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COUNTY: Skamania County
LOCATION DETAILS: Take Forest Road 88 north from Trout Lake approx. 15 miles.
NEAREST TOWN: Trout Lake
NEAREST ROAD: FR 88
OBSERVED: I am an archer/hunter who hunts elk in the Mt. Adams region of WA and I have two incidents to report; one of personal observation and one of dependable hearsay.
First, my hunting partner and I were washing in a stream on the FR88 out of Trout Lake, and we both saw a very clear footprint on the side of the stream. There were no dislodged rocks nearby, and it was not the front and rear tracks of a bear. The track was too large for black bear.
Second, my hunting partner, while hunting near the same location (by the junction of the Sawtooth Berry Fields), heard calls that ascended in pitch to make a "whoop whoop" sound, and then the banging of a stick against a tree, as if to signal others. He is convinced the sound was not made by a human.
My hunting buddy is an FAA air traffic supervisor, and I am a salesman. We both would be able to produce witnesses to vouch for our integrity and sanity.
OTHER WITNESSES: there were two of us, going to wash after a few days in the woods on a hunting trip.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: weather: warm, partly sunny
ENVIRONMENT: Steam, leading to a swamp, off of a hill.
Follow-up investigation report:
I spoke with the witness at length by phone on February 16, 2002. He was very helpful, and was very familiar with the area the incidents occured in. He is also an experienced outdoorsman.
I should first note that the track find was during Elk Archery Season in early September of 2000, and the vocalizations were heard during the same time period in 1999.
The track they found in September of 2000 was located on the east side of FR 88, where it crosses Meadow Creek, about 1 mile SE of the FR 88/FR 8851 Junction. The track sat on the south side of the creek, about 10 yards from the road, near a wildlife trail. The soil was a soft, sandy mixture that left a good, but not very distinct track. Toe marks were not evident in the track, but it had the appearance of a "big, gnarly foot." The witness did not measure the track at the time, but he did place his foot next to it for comparison. He estimates that the track was about 14-15 inches long, and 6-7 inches wide. Also, the track impression was fairly deep. The witness, who weighed about 225 lbs., said that his print went only about half as deep as the track they'd found.
The vocalization heard by his hunting partner in 1999 took place a few miles west of the track location, near the north end of the Indian Heaven Wilderness. The other witness had placed a tree stand for hunting elk just a few hundred yards NW of the FR 30/ FR 24 Junction, near Cayuse Meadow, which sits just a couple of miles west of the where the BFRO's Skookum Meadow Expedition discovered a sasquatch impression in September of 2000. The stand was set in dark, old-growth forest on the south side of Cayuse Meadow. The next day, while sitting in the stand, the witness began to hear the vocalizations and banging sounds. It was near dark in the evening when this started. The witness had been in his stand for quite sometime at this point, remaining completely still and quiet. He had also masked his scent with elk lure. The witness, also a very experienced hunter and outdoorsman, states that he has never heard anything like that sound, and is certain that it was not made by any other animal that he is familiar with. The witness immediately departed the area, somewhat shook-up by the incident.