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COUNTY: Sumter County
LOCATION DETAILS: Head south on 471. Take a left onto center grade road. Midway down that road off the main road on the left a trail. it is in Richloam wildlife management area.
NEAREST TOWN: Masscotte or Ridge manor
NEAREST ROAD: Center Grade Rd and 471
OBSERVED: Shaking of trees immediately upon getting out of truck. We were going hunting. Heard some knockings off in the distance. Walking down the trail, we could smell a foul smell (later we found the source which was a dead hog, couldn't tell if something had killed it and ate it or if it was shot and scavenged upon). Later while hunting we climbed up a small hill and I spotted something behind a large tree stump. I didn't say anything and the other witness pointed it out immediately too. We left the woods then.
ALSO NOTICED: trees shaking. knocking noises. dead pig.
OTHER WITNESSES: me and one other.bow hunting prior to incident
OTHER STORIES: Have heard multiple others. from hunters on ground, tree stands, or driving through. All in Richloam wildlife management area.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: mid day to afternoon. sunny day
ENVIRONMENT: dried up swamp with palmetos and hardwoods mixed in
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
The witness and his father were hunting in Richloam Wildlife Management Area. They have been here many times and this is not the first time they saw something unusual. This area of the Green Swamp is rich with reports of unusual, hairy upright animals. The other witness was the witness' father. He too saw the animal crouched down behind the stump. It was too far to make out details, but it was reddish brown, and big.
I hiked the area they saw the animal in the following weekend. There is a thickly wooded, swampy area about 200 yards on the left into the trail. Lots of big cypress trees with much shade and cover. Several, well used game trails coming in and out of the area. As I was coming out of the forest I noticed many hunters with dogs flushing game out of the woods. Rifle season had just opened. This area is abundant with deer and hogs. Any further investigation of this area will have to be done after hunting season closes.
About BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
David has three daughters and a wife that shares his interest in research, both having developed a deep respect for nature and knowledge of the outdoors and wildlife. Attended Northern Florida Expedition 2011, 2012 Washington Exp., and 2012 North Florida exp. Prior US Navy and currently works as a Leasing Agent, spending his time off in the woods as often as he can investigating Bigfoot reports.