Geographical Index > United States > Colorado > Eagle County > Report # 27075|
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, December 30, 2009.
Bowhunter witnesses woodknocking behavior outside the town of Burns
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COUNTY: Eagle County
LOCATION DETAILS: (Edited at witness's request)
NEAREST TOWN: Burns
NEAREST ROAD: CO 131
OBSERVED: Monday August 31 2009 was the 3rd day of Coloradoís archery elk season. The day before I was hunting a familiar ridge and noticed a remote looking hanging valley across from the ridge I was hunting and decided that if I didnít get into any elk that afternoon I would try to get into the hanging valley early the next morning. Monday morning I started out before light. By 6:30 I was climbing up a steep elk trail through a patch of very thick forest. I remember thinking that I had never been in this area before despite the fact that I had hunted this unit for over a decade and that this patch of forest was as close to ďold growthĒ as I had ever seen in central Colorado.
I climbed onto a flat swampy and very lush area filled with thickets of brush. I started to feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck and I was sure that I had found the spot where I would have an opportunity at a bull. I could see a fairly large clearing just past the brush with a large wallow in the middle. I set up behind a thicket with a clear shot into the clearing, knocked an arrow set down the bow and blew on the hyper hot cow call 3 times. Immediately I heard him coming in from about 100 yards away but not from the direction I expected. He was coming in from just to the left of where I had just walked through. I was surprised he wasnít catching my scent. I could here him coming in very quickly through some very thick timber just past the clearing. I had my bow ready and I could see shadows move as he approached but I couldnít make out an elk. He stopped in the timber just outside the clearing at 30 yards and then it got super quiet. I didnít want to move a muscle so I just sat there motionless for 5 minutes and then blew the cow call again, nothing but silence. I waited another 5 minutes and decided he had blown my cover and left silently. I noticed it was 7:15.
I got up and walked over to the wallow and I remember thinking that I had never seen an elk wallow look anything like this before. It looked like a tub made by man. It was perfectly rectangular, about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide and about a foot deep and appeared that the mud had been scooped out by hand. The water was perfectly clear so I knew nothing had used it recently. I admired it for a minute and then started hunting up through this hanging valley. I hunted all day up through the valley and to the top of the mountain without seeing any elk or much fresh sign. I started down the mountain thinking I really wanted to find that wallow again not so much to hunt today but to have a better sense of how to find it in the future.
At about 4:00 I knew I was getting close but I was exhausted from battling the timber all day. Then I stumbled upon another wallow that was also very strange. This one was round and about 7-8 feet in diameter, quite deep with the mud walls scooped up like a mini volcano cone. I remember getting a very weird feeling while looking at this wallow. How could an elk roll in the mud and create this perfectly round hole in the ground? This one had been used very recently because the water was very muddy and there was fresh mud all over the surrounding brush and trees. I started waking down the hill towards the first wallow and realized I was on a heavily traveled game trail, I followed it down the hill about 300 yards and it dropped me into the clearing from the morning. I walked over to the first wallow once again admiring how handmade it looked. I took one step away from the wallow towards the direction that I had entered the area that morning and started to hear a knocking sound. At first I really didnít pay attention but then I realized that it wasnít timed with the breeze and not consistent. I stopped the sound stopped. I took a step and knock, knock. I took a couple more steps and knock, knock, and knock much louder. Ok now the hairs are standing up on my neck as I realize the knocking is directly timed with my movements. The sound is coming from inside the swampy thicket area about 60 yards from the edge of the clearing. I get to the edge and stop the sound stops. I take a step to the right and knock, knock. A few steps to the left and knock, knock ,knock very loud this time. So know I think there must be a bow hunter in a tree stand in there who is messing with me and Iím starting to get mad. I decide to take off my backpack and sneak in there where the knocks are coming from as quietly as a seasoned bow hunter can. I notice that as soon as I enter the brush I no longer hear any knocking. I keep sneaking in and finally get to where the sound was coming from and nothing. I search the area high and low looking in every tree for a tree stand and nothing. Now Iím really mad and go crashing out of there the way I came in. I get back to the clearing and swing my pack onto my back and knock, knock, knock, knock very hard coming from right where I was just standing a couple of minutes ago. Now Iím totally freaked out. I grab my binoculars and start glassing through the brush and timber looking for a window that I could see through. I take a couple steps to my right while looking through the binoculars and I see a log swing through the air and hit a dead tree, Knock. I quickly try to focus on the spot when it comes into focus in a small sight window through the brush. I can see a large grayish black hairy figure, I see its torso, arm, shoulder, elbow and hand clutching a log about 4Ē in diameter and smacking it against a dead tree, knock, knock. I move to try and get a better look but it moves from the window but as it does I distinctly see its movement. It was a very human like move as it turned I could see it turn at the hips while its arm swung in time with the movement just like a person would look while walking and turning 90 degrees. Realize I am looking through binoculars at 60 yards so all of this is crystal clear. It was totally covered with hair about 3 to 4 inches long and appeared to be matted with mud. I judge that its elbow was at least 5 feet off the ground.
