even the smaller animals can pose a threat just as big as the bigger ones.
Like hyenas, wolves love to hunt in packs and find the most success taking down prey doing so. They are natural predators and will be fairly quick, quiet and discreet when taking their desired target down. They are able to maneuver their way throughout forests way quieter than any human can and will be surrounding you in a pack before you can even have time to react.
Generally, though, they will avoid humans if possible, but when faced with a threat, they will not hesitate to use their predatorial instincts to eliminate that threat.
Like many other wild game animals, they are equipped with large teeth and strong jaws that are designed to take down even the biggest of animals and prey. They can tear and rip through almost anything without any real struggle or issue.
If you’re a North American hunter or hunt any other country populated with wolves. then you know how nerve-racking hunting a wolf can be, especially as someone who is new to wolf hunting. With their quickness and ability to take down their prey within seconds, I think it’s fair to say that extreme caution should be taken when hunting these predators.
Unlike most predatorial animals, leopards will not avoid you when faced with confrontation. If you run into a lion or wolf, the chances of startling them and scaring them off is far greater then if you were to run into a leopard.
The reason for this is that leopards are not social animals, they do not know how to interact with others, including its own species, and feel that everything that is in their perimeter is an immediate threat.
They lack emotion and, in fact, will only express a small bit of it when mating, and even then let their hormones do most of the work. With the inability to tell the difference between a threat and something that is not a threat, they are almost always in a constant fight mode.
And with sharp teeth, powerful jaws and running speeds reaching up to 36 mph, hunting them is not necessarily anyone’s first choice when deciding to go after big game.
10) Feral Hog
Not the biggest or strongest of animals out of the list, but these animals still pose a huge threat. Packed with tons of aggression and sharp teeth that carry germs and diseases nasty enough to finish a person off with just one bite, the feral hog is an animal you do not want to cross paths with.
Throughout the years, it has not been an uncommon occurrence for a feral hog to have killed someone who has gotten in its way, and for that, I think hunting these pudgy little animals is something that should not be taken lightly.
Feral hogs have not only been known to attack, prey and injure humans and wildlife but have been responsible for causing millions of dollars in damages within city limits as well. These animals are smelly, angry and given the facts should be considered one of the most low-down species in the animal kingdom.
If you are going to hunt them, make sure you are either in a group or with a hunting dog that is protected with gear that will keep it safe from an attack.
When most people think of a deadly animal, they think of something big, fast or with sharp claws, but when it comes to the moose, this is simply not the case. With more run-ins and attacks than bears every single year, the moose has gained one of the top spots for being an animal that you do not want to run into when you’re out bow hunting.
Despite their non-threatening look and association with friendly cartoon characters, the moose is a very aggressive animal, especially when it comes to protecting their young.
One charge from these animals can cause very serious injuries to you or a loved one so the best thing to do to avoid this situation would be to avoid the moose altogether.
12) American Bison
Known for attacking humans throughout different parks within North America, the bison has definitely done enough to earn its spot as one of the most dangerous animals in the country. Despite its slow movements, bison can and will run up to speeds of 40 mph just to charge at a threat if they feel they absolutely need to.
Their aggression mixed with their size makes them a very scary game animal that no one ever wishes to encounter.
Whether you’re hunting big game or little game, putting your safety first is always the main priority no matter how experienced you are. If you’re used to hunting smaller game and want to gain more experience by stepping out of your comfort zone and hunting something a little bigger and a little more challenging, then keep in mind that the same safety rules that you may have applied with the less dangerous game is not the same rules that will apply with the bigger game.
If possible, make sure you are well experienced and have practiced your archery skills and safety routines over the years before you even attempt to cross over to hunting the bigger and more aggressive animals.
It is important to hunt with others to ensure safety and to follow all caution and warning signs before entering an area where you could be faced with a life-threatening situation.