Geographical Index > United States > Ohio > Portage County > Report # 28730|
Submitted by witness on Thursday, January 20, 2011.
Possible vocalizations heard while training hunting dogs near Atwater
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COUNTY: Portage County
NEAREST TOWN: Atwater
NEAREST ROAD: Fewtown
OBSERVED: December coon hunt on Fewtown Road on the dog training grounds me and 3 buddys lost our dogs. The Garmin GPS wasn't working so we couldnt track them, we waited for one of them to strike and heard our dogs strike a long ways away. Fewtown road is located in Atwater. We drove all the way to the other side of the hunting ground and walked into the woods about 400 yards. One dog ran to our feet with its tail tucked. These are coon dogs, they don't run from their quarry. This dog would not leave our side. We had one dog 70 yards away where he was treein a coon. He stopped strike [editor's note: hunting dogs wear strike collars that indicate to the hunter electronically when the dog has stopped moving] this is is when we heard the loudest groaning wailing call. We all stood there mouths dropped. We put the one dog on a lead and my buddy went to get his dog so we could leave I went with him to get his dog. The dog stood pointed the opposite way of the tree with is hair on his back standing straight up, then we heard the loud long wailing noise again. We were all scared by then and didn't feel like investigating the call. No other cars were there nor were there any hunters there. No other dogs and there are no bears in the area.
OTHER WITNESSES: 3
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 2AM
ENVIRONMENT: Wooded area. Lots of woods
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brad Bacon:
I spoke with the witness in a telephone interview and the following information can be added. According to the witness, they had lost the signal from the transmitter they use to track their dogs while they are on the hunt. After a while, they heard one of the dogs "strike" which indicated that the dog had located a raccoon. They had to drive a little ways and then hike in to find the location of the dog. As they were walking in, one of the dogs approached them and was very nervous. At this point, another dog located a coon and had it treed. It wasn't long before that dog became quiet and that is when the witness heard what he described as a loud, groaning wail. According to the witness, he recognized the sound as sounding like a recording of a howl that he heard on a television program on the subject of Bigfoot. Since the howl had quieted the dogs, the witness went to recover the second dog. When they got to the second dog, another howl erupted. The witness told me he felt like the howl was coming from the exact direction in which the second dog was pointing and estimated the distance at fifty yards. The witness wasn't able to see anything but had a strong feeling that something was there. In relaying these events to me, the witness recalled that after they recovered the second dog and were on their way out, a third howl occurred. The witness said "It was clear that we were not welcome in there." The witness is an avid hunter and spends a lot of time in the woods and nothing has ever intimidated him; until now. "I had a weapon and I was intimidated and wanted to leave the area." said the witness. Consequently, the witness has no desire to ever hunt in this area again. The witness did not recall any other sounds or strange odors.
At first opportunity, I went to the area of the witness' encounter. It is a sparsely populated area of rural residences with some thick areas of forest. There are also some small family farms as well as dairy farms in the area. Additionally, I concur with the witness' assessment of his dog's behavior. It would require something unusual to get a coon dog to break away from its target. Since my initial conversation with the witness, I have had several follow-up conversations and each time I found him to be consistent and genuine in his accounts of this encounter.
About BFRO Investigator Brad Bacon:
Brad is a native Texan who currently resides in north east Ohio. He grew up working with all forms of livestock and spent countless hours in the outdoors. Brad holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M Commerce and has been a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor for 20 years. He attended the Pennsylvania 2009, 2011 and Tennessee 2010 expeditions as well as other private expeditions.