A listener writes “Hi Wes, I was turned on to your show this past summer just because I just started listening to pod cast. I’ve had two sightings. I have been a professional guide all over the USA for the past 30 years, mainly focusing on elk in the western states. I currently live in Kentucky and it seems like it’s starting again.
My first encounter happened in 1998 in the Pike National Forest just below Pikes Peak. I was with the head guide our camp cook and four hunters. I had found this place in the wilderness area that we’ve never hunted in the summer while scouting. After a successful 6 day hunt we we’re packing out 2 bulls and 2 mule deer bucks along with our string of pack horses along with the clients. It was a 5 hour ride in and out and as we were coming up the last mountain half way up my horse vegan to act very strange, as if there were snakes on the ground. He wouldn’t go forward at all. We were in a almost 180 degree bend in the trail and from my position leading the pack string I was looking directly at the head guide who was asking me what was going on. I answered by saying that I thought there was a bear or MTN Lion close by. He told me to get off my horse and lead him up the trail.
As I dismounted I did so on the uphill side of the MTN. The same time I dismounted this creature who I could only see the head and the shoulders came bounding down the middle of the pack string and my clients. Because my horse was between me and it I only saw the the head and shoulders.
The animals were startled as I watched it disappear straight down the mountain. The head guide had his pistol drawn but the creature was gone as fast as it appeared. The clients were silent but very startled as were their horses. After a few words with the head guide I mounted my horse and continued with a very fast pace to the trail head.
Once at the trailer we loaded the live stock and the meat and the cook took the clients in his suburban while the head guide and I got in my truck pulling the horse trailer. Before separating the head guide instructed the clients to not say anything around the other clients back at the lodge.
The hour drive back to the lodge was one of “what the hell did we just see”? At that time I didn’t really believe in bigfoot, I like everyone else had seen the Patterson film but thought little of it as an adult. The next day instead of letting the ranch hands drive the clients down to Colorado springs to board their flights the head guide and I took ours, which was a rarity unless we were guiding high profile clients. He had his horse trailer on his truck and after dropping off our still startled clients we went back to the trail head where we rode back to where the incident happened.
During the summer we ran a guide school where we taught folks the art of Western big game hunting to include tracking.
When we arrived at the site we tied our horses and went to where the creature had crossed. We found one good footprint and several partials. The head guide pulled out of his saddle bags the mixture to cast the prints. We were able to get one good one which I still have to this day.
Fast forward exactly one year later. By this time I had my own clients who rebooked with me year after year. So this particular week I was waiting on two brothers from Pennsylvania that I had guided before. The day of their arrival they called telling me that their father had just past and that they weren’t able to make it. This left me without clients for 8 days. So I decided that I would take the time and go elk hunt myself. I chose to go back to the wilderness area because I knew there were some giant bulls in there and that the rut was about to kick into high gear. The only person I told where I was going was the head guide. He said to watch out for big hairy guys with a grin.
I’ve always been a big backpack hunter and this time would be no different. It’s about a 6 hour walk in to the hunting area. I arrived at the camp site around 4 pm and set up my tent beside a beaver pond that was at the bottom of the valley. I caught a few brookies for dinner and as the sun was going down the bulls began to bugle and it lasted all night. I awoke the next morning well before daylight made a cup of coffee and gathered my gear which was only a recurve bow a small pack with food and a knife along with my 10X50 Zies binoculars.
As I approached the meadow I went by two other beaver ponds that had a ton of rutting elk sign around them. It was barely daylight when I made it to my glassing spot on some rocks that overlooked most of the meadow. I got situated and I laid out a bugle to locate the elk. There were bugles coming from all directions but there was one that came from the beaver pond where I had just past. With the sun coming up but not over the mountain I focused my binoculars towards the beaver pond. I thought I was watching a bull in the pond but all of a sudden this thing stood up. I was only about 100 yards or so from it and it was looking right at me.
It was drinched in water and my only thought at the time was you may only get one shot if this thing comes at me. I served 6 years in the US Army 75th Special forces.
As I sat and watched this thing it turned and went up the other side of the valley towards my camp where it squatted down as if to take a #2.Several minutes passed and it suddenly stood up again and made it’s way over the hill opposite of where I was at which was about 600 yards.
I let several more minutes elapse to make sure it wasn’t circling me, and finally got my wits about me and went to my camp, packed it up and began my 3 1/2 hour hike out. I all but ran out of there. When I arrived at my truck it was just before lunch where I stopped to get more water and head back to the lodge.
When I arrived the head guide was their with his clients after taking a bull that morning. I told him the story and that was the last we ever spoke about it.”