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COUNTY: Sumter County
LOCATION DETAILS: Between Plains and Richland
OBSERVED: I had been hunting with my 2 older brothers. One of my brothers had shot a deer and they were following the blood trail in an attempt to locate the deer that had been shot. I had been left at the bottom of the gully to watch equipment. The sun had already set, but it wasn't dark yet, twilight.
I had waited for approximatly 20 to 30 mins, when "something" woofed at me from the edge of the tree line about 10 yards away. It was a deep sound that startled me. After hearing this, I thought it better that I wait at the top of the gully, where my brothers had entered the woods. Before long, my brothers had returned, but without the deer.They had been unable to locate it. I told them what I had heard and neither of them took me too series. The 3 of us walked back to where the equipment had been layed, I didn't pick it up on my quick hike up the hill.
After we had gathered the equipment, we started to walk up the opposite side of the gully going back to our vehicle. The trail was in a backwards "L" shape with the gully being on the long side of the L. As we began to walk up the hill, there were sounds of heavy foot falls in the woods on the side of the trail. When we would stop walking the sounds would continue for a few seconds and then stop. What ever was walking in the woods was walking parralell to us.
My oldest brother called into the woods thinking it may be a lost hunter, but there was no response.We walked about another 20 yards and the foot falls continued.This became a big concern due to the fact that what ever was walking in the woods would eventually meet us going to our vehicle due to the shape of the trail, cutting us off from our vehicle. Again, my oldest brother called into the woods, but with no response. He then fired about 10 rounds into the air, thinking if it was an animal the sound would spook it away. But again, as we started walking so did the "animal" in the woods. My oldest brother again called into the woods, issueing a warning that what ever was there better leave or he would fire into the woods. No response, we started walking again and so did the "animal" in the woods.
My oldest brother then proceeded to fire into the woods in the general direction of the sounds. We didn't notice if the foot falls continued, by this time we were all pretty scared and were working just to get back to our vehicle and go home.We made it back to the truck with no further incidents.We had all been raised in the woods and new the sound of most animals that normally would be encountered, but this was something very different. Also, we had been hunting this particular location for 2 seasons and had never experienced anything like this. From that point on, I only hunted from a "stand" or with another person.
OTHER WITNESSES: Hunting
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Twilight
ENVIRONMENT: The environment was mostly pine forest with a few hard woods. The land was being used by a paper company.