I've been reading stories on here for awhile now and figured I'd post my own. I had to get my brother to help recount this as I was 12 at the time (and scared shitless as a result). This happened about 6 years ago, as stated I was about 12 and my brother was 26 at the time. My brother had been serving in the U.S. Army for several years when this happened and was deploying to the Middle East on his 2nd deployment if i remember correctly. Also of note was that he is a Green Beret and had recently (3 or 4 months prior to this trip) completed the Army Special Forces Qualification Course (Robin Sage and all that), and by then was an active duty SF Engineer Sergeant. Definitely not someone you'd want to fuck around with. Given that we both grew up with a passion for the outdoors, he thought it would be nice to take me on a backpacking trip in northern Alabama (the Sipsey Wilderness for those familiar with the area) before he left for 9 months. The trip had gone smoothly up until the 3rd night we were camping out. Around 8pm we had our camp set up, eaten dinner and were sitting by the fire talking about typical boy shit- guns, girls, etc. For some reference, our spot was about 50 yards from a large stream, and about 50 yards downhill adjacent to the large path. Our camp, the stream, and the path formed a triangle of sorts. This was summertime in Alabama, so it wasn't quite dark yet when two guys, who looked to be in their late 20s wandered up and ask if we had seen any hogs while we were hiking around. Given that this is rural Alabama, we actually had seen some farther into the wilderness area and told them so. Even though they were relatively polite (my brother called them "good ole boys") I got a seriously creepy vibe from them-dirty clothes, greasy hair, scraggly facial hair, etc. I think they probably looked like they belonged in the movie "Deliverance." They kinda hung out for a few minutes, maybe a little longer than they should have- looking around, asking us questions like how long we had been out there, how long we were staying, and what looked like them kinda sizing us up. They then abruptly said goodbye and walked away. I didn't necessarily feel threatened by them, and I know for sure my brother didn't, but I still felt uneasy about the whole thing. Fast forward 3 or 4 hours. My brother and I had gone to sleep and were nestled in our tent when I woke to the sound of multiple dogs barking. I've always been a heavy sleeper and they sounded like they were only about 100 yards away. My heart immediately started pounding and I kicked my brother through my sleeping bag and asked if he was awake/had heard the dogs. He responded "I'm awake, they've been getting closer for the past hour or so, just lay still and don't make any sounds." Needless to say, 12 year old me was about to shit my pants. We would also hear sporadic shouts from several different sources but neither came any closer. A few minutes later my brother whispered, "They're just hunting for hogs, they use the dogs to pin them down and then they shoot them." This gave me some relief, but not much. Somehow I managed to fall back asleep. The fact that they were doing this at night was a huge red flag my brother later told me, but I think he was just trying to keep me calm. Fast forward what was probably another 3 hours, around 2am. I had managed to sleep pretty well after first hearing the hog hunters when I woke up to my brother squeezing my shoulder firmly, saying "wake up, put your shoes on quick and follow me, be as quiet as you can." My heart immediately went back to racing because I heard the dogs and voices in the distance, farther away than before but still distinct. Not asking any questions I did what he said and as soon as we were out of the tent he told me to get on his back (this was a breeze for him after rucking with God knows how much weight in the Army). We snuck about 50 yards into the woods towards the junction of the path and the stream and crawled into some bushes. It was up a hill so we had a pretty good elevated view of our campsite. I remember as we were laying there how loudly I was breathing and how quiet he was when I heard the very distinct sound of a pistol slide racking. I looked over and my brother had his pistol (a HK USP that he gave to me a few years after this story took place) and was watching the campsite and surrounding area. I started to whisper to him when he put his hand over my mouth and pointed at the campsite. The group of hunters had been steadily approaching our camp and by this time (30 or so minutes) had reached it. There were 5 of them and like 3 or 4 dogs. They all looked relatively young but two had either rifles or shotguns and the dogs were going crazy, obviously having smelled our scent. For those of you who are backpackers/campers, nobody who comes up on a random camp in the middle of the night with dogs and guns and has good intentions. I knew this, and my brother knew this. I was scared shitless. I couldn't make out what they were saying, but my brother later told me they were talking about us, although he hadn't heard any specifics either. They lingered for about 20 minutes shining flashlights around and talking to themselves when my brother put his mouth to my ear and said "If they come towards I want you to turn and run as quickly as you can, don't stop, don't look back, stay off the trail and look for the flashing lights" (I didn't know what he meant by this but that'll come later). I knew I could make it back because he had taught me 'land nav' pretty well. He then handed me a flashlight and told me not to take the red filter off. He told me later that the red filter helps preserve night vision and cuts down ambient light so it would be harder for someone to see from a distance. At this point I was so scared I almost started crying, but at the same time had a rush of adrenaline and what I think now was confidence that he thought I could handle myself. We laid there for awhile longer when out of nowhere they started screaming "WHERE YALL AT?!?!" and firing into the woods at random. My brother dragged me back behind the crest of the hill and threw himself on top of me. Thankfully our position on top of the hill we were protected from any gunfire. They shot maybe 5 or 6 more times and then started walking back the direction they had come. They got maybe 100 yards away when I heard a blaring siren and saw emergency lights flashing through the woods. Turns out my brother had called the Forest Service Office on a satellite phone my family has for emergencies while I was asleep and they had sent out Forest Service officers and game wardens to our area of the wilderness. The Sipsey Wilderness is about 25,000 acres in size so it took them awhile to get there on the dirt roads. When we saw the game warden truck my brother signalled them with the light and pointed them in the direction the hunters had gone and the guy sped off shining his spotlight through the woods. As soon as they were all gone we went back to our camp, packed up our shit and waited by the path for the game warden to come back, who then gave us a ride in his truck bed back to the main staging area. On the drive back my brother told me how brave I had been and that we would talk about it with our parents the next day if I wanted to. I asked him not to do that because I thought they might never let me go camp again. Creepy rednecks in the woods, lets not meet again, you might get shot next time.