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Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Wreckman, Nov 9, 2013.
Perhaps you have a mating pair of Ivory Bill Woodpeckers in your neck yard?
About 15 years ago I was camping in my favorite spot in Eastern Washington by myself. I went there every weekend for 3 or 4 days at a time (I really miss my old 12 hour work schedule) so I was used to being alone. The campsite is down a steep dirt road that most people don't even know is there as it's hard to see from the pavement. I was followed down by a couple rangers in a pickup truck once that didn't realize it was there until they saw me go down.
I'd been fishing all day and was just hanging out at the campfire having a few beers, listening to the river and relaxing. Heard something stomp the ground right behind my chair, I was on the other side of the fire so fast I don't even remember getting up. Fired up the headlamp and scanned the woods, nothing. Finally settled down and a few minutes later something pounds on my truck canopy. Jumped up again and didn't see anything. Getting kind of weird. I walked all around the truck and had another hard hit right next to me, jerked my head in that direction and caught the tail end of a pine cone rolling off. Had a damn squirrel over my camp knocking down pine cones, the big, heavy, hard green ones. Not sure why he was doing it in the dark, bit I felt better.
Sat back down and had another beer, laughing at how freaked out I'd been when I had to take a leak. I wandered over to a bush away from camp and was doing my watering duties when I heard a bunch of rocks move on the other side of the bush. I looked up just in time to see a huge bloodshot eyeball a few feet away from me through the bush. Pissed all over my legs and shoes jumping away at the same time the elk I'd just scared the hell out of took off across the river. He was down along the river and I was up on the bank, so we were at eye level when I saw him through the bush.
Took a while to get to sleep that night. I knew what it was so I wasn't scared anymore, but it still had me wide awake.
Nothing happend back then but I think the morning greeted us a bit over dramaticly ;-)
Way up north past the arctic circle we put our tents up on a beautiful huge an empty beach. The next day we woke up to this scenery
17 or 18 years ago, I was into duck hunting and would frequently camp out in western Oklahoma at Ft. Cobb lake and get up early and duck hunt. It's kind of remote but there are a few houses out there. Lots of farm land near the lake. A buddy of mine was usually along for the trip but couldn't make it this time so I was solo. It was freezing cold out so I opted to car camp. I had a restless night being 6'1" and trying to sleep in the back seat of my car. I woke early around 4am and decided to move down the road and scout out a spot I'd seen on a previous trip. I got out of the car and it was cold. About 20 degrees out and dead calm with overcast skies. Very dark and I could hear my heart beating almost. The spot I wanted to check out was about a 300 yard walk down to the lake. I figured I'd walk down and look and see if it was worth dragging all my gear down there or if I should just go to one of my usual spots. I'd had a run in with some nutty red necks a few weeks prior in a boat who threatened to kick my ass for being in their spot... on public land... I had a shotgun too at the time. Anyways... that's another story. As a result, I decided to carry my pistol which at the time was a Colt .32 caliber. Pretty useless little pistol. But that's all I had so I just had it in my coat and left my shotgun in the car. I had one of those big six D cell Mag lites and headed down towards the lake.
The first park of the walk was a deer trail through these densely packed trees that were maybe an inch in diameter at most but taller than me. You can't see far in there. As I'm walking and seeing my own breath and hearing my heart beat in my ears, I keep thinking I hear something behind me. I'd hear a faint crunch or a snap. Or so I thought. I turned around to look several times and nothing was there. As I got closer to the lake the vegetation turned to big cottonwood trees. They were spooky in the darkness but I kept going and can see the lake another 50 yards ahead. I hear another snap behind me and I turn around shining my light around and there's nothing. Now, I never get scared of the dark but I'm starting to get a little freaked out. I figure my mind is just playing tricks on me. I go a little further and hear this creepy hoot owl off in the distance and another crunch. I think to myself, "screw this" and turn around to head back to the car. About then I hear something big clawing its way up a nearby tree. I shine my light all around and up into this tree. On a branch about 8 or 9 feet up and about 15 feet away, I see a mountain lion. My light hits it in the face and its eyes are glowing. Right then it lets out this blood curdling scream. It was like a woman screaming or something. It's teeth and eyes were shining in the light and steam was shooting out of its mouth. I damn near shit myself and I'm pretty sure I was screaming too. I fumbled for my pistol in my jacket pocket and in the frenzy, dropped the light. I managed to get my pistol out and just started blasting. I could see this thing jumping down and running away with each muzzle flash like it was a strobe light or something. I fell down on the ground and fumbled around for my light. I stood up and shined that light around everywhere and it was gone. My knees were about to knock together I was so scared. I was shaking uncontrollably. I was trying to check my pistol but having a hard time holding still. I finally managed to check it out. Two rounds left... I slowly made my way back to the car with my flashlight shaking almost uncontrollably. Light in one hand, gun in the other. I had to go back down the thin path with the dense trees and I was sure that thing was in there somewhere. If a mouse had jumped out and squeaked I surely would have squeezed off those last two rounds. I never saw it again and made it back to my car and locked the doors! HA!
