Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Sumter County > Report # 26823
Submitted by witness on Saturday, October 31, 2009.
Daylight sighting by hunter and son in Richloam Wildlife Management Area
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COUNTY: Sumter County
LOCATION DETAILS: as close as I could get with satalite maps GPS +28-27'-5.16'' 81-57'22.94'' It was right at the sumter co. lake co. line on center grade rd. by the power lines. In richloam wildlife management area, in the green swamp.
NEAREST TOWN: Mascote
NEAREST ROAD: 565
OBSERVED: Me and my 17 year old son were hunting at richloam wildlife management area. we had been walking through the swamps all morning and on various occasions there was a really fowl smell that would come and go. At that time I just figured it was the swamp.
When we got out of the swamp we were thirsty so we decided to run to the store since we had some time before we went to where we were going to hunt the afternoon. While driving out to the store we came around a curve in the road there was something really big that stepped half way behind a scrub oak alongside the road. I was only going about 20 MPH and as we went by we got a good view of what it was or at least what it looked like, as I hit the brakes while I was watching the thing in disbelief.
I was going to ignore what I saw but my son started asking me what that was and he started discribing it and he had seen the same thing I had seen, so I couldn't ignore it.
It was about 7 1/2 ft. to 8 ft.tall, about 3 1/2 ft. to 4 ft. across the shoulders, covered with dark brown hair with a redish tint standing on two legs. it looked to be fairly muscular. the face which was covered with short hair. we were able to see its eyes which were dark. the nose was flat and wide, and the mouth was wide but in proportion to its head.
ALSO NOTICED: after it took off we went over to the path it took back into the woods.
OTHER WITNESSES: my 17 yr. old son. Riding in the passenger seat of my car beside me.
OTHER STORIES: Yes on Oct. 19 2009 about 4 1/2 miles away as the crow flies, the next morning there was a deep growl and what sounded to be very large limbs or trees being broken and it sounded like it was using some of the limbs as clubs until they broke. It kept on growling as it was braking the limbs. I kind of took it as a warning.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: it was 11:34 A.M.sunny and cool
ENVIRONMENT: there is swamp, pines, palmettos and scrub oaks.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke with TP over the phone and he had these details to add to his report.
In Oct of 09, he and his son had been scouting about six miles into the swamp to locate an ideal place to hunt for deer. During the scouting trip, they both smelled an unusual, ‘nasty’ smell. When the son questioned TP about the source of the smell, TP ignored his question.
TP admitted to me that he had smelled the same odor before when he was much younger, while riding dirt bikes in the area with his friends. He stated that this was the first time he had seen this type of creature in the woods.
After coming out of the woods, they both decided to drive to the store for drinks. It was then, at approximately 11:30AM, that they turned a sharp corner on the limestone road and saw a 'bigfoot' standing near the side of the road.
"I knew what I saw. I knew that it was a bigfoot" Stated TP, "But I kept going, while keeping my eye on it. I guess I was in a state of disbelief. I only stopped because my son said, ‘Dad, was that what I think it was?’ It was then that I had to admit to myself what I saw, and turned around. By then it was gone.”
-The sighting lasted for approximately 10-15 seconds as they were driving by at approximately 15-20 MPH.
-The distance from the creature from the closest point was about 20-25 feet away, near the right side of the road.
-When first seen, the creature was standing near the edge of the road partially obscured by a scrub oak, with one leg upraised behind it.
“It looked like it was about to step onto the road. Then, when we got closer, it looked like it was trying to stay real still. After we passed it, it began backing up slowly, like it wanted to hide behind something. There wasn’t much of anything for it to hide behind, just some pine trees, scrub oaks and palmettos. By the time I passed it and got turned around, it was gone.”
- It was approximately 7 ½ to 8 foot tall. The width of its shoulders was about 3-3 ½ foot across. “Its shoulder span was about one and a half the span of my shoulders.” Stated TP.
- Its hair was a dark brown, with reddish tints. “It looked more like hair than fur.” Said TP. “The hair on its face looked shorter and the hair on its body was longer.”
- The body build was “extremely muscular."
"Its torso was thick and its arms were about as thick as my calves. The legs were also very thick and had a defined muscular appearance.”
- The hands were "huge."
- Its eyes were dark. It had a flat, wide nose. The mouth was also wide.
The ears could not be seen but as TP put it, “I could see where the ears should have been but there was hair covering that area.”
- The neck was short and the head was big. “It looked like a gorilla head. My son said that its head looked like a cross between Chewbacca’s head and a gorilla.”
Once they turned around, TP and his son got out of the truck at the spot where they saw it. TP stated that he smelled the same odor they had previously smelled while walking through the woods.
“I can’t describe it. It’s got a smell all of its own. If I had to try to describe it, I would say that it was something like a cross between a skunk, a boar looking for a sow, and something else that I just can’t describe. It’s nasty.”
They also looked for tracks, but only found large impressions in the ground as well as smashed-down palmetto plants.
TP had also related that the next day, in the same area, he heard the sounds of wood knocks, large limbs being broken, and a deep growl. TP then left the area.
“I figured that it was giving me a warning to leave. I wasn’t exactly scared of it, but I knew that it didn’t want me there, so I left.”
When asked if he would ever go back there again, TP was matter-of fact in his reply.
“I’ve been hunting those woods since I was a kid and I’ve been in my share of close calls with wild animals. Yeah, I would go out there again because I love the woods. And I hope I will see another bigfoot one day. I don’t think that they would ever intentionally try to hurt me, but with all wild animals I would treat it with the respect it deserves.”
The sighting took place on an access road near the northern portion of the Richloam Wildlife Management Area in Sumter County. Open to hunting, the Richloam area is also a favorite destination for hikers, horseback riders and campers because of its rich ecological diversity. Made up of 56,000 acres, it is one of seven large tracts of land that make up the Withlacoochee State Forest. It is composed of pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, bottomland hardwoods and cypress swamps, as well as part of the Little Withlacoochee River. Although it is popular with the outdoors community, much of it is inaccessible and remains pristine and undisturbed.
(Note-a scrub oak is a fairly scrawny member of the oak family that is characterized by numerous gnarled branches and thick leaves. It only grows to a height of about nine foot, with a bole of about four-six inches in diameter.)
About BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
Cathy has been a nurse for over 27 years and currently works in a busy ICU. An amateur naturalist, Cathy has been intrigued by the bigfoot phenomenon from an early age.
Attended the following expeditions:
- The 2006 Florida Expedition
- The 2007 North Carolina Expedition
- The 2008 South Florida Expedition
- The 2008 North Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Central Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Utah Expedition
- The 2010 TN Survey Expedition
- The 2011 East Texas Expedition
-The 2012 North FL Expedition
-The 2013 Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition
For more information, please see the Florida BFRO