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COUNTY: Comal County
LOCATION DETAILS: Canyon Lake near Startzville, Texas
NEAREST TOWN: Startzville/Canyon Lake
NEAREST ROAD: FM 2673
OBSERVED: On January 9th, 2015 @ about 5:20-5:30 p.m. at Canyon Lake, Texas, my family and I were backing out of our drive way, and the weather was bad that day, kind of hazy, misty rain, and it was about 37 degrees. I had my high beams on because it was beginning to get dark outside. As I backed out of the driveway my lights caught the attention of a very big creature about 9 foot tall grayish blonde in color with a 4 to 4 1/2 ft across from shoulder to shoulder, standing in front of an oak tree, it turn towards me from about 40 yards away, and it stood with its arms down at it's side, I asked my son to look and I looked away briefly, when I looked back it was gone. The following Friday my wife and step daughter, while walking along the shoreline of the lake, discovered a bloody and strange deer kill site (fresh kill), the deer's neck was broken and twisted all he way around, lungs, heart, and liver were gone and the deer's intestinal content was thrown about, the back half of the deer was eaten,the front shoulder was eaten,but not the other shoulder.
I called the BFRO and left a message, J.D. from San Antonio came out and took pictures of the scene, I asked him if I should roll the deer over because of the shoulder bone sticking out. After rolling over I pulled the hide back and there was a sharp edged stone underneath the hide with flesh and blood on the stone--I kept this stone--there was also a 10 feet dragging kill-blood streak across the rocks, then it abruptly stops, and the deer's carcass seems to be thrown about 15 feet from that spot with no blood stains in between the two spots. Upon further investigating I discovered a 5 foot long stick about 1 1/4 in diameter-rigid, with a sharp end on it, and the end of it had deer hair and flesh on it, like it was used to either stab the deer or just to hold it down, then it broke the deers neck, the kill was made from the waters edge side not the woods side, meaning the thing that killed the deer was hiding in the water...I also discovered tracks some were 19 inches long but were not castable, not enough definition, also found some tracks that were 14 inches long, and some 11 inches long along the shoreline down from the kill site, all of them were not castable it had also been raining that whole week off and on. Upon even more research we discovered At least 5 other deer carcasses in the general area. Called area fish and game warden out and she walked the area and observed all of the evidence on Sunday January 18th..
ALSO NOTICED: nothing really, it just stood there for a moment, then suddenly gone..no tracks found where it stood due to the rocky ground..
OTHER WITNESSES: I am the only one that had the bigfoot sighting..but others have seen deer kill sites nearby after my sighting, it was research and pictures taken of kill site by bfro researcher J.D. from San Antonio, Texas. After I reported this sighting to the BFRO phone number on this site..
OTHER STORIES: not really, nothing with any merit..
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 5:20-5:30 p.m. it was hazy low clouds rainy and it was 37 degrees out, lighting was good but dropping off..
ENVIRONMENT: 1/4 of a mile from the lake in a wooded area, (and behind that area is woods and then the lake), and it was standing next to an oak tree, near a concrete driveway retaining wall near a house.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator J D:
I spoke with the witness several times and met with him approximately one week after the encounter, which occurred on January 9, 2015. He seemed to have a good recollection of the details of the animal. Of note were several things. He consistently described the animal as being gray or blond in color, with short hair. The length of hair was puzzling to him, being so short during the winter time, and he wondered if it might have been “shedding” despite the season. Of course, a south/central Texas winter can be cold, but also often experiences high temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s with plenty of sunlight. Another detail which the witness repeated often was the massiveness of the animal. He described it as having muscles so large and defined he could clearly see them, even at the encounter distance.
The witness described the shoulder width being around four and a half feet and it having a height around eight and a half to nine feet. He stated the head was oval in shape with no visible neck. The animal was standing on the other side of a concrete driveway, which was elevated, covering approximately two feet of the animal’s lower legs. It was standing between an oak tree and a mountain juniper. When I went to the location, the witness showed me where the animal’s head was in relation to the tree and it matched his previous report of eight to nine feet in height.
The encounter location is near the shoreline on the south side of Canyon Lake, in central Texas. It lies near the northern most tip of a large peninsula which extends into Canyon Lake. The area is somewhat rural, with no incorporated towns close by, but has a relatively dense population. An animal traveling to the location from the East, South, or West would require traversing an area best described as a large neighborhood which spreads out for miles in those directions. The difference being the homes here, often set on large lots with areas of unoccupied land sprinkled through the area. The landscape is thickly wooded with mostly oak and mountain juniper. The only other approach would be across Canyon Lake itself. The encounter location is at a relatively narrow part of the lake, possibly less than one quarter mile. The water is quite shallow for much of the distance. The North side of the lake across from the encounter site is much less populated and more heavily wooded. Of note is that the area of the encounter is so over-populated with white-tailed deer that they create a nuisance. Residents feed them regularly and the result is large herds casually walking around or lying down in yards with no apparent fear. The temperature during the encounter period was typical of the area and season, ranging between 40-50 degree days to 70 plus.
On January 16, 2015, the witness called me describing a deer kill he discovered within close proximity of his encounter. I inspected the scene that same day. The deer kill was located on the lake’s shoreline, within a partially wooded area consisting of a number of acres. There are no homes within this small area, but do surround it on the side opposite the lake.
The site where this first deer kill was found:
The deer kill:
Finding a deer carcass in the general area would not be uncommon. Deer are often hit by cars and dumped in wooded areas. As well, bow hunting occurs in the area and a deer hit with a poorly placed arrow can travel some distance. Upon inspection, the deer carcass appeared to have no sign of being shot with an arrow or firearm. There was massive trauma, with a large amount of flesh removed from the carcass, but no obvious signs it had been removed with a knife. Nor was there evidence of “road rash” or signs of the deer hitting or sliding on asphalt on the remaining skin. As well, there appeared no easy way for a person to transport the deer carcass to the area. There is no vehicle access. It would need to have been carried approximately one quarter mile from the road. It was also not placed in the nearby brush, as would be expected if one was dropping off the carcass to allow nature to dispose of it. It was lying about halfway between the water’s edge and the brush line. The shallowness of the water near shore would preclude someone from using a boat to deposit the carcass. The lake bottom didn’t appear to have any disturbance, which even a shallow draft boat would have left.
View from the kill site showing drag marks, and an area with no sign on the ground, with the deer in the background:
It appeared the kill site, or where the carcass was first deposited, was directly at the water’s edge. This is where the largest amount of blood was seen. The best guess is the kill was likely done the night before my arrival. Our weather was dry, yet at approximately 5 pm when I inspected the site, there were still large drops of blood which had not fully dried in the direct sunlight. The carcass was not rotting, with no foul smell present, and buzzards (turkey vultures) had not yet discovered the kill. There was what appeared to be a drag line, where blood was smeared on the rocks, leading away from the water diagonally. It went for approximately fifteen feet. The carcass itself, at the time of inspection, was approximately fifteen feet further in a straight line. There was no blood or sign indicating the carcass had been dragged this final distance. It appeared to have been dragged then carried, without touching the ground, the last fifteen feet. This placed it within approximately ten feet of the brush line. Between the carcass and the water were located the intestines and stomach. The intestines did not appear to have been dragged, but carried from the carcass and deposited in place. Seemingly absent from this pile were the heart, liver, and lungs. Closer to the water was an approximately ten foot line, running parallel to the water, where there were numerous small piles of stomach contents. At one end was the stomach, which appeared to have been ripped open. A large amount of stomach contents were still with the stomach. There was no obvious sign the stomach had been dragged, but seemed to have been carried.
Close up photo of the deer:
The carcass itself was of a young spike buck. It appeared to have had the skin on the rear half ripped and torn. The hind quarters had been stripped of flesh, as well as the front right quarter. The bones did not appear broken on these legs, but the legs were only attached to the body by strips of soft tissue. The body cavity was totally empty, even the windpipe having been removed at the throat. One shoulder appeared relatively intact, except the skin was torn. This was the front quarter facing the ground. When the witness flipped the carcass over, a small flat rock was seen under the torn skin of this shoulder. It was a limestone rock which appeared to be a chip from a larger stone, leaving a semi-sharp edge.
Here are photos of the rock found under the hide, the witness kept this rock:
The open wound on the deer where the flat rock was discovered:
The deer’s head was facing its back as it lay on the ground. When the witness moved the head, it became obvious the neck was broken. While the area does have steep, small hills, there did not appear to be any place near the carcass where a deer could break its neck and end up at the shoreline.
Due to the trauma, the carcass looked very much like a road kill which suffered animal predation post kill. But there were several observations which were contradictory to this. The location was far enough from the road that the deer could not have made it that far with a broken neck. The location would also make it very unlikely the carcass was deposited there by someone trying to hide it or just clear it from the roadway. It is possible it could have suffered an arrow wound, where the arrow passed through the body, and the deer then died near the shore. The problem with that theory is the broken neck, but also that in my hunting experience animals will run to a brushy area when injured, not to open water. The way the carcass was dragged, and then carried makes it unlikely coyotes or dogs could have been responsible for the deer’s location. Also, the intestines and stomach were not “strung out” over the area as would be expected if they were removed by most animals. They appeared to have been carried and placed where they were at the time of inspection.
