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Geographical Index > Canada > Ontario > Report # 7139
Report # 7139  (Class A)
Submitted by witness on Sunday, October 19, 2003.
Toronto Police Officer hunting moose has close encounter

YEAR: 2003


MONTH: October

DATE: 14



LOCATION DETAILS: Take Hwy 17 North from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario about 15 miles to a town called Heyden. Turn right or go east on the Ranger lake Road about 12 miles to the Northland Lake Road. Turn right and follow the dirt road about a mile to a dirt road that leads to a communications tower and turn right. Follow this road about a mile to a small "y" and turn left. Go down a hill and cross the creek and follow the path to the first "y". Turn left and follow this path south for about 1/4 mile to a clearing. I saw the creature about 50 yards East of the clearing. I can show you on a map if you like.

NEAREST TOWN: Searchmount, Ontario, Canada

NEAREST ROAD: Ranger Lake Road

OBSERVED: Before I start, let me give you my background.
I am 50 yrs old, have 2 kids and 2 grandkids, have been married for over 29 yrs and have been a Toronto Police Officer for over 28 yrs. I started shooting when I was 7 yrs old, started hunting woodchucks and rabbits when I was 9 or 10 yrs old. I did alot of fishing, canoeing, boating, camping and hiking when I was a kid. I started hunting Deer and Bear when I was about 14 or 15 and have every year since, and started hunting Moose about 14 years ago. My parents were Salvation Army Officers and were transferred all over Canada. I have done all of the above all over Canada during my younger years and continue now in Ontario where I permanently reside in Ajax which is just 10 minutes East of Toronto. For the last 10 yrs I have hunted Moose about 30 miles N/E of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario near a small town called Searchmount near Northland Lake.

Over the years I have seen all kinds of wildlife but have never laid eyes on what I saw last week while hunting Moose. I thought I was losing my marbles and that thought was reenforced when I told my brother in law (my hunting partner)the story. I later told my wife over the phone my story and she was intrigued by my story. She apparently told a coworker who found your site on the internet. When I called her to tell her I was on the way home she told me of your site and that there were several sightings in Ontario. That's when I realized that maybe I wasn't just seeing things or losing my head. When I got home I checked out your site and figure your the only people I can tell my story to that won't think I'm completly nuts. Anyhow... to my's a little long but it doesn't make sense if I don't tell it all.....

My brother in law and I were hunting Moose just N/E of Sault Ste Marie. On Tuesday 14 Oct 2003 I went up an old trail to where it came to a dead end. I got stuck on my ATV in the mud but managed to get out and turn around. I went part way back down the trail to where I found a clearing and parked on the West side where I could see about 200 yards North and South. I stopped there at about 7:45 am. I put out some Moose cow in heat urine scent on the surrounding trees and a few minutes later did a Moose Cow call on my horn. I looked at my watch which said it was 8:05 am. At about 8:15 am it started to rain. I didn't want to get my gun wet so I put it back in the gun boot on my ATV. The rain helps hide my scent but at the same time makes it noisey in the bush with the water hitting the ground, leaves, trees etc. At 8:30 am I started hearing footsteps and snapping twigs coming from the N/E of my position.

The rain noise disguised this noise until it was very close to me and because of this I wasn't ready (gun still in boot). All of a sudden I heard the destinctive sound of a Bull Moose raking his rack on the brush very close. I looked to my left and saw a huge bull raking his rack about 70 yards from me. I reached back and pulled my gun from the boot but dropped the boot cover on the top of my ATV which made a banging noise. When I turned back to where the Moose was, it took off back into the dense brush. I thought this was a bit strange because I have seen several Moose in the past that just stood there. They don't seem to be afraid of anything and just stand there. I've had them stand in front of me for several minutes before walking off into the bush in the past and couldn't understand why this one took off so fast. I stayed still for about an hour hoping he would come back. During that time I called on my horn and heard him rake his rack on the bush twice and grunt at me as he headed off in a Southerly direction through the bush. It turns out there was a gulley just out my line of sight that he used to walk around me and disappear.

