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DATE: 1st week of bird season-Sept. 15th. Hunted the area all week, my son was dropped off to me the 18th; that was the day.
COUNTY: Alpena County
LOCATION DETAILS: 160 acre private property. mostly wooded with small sections(5 acre) being clearcut at about every five years. Bound by mostly farmland. Heavy swamp, only 3/4 mile from Thunderbay River. Field of travel (crossing prop. lines) w/o crossing road is about 1.9x4.5 miles.
NEAREST TOWN: Alpena
NEAREST ROAD: Long Rapids Road
OBSERVED: While bird hunting with my son, we heard a rustle. As any bird hunter, the gun came up but I expected (because of sound) to see a deer startled from sleep. Instead, I glimpsed something quickly moving between the trees (about 8' apart), over the ferns, and barely below the lowest treelines. Admittingly, this couldn't have been for more than 3 seconds. This was a very quiet day with very little breeze; it wasn't so much what I saw, but what I heard. If I was deaf, I could dismiss it as a human trespasser. It was all dark brown, about 7' tall, and running (extremely fast given the original "startle") silently through the ferns, branches, and sparse deadfall. It was not a bear. I was not a believer of bigfoot. I told myself it was a deer leaping (because of the silence and upright position) that covered about 11yrds. Acceptable, right? I looked down, at my son and saw nothing but pure white fear in his face (see below).
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing odd at this location that I've even heard stories of. Please note: I was not a believer of "bigfoot" then, or a year after the 98 bird opener. My sons facial expression could only be topped by my own: I was scared of the unknown! I've come to terms with what I saw; it wasn't a bear, deer, or trespasser. I'm only 38 years old. Though my years of hunting and fishing I've seen many creatures but many elude me. I've only once seen a wild bear, it happened across the highway. Only once have I seen a bobcat, I was strolling through some purchasable land. If I don't see these animals while motionlessly sitting in a treeblind, how many others haven't I seen?
OTHER WITNESSES: I questioned my son as soon as I could talk. (My mind still trying to convince myself, my body shaking, and my speach obviously stuttered.) He heard the original stir but couldn't pinpoint it after because of silence. He did not see what I saw; his fear apparently came from the look on my face! He was nine years old; we've hunted together several times and (of course) he knows me enough to know something was wrong!
ENVIRONMENT: This 160 covers swamp, clearcut, small field, and old forest. The "sighting" was 180yds from field, 150yds from cut, and 50yds from very mild swamp in old woods with new growth. We were on a fourwheeler path about 60yds away from the subject.