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COUNTY: Polk County
LOCATION DETAILS: Editied
NEAREST TOWN: Grand Ronde
NEAREST ROAD: Miami gate #1 off of A.R. Ford Rd.
OBSERVED: During the evening my friend and I parked at the end of an old alder road behind locked gates to bowhunt for elk. When it started getting dark we decided to circle back to the pick up; we were approx. 2 miles away on the top end of the mountain along the east side of the ridge line. I had forgotten to bring my flashlight so my buddy had to shine his light for both him and I while we walked out. During the walk while we were crossing the top of the ridge we could notice an awful smell; the smell was kind of moldy or musky so we thought it was probably just a bear that had gotten into some swampy skunk cabbage or something similiar. We continued to notice the terrible smell off and on all the way back to the truck.
While on the top end of the ridge I managed to step into a very large hole that was in the rocks; somehow I managed to grab onto something to keep myself from falling completely in the hole as it was big enough for me to fall completely in it. If you consider the fact that I'm 6 ft tall and weigh around 210 pounds you had to figure that the hole or cave had to be pretty good sized; unfortunately, since I didn't have a flashlight I couldn't see what it looked like very well and yes, that smell was also present at the time.
When we finally got back to the old alder road where our truck was parked, we could still notice the awful smell every now and then; one other thing that we noticed was the very large footprints that had been left in the muddy dirt on the road. Now these footprints were approx. 16 inches long and looked alot like a mans footprint but what had really made us uncomfortable and nervous was the fact that these footprints were directly in our tire tracks that was made from our drive into the area a few hours earlier. As we looked at them we both thought there had to be a logical explaination; we tried to simply write them off as being bear tracks but deep down we both knew that they weren't made by a bear. These tracks were much too large to be a bear track plus, they didn't have the 2 separate pads that a bear track leaves. I've killed 4 black bears, one of which was 6 1/2 ft tall and nothing in the way of tracks ever looked like these tracks did.
Both my friend and I have lived here all our lives; we both are avid hunters and are well known in the area for our hunting success. My friend works in the woods and has done so all his life and for that reason alone, we chose to not say anything about this for quite some time. It was only within the last few months that I had told my brother's friend about what had happened and it wasn't too long after that when he happened to run into my buddy and asked to tell him what had happened. He was amazed at how we both were able to recall things that had happened 13 years ago in such detail; I told him that you don't forget something like that because when it happens, it stays with you forever.
We never saw anything that night in the way of a live animal but we both felt as if we were being followed or watched the whole time; it made us uneasy, to the point that we left as soon as we could get to the truck. I've been back to that area once or twice but I have never seen anything else although there have been some recent incidents that would indicate that there is indeed something up there. My brother heard a god awful scream not too far from there this past elk season; he also heard a large tree crash down without there being any strong winds blowing that would cause that to happen. There are a couple reports on your website that are only a few miles as the crow flys from where we were. I would be willing to talk to someone if they feel that they would like to however, I would like to keep my name and the exact location private if possible.
Additional details about the tracks fround in their tire tracks:
As I recall, we really didn't notice anything until after we had already gotten back to the pickup. I was taking a leak a few feet behind the truck when I really paid any attention and noticed what looked like a footprint in the mud; I didn't have a light so I had my friend shine his light on the road as we walked back down a ways. What we first saw wasn't a full complete track so at first we just thought it was a probably nothing more than a bear track. It was only after we went back for a ways that we were able to notice that some of the tracks were in our tire tracks and of the ones we seen we could only identify one of those footprints that showed it completely from heel to the toes; what we also thought was weird was the fact that it looked as if it was spread out it was in a really straight line; what I mean is that where the prints showed in the mud it was like whatever it was that was walking it looked as if it had been walking on a tightrope or something, if that makes any sense. we only went back about 50 yards from the pick up and I would say that we could see about 5 or 6 partial tracks where there was mud that showed something; the one complete track we saw was near a large mud puddle where the ground stayed wet enough for there to be a large mud hole across the whole road; we really couldn't notice anything where the road was made up of grass and gravel. The one complete track we did see was actually the track that had been furthest away from our pick up; when we saw that track we both looked at each other and made some kind of comment as to we didn't really believe what it was was that we were looking at and at that point we both were ready to get the hell out of there. When we were up hunting on the hill and even when we were walking out we never put things together, like the smell we had experienced off and on as we walked out or the tracks as possibly being related until after we started down the hill and went home; like I said before, we thought when we were walking out that the smell was probably just a musty old bear; just like we thought those tracks were until we saw the one furthest away from the truck. I hope that helps you; it's been awhile so if I'm leaving anything out or think about something, I don't think I have but if I did I'll be sure to let you know.
ALSO NOTICED: We noticed the moldy, musky smell and the prints we saw on our way back.
OTHER WITNESSES: Myself and my best friend and hunting partner
OTHER STORIES: Yes, there have been sightings in the vicinity as reported in your website; this past month there were tracks supposedly found not far from this location on stimson property just east of here. My brother heard screams this past elk season a few miles to the northwest on the 7 road gate; there is a couple reports in this location as well.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: early evening; it was hot days with cool evenings. The weather that night had been warmer than usual.
ENVIRONMENT: Doug fir old growth gradually turning into noble fir reprod tree stands. Approx 1500-2000 ft elevation.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Scott Taylor:
This report is of particular interest to me because as a 10 year-old, I lived in the same town, so I was familiar with the places. The witness and I talked for an hour about his experience. Since the incident happened so many years ago, and the site is behind a locked gate many miles, going to the site was not necessary.
As some background, this witness is Native American. He has lived in and hunted in the area his whole life. He is a reliable expert on the game animals of the area.
Two items stand out in his report. First is the persistent smell. He described it as a musky, wet-fur smell. It seemed to go along with them as they walked out of the woods in the dark, and after they reached the old road, it still was present. He got the impression that it followed along, and he reported the feeling of being watched. Second, they found a clear, 16 inch long footprint in the tire tracks of their vehicle.
This place was behind a locked gate, so there were no other people there. His hunting buddy had a key to the gate, so they were the only people in the area.
The witness mentioned that neither he nor his hunting partner said anything to anyone about the incident for many years. Later, he confided in his brother about what happened. His brother then told him that his hunting partner had also told him (the brother) of the incident, and that despite the long time since it happened that both told the same account exactly and in great detail.
Based on the smell, the finding of the footprints in their tire tracks, and that they were the only humans in the area, I conclude that the witness and his friend were followed by a curious sasquatch.
About BFRO Investigator Scott Taylor:
Scott Taylor is an aerospace manager. He lives in Spanaway, Washington. He had his first bigfoot encounter in October 2005 where he smelled it, was followed and then heard vocalizations. He attended the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 BFRO Expeditions in the Washington Cascades, the 2007 BFRO Expedition in the central Oregon Cascades and the 2007 Utah Expedition in the Uintas and He attended the 2008 and 2009 Olympic Peninsula Expeditions and co-lead the 2013 Expedition.