I got the hell out of there and drove 80 miles straight back home. I'd never seen a mountain lion anywhere other than a zoo before. I had no idea they were in Oklahoma. I figured it must be some crazy redneck's nutty pet. This one wasn't too big as far as mountain lions go. Maybe golden retriever size at best. 80 pounds. But I've fought a 10 pound house cat before and felt like we were a pretty even match so, I didn't want to tangle with something that size for sure! I managed to track down the game warden's phone number and gave him a call when I got home. I asked him if he knew that there was a mountain lion on the loose out at Ft. Cobb. He then tells me that there were three of them out there that he knew of and that they weren't pets. Wild mountain lions. I had no idea. Further research told me that mountain lions are in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. Anyways, I never went duck hunting the rest of the season. After that, I sure as hell never went alone. That vision comes back to me any time I'm ever out in the dark alone now. Since then, I've seen several more over the years. A few years after my first sighting, I was mountain biking in north Texas with a group. We were down in this deep ravine and somebody spotted one up on this cliff looking down on us. Just sitting there watching. I saw another crossing a road out in western Oklahoma a few years ago. I was in my truck. Most recently, back in July, I was south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas on my DR650 out in the woods on a back road that didn't look like it had seen any traffic in a while. I spotted one running away through the woods. I must have spooked it. I got the hell outta there too.
last weekend I was camping on a farm in upstate NY. I was less than 50 yards from the hen house. I was wakened at 1:30 AM by a pack of coyotes circling and wanting to get in. Damn they made a racket! Finally they gave up and ran to the next farm. At about 3:30 I got up to release some processed beer. I took a few steps from my tent to a group of trees and brush when I heard a single loud growl. I guess maybe a black beer was in the brush. I would have thought I imagined it but it woke up my friend in another tent nearby.
Dang! Could have just been a coyote. I used to see coyotes all the time as a kid. Even when I was little, they ran away if they saw me. There's a lot less of them these days. At least in this part of the world. But I do think they're making a comeback. We lived in Anchorage, Alaska for five years when I was in the Air Force. I did a lot of hiking and outdoor stuff up there all the time. I learned to fear the moose more than the bears. It was a lot more uncommon to see a bear as they'd always run away. I saw moose every day though.
When I was in the Air Force, I flew the E-3 AWACS. I'd have to come down to Oklahoma for simulator refresher training a couple times a year. I hated doing that because it's a LONG ways and we'd fly commercial flights. Almost always red eye flights. My flight one summer was leaving at 1am in the morning. I found that I could sleep if I had a bunch of beers before I got to the airport. So, I hung outside with the neighbor and got a little trashed before my wife took me to the airport. She dumped me out front with my luggage and I went inside. Long story short, there was some sort of problem with my government funded airline ticket and I didn't make my flight. I got rebooked for a flight at 8am. By this time, it was 1am and I was feeling the effects of my evening of drinking. I elected to take a cab back home and sleep for a few hours and have my wife bring me back to the airport at 0630. It was about 3am by the time I got home and my wife was not happy about any of this. We woke up at 0545 to get ready to go back to the airport and I felt like total hell. My wife was mad at me and I wasn't showered or anything. Just had to get to the airport. I grabbed my luggage to head outside and put it in the car. At 0545 in the summer in Anchorage, it's broad daylight outside. I opened the front door, went out and slammed it behind me. Just then I heard something to my right in the flower bed. I looked over and less than ten feet away was a gigantic mama grizzly bear with two cubs. She was at least 800 pounds. Her head was as big around as a 55 gallon drum. I dropped all my crap and turned around to flee back inside and the door was locked! I was out there screaming for my wife and actually pounded a dent in the door. She let me in and was hollering at me about all the commotion. I slammed the door and looked back out and those bears were already headed into the woods across the street. I'm glad she decided to run rather than kill me like that scene with Leo in the Revenant.
