Geographical Index > United States > Michigan > Roscommon County > Report # 37448|
Submitted by witness on Friday, November 16, 2012.
Hunter recalls a possible encounter during deer season near St. Helen
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COUNTY: Roscommon County
NEAREST TOWN: St. Helen Michigan
OBSERVED: I was deer hunting late November in 1968. My Grandfather, dad, uncle and myself. We drove around St. Helen Michigan until we found an area that looked like it could be holding deer. With our rifles loaded the plan was to all go in separate directions. I went in the woods walking through the rows of pine trees so that it would be easy to find my way back to the car. At about one hundred fifty yards in, I heard load crashing to my left. Thinking that I may have spooked a deer I froze and looked around. The crashing stopped when I stopped. As I took a few steps, I heard the crashing in the woods again. I stopped again and so did it. But I noticed that instead of going away from me it was coming to me. I then took a couple of more steps then it was getting really close to me. I jumped to the next row of pines and squatted down so that I could look around. The branches started at about four feet from the ground. I suddenly noticed an awful odor from the area of the noise. Then I heard another crunch of branches and a big white furry leg stepped in the same row as me. I could see a good four feet of legs that were about seven inches around but it wasn't up to where the thigh gets big. It was only about twenty five yards to my left. The thought of shooting it came and went. It was huge and I didn't know was it was, and what would happen if my 30 30 didn't take it down. I didn't move, and after squatting there for about ten min. It went on its way. I waited until I couldn't hear it any more, I ran back to the car and waited for the others to come back. I never mentioned this for years.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Mid afternoon the skies were cloudy
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
I was drawn to this report because I am familiar with the area as my grandmother once owned a cabin on nearby Houghton Lake and I still spend a great deal of time camping near Reedsburg Dam to the west and in the Au Sable State Forest to the east. Further, the production of the Finding Bigfoot episode “Bigfoot and Wolverines” was filmed, in part, not far from here at the Hartwick Pines State Park Lumbering Museum. I was also interested because I reported on a similar incident that occurred in 2005 near the same general area. Report #31121
I was immediately taken with Mr. P’s sincerity. We had some commonalities to discuss regarding our mutual interest in deer hunting so it was easy to understand exactly what he was describing to me as I have hunted in the manner he described before. I asked him about the techniques he was using, even discussing his firearm of choice, and how he worked with the other members of his party. I wanted to get into the scene of his experience so I will reproduce here the story I asked him to recount in his own words.
"Hey Sherman, Thanks for the fast response.
The skies were of course cloudy, and there was no wind. The ground was wet from earlier rain that day. There wasn't any fog, so you could see very clearly. What made me think that it wasn't a deer was really two things, one being that it was simply too loud, and second, it was moving toward me instead of away. Deer always move away, and snort when things don't seem right. This thing crashed through the woods like he owned it. My dad told me to walk like a deer does, that way they're less likely to spook. I would take a step or two then look all around for deer. This many years have gone by and the thought just hit me, “I wonder if it thought I was a deer and was trying to capture me by mistake.” Who knows? The thing was definitely moving to me as it stepped that’s why I crouched down and stayed still. That is when it stepped into the same row of trees as me. I would describe the noise as pushing through the trees with the dead dry one breaking as it went. But now I wonder if it knew I was a human because it would have scared away a deer with all that noise. That kind of makes more sense. When the thing got close, that’s when I got the smell of it. The smell was really nasty, kind of like a cross between rotten road kill, and a gut pile. It was really strong. I was crouched, and the branches of the pine trees were dead from the ground to about four feet up the trees. I saw the leg when it stepped into the row where I was. I forgot to mention in the earlier letters that the leg was about six, or seven inches around. The hair was about three inches long and matted, like it was dirty and hadn't been washed in a while. I couldn't see higher than four feet up because of the branches were blocking the view for me to see any higher. I also wonder if it just wanted me to know he was there so that I'd leave his turf. If he had squatted down like I did he would have saw me. I wasn't saying anything. It stood still for about ten or twelve minutes waiting for me to move. It then walked away. I stayed still until I couldn't hear it anymore. The rifle I was using was a 30-30. I did feel very threatened at the time because I had never seen anything like this before. I kept the experience to myself for years because I didn't think anyone would believe what I saw. A good ten years went by before I told anyone. But they thought I was making it up. I guess it's one of those things you have to see to believe. I hope this answered any questions you had. Thanks again for the fast response."
The idea that one might mistakenly become the hunted, is the most fascinating aspect of this story.
About BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
Jim is a High School History teacher and Track and Cross Country coach. He attended the Michigan Northern Lower Peninsula Expedition in 2011, the Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition in 2012 and is co-organizing the upcoming Michigan UP 2013 Expedition. He assisted in the production of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot, Michigan Episode. He participates in Ironman Triathlons and enjoys fishing and camping with his wife and daughter. Jim can be contacted at email@example.com and Twitter @shermanbigfoot.