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DATE: June 2003
COUNTY: Bayfield County
LOCATION DETAILS: We were staying in a cabin on Hwy D, just north of Lake Namekagon. We were fishing on Lake Owen, which is to the west of Lake Namekagon. To get to our boat, we took Pioneer Road to Lake Owen. The sighting was just east of the golf course on Pioneer
NEAREST TOWN: Cable
NEAREST ROAD: Pioneer Road
OBSERVED: A guy of friend and I were fishing and spending a couple of days in northern Wisconsin. After a day of fishing we were driving back to the cabin at around 6 or 7 pm. After just passing(heading east) the Tahkodah golf course, I was looking out the back seat (on the drivers side) and saw this brown figure kneel down behind some bushes as we drove by. Due to the curves in the road, we were probably going around 25-35 mph. It lasted only a split second, and something didn't register right with what I saw. I was going to remain silent until the driver of the Jeep said, "Did anyone just see that?" He had seen the same thing-a brown figure kneel down, like a human, to hide behind the tall bushes. I affirmed that I saw it, but didn't know what it was, so wasn't going to say anything.
I've seen bears fall from their hind legs to all fours and this wasn't the same falling forward motion. It was as though someone standing upright and then kneeling down, in a straight fashion, to a crouching position.
We didn't go back to investigate b/c we were too scared.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were 5 in the car, but only myself and the driver saw the animal
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early evening, around 6-7 pm. Sunny, warm day. Light was fading, only because was along a narrow road that was tree lined on both sides
ENVIRONMENT: It was very wooded, with trees canopying both sides of the road, which is narrow and winding.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Paul Schnabel:
After a phone interview some additional information was obtained. Although the encounter only lasted a few seconds, the witness felt that the animal crouched to hide itself behind a small bush after being caught out in the open. The animal was approximately six feet tall and covered with reddish brown hair. The distance from the vehicle to the animal was no more than twenty-five feet. The witness was convinced he had not seen a bear and was about to remain silent when the driver asked "Did anyone see that?" As they drove away they discussed their sighting but were reluctant to turn back.
About BFRO Investigator Paul Schnabel:
Paul Schnabel is a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service and an EMT for the area search and rescue.
Paul attended the BFRO's 2006 Wisconsin, 2007 and 2008 Michigan U.P. expeditions and the 2008 Minnesota private expedition