I've only seen one and it was dead on the side of the road. It was on 412 by Inola, in northeastern Oklahoma. This was back when there were reported sightings but the gov't kept saying we didn't have any, back about 2005 or so. We were working so we just stopped for a minute to check it out. It was in perfect shape except for about a 2 inch gash to the side of the head, just above the neck. It looked about the right height for a car bumper. A couple hours later after work, we went back to get it. Someone had already grabbed it.
Interesting. My incident was about 2002 or 2003 I believe. I remember the same sort of thing. The game warden told me there were three of them in the area that he knew of. But the state of Oklahoma seemed to be in denial that they were here. It wasn’t long after that, that a mountain lion turned up dead north of Stillwater. It had been hit by a train apparently. I don’t know how a mountain lion manages to get hit by a train but when they found it, it had a tracking collar on. Turns out, it had been tagged with the collar eight months earlier in the black hills of South Dakota. They tracked it out into Wyoming south of Yellowstone and the Tetons a few months later. Then the collar died. A few months later, it turns up dead in Oklahoma. They have a pretty incredible range. Not long after that, a lady up around Ponca City was attacked by one in her yard.
Have you considered tying yurself up? Sems like an obvious solution.
Or just sleep naked.
Probably the worst experience riding and camping was a Mother Neff State park in Texas. The park road through the campground is used to connect two county roads, so there is traffic through the park all night long. A ranger spends his time trying to run off lovers and other nefarious meetings in the night. Of course he has to check on me to, despite knowing I'm a legal camper in the park. That pulled me out of my sleeping bag excited and angry a little after midnight.
As for mountain lions, I liked to trail run when I was young and fit and did so in Big Bend as often as I could get there. My favorite was the South Rim Trail. I was on my way back toward the Chisos Basin and had the weirdest feeling so I stopped. Noise in the bushes stopped after me. Wash, rinse, repeat. I swear I saw the cat following me, but honestly I could have been my imagination. I ran with mace after that. I don't know if it would have helped, but it made me feel better. Years later I proposed to my future Mrs. at the overlook.
Depending upon the age distribution in your marriage, one wonders if that Big Bend Cougar did indeed end up catching her prey...
Well she is older than me and we did marry later in life. Hmmm?
We spent our honeymoon in 1978 at Big Bend, poor college students but we splurged for a room. Didn't see a big cat then, but my wife saw one crossing a road the next year at Lake Pat Mayse in east Texas.
I've been going to Big Bend every year since 1973, most of it for backcountry backpacking, 4WD, and dual sport. Two years ago I saw my first mountain lion in that region on the river road right by the Woodson's turnoff toward the river. I thought I was seening things at first, but sure enough I got a clear view as I closed on it...big kitty with a big tail right in the middle of the road. There are fairly thick vegetation spots right before and after Woodson's turnoff where a couple of drainages make their way to the Rio Grande. That's the first and only time I've seen a mountain lion in the wild.
Not exactly scary, but a few of the cougar encounters on here got me thinking about what I saw on a backroad in South Texas. I was a year or two out of high school, and not everyone had cell phones yet. Me, and a few of my friends had CB's and would talk back and fourth around town and to people in the neighboring towns. I had one in my pickup, and we would go out driving around and see how far we could talk to our friends that had base stations.
Well, a friend of mine was with me one night riding around gravel roads and talking on the CB. This was late, like 1:00 in the morning, and a long sleek black animal runs out in front of my truck. At fist I thought it was a big black dog, but then I saw the long slender tale. It stopped directly in front of my truck, and looked right at us, that's when I could see the glowing green eyes reflecting in the headlights. This wasn't a dog, it was a large black panther with a velvety coat and green eyes. It stood there staring at us for what felt like an eternity, really just a few seconds, the finished crossing the road and disappeared into the brush. We immediately jumped back on the CB saying, guess what we just saw.
