2016 Spring Bear HuntDuring the 2016 late spring bear hunt I saw and heard something I can not explain.
The location was in the Challis National forest between Challis Idaho and Salmon Idaho.
My son and I have hunted this area for the last several years. However our good friend who we hunt with has been hunting this specific area since the early 1980’s. To get to our tree stands you travel about 15 miles outside the small town of Challis Idaho on your way towards Salmon. Approximately 1 and 1/2 to 2 miles past the Ellis / Pesimoroi junction you turn left and crossing the Salmon river at Deer Gulch Access, Dry Gulch Road turns into Hat Creek Road. Follow up gravel road about 27 miles until the road runs out. You must use a jeep or atv for about 10 to 12 miles until you reach the low timber we then hike in another 3/4 mile to our stands. (will include picture from my tree stand.) Our first stand is on Iron Mountain
On the morning of June 11, 2016 at about 7am my friends and I headed out to our tree stands for our annual spring bear hunt. We took our 4 wheelers from the cabin and arrived at our stands more than an hour later. Each of the 3 stands is spaced about 3/4 mile to 1 mile apart. Ted and Darin were letting me get settled into my stand first since I was recently recovering from back surgery a few months prior. We drove towards my stand and began to hike the final 3/4 mile in. Both Ted and I are USMC veterans and as we walked in towards my stand, we notice the sounds of the forest were just not there. It was to quiet, eerily quiet. No birds, no squirrels no nothing. I Mentioned to Ted things just felt weird. Like we were walking into an ambush or something. Ted said maybe “eclipse” is watching us. Eclipse is a really huge black boar we had been seeing on our trail cams for the last 5 years. But could never get a shot at. We named him Eclipse because he is so big he eclipses our 50 gallon bait barrel when standing in front of it. We just laughed it off and walked into the stand. As I climb the stand about 8ft up the stand shifted and I damn near fell out of it. Thats when we realized something had messed with our ladder. thats not unheard of. Bears are curious creatures and do stuff like this all the time. so we just re-secured our straps and I climbed up in.
As with most hunts the first 30 to 45 minutes is boring. Nothing going into the bait barrel. I Notice I would catch myself dozing off. At one point I must have fallen totally asleep because I woke to what I thought was someone saying “Yoop, Yoop, Yoop” then a pause and it would repeat “Yoop, Yoop, Yoop.” I cleared my eyes expecting to see Ted or Darin. I first looked down, then straight ahead towards the bait and then to my right up the hill.
Thats when I saw it. I first noticed its color a deep rich red/brown coat, but much longer then a bears coat. It was squatted down in a small open area between trees. The length of the coat struck me as odd so I pulled up my rifle to get a better look threw the scope. just as I got my scope on it, it turned still in the squatting position then stood up, used the smaller tree for a moment to get his balance and walked away on 2 legs back into the tree line. I froze. I always said if I saw a bigfoot (I am not saying this is what it was.) if I saw ever one I would shoot it. But at that moment I just froze. I couldn’t do it. I believe I was in shock, partially fear of the unknown. But mostly because of how much this thing looked like a human. When it stood up, I could clearly see its back, head, butt, legs, shoulders, arms and back of its hand and the muscles flex as it grabbed the tree for balance. I sat there in disbelieve of what I just saw. I looked at my watch 11am, We agreed to meet at 1pm for a lunch. Because of my recent surgery Ted and Darin agreed to meet at my stand to help me climb down. 2 hrs to wait. Shit was I anxious. Now I am on hyper alert. after about 30 minutes I heard a clicking sound. At first I was thinking it was a deer or elk calf trying to locate its mother. But the clicks started moving around me. By the third time I pulled out my phone and recorded them. (I will up load them with this report.) I grew up hunting in Oregon and Idaho, I have taught my kids to hunt. I can’t tell you what it was. But I can tell you what it wasn’t. It wasn’t a Bear, it wasn’t an Elk and it wasn’t a guy in a monkey suit hoaxing me.