Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Kingston Bigfoot Bumblebee Meadows

Joe Vogal
 I would once again like to thank the admin for adding me to the group. If you all wouldn't mind I would like to share an encounter that took place some time ago. I haven't made a formal report of this incident but after discussing it with several friends and family members the general opinion is that I should get advice about the reporting process.

 I am a retired Nursing supervisor having spent 30 years as a professional nurse and manager. I was an US Army MP attached to the 28th Infantry Division and prior to that I was a Civil Air Patrol cadet member for six years. I have spent a large amount of time in the woods and am an experienced outdoorsman/hunter/fisherman. I am comfortable in the outdoors and enjoy hiking, camping and outdoor photography as my hobbies of choice.

 This event occurred in the summer of 2011 at an area in North Idaho known as Bumblebee Meadows in the Kingston Idaho vicinity. My girlfriend and I had planned a three day camping trip and as we were already on vacation we volunteered to go to the campground area a day in advance to set up and prepare for the arrival of two more couples that were to come the following day. This was August 10th 2011 the remainder of our party was to arrive sometime on the 11th and we had plenty of time to set up 4 tents and all the tables, chairs and canopies that we would need to ensure everyone had a great time.

 This area is popular for river recreation and a river float trip was planned for the 12th. We were accompanied by our two dogs a 12 year old border collie and a 5 year old pug. Both well behaved obedient animals who were very happy in the outdoors.

 Upon arrival we selected a prime campsite with plenty of space and shade along a tributary of the Coeur d'Alene river known as Canyon Creek. I should add that a close friend and co-worker of mine was the campground host for this particular area. She and her husband were in a fifth wheel camper about a half mile upstream from our spot. As evening approached we unloaded the firewood and got our fire going.

 We made our dinner and after cleaning up we settled into our chairs by the fire. About this time we were suddenly startled by our dogs who suddenly without warning both darted into the woods between us and the creek. This was atypical behavior for them both as they usually stayed close and were not prone to such behavior. We were somewhat upset by this and got up from our chairs to go after them calling out for them repeatedly. 

 I grabbed my Maglite and as we were entering the woods the dogs came running back as if they were on fire. The border collie ran directly for the truck and jumped into the canopied bed. The pug tried to but failed. My girlfriend lifted the pug into the bed and both dogs cowered in the far corner of the truck bed and we noticed that they were both acting extremely frightened and the collie was staring into the woods behind us.

 This whole event was almost comical and we were laughing trying to calm the dogs.
We had figured they had encountered a bear or cougar and reacted initially with curiosity then discovering their mistake returned post haste after being startled by what they found. I retrieved my pistol from the truck cab and began sweeping the perimeter with the mag trying to see what had caused this ruckus.

 She banked the fire and we yelled out in order to hopefully scare off the critter. This was when I saw in the flashlight beam a large dark colored upright standing creature. It moved off as soon as I saw it and I was unable to catch sight of it again.
 I told her what I had seen and after a quick discussion we decided it must have been a black bear that was attracted to the smell of our cooked food and we decided that no real danger was imminent and that we would have quite a story to tell our friends when they came the next day. After a few minutes the dogs calmed down and left the pickup and went into our tent and lay down.

 We returned to our spot by the now overbuilt campfire. I positioned my chair facing the woods and decided to keep the gun on my lap. Shortly after we sat down we became aware of the fact that we were not alone and that whatever it was had returned. We heard a branch snap and that put us on guard once again. I had had a gut full of this whole mess and stood up and after shouting into the woods pistol and Maglite in hand that I was armed and would shoot.
 At this time a rock flew into our fire sending sparks flying and rolling against the side of our dining canopy. I fired two rounds into the woods at an upward angle and that was answered by the sound of a large branch breaking and we then heard two splashes in the creek followed by the sounds of something moving through the brush on the opposite side of the river.

 Having had enough of this we grabbed our important equipment and loaded the dogs and our belongings into the truck. We extinguished the fire and drove home to Coeur d'Alene trying to make sense of what happened.

 The following morning we returned to the campsite to retrieve our stuff and while we were there I examined the woods where I thought the critter was during the night. I found no notable footprints but the branch that was snapped was found and was about 5-6 inches in diameter and was broken about 7 feet up the tree trunk. I grabbed the rock that struck our fire and canopy and still have it. We told our friends what had occurred and they concurred that we should cancel the trip.

T hat is all I have. I hope someone reading this will be able to shed some light. Is this worthy of formal reporting? And if so whom do I contact to share this? Thanks for reading and I apologize for the long winded post. I have added a google maps image of the area where this occurred.

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