This audio is an excerpt from one of 16 harrowing tales featured in "MeatEater's Campfire Stories: Close Calls." In the audio book, you'll hear from seasoned hunters, anglers, and outdoor professionals who share their tales of perilous adventures in the natural world, from run-ins with black bears and grizzlies to bad falls and severe hypothermia. It's now available for purchase here.
Sometimes, we don’t know just how close to serious harm we come in the heat of a stressful moment until long after the moment is over. For Arizona game warden Sam Lawry, it took several weeks before he fully realized his luck during an almost-encounter with a psychopathic poacher. One thing’s for sure: No routine patrol is routine when you're after someone who slaughters dozens of elk for fun.