I was later able to raise my brother in law on the radio who showed up and went to where I had seen the Moose. He checked the bush and found fresh tracks which showed the Moose had gone around me in this gulley which was just out of my line of vision. He suggested that I sit near where the Mooose had come out and see if he might come back. I then crossed the clearing and sat on my ATV about 5 yards from where I saw the Moose and sat facing East. Again I sprayed some Moose Cow in Heat urine scent on the trees around me and did a few calls on my horn. By this time it was around 12:30pm. I had decided that I would sit there for the rest of the day hoping to see the Bull come back. While there I ate my lunch, got off the ATV a few times to stretch my legs, had a few cigarettes and even had a little snooze. During this time my back was to the gulley that the Bull had used to walk around me. At about 1:30pm I started hearing heavy thumps behind me every now and then. Every time I heard one, I would turn around but there was nothing there. I should mention that it was still raining. The sound of the rain hitting the ground or the leaves was quite loud but these thumps were much louder. They sounded like a stone or something heavy hitting the ground, but every time I turned around, I saw nothing.

At about 5:25pm I got off the ATV to stretch my legs and have a smoke. I put my gun on the front bag of the ATV to make sure I had it within reach and stood in front of the ATV facing the gulley which was to my rear prior to this. While I was having my smoke I started hearing the destinctive sounds of footsteps coming from the gulley (snapping branches and leaves crunching). I kept my eyes on the gulley while I reached for my rifle. I thought the Bull was coming back. When I looked into the gulley about 40 yards straight in front of me I saw what I thought was a man walking towards me. He was stooped over and looked like he was having trouble walking in the bush. He grabbed a tree and swung himself around and ducked or dove down behind some thick brush. The total time of this took 3 to 5 seconds and he disappeared. He looked to me as if he was dressed all in black with a black toque or a balaclava on his head. The reason I though he was wearing a toque was his head seemed to be long at the back like a man wearing a toque. It looked like it was wearing a jacket and the front of his jacket was open half way and I could see a different color of lining showing around the neck area. It looked like it was light gray or almost blue on the chest area in the shape of a 'V'.

I couldn't really say how tall it was because his legs were behind thick brush and I could only see to about mid thigh. But I would have guessed at the time that he was anywhere from 5'8" to 6' tall. But he was about 40 yards away and it's hard to judge height or size in the bush when you're not sure of the distance. His arms seemed too long for a man but he was extremley muscular, like a body builder with the typical 'V' shape build. There was definetly no fat on him at all. I could see the different muscle groups on his upper body and arms bulging out and could see that it had a washboard stomach. When he grabbed the tree I saw that he had hands, not paws. He swung around the tree and dove for cover as if trying to hide from me. As I said earlier, it was a dull day and was raining and he looked wet. He was covered with black or dark brown hair and it looked like the hair was stuck to him fairly closely because he was wet. What also gave me the body builder impression was that he seemed to have no neck, or he had so much muscle on his shoulders that it gave that appearance. On top of all this his shoulders were extremley broad.

There was a line of dense brush leading off to my left from where it dove into which carried on for about 30 - 40 yards. About 10 to 15 seconds after it went behind this brush, I heard a hoarse, raspy cough followed by a long, hoarse, sad sounding howl. It sounded like a wolf howl but much deeper than any wolf I've ever heard. The sound came from about 20 yards from where I first saw it dive for cover.

When I first saw it, I thought it was a man maybe lost in the bush. But my first thought was "Why isn't he wearing any orange" and "if he's lost, why doesn't he just ask for help". But the howl made me realize quickly that this was no man. The next thing going through my head was "What the hell was that?". That was no Moose. It was definetly not a Wolf or a Bear. It was like nothing I had ever seen in 35 years of hunting. What it looked like to me was a Gorilla or very close to one, but it walked upright, not on all fours. I stood there motionless for almost an hour and a half waiting to see if it would show itself again.

