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COUNTY: Citrus County
LOCATION DETAILS: Located in Flying Eagle WMA about 5 miles East of downtown Inverness.
NEAREST TOWN: Inverness
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 44
OBSERVED: Yesterday, on October 31st, 2010, I was hunting in Flying Eagle WMA with a friend when I discovered something that I thought was very unusual. It was around 10:20 in the morning when we decided to meet back up and do some scouting for our last afternoon hunt on my quota. I had set my friend up a few hundred yards or so from Hwy 44 in the morning before daylight and I continued on for about 3/4-1 mi. on the edge of the swamp we were hunting. As I continued on I jumped something that ran off and sounded unlike a deer or hog but didn't think anything of it. We were sitting on ground. After we met up we started walking back towards the truck and saw a couple of wet areas (puddles) when I said to my friend, let me check and see if there are any prints leading to the water to get a drink. As I walked over there to see I looked down and noticed something out of the ordinary. I called my friend over to show him. It was a footprint, similar to a humans. Not real large but kind of wide for the length of it. It was so fresh that you could still see the thermal lines in the mud from the bottom of the foot. It was the only one that we could really make out. The heal and ball made deep impressions while the toes were not really deep in the mud in comparison. I had my cell phone with me so I took two photos of the print and one of the area we were in then he marked a tree next to it so we could find it again.
It just seemed very odd to find a print like that in the middle of a swamp!
We returned after lunch for an afternoon hunt. I did notice one other thing with the squirrels after we returned. I didn't go as far this time, but I noticed the squirrels barking more than usual off in the distance. It is how they warn others of pending danger. As time went on they got closer and closer to where I was sitting and then all of a sudden went silent. Just an observation!
I have spent most of my life in the woods in florida either hiking, biking or hunting this was the first time I noticed something like this. It is probably human but who would be out there barefoot??
We ended up laughing quite hard about it after we named him Eddie the Yeti and I will ad this is not the first time I have heard or smelt something out of the ordinary while in the woods.
ALSO NOTICED: Heard a couple steps jumping into the brush before daylight that didn't resemble a deer. More like a bi-pedial. THE PRINT SHOULD STILL BE THERE AND RAIN IS IN THE FORECAST IN THE NEXT COUPLE DAYS! I also have photos of the print. Wanted to take a cast before the rain but have to work.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2. Hunting/scouting
OTHER STORIES: Just what is posted on this site.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Approximately 10:30 am. Sunny around 70-75 degrees, light breeze.
ENVIRONMENT: Ranged from Cypress wetland/swamp to Oak Hammock with Palmettos.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke to S over the phone about what occurred in the Flying Eagle WMA.
S and a buddy went to do some scouting for a late afternoon hunt. His buddy stayed a few hundred yards from their vehicle while S hiked into the woods another mile or so. During this hike S stated that he heard something large run off into the woods, which according to him, did not sound like a typical hog or deer. But being that S didn’t see the source of the noise he thought little of it.
S did state that during this time he heard the squirrels ‘going nuts’ in the distance and that their noise seemed to be getting closer to him. He said that when they got to about 100 yards away from him, they went completely silent.
After meeting back up with his buddy, they encountered several muddy areas and puddles that would support any animal prints that they were interested in hunting. On the side of one of these puddles, S and his buddy found one, very distinct print that looked like a bare-foot human track. Still being a good distance in the woods, S and his buddy found it very strange to see a bare-foot human track.
“I laid the butt-stock of my muzzle loader next to the print for comparison. My butt-stock is five inches long, so I figure that the print was about 10-1/2 inches long by 2-1/2 inches at the heel and 3-1/2 inches at the ball of the foot. And they looked deeper than what a human could make. I took a couple of pictures of the prints with my cell phone.” He also took a photo of the area. S admitted that this was a rough estimation and could not be sure of the exact dimensions of the print. See photos below:
S also shared an encounter that took place in the confines of the Seminole Ranch a few years earlier.
While scouting the confines of the Ranch, S found himself turned around and made his way to the place where he thought his vehicle was parked but couldn’t find it. Fearing that he was lost and with evening approaching, S managed to send a few text messages to his friend to come and locate him. While S waited for his friend to arrive and direct him out of the woods, S heard two or three very loud wood knocks, fairly close to his location. About 30 seconds later, S heard a few whistles from the directions of the wood knocks and then a bizarre vocalization that S had never experienced before. “I just can’t describe what I heard. I was raised in Florida and have hunted here all of my life, and I know that whatever was making these noises wasn’t anything I have ever heard before.”
About a minute after hearing the vocalizations, S heard another two or three softer wood knocks on the opposite side of where the original wood knocks and vocalization occurred. “This really scared me.” stated S. “I knew that whatever was making those noises was on either side of me. Fortunately his friend showed up soon after S experienced this encounter and was able to direct him out of the woods.
After this encounter S looked on-line for Bigfoot audio recordings that matched the unexplained vocalizations he had heard that evening. While looking through the BFRO database of Bigfoot recordings, S stated that he found an exact match to what he heard.“Other than the whistle sounds at the end of this recording, this is exactly what I heard." The clip is called Growls and Whistling, scroll down to this clip, this is from a collection of recordings from the Berry & Morehead expeditions (1970's) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.
The Flying Eagle WMA, or Water Management Area, is located in southeast Citrus County. Made up of 10,000 acres of lakes, marshes, oak highlands and swamps, this area includes five miles of the Withlacoochee River.
(Investigator's note-I had received this report the day after it was submitted and by then a heavy rain had occurred over the print's location. It is my belief that had it not rained, this print would have made an excellent cast.)
About BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
Cathy has been a nurse for over 27 years and currently works in a busy ICU. An amateur naturalist, Cathy has been intrigued by the bigfoot phenomenon from an early age.
Attended the following expeditions:
- The 2006 Florida Expedition
- The 2007 North Carolina Expedition
- The 2008 South Florida Expedition
- The 2008 North Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Central Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Utah Expedition
- The 2010 TN Survey Expedition
- The 2011 East Texas Expedition
-The 2012 North FL Expedition
-The 2013 Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition
For more information, please see the Florida BFRO