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COUNTY: La Plata County
LOCATION DETAILS: The location was up Beaver Meadows off of Bear Creek
road, east of Bayfield north of Hwy 160
NEAREST TOWN: Bayfield
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 160
OBSERVED: My wife and I were elk hunting. We went up to our favorite area Beaver Meadows. We had decided to try a different area the next week. We went back up Beaver Meadows road and went off on Bear Creek road. We went down an old logging road. My wife and I had gone about 100 yards when my wife said do you smell that. I smelled the air and said no. I left her on a stump and I went a ways further. I found a place for myself. Looking over a meadow I started to smell this fowl wet musty odor. Then I heard a loud crack, not a gun shot, not an ax, but more like a log hitting another. I walked back to my wife and explained the smell and she said that was what she smelled. We started back toward the truck when my wife tripped. I looked down to see what she tripped on. To my surprise a huge track, not a bear, it was about 16 inches long and 6 inches wide no claw marks. There were two tracks. I am six foot tall and could not even match the stride. My wife was so excited about this she wants to go back this spring to see if we can get picture of the creature.
ALSO NOTICED: I have hunted up Beaver Meadows for over 30 years
and have never seen or smelled anything like this.
OTHER WITNESSES: My wife and myself. We were hunting and looking for
a good place to sit and watch.
OTHER STORIES: When we saw this I went on line and found 2 incidents in the same area but they said Archuleta county.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: late morning
ENVIRONMENT: Beaver Meadows is pine forest and oak brush. Mountain ridges and creek bottoms.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Todd Perteet:
After visiting with the witnesses, Mr. and Mrs. B, at their home, the following details can be added to the report:
Both are lifelong residents of the area and have extensive outdoor experience.
Actual location of the incident is off of a logging road near the end of Bear Creek Road (FR 604). Time of day was about 11AM, weather conditions were clear and sunny with a light breeze.
Odor was described as a wet dog with body odor and unlike anything either had ever smelled before.
Knocks heard by Mr. B came from a wooded area approximately fifty yards from his position. There were five to six loud raps, in fairly rapid succession.
Mrs. B tripped over a rock as they were returning to their vehicle. When Mr. B looked down to see what she had tripped on he noticed the first footprint. After a brief examination of the area another less prominent print was found.
Mr. B placed his foot next to the clearest of the prints in order to gauge its size. He later measured his boot to arrive at the estimated dimensions.
Depth of the prints was approximately one half inch, in very firm soil. The weight of the witnesses was not enough to create a track in the surrounding area.
They estimated the prints to be one or two days old due to the debris (pine needles, leaves, etc.) present in them.
There was one right and one left print, with five toes clearly visible. Stride length was over five feet.
Mr. B noticed that the forest was unusually quiet on this particular morning.
This location is approximately four miles from Report #9018 and has abundant water sources. It is also home to a large population of elk, deer, and other game animals.
About BFRO Investigator Todd Perteet:
Todd Perteet lives in northern Idaho and is a lifelong outdoorsman. Expeditions attended include Colorado (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Oklahoma (2008, 2009), Utah (2009), Wyoming (2009, 2010, 2014), and Nebraska (2011).