I've heard many a shots from the river's banks over the years. Most often, we find ourselves at the water level well below the rivers crest, and the weapon fire will echo through the river valley.
I've found in a few instances that folks were probably adjusting their sights and fine tuning their aim along their land. Most smile and wave if they see us.
In two instances, once on the Clinch and once on the Holston, my clients and myself have seen bullets hitting the water within 30' of the boat. Complete with the "swwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeessssh...pluk bloot" sound and ensuing water sprout n spray.
Eight years ago in North Georgia. I had a husband and wive fishing with me and when the time came for the lady to hit the bank, she made the mistake of scuttling too far up the bank into the woods. Ten minutes later she boarded the boat as her husband and I were eating lunch and watching the fish rise. Halfway through lunch we heard the unsettling sound of a shotgun chambering a shell. Turning slowly toward the bank, we saw two rough as **** looking fellows, both toting shotguns. They were very aggressive and inquisitive of our intent while near their land. We were all "yes sir" and "no sir" for fifteen minutes as they seemed determined on holding us there. I finally said enough was a enough and we had fishing to do, and started pushing water with them yelling at us. We'd made it about 100' down river when both shotguns blasted. I have no clue where they were shooting because we never looked back. I made a good tip that day and promptly purchased new underwear.
Once saw a deer come flying off a 100' bluff. It was October and we had been hearing rifles all day. One blast was particularly close. We looked at the top of the bluff in the direction of the shot and there it came. Big buck coming over the edge, down to the rocky shore. A few minutes later the hunter orange emerged at the bluffs edge, looking for his deer. We shouted back and forth for a few minutes about what we saw and his unfortunate need to retrieve his mangled trophy. We wished him luck and continued downstream. I have no idea if he ever got the buck or if it was left to the coyotes and buzzards. It was there a week later.
This past summer another guide and myself were fishing down a local river. We'd had a great day and we're just lazy drifting down river around 3:00pm. Out of the silence of nature and the sound of the water came a boom that shook the boat. Everyone just looked at each other with a strange look. Then "Boom", "Boom Boom"! Again, we took off like we heard banjos and squealing pigs. We continued to hear the loud explosions and echos more than two miles away. Turns out, we'd inadvertently timed our drift around the huge bend in a river as a civil war reenactment began.