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YEAR: 2001 or 2002
STATE: West Virginia
COUNTY: Pendleton County
LOCATION DETAILS: It was located in a portion of the Monongahela National Forest, east of the highway.
NEAREST TOWN: Onego
NEAREST ROAD: U.S. Route 33
OBSERVED: Actually, I didn't make anything of this experience until I began watching the show on OLN "Mysterious Encounters". That's when the excitement of possibly having an encounter of my own hit me.
I was traveling up a very steep and rocky ridge about 2 hours before daylight one Saturday morning. I was packing a tree stand and my bow. It was mid-october, and daylight would bring the opening day of bow season. I was on a very rugged ridge in Pendleton county; and I had taken several deer in the area in the past. After ascending the first half of my climb, I heard russling up the ridge in front of me. I shined my small mag light in that direction. There, about maybe 60 yards in front of me were about three or four sets of (Yellow) eyes. I noticed the one set of eyes go vertically several feet, still looking in my direction. Keep in mind that our deer are about 3 feet high at the shoulders at best. Plus, the encline was about a 1:1 ratio (or steeper than the nose on most peoples faces). I also noticed that two sets of eyes were very close together, and that one of those sets of eyes didn't loose contact with me when they run off. I kept anticipating a white tail as they moved off, or at least a snort. This is very common in our deer, even jumped up in the dark. This whole scenerio took maybe about 3 or 4 seconds.
About 15 to 20 seconds after they had moved off, I remember something rather heavy falling near me. I just assumed at the time that it was something falling from an oak tree or something. I now think that it was instead something thrown at me. Another very short time lapse revealed some rather peculiar "deer vocalizations". By this time, the creatures of source at moved across a very deep/steep hollow from me. I remember thinking to myself that those sounds couldn't be coming from a deer or any other wild animal I have ever encountered. That included my hunting travels east and west. That's when the cold sweat broke out on me when I heard something very similar on the T.V. show.
I would like to add that the area that I was in was in close proximity to where the encounters occurred at Dolly Sods. There is probably about a two thousand feet difference in elevation at where I was at; but it is only a few miles traveling across the Allegheney Mountains.
If these creatures are known to eat white-oak acorns and wild fox grapes, then they would have been in business at that time of year, as they were fairly plentiful in that area.
I also remember the skunky smell where I think they were bedded down. Several emotions come over me now when I think about it and relive it.
ALSO NOTICED: The very guteral, odd sounds as well as the eyes-- just didn't look like they were set/located in the head like a deers in the light.
OTHER WITNESSES: Nobody else with me at the time.
OTHER STORIES: No, but I thought that I caught a glimpse of something dark, walking on two feet at another more remote location while fishing back in the early '80's.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Weather clear, mostly calm winds at that time. Probably about 30 to maybe 40 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: Rocky,upland,wooded with mostly hardwoods, mixed virginia pine, some hemlock, and large tracts of wild rhododendron, mountain field, brook trout stream nearby.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I had an extended conversation with the witness by phone.
The witness is an avid outdoorsman being very knowledgeable about all forms of wildlife. He has been hunting for over thirty years.
When the encounter began he was surprised that the one set of eyes never turned away from watching him as the group left the area. He felt that was certainly unlike deer or any other wildlife he was acquainted with. It was his impression that they were bipedal.
He is also positive that the large object was thrown and had not fallen.
The vocalizations that he heard on the animals' departure he described as sounding angry, disturbed, mumbling and guttural. The bedding area that he found was not typical of deer. He said the smell was kind of skunky or musty.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org