During that time I remembered a show I saw on the Discovery channel about a month before this trip about a man and his son that were hunting in British Columbia where they saw a large animal throwing rocks at them. They took off and reported it to whoever and they later figured out it might be a Bigfoot warning them to get out of his area. I then thought about the loud heavy thumping noises behind me and realized that maybe this creature was throwing something at me. After a while it started to dawn on me that I may have just seen a Bigfoot and I started to get just a little scared. I normally leave the bush after dark when hunting but this night I left about a half hour prior to make sure I had lots of time. I was going to go back to that area the next day looking for that Bull but I couldn't bring myself to go anywhere near that spot. That's the first time in 35 years I have ever been afraid in the bush.

Since then I have wondered if this thing I saw is what scared the Bull away. Like I said earlier, I have seen many Moose in the bush and have never seen one run from me like that. Interestingly though, from where the Bull ran off to where I saw this creature was only about 50 yards.

Another thing...I don't know if this means anything or not....Where I was sitting I saw a large, probably Moose leg bone laying on the ground about 5 feet from my ATV. It wasn't cut or sawed, it had been broken or snapped. It looked to be about at least a year old.

ALSO NOTICED: The Moose was about 50 yards from where I saw the creature.
I found a large bone where I was sitting. It looked like it may have been a Moose leg bone which was broken or snapped, not cut. It looked to be about a year old.

OTHER WITNESSES: My Brother in Lsw was at the site prior to me seeing it but had left about 5 hours before the sighting


TIME AND CONDITIONS: 5:30pm, dull, rainy, daylight

ENVIRONMENT: Heavily wooded with various trees (oak,maple,pine,spruce,poplar,cedar and juniper) lots of thick underbrush, some spots are very marshy, some are very rocky, lots of streams and ponds in the area. Parts of the area were logged years ago but are growing over now. Some parts are being logged as we speak. There is an Ontario Provincial Police Communications Tower about a mile away high up a hill.

Follow-up investigation report:

What an interesting sighting and excellent witness this was. He seems to have seen a sasquatch. It might have spooked the big bull moose he saw; it probably threw rocks towards him – he heard them as they ticked leaves and twigs during flight and then thudded to the ground – and he heard it’s hoarse, sad howl just 40 yards away.

I called the witness, JS, October 20th, just after reading his report, and only 6 days after his sighting. I asked how he felt about this thing he’d seen, and whether he thought it was possible he’d actually seen a person.
“No. No way. If anything it was a gorilla. No way it was a human. It was no animal I’ve ever seen in the bush,” he said emphatically.

He said the thing was very muscular, “like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a ninja suit.” The dark hair on it was plastered against its body because it was wet from the rain. “That thing could have ripped my head off… he was powerful,” he said. But it didn’t seem especially big; he thought it was about his height, about six feet, not eight-nine feet like he’s been reading. But it was hard to tell, he said, because it was about 40 yards away and he could only see it from about mid-thigh up, and it was somewhat stooped. The only variation in the creature’s coloration he noted was a grayish tone on the chest and down its front.

JS was struck by the extraordinarily large size of the animal’s hand, which he saw when it grabbed the, approximately four inch, tree that it used to pull itself up and around as it came to the top of the awkward hill it was on. The hand wrapped entirely around the tree, and it had an opposable thumb. Then the creature ducked into a line of brushy cover. “I got the impression he was trying to get out of sight,” JS said. After a little while the vocalization came from within the cover – a raspy cough-like beginning followed by a sad sounding howl. “That was no bear, that was no wolf, that was no moose,” he told me in describing his thinking at the time.

“I was supposed to sit there for the next three days to finish the hunt off and wait for that bull, and I didn’t want to be there… I’ve never been that scared in the bush in my life.”

“You may have put me in the skeptical type category until last Tuesday… you see the shows on TV and you go, yeah right, you know. Until you see one yourself. The whole week up there I was thinking, ‘now who the hell do you tell?’”

JS does two hunts every year for deer, bear, and moose. “I’ve been in the bush my whole life… I’ve never seen any thing like that, or heard anything like that… A couple of weeks ago if you’d have asked me, I’d have said, BS, there’s no such thing… If I had to go just on the sighting itself, no noise, nothin’, I’d say it was a gorilla. But there’s no gorillas in Canada. And it didn’t walk on all fours. It was upright, you know.”

JS decided to hunt in another spot the rest of the week. He didn’t get his moose.