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Geographical Index > United States > California > Fresno County > Report # 18325
Report # 18325  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, March 21, 2007.
Possible sighting and howls heard by deer hunters in John Muir Wilderness

YEAR: 2006


MONTH: October

DATE: 26

STATE: California

COUNTY: Fresno County



OBSERVED: It was late October 2006. My hunting partner and I were deer hunting near Heart Lake, which is located off the John Muir Trail behind Florence Lake. We'd been back there for almost a week looking for the elusive Big Daddy Buck that we've hunted religiously for the last three years. We were high up on this ridge just before nightfall. We were hiking back to our base camp and heard a loud bellowing howl that sent a shiver down our spines. We looked at each other with confused looks on our faces, not knowing what that sound was. We decided to hurry back to camp, but we heard another howl, but closer this time. We saw Big Daddy Buck running down the opposite ridge side, and busting through brush, not caring if hunters spotted him. Then again, we heard that bellowing howl, and saw on top of the ridge a dark silhouette that looked like a bear standing on its hind feet. I brought my rifle scope to my eye to take aim on this so-called bear. As I looked through the scope, I realized it was no bear. I thought it could have been a really tall man in some kind of camouflage suit, but it looked like no man that I have ever seen. It ran down the hill and disappeared into the brush, like it was chasing the deer. So we decided to go and track down this creature. Once we arrived at where it was standing, there was a footprint in the dirt that made my footprint look like a child's footprint. It was four times the size of mine.

We never saw the creature again and never heard that howl, but then again, I've never gone back since then.

ALSO NOTICED: A dead female deer was found hung in a tree nearby. This could have been done by a mountain lion, but is interesting nonetheless.

OTHER WITNESSES: Just me and my hunting partner.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 6:15 pm in low light.

ENVIRONMENT: Mountain ridge, pine forest with creeks and meadows in the area.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:

I spoke to the witness by phone on 4/18/07. The following details can be added to the report:

• A howl was first heard at 6:30 or 7:00 AM. It was described as a deep, bellowing howl, rising and lowering in pitch in a bell-curved fashion, and lasting about 1.5 seconds.
• The encounter happened later that evening at approximately 6:00 PM on the ridge line north of Heart Lake.
• The creature was between 150 and 200 yards away when it was spotted.
• When it ran off downhill, it was going at least as fast as the large deer it was following, if not a little faster. Deer can run up to 35 miles an hour. It was due to the creature’s speed that the witness is absolutely positive that this was no man in a ghillie suit.
• The size of the creature is estimated at seven to eight feet tall, with a weight of at least 400 pounds.
• It ran with a hunched-over gait. It easily ducked under tree branches as it ran without losing speed. Its arms swung in a normal, human-like way as it ran.
• The footprint was more of an indistinct impression. Its estimated length was over 14 inches.

About BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman: