Jan 8

I Will Never Hunt In The Panhandle Again

A listener writes “I grew up in the country where hunting and being outdoors were a large part of my life. I was fascinated with Bigfoot in the 70’s when I saw the Patterson-Gimlin film on TV. I thought the film was proven to be a hoax and the subject wasn’t mentioned much in the 80’s & 90’s, so I put the idea of Bigfoot out of my mind.

My best friend and I planned a week long hunting trip every year starting in 1984. We started hunting together in high school, and it was what we both enjoyed. We were bow hunters because it was more sporting and the state management areas were quiet, which presented more opportunities to see deer. A national forest in the panhandle was our preferred place to hunt and we found we had the place to ourselves every year during the bow hunting season. We would use the same hunt camp every year, located in the middle of the 500,000 plus acre state management area. We hunted there every year until 1990, when we decided to try Texas for several years until returning to the Florida panhandle in 1994.

I had several experiences throughout the years hunting there. I was able to explain them away until our 1995 trip. The 1995 hunting season started out normal and we were enjoying our vacation, but noticed the deer were not as active as they usually were. We had the forest to ourselves so we always put our tree stands close to the hunt camp. The open area around the camp allowed for great visibility and the deer were usually abundant. It was a morning hunt on a nice clear October day, and the forest was extremely quiet. The sun had been up for at least a couple hours when I saw two deer run into the clearing about 250 yards from my stand. They were headed towards my friends stand which was about 100 yards to my left. Chasing the deer was what looked to be a man dressed in black. The man was keeping up with the deer, which was the first thing I found odd. Another strange thing was the way he seemed to switch between running and crawling. It seemed that he would crawl when in thick brush and run in the clearings. The trio went by my friend first and then towards me. As they got closer, I started to get a good look at what I thought was a man. He was crawling towards me when I noticed he wasn’t in cloths, but was covered with hair. He was about 6-1/2 feet tall and built like a basketball player with extra long arms. The hair was a dark brown and was longer on the back of his head and arms. He was crawling on his finger tips and separating the bushes while he snaked his way forward. I noticed his long arms didn’t seem to taper down, but seemed to be the same diameter the entire length.

I couldn’t see its face from my downward view. I remember debating in my mind about making a noise in order to get it to stop and look my way. My fear was that if it turned my way it would forget about the deer and come after me instead. When they were at the closest point to me, I let out a gasp. He stopped, stood and turned towards me. He saw me in my tree stand almost instantly and we stared at each other. My adrenalin was pumping and I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. It felt like I was looking at his face through a tunnel. I remember that the face wasn’t human, which increased the tunnel vision effect. His eyes were large and almond shaped with no to very little whites. The eye color was a dark brown. He opened his mouth and gave me a snarling look. His teeth were larger than normal and a few were broken. The mouth was huge and the look he gave me was an ugly mix of anger and surprise. He definitely didn’t expect to see a human up a tree, and he didn’t seem happy to see me. I was relieved when he turned his attention back to the deer and continued his chase into the thick tree line. It took me several minutes to calm down. I saw him 30 minutes later about 80 yards away, standing next to the tree line. He stood there looking at me for at least 10 minutes, but it felt like an hour. At that point, I couldn’t make out any details, just a dark figure standing upright. He eventually slipped back into the trees. When I made my way back to camp, I asked my friend if he saw the man in black and he said yes. I told my friend about the “dirty” look the man gave me. He told me that he didn’t want to talk about it. When I asked him why he didn’t want to talk about it, he got agitated and said he didn’t want to talk about it again. I knew my friend well enough to know he was serious, so we dropped the subject. I didn’t sleep much that night because I couldn’t get the beings face out of my head. At about 3:00 AM, I heard bipedal footsteps around the camp and our tent. I just froze until the footsteps went away. I mentioned what I heard to my friend the next morning and he didn’t reply. I kept telling myself that it was just a man dressed in black. I was in denial and shock which caused several weeks of nightmares. I had nobody to talk to about this encounter, so kept it to myself. I had to tell myself over and over again that it was just a man so I could finally sleep again.

I didn’t think much of my experiences until I started checking into the subject on YouTube several years ago. I now believe that these were all sasquatch related. It started with owl calls that were not owls. We saw unusual lights in the trees. I had a tree peeking experience. We both saw a pair of glowing eyes looking at us one night while we were sitting around our nightly campfire. I had a scary face-to-face with what looked like a real-life Tasmanian devil while relaxing in our hammock one afternoon. One year we had several deer herds running in the road on our way to the hunt camp. They didn’t care that we were driving right next to them. I now believe they were being chased by something scarier than humans. I also thought of the possibility that the deer were scared out in front of us on purpose. Is it possible we were being used as executioner so they could clean up the dead and wounded without doing the dirty work? The most amazing experiences were the half-awake/half asleep encounters where I engaged in conversations with several beings.

My family and I had some experiences at our new home when we first moved in, January 2007. We were the first home occupied in our subdivision and lived there many months almost alone. Our neighborhood backs up to power lines and well fields, so it was rural in 2007. I think my oldest son saw one from his bedroom window. After I went out with my pistol and yelled out to stay away from our house, we had some damage to our home and some slaps on the side of our house in the middle of the night. My family thinks that I’m crazy, but I know what I saw. I now feel fortunate that I had these experiences, but I don’t believe I would hunt in the panhandle again. Life is crazy enough without adding cryptid encounters to the list.

19 Responses to “I Will Never Hunt In The Panhandle Again”

  1. Charles R

    A whole lot to think about with this one. First I hope by coming on the show it will help with the anxiety the listener has. The subject had some broken teeth, surly that happens although this is the first time I have heard it from a witness. Or if the subject was 6.5 feet it is probable it is only a child. Could it be it had shed some of the first teeth making way for the second pair like us humans have. Half awake/half asleep and conversation with beings. Could this be a close encounter of the 4th kind? I got to spend a few days in North Florida between the holidays in 2018 with my motorcycle. I loved the huge forests, great open roads, small towns, and not that many people so much so that I told my wife it is in the running for a retirement area, just behind Eastern, TN.

  2. Colleen C

    I live in the Panhandle & would be so excited to hear this guy tell of his encounters! There are very few documented cases of Sasquatch near me which is Pensacola, FL (Escambia County). I’ve come across less than a handful. Anyone know of any other encounter stories from the NW part of the FL Panhandle? I’m only guessing but I bet this guy was in or around Marianna, FL where the caverns are.
    Pensacola, FL

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