Submitted to BFRO by witness on Sunday, November 29, 2009.
Bow hunter has possible encounter while in his tree stand near LaPorte
COUNTY: La Porte County
LOCATION DETAILS: Willing to take to location for verification of story. Property belongs to friend and is my own private hunting grounds, so I do not care to turn it into a carnival.
NEAREST TOWN: Mill Creek
NEAREST ROAD: County Road 800
OBSERVED: I was deer hunting in a small woods that bordered a swampy area. The entire wood is on a 45 degree angle leading down to the swamp except the small bowl like section I was hunting in. The spot is very thick with pawpaw trees which provide ample cover for wildlife till about mid November. I was sitting in my tree stand about twenty feet off the ground. It was after 5pm which is what I refer to as magic time because that is when the deer start to move in the evening. As the last rays of light had begun to fall onto the forest floor two does shot out from the brush behind me. They seemed nervous and kept looking back behind my tree. I thought maybe a buck was following them so I nocked an arrow and prepared to see a large buck walk out of the brush from behind me. Then it hit me, the ungodly stench. It kind of smelled like garbage or like someone had lifted the lid on a septic tank. It was awful. Then a log flew out from the brush behind me and struck the tree I was in at the base. I nearly soiled my britches. I turned to look behind me and whatever it was it ran off busting through the underbrush and I never got a clear look at what it was. It let out a bloodcurdling scream as it ran off. I froze not believing what had just happened. I waited for at least an hour before I got down to walk back to my truck.
OTHER WITNESSES: Only myself
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Between 6pm and 7pm as the last rays of sunlight touched the ground.
ENVIRONMENT: Hardwood forest bordering a swamp.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
After speaking with the witness about his experience, the following details can be added:
– it was only a number of minutes between noticing the stench and the log hitting the tree; the does were very nervous during this time
– what he saw moving through the brush as it ran off was ‘at least as big as a human’, though he could discern no details
– the log that was thrown at his tree was rotten, about 2′ long by 1′ wide
– the scream was heard from the far end of the woods, about 45 seconds after the creature ran off; he says it would have taken him about 5 minutes to walk to the area where the scream sounded from
– he described the scream as a ‘deep tone’, very ‘unique’, and rising in pitch near the end of the scream
– the area of the forest he was in is described as a ‘travel route’ for wildlife, being small and narrow
– terrain is very wet, almost swampy in areas
The Pawpaw trees mentioned are small clustered trees with large leaves and fruit, native to North America. This type of tree includes the largest edible fruit indigenous to our continent. They are understory trees in hardwood forests found in well-drained deep fertile bottomland and hilly upland habitat.