FarArcher

What Triggered your Bigfoot Encounter?

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When you've had some "action," what were you doing, or what had you been doing previously to "trigger" them to react - come in closer, howl, throw something, or roar?  Were you cooking, noisy, splitting wood, playing a radio, or even dancing around a fire?

 

I think it would be interesting if we thought about those moments and try to figure out what these things find "interesting," what ticks them off, what they find offensive, or find a curiosity.

 

Our fire pit was about a hundred yard from where we had pitched our tents - and it seemed that if we were shining our flashlights in the trees above us - we'd later that night get pebbles thrown at our tents.  Other nights when we stayed up a while around the fire laughing and talking, our hair was standing on end as there was something nearby and up the slope above us apparently hanging around and observing.

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I know the one/ones in my closest area really doesn't like it when we bring someone new. One likes to let us know by snapping thick hardwood trees in two with the intent that he knows we hear him and that he got his point across. Other than that I've never personally noticed them doing anything on purpose for something we did.

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When I got yelled at, I took a different path than usual that I "believe" cut the BF off from the rest of their family and the way back to their home.  I believe their scream was a warning to retreat back from whence I came so they could get back to their family.    It is hard to explain without a map, but if you saw it on the map you would immediately understand.

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I don't think there is a "trigger" other than just being available.   It is **possible** (not sure of the likelihood) that in at least some locations I've been seen by them often enough to be identified not as "a" person but as "that" person and, through long observation, they've decided closer approach to me might be less risky than it would be with an unknown, or known/problem, person.   Perhaps that is a trigger of a vague sort.   The alternative is that what happens to me is happening to lots of people, they're just not paying attention, not noticing.    That's possible ... an awful lot of people are just plain oblivious ... condition 0 or condition white ... mentally checked-out.

 

I'm not doing anything deliberate to entice a response, just making myself available by going where I think they are most likely to be, then doing what I do when I get there: hunt, fish, backpack, camp, explore, look for wildflowers, etc. 

 

I guess with one exception.   One time camping with "my research group", which seems to be once every couple years, we were messing around drumming, playing guitars, flutes, etc and things got "heavy".   No screams, roars, knocks, or anything like that, but at one point, it felt like being inside a balloon that was being compressed.   Firelight didn't go as far out into the dark even though the fire hadn't changed.  Heavy, ominous vibe, etc.   That didn't seem a reasonable or predictable outcome of the quite light-hearted action we were engaged in. 

 

MIB

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^Neighbors just subtly suggesting you keep it down so they could sleep? I keed. Very interesting account.

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A year or so after that campout I noticed a story on a hunting forum.   I contacted the guy who posted it.   He and his dad were out quail hunting.   They'd parked and headed down a skid road a ways when they heard a screamer coming downhill toward their car apparently using an extension of the same skid road.   They hauled for the car and exited.    Turns out that location where they parked is almost exactly a mile uphill from where we were camped.  (Not the same year.)    What ran out of our camp (oh, maybe I didn't mention that?) when raided the "john" at the far end for more toilet paper went across the creek heading the other direction ... never saw it.   Same night.  Not sure. 

 

Anyway, I'd like to put out some trail cams but there are quite a few locals wandering around there.  Putting cams out where they can cover those skid roads also puts them were they can be seen and stolen.  

 

MIB

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^Am I following you correctly: are you saying "something" raided your "privvy" area for TP? Sounds more like human behavior, but who knows?

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No, sorry.  Let me redo that.  :)   

 

Some of the small USFS campgrounds are "closed" in the sense you can't just drive into them, but they're maintained and available for rental.    A buddy and I rented one for our group.   Our group wasn't very big so we decided to "huddle up" at one end of the campground instead of scattering out.   The last night we ran low on TP in the outhouse at the end of the campground we were using so I walked up to the other end to get more from the outhouse up there.    It was after dark, in a canyon, under timber, but because of the white dust on the road I could see well enough that I left my flashlight off and put it in my pocket.    It took me a while to walk up and back.   Something got between me and the campfire apparently without realizing i was out there in the dark.   I was still out in the dark, but close to the illuminated area, when something bolted from between me and the fire and ran off into the deeper dark.  

 

That was about 2 hours, maybe, before the "heavy" set in.

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1 hour ago, MIB said:

No, sorry.  Let me redo that.  :)   

 

Some of the small USFS campgrounds are "closed" in the sense you can't just drive into them, but they're maintained and available for rental.    A buddy and I rented one for our group.   Our group wasn't very big so we decided to "huddle up" at one end of the campground instead of scattering out.   The last night we ran low on TP in the outhouse at the end of the campground we were using so I walked up to the other end to get more from the outhouse up there.    It was after dark, in a canyon, under timber, but because of the white dust on the road I could see well enough that I left my flashlight off and put it in my pocket.    It took me a while to walk up and back.   Something got between me and the campfire apparently without realizing i was out there in the dark.   I was still out in the dark, but close to the illuminated area, when something bolted from between me and the fire and ran off into the deeper dark.  

 

That was about 2 hours, maybe, before the "heavy" set in.

 

MIB, a bit interested in the one that bolted between you and the fire.

 

If you think about it, and I'm sure you have since occurrence, but if you'll favor me, I have just a few questions

 

How far away were you from the point the critter crossed, and how far do you guess was the fire it "blocked out?"

 

How confident are you that the critter missed you?  Or could he have been aware of you and just decided to bolt anyway?

