A listener writes “The first encounter was a bluff charge that I experienced with my father-in-law and one other hunter. We had set up in the Coastal Mountain Range off of highway 26 about 30 minutes outside of Seaside, Oregon.
My father-in-law’s friend had gotten a very nice bull a few mornings prior to the incident and we had a very good idea where the herd was. We were bow hunting in September, 2015. I got to camp around 8 am the first morning, my father-in-law, Tad, was out with his friend hunting. As soon as I stepped out of my truck I got an extremely uneasy feeling, the palpable feeling of dread that people talk about. I worked through it and got my stuff out and set up. Tad came back to the camp and him and I went out scouting and hunting. He did not know where the elk had bedded down and we weren’t getting any bugles so we were just walking looking for sign and getting an idea where we would set up the next morning.
The first strange incident of the trip happened when we came around a tree and heard what sounded like something very large jump down and run off. This was extremely strange because neither of us saw what it was and the woods were not very thick in that area. It was all old growth with an extremely thick canopy and mostly bare dirt and pine needles on the ground with very little vegetation. When we got around the tree there was a dead cow elk on the ground and it had been torn to pieces. This incident scared my father-in-law very badly. He did not tell me then, but he had been feeling that dread the whole time that he had been there. We both just assumed that it was a large mountain lion and that was a scary enough thought because it would have been directly above us. Looking back, I am not so sure that it was a cougar because of how heavy the foot steps were, and this could have been the incident that got the sasquatch mad enough to run us out of the area.
We got back to camp in the evening and made dinner. We had done a great deal of hiking and were very tired. After we ate, the three of us hung out for a while before getting in our tents and going to sleep. I had a very hard time going to sleep because the dread grew to an almost overwhelming sensation as I was lying there by myself in my tent. I had my .44 magnum with me, but it was such a powerful sensation that I got up and jumped into my truck and slept there. My alarm went off at 4:00 am, after very little sleep. I would like to note that this is not normal for me, I have spent many nights in the woods alone, I have been hunting Oregon for more than a decade and I am extremely comfortable in the wilderness.
We all got up and got ready very quickly, the place that we were going to set up was only about a half mile from where we were camped and when we got there the sun still had a while to come up. When we got out of the truck we were quiet as can be. We were going to walk up about 50 yards from the truck to a gate where we thought the elk herd would be. We were going to wait there. It was so dark that we took our time at the truck, and the woods were dead quiet. I know that you have heard this a million times, but it is the strangest thing how quiet the woods are prior to an encounter. The air almost felt completely still and walking through it felt like the air had mass. I walked up front and my father in law was going to set up about 20 yards behind me to start cow calling.
As soon as we separated at the spot where he was going to sit, the woods erupted. First it sounded like trees were crashing down just off the road, then I was hit with the most forceful noise that I have ever felt in my life. It was the most intense noise that I have ever heard, by a very wide margin. It sounded like 100 pit bulls barking in unison plus a tiger growl and sustained for an amount of time that would seem impossible. The end of the noise got very strange, the pitch went high and it sounded almost like Chewbaca from Star Wars, only higher pitched. It was only about 30 feet in front of me up to my right side. I nearly fell over and became petrified with fear. I actually thought for a moment that I had been hit with something. I don’t know how I held onto my bow, the 44 mag on my hip did not even cross my mind. I forced my legs to move and I shoved my father in law toward the truck where the other man was clamoring as fast as he could to get it started. I ran passed the truck because he was taking too long to start it, but he got it going. And when I turned around I saw it on the road. It was still very dark out and it was just beyond the reach of the tail lights. You could see the outline very clearly though because it was darker than the surrounding night. I did not see eyes that I can remember, just the outline of a monster standing on two legs with insane broad shoulders.
We drove out of there as fast as that old truck would take us. We did not go back to the camp because it was too close. We drove into Seaside. We were silent until we got onto the highway when I asked, “What the f*@k was that?” and we talked about what everyone saw for the rest of the morning.
When the sun was fully up we decided to go to our camp to collect our stuff and leave. When we got to our camp there was a 5 inch diameter pine tree with a 2 inch diameter growth that was growing directly up with it twisted and broken into the awning that was over our table. It had damaged the awning and it was such an impressive feet of strength that we all took that as a warning and we packed up as quickly as possible.
A couple years after this incident I took a researcher to the campsite and the twisted, broken tree was still there. He cut the twist section out and still has it. Even after being dead for a long while it is still an incredibly impressive sight.
I have one other encounter that was much more peaceful that happened 2 years ago when I was hunting out in Hell’s Canyon.”