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DATE: nov. 16
STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Passaic County
LOCATION DETAILS: Little mountaininess very rocky
NEAREST TOWN: West Milford
NEAREST ROAD: Sky line dr.
OBSERVED: I don't know what I saw, but I have been hunting the woods of New Jersey for over 16 years, and I have never come across a thing like this.
I got to my tree stand just before light as I do every time I hunt the mornings. It was the rut, when bucks chase does to mate. So the woods had a musky ordor to it. But this was a smell that was differnt than the smell of deer urine. This smell was more strong and foul.
I hunted the morning but didn't see a deer. Around 10 oclock I called my buddy who already got down that I was getting down. He told me he was going to get breakfest. So I got down and slowly hunted back to the truck. I took the long way back on an old logging trail. As I hit the logging trail that strong ordor came back. I thought that maybe I should knock an arrow. As I began to knock the arrow I felt that a deer stepped out onto the trail, but it wasn't a deer, I don't know what it was it wasn't a bear either.
It looked at me , stopped for a second and turned back and walked back from where it came from. It was about seven or eight feet tall about four or five hundred pounds may be more with long dark hair and short brown hair on his neck and head. I paused for a second thinking may be this was a joke be played on me, but my buddy said he left to get food and he is no where near as big as the thing I just saw. I called my buddy but our phones were out of range. I ran out of the woods in the opposite direction as the thing. I thew my bow and nap sack of so I could run faster. We later went back with a farmer who new the land better and also brought his 12 gauge.
We didn't find anything when we went back. The ground was too hard and leafy for obvious tracks.
OTHER WITNESSES: none
OTHER STORIES: no not really
TIME AND CONDITIONS: morning crisp clear lighting
ENVIRONMENT: hard woods
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator D.A. Brake (PhD):
I spoke with the witness on 10-8-05. The witness is an avid, long-time hunter and is familiar with the local wildlife. He has seen bears in the woods and forests of northern New Jersey. He was adamant that what he saw was not a bear. He has hunted on this 20-30 acre private tract of land both prior to, and after the sighting.
The forested area where the sighting occurred is populated by conifers, hardwoods and streams and is relatively flat with lots of rock outcroppings.
Prior to daybreak, the witnesses walked on an old logging trail and then turned off toward a familiar tree stand approximately 40-50 yards away. As he approached the stand, the witness began to sense a very potent, strong, harsh smell in the area. He described the odor as being very sour and musty. He described the odor as much stronger and more intense than the various hunting scents that hunters often use . He climbed into the deer stand and remained there for approximately 2 hrs.
During this time, he mentioned that the smell would come and go in intensity, although it was never as strong as when he initially arrived in the area.
No deer were observed in the area while he was in the stand. Having no luck, he climbed down from the stand and returned to the logging trail. The odor then began to increase in intensity as he walked. Then approximately 50 yards down the trail, he saw a very large upright animal emerge onto the trail from his right-hand side. It stopped on the trail for a few seconds and turned its’ upper body and head toward the witness. He noted that the animal had longer, more shaggy hair on the lower part of its body, with lighter hair on the chest and head.
He described the animal having very broad shoulders, no neck, and minimal facial hair with a ‘shiny’ face. The creature was too far away to make out any additional features.
They stared at each other for approximately 4 or 5 seconds. No vocalizations were heard. It then casually and calmly walked off the trail into the forest and out of view. It remained bipedal throughout the duration of the sighting.
The witness then turned around and began to very rapidly run off in the opposite direction. He recalled hearing a very loud and distinct, cracking sound as he moved away.
The next day he returned with the landowner to the exact area on the logging trail where the sighting occurred to retrieve a knapsack he had dropped while leaving the day before. He looked around the area for footprints but did not see any in the immediate area. However, in the area just off the trail where the animal exited, the witness saw a large branch with a clean, fresh break. He believed this branch to be the source of the loud, cracking sound he had heard the day before.
This sighting took place off of Westbrook Road in Passaic County near the Wanaque Reservoir. This area is part of a large mountainous tract of relatively undeveloped land that runs northwest through Passaic County into New York. The area is known as the Wyanokie Highlands that is part of the New Jersey ‘Highlands Province’. This region consists of rugged topography characterized by series of discontinuous rounded ridges separated by deep narrow valleys.
Notably, this sighting occurred approximately 8 miles north of another recently reported sighting (report 12065) and approximately 5 miles east of the Apshawa Mountain, Zeliff Pond and Van Nostrand Lake areas where day hikers and employees of a local N.J. outdoor paintball club have reported other sightings and vocalizations.
About BFRO Investigator D.A. Brake (PhD):
D. Brake holds a PhD in Immunology and attended the Maine 2008 expedition.