A listener writes “Wes, I am an avid hunter in Michigan. We hunt all over the lower peninsula of Michigan for everything from squirrels and grouse to whitetail deer.
This encounter occurred the morning of November 20, 2020.
The area we hunt is thick swamp, there isn’t much agricultural operations going on within several square miles due to the low lying land. Two creeks run through the 30 acre parcel we hunt on. It is incredibly thick with briars and saw grass. To the north of there are large oak woods the deer feed in. The low ground is perfect bedding habitat for the deer and they funnel out to the oak woods to feed. The lot is set up in a narrow rectangle. Maybe 150 yards wide and it runs deep north to south. We have several stands set up on the property but this particular morning we were hunting the northeast and northwest corners.
My son wanted to hunt this year. He just turned 16. I asked if he wanted me to sit with him. He had hunted a couple of years ago during Michigan’s youth hunt and shot a little six point. I sat with him in a two man stand to help him do things the right way. This year he wanted to try it alone. He had his hunter safety certification and was old enough so I agreed to let him get after it. His stand is on the east side of the property and there is a trail that runs across the property to the stand I was going to sit in (maybe 100 yards apart). I would drop him off at his stand and then sneak down the trail to mine. He had hunted a a handful of times before this particular morning.
The morning of the encounter wasn’t unlike any other morning hunt. We always try to get in stand 30 minutes before legal light. This particular morning legal light was 7:11. We began heading to the stands around 6:20. My son is still new to hunting and makes a tremendous amount of noise as he negotiates his way through the woods. Any animal within 100 yards heard us coming and probably scattered before we could hear them. As we approached his stand location we heard rustling to the north. Maybe 30 or 40 yards from his stand. This was surprising to me considering the amount of noise he made getting in there. Then we heard a single “whoop” maybe 15 yards to the north of his stand. It sounded enough like a coyote for me to write it off in my mind. It didn’t sound right but pretty close. It was enough to make me pucker, and the feeling that “something was off” was very real. So much so, I stayed there until my son was safely up in his stand. Then I walked the remaining 100 yards to my stand hastily. I didn’t feel dread or but something just wasn’t right.
I got to my stand and settled in. Replaying the “whoop” over and over in my head. I have coyote hunted a little, and I have heard them hundreds of times. It was low pitched and raspy and it was just the one. I thought maybe the rustling we heard further north were other coyotes and the single one let out a quiet warning call to alert the others. I convinced myself that was what happened and got ready for first light.
About 5 minutes before legal light my son texted me asking when legal light was. I told him the time and he could check his phone. We sat the rest of the morning and he pestered me a couple times about heading out early. I finally gave in and we left. That was where I thought the story ended.
Fast forward to this past weekend. My nephew came over and we were catching up. We started talking about hunting stories and I told him about the “whoop” and how anxious it made me. My son was with us and he then shared the details of his morning’s hunt that day. He said as the woods were getting lighter he saw a huge black figure walking on all fours on the south side of the creek we crossed. A distance of 40 to 50 yards. He thought it was a huge deer but the body shape was off. He said the back was arched very high like a human bending over to pick something up. He raised his gun to get a look through the scope and could see longer hair. He said it was fuzzy, but that could be a result of the low light. He watched for 5 minutes going back and forth along the creek hunched over with its back up. He said it remained hunched over and never could get a good look at the face, he could just make out the body mass and four legs.
He convinced himself it was deer, and only after he told us his story out loud did he realize the absurdity of his conclusion. After that he has really become uncomfortable with talking about this encounter. He has lost his desire to hunt and camp as well. He was a non-believer (as are my wife and 2 daughters) but about 6 weeks ago my wife asked him if he believes and he changed his tune.
I know this is a long winded e mail and I am sorry the story is mostly 2nd hand but I figured it may be one more piece of information for your database. There have been some other strange things too on the property but it is all circumstantial.
I hope this finds you well, and I appreciate your time. You are doing a great service for people everywhere that have encounters and no where to turn. Keep up the great work!”