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COUNTY: Winneshiek County
LOCATION DETAILS: cardinal marsh
NEAREST TOWN: Cresco, ia
NEAREST ROAD: hwy,9
OBSERVED: I didnt actually see anything but I had an unusual odor from upwind of me. It was something I have never smelled before. The closest thing that I can think of is the smell of a dog after it rolls on something dead combined with strong body odor. The source of the smell was definatley moving, as I could tell it was stronger on my right side first then to my left later. About an hour and a half later i heard what can only be described as two small logs being hit together, whop-whop. That happend twice with about five min. in between.
ALSO NOTICED: nothing was seen
OTHER WITNESSES: no witness, I did text my hunting partner about the oder when i was smelling it
OTHER STORIES: only what is on this site the day after
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 4:30-5:00 pm
overcast, light rain
ENVIRONMENT: mixed forest, some hardwood mixed with pine
on the south side of a ridge overlooking a river bottom
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Steve Moon:
I interviewed witness via telephone and subsequent email correspondence. He remembered clearly many minor details regarding the incident reported and the day in general.
The incident occurred on a Sunday afternoon and evening in mid-to-late October, during a deer hunt. There was a gentle breeze out of the northwest. Witness was hunting with a friend who he hunts with often. The area where they were hunting is thickly wooded, with interspersed fields which were planted with beans at the time that the incident occurred. They walked into the area and crossed the river. The hillside that they hunted is between the river and the top of a ridge along which an equine trail runs.
Witness set up his hunting stand in a tree about forty-five yards from the equine trail and sat down at about 1 p.m. He was there for about three hours. In this immediate area there are windfall trees and makeshift blinds that other hunters have set up. Witness was facing toward the river, which was about 50 yards away. He could see quite a ways down stream but could not see upstream very far at all. The witness' friend was about 400 yards up the river from his location.
All of a sudden from upwind witness could smell a very strong foul odor. He could tell it was moving. It was down on the river bottom, then came up toward him, and as it remained out of sight crossed behind him. He believes it crossed the equine trail to the top of the ridge, at the most 45 yards away. The smell continued past on his backside and then went away as quickly as it had come. There are thick evergreens between the stand and the top of the ridge. Witness stated that someone could be standing in there wearing blaze orange and you wouldn't see them.
About 45 minutes to an hour after smelling the foul odor witness heard a "thud thud" sound, like a big log was being hit against a tree. The thuds were about a half second apart. Then there were no sounds for about another hour, and then the exact same "thud thud" was heard again from exactly the same location.
Witness' friend, who was about 400 yards upstream, saw about fifteen deer, lots of squirrels and other wildlife while he was there. Witness saw no animals during the time he was in his location. He didn't hear much either. He heard a crane squawk after smelling the foul odor the first time, and saw eagles in the distance. Other than that it was very quiet. He told his friend that the woods were very quiet that day, but his friend said that there were all sorts of animal noises where he was sitting.
The farmer on the other side of the river from where the two were hunting has cows. The odor that witness smelled was nothing like cows or pigs. He is very familiar with all of the smells associated with these animals. The odor was very, very strong. It was like body odor mixed with what smelled like a dog that had rolled in decayed animal remains. He said he will never forget the smell. The odor did not seem very far away when he smelled it. It was very powerful. Powerful enough that it could be detected from upwind.
I find the witness to be very credible. He is a very serious hunter and astute observer of nature. It seems that it was very obvious to him that the afternoon of the incident was very different. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced or has experienced since. No other smells or out-of-place sounds have been experienced by this witness over several years of being in this area.
Cardinal Marsh Wildlife Management Area encompasses 1,171 acres in northeast Iowa, and includes a portion of the Turkey River and a 145 acre marsh. The Turkey River is a clear cold stream that originates a few miles to the west, and is fed by numerous springs. The environment of the management area is diverse, with boggy soils, rocky bluffs and well drained sandy uplands. Old growth forests are present, as well as extensive stands of oak and walnut which are under management to provide habitat for wildlife, maintain the natural beauty of the area and control erosion. Other species common to the area include hickory, maple, cherry, elm, ash and cedar in the uplands, and maple, cottonwood, ash, hackberry and willow in the floodplain. Conifers have been introduced for wildlife habitat.
About BFRO Investigator Steve Moon:
A native of southeast Iowa, Steve has long been a cave explorer and outdoor adventurer. He became involved in bigfoot research in 2008. Steve organized BFRO IOWA Public Expeditions in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, and is currently organizing a 2017 IOWA expedition. Steve is an artist, photographer, farmer, anthropologist and professional researcher. His primary research areas are the river basins of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and all of eastern Iowa.