A dear friend of mine, who has now passed, once told me while sitting around a bonfire in Northern Minnesota, that he knew a fellow personally who had seen what he referred to as "Bigfoot" in the heavily wooded country north of Grand Rapids. He had been driving along HIghway 38 and was in the vicinity of Kremer Lake when it crossed the road in front of him.
(Coincidently, years later, my uncle and I had seen a black creature cross the road in the same area. We were pretty sure what we saw was a bear, but it still gave me the chills.)
My friend had done his share of driving logging trails late at night hoping he, too, would one day see Bigfoot. He never did; not that he ever told. But he did say there were stories of sightings he was aware of, and that it was not uncommon for him to run across others driving around at night hoping for a glimpse of Bigfoot.
My curiosity for the subject grew over the years. I read books, and watched documentaries whether it be on Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti or whatever other large, hairy, human-like creatures had been sighted and thought to exist. But that didn't really mean that much to me until I started having a few strange experiences of my own. Let me tell you some stories.
Strange Calls, Frightened Deer
This brings me to deer hunting 2008. I had followed a logging trail over five miles back into a wooded area in Northern Minnesota. There was a clearing. There were just enough breezes to make the trees rub and moan a little. As it got closer to dusk, I heard a sound which resembled the sound of two trees rubbing together, only it lasted longer than any of the others had, and had stood out by tone and pitch than the others. I heard this call two times before it really struck me as odd sounding. My eyes were now stuck on that tree line, when I heard the call a third time.
And to accentuate the moment, three deer burst out of the tree line I was watching and ran along the edge of the woods for a hundred yards before heading back in. I was shocked by the coincidence, and instead of raising my rifle for a shot at the deer, I watched their back trail instead. I have heard and watched enough deer in the wild and in hunting videos to know what a buck grunt or wheeze sounds like, and the sounds I heard were not that. But, I never saw anything. Darkness came soon after. I reluctantly headed back to the Jeep, and that was the end of the event. I blew it off as an unexplained coincidence.
At Dusk, it began to move
2009. It was the last day of the deer hunting season in Northern Minnesota. I had yet to get a deer. At 5:15 pm, I unloaded my gun and set it up against the tree. The deer hunt was over, but the beautiful moment was not. It was dry, a warm breeze passed over the dry, brown leaves and blew across my face. I sat, leaned against a large Red Pine, and thought back on the season and the deer I had seen. I wondered if I could have done anything different to make my season more successful.
I had been hunting over a heavy swamp that afternoon. There was a heavy thicket along the edge of the swamp from logging done fifteen years earlier. It was one of my "old stand bys," "my last hope stand" if you will. I had hunted that area many times over the years. I had heard many deer run through the woods. In earlier years, I even watched bear move around in the swamp. Let's just say, I am very familiar with this area, and what came next was something I will never be able to explain.
Dusk had reduced clear visibility to under forty yards, but I could still see trees out to seventy yards or more. Suddenly, down in the thicket I had been watching over for the past two hours, there came such a racket that I jumped to my feet. Something had been hiding in the thicket all the while I had been sitting there, and now that it had gotten dark enough, it moved. It was moving away from me, deeper into the swamp. A deer would not have headed deeper into the swamp at this time of day on a clear night. It would have been heading to browse areas to feed. And a deer could never make the sound I was hearing. I also bear hunted for several years, and I have seen and heard them move through the woods. Never have I heard a bear make such a racket. So, what could it be?
I thought perhaps the sounds were from a moose. I could clearly distinguish between sticks being broken underfoot, as well as twigs being broken off branches higher up. And I may still chalk this encounter up to a moose, but something about this event ran a chill up my spine like I haven't had out in the woods in, well, ever. It just didn't add up that a moose would be making that much noise. I know it was not another hunter because I had circled the area earlier before taking stand, and I would have heard someone move (in the dry leaves) into stand if they had. Another unexplainable event.
I am going to add one more strange incident about the spot I just mentioned.
In the Swamp after Dark
In 2004, we were at the cabin on Memorial weekend when we decided to go for a drive at dusk. There were five of us in the Jeep as we moseyed along the gravel roads toward one of my hunting areas. A spot I usually drive to since I know the area well and am looking to observe any deer that might run across the road. Well, a few stories started inside the Jeep that night, and soon I was daring my son and friend to walk with me down this logging trail and into a deep, dark swamp that I knew of. It would require bravity on my part, as well, especially without a flashlight and barely a quarter moon.
We made it down the trail, and wiggled through a thick stand of balsam into the first part of the swamp. We were talking quietly, or little at all, at this point. I was just about to say something when the sound of heavy impressions in the moss and leaves less than forty feet from us caught our attention. Now normally, deer and bear will run off in the other direction - I have experience both after dark. But whatever this creature was, it took five or six steps towards us and slightly to our right as if circling us. I don't know whether it was the sound of the heavy steps or the fact it was coming closer that spooked us more. I led the two back out of the swamp in a hurry and we hightailed it down the trail. I really wish I would've had my camera because I am sure curious what might have showed up in the flash on that dark night.
There are many other experiences people from Minnesota and other states have had over the years, which are documented in newspapers, books and websites. If you are interested in additional reading, try some of the website links I have featured above.
Imagine that only two or three family elements of Sasquatch lived in a region, 8 to 16 creatures. A region being, say, Ontario, Minnesota and Wisconsin. A nomadic creature that bears and rears its young in the same proven safe havens. A creature that will travel hundreds of miles to find food, but is extremely elusive and nocturnal as well. A creature which will eventually return to an area I refer to as its death region where no one will ever find its bones. I can imagine a creature who travels by the sky, and may never pass the same spot twice unless it is near a mating, rearing or death area. Based on how many known critters there are in my own state of Minnesota that I have never seen even once, I have little problem believing that Bigfoot could be on the list of elusive creatures which I may never see.
On This Page
Strange Calls, Frightened Deer
At Dusk, it began to move
In the Swamp after dark
Too many sightings to dismiss
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