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DATE: November 2011
COUNTY: Marion County
LOCATION DETAILS: Secluded family property bordering a wildlife management area.
NEAREST TOWN: Ocala National Forest (Fort McCoy) Fl
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 316
OBSERVED: For the last three months I have been hunting a 100 acre family plot of land that borders 8000 acres of WMA (wildlife management area) and I had several encounters with what I believe to be a foul smelling bigfoot. First incident and the closest was when I was in a climber hanging in a palm tree of a new area near a swamp and thick bottom; 30 min after being up in the tree I heard hard steps coming through the woods afterward I heard two loud claps as if something was hitting two trees together. I thought that maybe I may be freaking out over nothing then 4 minutes later I was greeted with the loudest deepest growl I ever heard in my life. Immediately my hair stood up on my head and I was denying that this was happening. After a few seconds of praying and reasoning that this is a figment of my imagination, this animal behind me took a few steps closer then repeated the growl. The second incident happened because I was scared to go into the woods so I took two friends with me on an afternoon hunt. The exact same thing happened that had occurred 3 weeks earlier. To conquer my fear I went back out after four weeks later. I was heavily armed. From a distance I heard a growl around the same time (first dark). Then an animal growled again and immediately I started shooting. I left the woods and the animal moved through the clearing at a pace I never seen. All I know was something was spreading apart the pines like a bulldozer. This incident prompted me to contact someone to investigate this situation. I have often been met by black bears in the woods but never have I experienced anything like this. I believe we have the prime ground because this animal has become very territorial and refuses to leave.
ALSO NOTICED: Smell and this animal has become very territorial, will not tolerate anyone coming into this particular plot of land.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2
OTHER STORIES: The clerk at the only gas station nearby said that other individuals have shared the same testimony.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: First dark as soon as dark begins to take over, this animal becomes territorial.
ENVIRONMENT: pine forest and swamp miles of woods
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Joanna Cuva:
I spent several hours at this location until the early morning hours with another Investigator, Cathy Betz. It was quiet with nothing to report. The witness has had many other "odd" incidents since he has made this report.
The area had oak, pine, palm, and swamp areas. There was a small cluster of homes close by bordering this property. The property then met up with the Ocala National Forest in the north to north west.
The witness showed genuine concern for our well being while there after dark, yet he was unwilling to stay with us out of fear. He stated he did not want to be there after dark with out a weapon.
Located near the Ocklawaha River and the northern part of the Ocala National Forest, Fort McCoy is a small community about 20 miles northeast of Ocala. Fort McCoy was initially known as Fort McKay, a stockade built in 1828 to protect settlers from warring Seminole Indians.
About BFRO Investigator Joanna Cuva:
Joanna AKA Joee, has worked as a veterinarian technician for over 11 years. She lives in the Green Swamp of central Florida area with her husband and her three children. She is very knowledgeable of the local wildlife, spending a lot of her time in the outdoors. Joanna has a special interest in wildlife and conservation. She attended South Florida Expedition 2008, North Florida Expedition 2009, Central Florida Expedition 2009, Pennsylvania Expedition 2009, Georgia Expedition 2010 and assisted with the organization of several Florida expeditions.