Around that same time some framers in the area had also reported seeing a panther. I know this wasn't the typical cougar/mountain lion, I've seen them at night too. Cougars have a much lighter tan/gold coat, closer to the color of a deer.
I believe that 100% .
Back in the mid 70's when I was a kid , I would spend alot of time in the country with my grandparents , shooting guns and
riding mini motos and playing in the woods with the country girls . Ya know , playing the show me game .
Anyway , most weekend nights the oldsters from around the way would gather , drink beer , play dominoes , tell stories , yada yada .
They would talk about a big black panther roaming the lands killing animals and what not .
Yea Yea Yea , I'm thinking its to scare us kids to keep us from wandering to deep .
I forgot about this after a while and really never crossed my mind again . So i dunno ,maybe it was the following Summer
or the next . A few kids gathered for a night of walking the dirt roads talking and doing what young teenagers do , when suddenly
we heard a loud roaring type sound , WTF , we locked up tighter than a seized go-kart engine ,Holy shit what the fuck ! We stood frozen, scared shitless for what seemed forever . Maybe fifteen minutes pass when our slow cautious journey back home begins . Not five minutes had past something leaped from
the brush onto the road , not forty feet in front of us , stops standing broadside looking dead in our eyes , the biggest fucking animal I'd ever seen in my thirteen years of life other than a Whitetail deer , and it was almost as big , a huge shiny black cat , calm as a church house mouse , staring directly at our
small gang for maybe six to eight seconds , then calmly turned his huge head back to the brush and disappeared nonchalantly into the night , the
whole while never making a sound . I am positive what we witnessed that evening from the three flashlight beams reflecting off his coat , and big green eyes .
We excitingly told what happened to the geriatric country club , the response was ok , yall be careful now , then back to dominoes .
I've never seen or heard anything of the sort since , in my fifty six years . Wow Just Frikking wow .
BTW , this was off FM231 Lovelady Tx .
Aliens man, Aliens.
Don't really tell this story much as who'd believe it, other than the three of us that witnessed something very strange 27 years ago.
I grew up in the small upstate NY town of Alexander, on Dodgeson Rd. In early June of '93 I was 16 years old, and like most kids that age enjoyed the outdoors as it's all we had.
Two good friends decided a camp night was in order and fresh out of school on summer break I gladly obliged. My parents had a nice property with a 30 acre cornfield hooking up off our backyard, with plenty of woods surrounding making a great place to play on our YZs.
So, around midnight we all settled in the tent set up at the edge of the field. I remember being exhausted and must have fell asleep fast. Around 2am I awoke to the sight of my friends sitting straight up with an extremely bright white light illuminating the tent from what seemed in all directions.
There was no sound.
The whispering back and forth began but no one went for the zipper, no way.
Now before I continue, this is no fish tale. I don't fish and am not much for tales. There were no shenanigans like drugs or alcohol going on. We were just kids that loved our bikes.
The light originally appearing like a modern day LED white dimmed to a cool blue and seemed to move away. I opened the tent, we stepped outside.
Directly over the middle of the field was the blue light, not moving, maybe 70 feet in the air and probably 200 yards from our position. No sound, no movement for 10 seconds.
In the blink of an eye it turned bright white again and shot west across the field, hovering over Wortendyke Rd at the end of the field. My brain could not process how fast it moved.
The color went blue again with 10 more seconds hovering. When I say hovering, I mean like a star in the sky. No movement, no sound.
Then bright white, shot North toward Batavia, or Lake Ontario and beyond never to be seen again.
I really struggled with this as a youth, as apparently we were the only people to see these lights in an area with a population density at the time of 50 people per square mile.
Two years later a farmer came forward and claimed he saw a blue light, no white.
Shawn died in 1997, I haven't seen Terry since 1999 when I joined the Army.
It is improbable we are alone in this universe, my eyes proved to me it's impossible what we saw was created by humanity. Take from it what you will.
I have no doubt at all that that is real. Thanks for sharing.
There’s stories around San Diego about black cats being spotted, I ran into a hunter on Otay Mountain one time while out riding who told he saw one. Just the other day on kpbs, a local radio station, had a program about sightings from over the years.