Almost going into complete panic now I start running the other way. I only take a few steps and force myself to calm down. I tell myself that if that animal wanted to harm me it would have already done it. So I start walking diagonally away from it in a direction that will get me off of this shelf. The knocking continues intermittently as I put yards between us, when I get about 150 yards away I hear what I can only describe as the sound of a log flying through the air crashing through the brush and hitting the ground with a thud at about 50 yards from me. I never heard any more sound but as I worked my way down through the dark timber I found myself on a heavy game trail and I came on a switch back where a tree had fallen or been pushed over. As I approached I could see and smell this rancid black liquid on the ground where the tree used to stand. I can only describe it as a huge puddle of pitch black diarrhea buzzing with flies. There did not appear to be anything in it like chokecherry seeds or hair or bone that you would associate with bear shit. I see lots of bear sign and this certainly didnít appear to be bear.
I got off of that slope as quickly as possible without further incident. It was an hour and a half back to camp. I arrived in camp disappointed to find that all 3 of my hunting partners had already left. It was a long semi sleepless night in the tent with my pistol by my side but uneventful.
(Edited only to add a few paragraph breaks for ease of reading.)
ALSO NOTICED: In retrospect I think of the bull elk coming into my cow call that morning and never heard the sound of hooves hitting down timber. Usually that distinct sound is heard when a bull come into a call unless he comes in silently. The next week one of my hunting partners went looking for the wallow which he found and said that there several dried puddles of that same black diarrhea in the area and that resting against a bush next to the wallow was a log about 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet long and the end was waterlogged like it had been in the wallow for a while and then set against the bush. I don't remember seeing it when I was there.
OTHER WITNESSES: just myself
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 4:30 pm
The weather was nice, sunny, warm
ENVIRONMENT: A flat shelf at the bottom of a hanging valley surrounded by thick steep forest.
Follow-up investigation report:
After over four hours of discussions in three phone interviews, I am confident in the word, ability and judgment of this witness. John M. is 44 years old and an avid outdoorsman who has been regularly backpacking and hunting since 1983, and primarily concentrated in the same area of this report where he and his hunting partners have taken 8 elk in the last 11 years.
While there have been many various reported observations over the years which have led to the consideration and growing assumption by many researchers of possible wood-knocking attributed to sasquatch, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first report claiming to have observed such behavior but, because of the detail provided in this submission, not much in the way of additional information was obtained.
In the initial approach immediately after his calling, John estimates that the then-assumed elk loudly and quickly approached from a distance of about 100 yards to 30 yards in about 10 seconds, remaining just out of sight and in the nearest thick cover, although brief and fleeting glimpses of movement were seen a few times along the way as stated. He estimated that the entire duration of the later knocking incident was approximately 25-30 minutes.
Although he did not look closely, because he was not yet considering anything unusual, no particular tracks were noticed around the wallows due to the mostly grassy surrounding ground, as apparent in a picture taken by his partner of the first wallow and provided during our conversations.
After this incident and upon returning to his campsite, John found that his three hunting partners had left the area. When asked about this, he explained that he had expected that two of them may have left already but was a bit surprised to find that his primary hunting partner had also gone, although it was at the end of their intended stay and they had not necessarily agreed otherwise. He spent the night alone at the campsite, which was a considerable distance from the specific location of this incident, and contacted his partner the following day upon his return to Vail. That partner returned the following weekend for a closer look and was easily able to find the location described in part because he had left several red flagging markers along the way marking his trail.
While, like most people, the witness was somewhat aware of the subject of bigfoot, he had no particular interest or belief in it and did not seriously consider its possible presence in Colorado. Because of this encounter, he is now personally convinced of the reality of this creature and intends on continuing his own study. "I'm certain enough that I want to pursue it. Before this happened, there's no way you would have convinced me to spend $600 on some trailcams to go hunt bigfoot."
The witness desires to keep the location undisclosed so as not to generate any additional attention and pressure to his preferred hunting grounds but mainly because he now intends to attempt further research efforts of his own in this specific location in this regard. An on-site visit with John and his partner and a few BFRO researchers is intended this coming summer and a cooperative relationship is expected.
This location is near the Flat Tops Wilderness which has been the subject of several previous reports and investigative efforts by current Colorado BFRO members. As such, we have confidence in the area generally as to its suitability as a potential habitat area for these creatures.