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COUNTY: Portage County
NEAREST TOWN: Ravenna Ohio
NEAREST ROAD: Cable Line Road
OBSERVED: While doing some early season scouting for deer season in a remote part of West Branch State Park, I noticed a set of strange tracks that looked very fresh. At first they looked human, but I thought it was odd a person would be walking barefoot it some of the nastiest deepest and thick mud slop around. The inlet along the shores of a lake was covered with pricker bush and briars. I followed the tracks for about 400 yards until they cut through a mud swamp. A person would have taken the easy dry trail, these tracks went through the mud swamp. I tried to step through the swamp but sunk over my boots. Thats when I really looked hard at the tracks. They were not outrageously long, I say about size 10 but the were very narrow and they sunk alot deeper in the mud than my 200 lb frame did. The toes were very strange and appeared to be much longer than a humans, the left foot looked like it had suffered an injury to two of the interior toes. The stride was long and I had to strech to walk the same path. I'm six foot tall. I circled around the swamp a caught the tracks on the other side of the swamp inlet and followed them for another 300 yards until I lost them back on dry ground where they went into the forest.
ALSO NOTICED: I have spent many days and evenings hunting and fishing here. Prior to finding the tracks, while night fishing my friend and I heard loud wails and shrieking in the woods. It was not raccons or owls and appeared to move quickly past our location
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me when I found them, I brought my buddy back a couple days later to show him the tracks. The tracks were still visiable but had been whethered by a rain storm. The reason I was there for scouting for bow season.
OTHER STORIES: Yes, I was told by the owner of the local bait shop that back in the late 70's he had seen a large fur covered creature one night while fishing. The creature walked upright, was as tall as the average man. When he flashed his light on it it ran up a steep embankment that was nearby. He said he would have needed climbing gear to go up this cliff, but this creature motored up it on two legs very easily. He did not feel like he was in any danger but he was very close to it. I judge him reliable and he is an outdoorsman and I don't think he would confuse what he saw for local game creatures.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: I saw them midday, hot summer day. It had been dry but a lite shower of rain had occurred a few days prior. There was no rain puddles in the tracks so my guess is the tracks were no more than a day old.
ENVIRONMENT: Well off the beaten path, plenty of thick briars and brush along a mud swamp on the shore of the lake. The tracks appeared to go into a deep wooded ravine.