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I said critter 'cause I'm not absolutely sure what it was. 

 

I'm not sure it crossed in front of me ... I'll get back to that in a sec. 

 

Campground layout ... the campground is elongated occupying a strip between a modest sized creek and the one lane paved road paralleling it.   They're less than 100 yards apart.   The paved road is a dividing line with second growth douglas fir and alder on the creekward side and more open white oak forest above.   The firs, along with manzanita and canyon live oak, continue on up the hill across the creek.   I would say it's all been logged at least once and probably placer mined as well.   I think the campground is probably sitting on placer tailings because it is abnormally flat for otherwise steep country.     So ... from the perspective driving off the pavement down into the campground, about a quarter of the campground is to the right.  This is downstream.   The dirt road forms a loop and the outhouse for that end of the camp ground is in the middle.   We camped in that end parking along the creekward side of the loop with our tents between the road and creek.  Mine was farthest to the right, at the downstream-most point on a graveled bench about 2 feet below road level.   I think we had 6 tents.   The picnic table and biggest fire pit was directly creekward across from the outhouse.   We had 3 tents right and 3 tents left of the picnic table.    The upper end of the campground was empty.   For half the distance that way, there was a lower bench yet between road and creek.   Beyond that, the road formed another loop with more camp sites, picnic tables, and the other outhouse (which I raided for TP).   My research partner and I almost set up our tents up there away from the group but eventually decided to be more sociable.   The upper end was better because the paved road was rising away from the creek at that end ... not that there was much traffic at all anyway.   Across the creek at the upper end there seemed to be another bench.  

 

So it was after dark.  I walked up the road to the upper section, maybe 200-300  yards to the other outhouse.   Going that direction the creek was to my right.   Grabbed the TP.   Came back.   I passed the skinny section, creek now to my left, with that lowered bench below me, and was just coming back to where it opened back up.   Whatever it was, it flushed from my left and went left toward the creek.    I first heard it maybe 10-15 feet left of the road and 20-25 feet ahead of me.     I'd say the fire was roughly 75 yards away.   It was bright ahead of me but not illuminating me.

 

You know how sometimes things don't add up right?   This didn't add up right.   The simple, scoftic rationalization is it was a deer.   There were three very heavy thuds like a bounding deer makes.   The problem where that falls apart is that's all there was, end, finished, no continuation.   A deer, once it reaches that speed, has to either continue bounding, even if it is slowing down, or it has to break into a 4 footed run, even if it is slowing down.   They are entirely incapable of just stopping.    It didn't reach the creek.   It didn't splash.   There were no rolling of the loose head sized rocks by the creek.   There was no big thud on the other side necessary for something leaping the creek.   The 4th thud, or "run off", which is **unavoidable** if that was a deer did not occur.    If "whatever it was" came across the pavement, it could have crossed in front of me, but I think it is more likely it came from across the creek.   

 

Not that it really matters, but across the creek, up roughly a quarter mile, there is a road.   Dead ends.   That road is pretty level around the mountain weaving through an incredible brush patch ... more of that second growth fir, manzanita, and canyon live oak.   There might be old timber along the ridge top, I don't remember, but it's quite a ways up.   

 

When things got "heavy" later on, the sense of origin was across the road loop beyond the outhouse but on our side of the pavement, in the brush just down-creek from the entrance road.   Not really hostile, just stern and disapproving.   Earlier in the evening the bushes across the loop from us were fairly well lit up.   When that was happening, it was dim at the outhouse mid-way and dark behind it ... creepy.   Fire was stoked up, the light just wasn't penetrating.  

 

The screamer I mentioned ... from the entrance to the campground, go 75 yards downstream and there's a draw heading up the hill with a road up it.    After a long bumpy ways the road cuts upstream across the creek and winds up onto a flat area that's partial cut.   That's where the quail hunters were parked.   I've parked there quite a few times myself  hunting over the years.

 

Um ... did I answer what you were trying to ask or did I get distracted in details?

 

MIB

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I think sometimes you can trigger a reaction. The forest preserve outside the town I lived, was one I used to take walks in and look around. I have a picture of a foot print and hand print  from there. I left 2 jars of peanut butter before, The first one was taken from the hollow of a tree were i left it, which was off trail.. Took me about 1 hour to find the jar. The lid was off and all the peanut butter gone and there was 3 large indents on the jar that looked like fingers pushed into the jar. I never found the other. This forest preserve wasn't well used. As the forestry person i talked to called it the most well hidden forest preserve. Hardly anyone uses it. My sighting was in another forest preserve about 10 miles straight south of us. It actually vocalized twice at me. Both times it was a grunt. But It seemed as though it was communicating. This was maybe 10 minutes before i saw it. I believe it was the same one from the forest preserve by my town and it recognized me and i was by myself. There is enough cover to go from one preserve to the other.

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Lots and lots of research and being uber familiar with a large contiguous woods for 25 years. 

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What triggered my "encounter" was simply stopping my truck in plain view of one that was 150 yards away, downhill across a clearcut, by the side of a large creek. That action caused him/her to stand up from a crouch at the opposite creek bank, turning away from my truck, and hauling hairy butt up the other side of the creek across the clearcut on that side up to timberline and cover. I got the feeling that I had interrupted a pleasant afternoon's cool drink break, or maybe a productive crawfish feed. No "look backs", no pauses, just up the hillside and gone.

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