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COUNTY: Bonner County
LOCATION DETAILS: Directions to our campsite are described in the story.
NEAREST TOWN: Nordman
NEAREST ROAD: NF-2512
OBSERVED: On October 7, 2017, my wife, myself and our dog went on a late season kayak paddle to Upper Priest Lake and overnight camping trip at Beaver Creek Campground.
After loading the kayak after our paddle, we drove ˝ mile to the campground, only to find that it was closed for the season. Not wanting to find another campsite, we drove around the campground to the Tule Bay boat launch parking area, which was still open.
We parked our vehicle, unloaded our tent, sleeping and cooking gear and began to set up camp, carrying things into a designated site that would normally be accessed by the campground road. I was a bit concerned about camping in the site after the campground was officially closed, but figured that as it was already getting dark, it was unlikely that we would be confronted by a ranger.
It had been raining and was getting cold, and my wife wanted a campfire to warm up from our paddle to Upper Priest Lake. I didn’t want to start a fire, as I was still uneasy about camping there and concerned that a fire would attract attention to us.
After setting up the tent and getting things situated, we heard a whoo call to the north of us, across the road. I had the distinct impression that it wasn’t an owl, but a person whooing for someone in the dark woods, like someone trying to contact a hiker who was late getting back to the car (though there were no other cars in the area). The call was quite loud, louder than any owl I have ever heard. Too me, it seemed like it was coming from something (a person) with large lung capacity.
By this time, it was dark and we couldn’t see anything beneath the tree canopy outside of our campsite.
While my wife worked on starting a fire with wet branches (unsuccessfully), I arranged our sleeping gear in the tent. Suddenly, we heard a WHOO call that was much closer and much louder. This call made us nervous as we both felt it was made by a person who was creeping around our campsite in the dark messing with us. But we had heard no vehicles drive in, saw no headlights or flashlights, and it was too dark and overcast for a person to drive or walk around the woods without a light. My wife has better hearing than I do, and heard what she felt was an answering whoo from some distance away in the forest. Grabbing a flashlight, I walked 75 feet or so back to our vehicle to get my 9mm pistol.
There was no question that this wasn’t an owl. The call was much too loud and gave both of us a fearful feeling. I could feel the loudness of the call in my chest.
We noticed that our dog had no reaction to the calls, remaining in camp and not acting scared, but I sure felt that way, even with a firearm on my hip.
After the last loud call, we didn’t hear anything more the rest of the night. No vehicles drove into the boat launch parking area and we heard no people or animals about. In the morning, I looked around our campsite but couldn’t see that anything had been disturbed.
Later back at home, my wife researched owl calls online, but couldn’t find anything that sounded like what we heard. Whatever had made those calls around our campsite that night knew we were there and had a lung capacity much larger than an adult human male.
ALSO NOTICED: Last fall (2019), while on a motorcycle ride up Tango Creek (approximately 15 miles from our incident) we saw a fir tree about 5” in diameter broken off about 8-9 feet off the ground near a trail by a pullout parking area. No other trees in the area had been damaged. (I have photos of the broken tree).
OTHER WITNESSES: Two. Setting up camp in the dark.
OTHER STORIES: I later read about a sasquatch sighting near the Upper Priest River, within 15 miles of Beaver Creek.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Approximately 6:30pm to 7:30pm
ENVIRONMENT: Tall, thick fir and cedar forest, wet, with a creek and a large lake in the area.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kevin Llewellyn:
I spoke to the husband and wife by phone:
The first whoo vocal was from the north and less than one quarter mile away. They both thought it was a person trying to get the attention of someone else. The second whoo also came from the north but only about seventy five to 100 feet away. The husband said it was so loud and powerful, he could feel it in his chest. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and he felt afraid. The wife did not realize at the time how afraid he was. Each vocal was about two seconds long.
About one minute after the second call, the wife heard a response from the east-southeast. It was far away and thus sounded softer. They did not hear anything walking nor detect any odor.
They told me they have owls around their house and so hear them all the time. They later researched owl calls and could not find anything similar to what they heard.
The region from Sullivan Lake in northeast Washington to Priest Lake in north Idaho has a long history of activity and continues to have ongoing activity for many, including this investigator.
About BFRO Investigator Kevin Llewellyn:
Kevin has camped, fished and hunted in Eastern Washington all his life. His interest in Sasquatch began when he was 10 years old and saw Roger Patterson present "the" film. He lives in Eastern Washington.
Recently retired, he was a veterinarian since 1984, after graduating from Washington State University.
He attended Washington BFRO expeditions in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Oregon in 2015 and 2018, Montana in 2017 and 2018. He was co-leader of N.E. Washington 2019, Washington 2020, 2021 #1 & #2, and Montana 2020, 2021expeditions.