Several days after my inspection, the witness contacted me and advised there were more deer kills in the area. I advised him to contact a Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden and file a report, which I confirmed was done.
I inspected the location a second time, but was unable to meet with the witness. A friend and I inspected the area and found the original kill and numerous old bones. The old bones were bleached by the sun and scattered. I did find two of what appeared to be deer leg bones lying very close to each other under an oak tree. Both were stripped of flesh. Interestingly, though they appeared to be a set of legs from the same animal, one was drier and more bleached out then the other. It’s possible this is due to the way the sunlight fell on them, but does not seem likely as they were so close to each other. Additionally, one had been broken and was hollowed out or cleaned of marrow. I did not observe any chew marks and the bone appeared to have been snapped cleanly. The thickness of the bone walls looked to be approximately one quarter inch.
Photo of these bones:
At one point during our survey of the area, my friend and I followed a game trail leading from the kill site. In a spot along the trail, under a large salt cedar bush, my friend noticed two rocks stacked one on top of the other. They were smallish, flat limestone rocks similar to the one found under the deer’s hide. Nearby were several small limestone rocks of non-uniform shape, in a sort of pile.
On February 6, 2015, I was again contacted by the witness who reported finding another deer carcass in the area. I visited the scene the following day. This new deer kill was located within one hundred yards of the prior kill site and was also on the shoreline of the lake. The carcass appeared to be an adult doe white-tailed deer. While this carcass had set longer than the previous kill prior to inspection, it had not suffered as much depredation by an animal(s). There was no sign the carcass had been processed by a person, with no sign of field dressing or pieces of meat being cut from the body, and there were no indications of it being a “road kill”. The skin was torn in the hind quarter and stomach area, missing some flesh and with stomach contents partially ripped out. The ribcage and front shoulder area was open with flesh missing as well. The head showed quite a bit of trauma, with the lower jaw appearing broken. The eyes and tongue were missing and there was a small hole in the side of the head. The neck was not obviously broken, as with the last kill, but there was some detectable “slack” when the head was moved.
I performed a short “autopsy”, opening the neck down to the vertebra, including opening up the area around the hole in the head. The hole was only on one side. If it was caused by a bullet or arrow, it did not cause an exit hole. Inspection revealed the area inside of the hole was missing flesh, likely caused by birds. There was no sign of the typical trauma associated with a bullet wound, which typically results in an obvious “bloodshot” wound channel. The hole was very shallow as well, seeming too shallow for either a bullet or arrow. The bones around the hole appeared without injury or trauma of any sort. It generally appeared to be a small, shallow hole where birds had pecked out bits of flesh.
I observed no obvious trauma to the neck. I could feel some slack at the base of the skull and several inches down the neck, but it was just slightly more movement than other areas during articulation. It’s possible this is normal movement.
At the end of my inspection, there was no obvious cause of death. The location of the deer, like the earlier kill, seemed odd as it was not close to a road. There were no observable drag marks around this carcass. It seemed to have either been killed at the location, or carried there. The predation appeared to have happened at the site of the inspection.
On February 14, 2015, I was again contacted by the witness. The witness had discovered a dead chicken in some brush in the same general area as the deer kills. The chicken was generally intact; except its head was missing and it had a slight amount of damage to one wing. It was covered with grass and twigs. The witness reported it appeared fresh and had colored bands on its legs. He advised some of the residents in the neighborhood raised chickens. The condition of the chicken did not match my experience of how a chicken killed by a predator appears. It looked to be almost undamaged. Even the damage to the wing appeared to be very limited, certainly not the result of a “fight”. It almost had a “nibbled” appearance. He also reported finding what looked like a footprint of approximately nineteen inches in length in the area.
During this time period, the witness, who walked and fished in this area often, reported finding a number of what could have been large human-shaped tracks. He also said the shoreline seemed to have a larger than normal amount of open muscle shells which appeared to have been eaten.
After February of 2015, up to the date of this report, the witness did not encounter any more deer or chicken carcasses and stopped seeing the possible footprints. The area seemed to return to “normal”.
About BFRO Investigator J D:
J D has over 20 years experience as a law enforcement officer and attended the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Texas Expeditions.