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COUNTY: Linn County
LOCATION DETAILS: The tracks were off the Maxwell Butte trail, I had been cutting cross country and would have to draw a map or show someone the exact location; my campsite was just up the road from the blacktop area, second camp site on left - sits across from large reprod.
NEAREST TOWN: Marion Forks
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 22, Maxwell Butte snowpark.
OBSERVED: While I was archery hunting on Aug 31, 2004 near Maxwell Butte, I found two tracks that measured 14x5 inches, both tracks had a prominent large toe on the side of the track. The tracks were not together but on the same ridge. I also found a feces pile that was like bear in contents (berry seeds) but much larger and more human-like. it was like a fifty cent piece in diameter and 12-14 inches long. I had a visitor the next morning at 4 am. I was sitting in my dimly lit tent listening for elk bugling. I woke at 3 am and was wide awake drinking coffee and hoping to get a head start on my hunt by hearing elk. I was surprised by a low growl that sounded like it came from my stomach. I thought it was odd that I didn't feel it, but as soon as that thought crossed my mind a loud scraping sound was followed by a loud thud that came from the thick patch of trees next to my tent, only 2-3 feet away, I heard no other sound after that. I slapped the table top [inside the tent] hoping to hear something leave but whatever stomped the ground didn't make another sound. I put my boots on, grabbed an axe and went outside yelling, hoping to scare off the animal but I never heard another sound. I think a bear would have been more obvious. This animal was able to get next to my tent and leave without me noticing anything except for the growl and the stomp.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was alone.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: I found the tracks in the mid morning on a sunny day. My visitor was at 4 am, the wind was calm and the sky was patchy clouds, but the moon was out when I went to the front of my tent after being growled at.
ENVIRONMENT: Thick fir and pine mix forest, directly below Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Dr. Wolf H. Fahrenbach:
The witness was sitting in a large tent (10'x12') without even his car in the adjacent parking area (he had been brought to the site). The moon was just barely past full and was setting in the mid-morning hours. He had some small illumination in the tent, largely to provide a minimum of heat. He had been fully awake for an hour before he heard the soft growl, "as a dog would make if you tried to take its bone". The scraping and thumping sound suggested to him that the creature slipped off a log and hit the ground with its foot.