Crocodile...(from the "challenging stalk" perspective)
I thought they'd be easy to hunt... until I hunted them the first time. They're more wary than what many may think and getting to within reasonable shooting distance can present a bigger challenge than what most expect.
Stalking in on a sleeping deer to about ten feet and backing away leaving it sleeping soundly.
Then going and collecting the young hunter with me to have him stalk in and follow my tracks toward the deer.
Then having to use hand signals to make him look down low enough to see the deer.
He could not believe he had gotten that close! The surprise on his face was priceless.
He took the deer while it was still asleep.
My first thought....my most exciting and memorable stalk I hope will happen next August on my first Africa hunt.
The most exciting has to be a Montana mule deer hunt with my son. This was his first stalk ever. We spotted a big mule deer buck in the distance then proceeded to get up close and personal with him while he lay is his bed. Three times I had my son ease up along a rock to take the shot. Each time his insuppressible shaking and breathing caused us to back down so he could gather himself. Finally he was able to kill that buck in his bed with a well placed bullet. Nothing like sharing the moment with a son or daughter.
The most memorable would be stalking a black bear on the tundra near Ungava Bay in Quebec Canada. Little did I know two of my buddies were coming around the other side of the lake stalking the same bear. When they saw me putting on the sneak, they climbed on top of a huge boulder to watch the action unfold. I managed to close the distance to 35 yards then proceeded to perforate his pumper with a broadhead tipped arrow. As the bear went down, a volley of enthusiastic shouts erupted in the distance. I never even knew they were there.
I had a great stalk albeit brief on my Namibian kudu. Never saw it in the thick stuff till we were about 90 yards away and there was much intervening brush I had to shoot "around", but we got a shot and he ran maybe 50 yards and piled up. Relatively easy.
As for challenging I would have to rate my Botswana sitatunga as tops there. Spent several days poling thru the Okavango swamp with just me and two black polers, neither of whom spoke any english and I didnt speak whatever dialect they did. Few animals were seen but for a few females and one less than mature buck. Finally a good male was spotted and I got my chance. It is perhaps my most coveted and rewarding trophy hunt. You can read the whole story in my profile.
Most Memorable Stalk - Has to be with my youngest son back in 1995, We were hunting a 4500 acre ranch just south of Sonora, Texas. We had climbed a large hill before daylight to watch a huge valley below us. Just after daylight we were watching multiple groups of deer when I spotted a good buck running a doe out in a grass flat 1 1/2 miles away. With my spotting scope, it looked like the buck had been harassing the doe all night. After about thirty minutes of chasing her around the doe and buck suddenly layed down and disappeared in the two foot tall brown grass. We figured they would stay bedded awhile because with the full moon, he was probably chasing her all night. We planned our stalk over the next thirty or so minutes. We had to plan a route that would take us around three different groups of deer that we could see from the ridgetop. Long story short, two hours later we crawled the last hundred yards to the lone tree in the field of grass. At 150 yards I could just make out the bucks horns barley above the grass. We waited over an hour for the buck to stand up and I could tell my 14 year olds nerves were starting to get the best of him. I told him I was going to make something happen, so get comfortable and be ready. He rested in the fork of a branch on the tree and nodded. I picked up two large rocks and smashed them together. Nothing. I hit them a little harder. I saw the horn tips turn in our direction. I hit them one more time and the buck stood and faced us. My son put the 115 grain Nosler Partion dead center of his neck, right in the "white patch". He collased as if lightning had hit him.
Probaby the red hartebeest I took in Namibia in 2008 at 350 yards. They were super hard to get close too. Using the terrain I was able to get close to some bushes and set up for a shot. I got lucky and he got up and stood broadside, making it possible to aim high and hope the bullet would drop into him and drop him in his tracks and it did.
I will share two, both were tracking type hunts. The first was Cape buffalo, I mean who wouldn't think that was a great stalk! In this case we had multiple encounters with buffalo, never got a shot until day 5 almost got busted by baboons, ended up taking a longer first shot that I imagined I would on a buffalo (ran out of cover). Even with a good first shot, the follow up on a buff is always exciting and this one was no different. He ran off and holed up in the thickest, nastiest brush he could find. In retrospect now I am convinced he was dead when we tracked him up......but I shot him 4 more times anyway.
The second was Eland hunting; after the buff was in the salt we started tracking eland, again we had multiple encounters, passed on one because of a broken horn, and got chased by elephants, but at the end of 8 days I didn't shoot one. Fast forward two years, back in Africa (different country) again hunting eland. On the second to last day on a 12 day hunt my luck finally changed and I shot a very nice eland. Tracking down Eland can be as additive as elk hunting.
It has to be the hunt I just returned from. A lioness hunt with a bow in teh Kalihari region of South Africa. 50,000 acre concession. We first spotted the 2 lionesses at 10:30am and we finally got mine to stand her ground at noon. She was not happy with our presence and continued to tell us with ever increasing growls while she dug herself in for a charge. PH told me a 99% chance of a charge, but fortunaltey she didn't. We had to work our way to teh opposite side of the Acacia tree she was under for a clear shot and I had to place a perfect arrow thru a small opening at 42 yards. The most exciting, nerve racking and hardest shot and the best shot I have ever made while hunting. She only made it 40 yards before she laid against a tree and died. A walk and stalk hunt that I will never forget!
For me I think it would be my second bull moose taken in Alaska back in 85 I stalked to within 40 yards with a 54 cal Renegade BP rifle looked the moose over and desided to pass, about that time he spotted me and didn't like what he saw so he dropped his head and charged forcing me to take him at 25 yards talk about getting your blood pumping kowng you only have 1 shot.