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COUNTY: Harney County
LOCATION DETAILS: South end of Call Meadow, north of Junction of FS road 28 and 2850. Pavement ends on 28, gravel begins, it's another 1/4 mile or so.
NEAREST TOWN: Burns
NEAREST ROAD: FS road 28
OBSERVED: At about 7:00 pm I was taking a walk along the eastern edge of Call Meadow. I had parked before the cattle gate on the southern end. Cattle were grazing toward the south end of the meadow, and also in the woods to the east, but they were fenced out of the meadow, where I was walking on an old road. I'd gone maybe about 500 ft. and heard, off to the southwest, near the E-W fenceline, in the woods on the other side of the meadow, a really horrible noise. I've worked in the woods on the coast for almost 20 yrs., and have been camping over in the Malheur for about as long, and I have never heard anything like it. It was very loud, like a cow bellowing but it wasn't a cow. It's hard to describe, or even remember exactly, but it was almost like a scream, but not a scream, it almost sounded like something may have been in a lot of pain, or maybe just really mad. It went on for at least a minute or more. I was listening, and a first thought coyote, but it didn't sound like a coyote. I have heard that cougars can scream like a woman, but it didn't sound like that. I was most impressed by how loud it was. It was probably about 1000 ft. away from me. I could see across the meadow, and kept watching while I headed back for the rig. It was pretty scary, so I cut my walk short.
ALSO NOTICED: FS road 28 is very close to where the sound came from, but I didn't hear any rigs, which I would have if anyone was driving by and stopped to try to scare me (not to mention they couldn't get so loud). I drove out the north end of Call Meadow to head south on Road 28 and didn't see anyone in the area, no camps. There is hardly anyone in the woods this time of year (not hunting season).
OTHER WITNESSES: I'm the only witness.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Evening, 7:00 pm, end of a warm, sunny day. There was still sun on the side of the meadow where I was walking, though where the noise came from was shaded.
ENVIRONMENT: Sound was coming from the pine forest, which had been thinned, not old growth, ave dbh maybe 12". Sound was adjacent to a meadow, narrow this end, with some sagebrush.
Follow-up investigation report:
Witness has over 20 years of experience in the woods of Oregon. The witness is very familiar with the wildlife that resides within these woods.
Witness described vocalization as being loud, long and low in tone. The duration of the call was over one minute, perhaps up to two. The witness was amazed at the length and volume of this sound.