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Bemidji. Beltrami County, Minnesota

I reported the sighting I made in 1982 to the Bigfoot research group a couple of days ago.
I was 27 at the time, hunting deer with my father and brother at a location about 90 miles from our homes in Bemidji, Minnesota about three miles NE of the little town of Swan River in north central Minnesota (some 20 miles east of Grand Rapids.) We drove to a spot that my father had hunted in the sixties many years before. There was about four inches of snow on the ground, and it was early morning at about sunrise in mid-November that it occurred.

We turned into a road and drove about a quarter mile to a location where we parked. We walked together about an eighth mile and split up, myself walking SE along the west branch of the Floodwood River. They both crossed the river to take up stands a short distance on the other side of the river. The idea was that I might jump a deer and cause it to run past them if it turned and
went upwind.

After walking about half mile, I think I was surprised by movement and fixed my attention on a dark ape-faced beast staring back at me. It had apparently been observing my approach while standing in some short pines that were about 6' in height. I could see its shoulders, neck and head, which were all dark black in the early morning light. It blew air out of its nostrils when I fixed my attention on it, and turned immediately and moved into some taller trees, swishing the boughs.

I could have taken a sound shot, but I was not prepared to shoot at something that I could not recognize. The sight of it defied explanation as I listened to it crashing through branches putting as much distance as possible between us in the shortest time possible. I stood there marking the spot, and looking back to see where I could cross.

While crossing a good distance back from where I had come, I could still hear the branches breaking occasionally as it had made its way some distance to the northeast. I turned downstream and was returning to the approximate location when I was surprised again. This time it was a large covey of ruffed grouse that I thought numbered at least thirty birds. They were jumping up all around me in groups of 2, 4, 6 or eight birds. This served to disorient me somewhat, and I had trouble locating the spot where it had been standing in the small pines.

There was plenty of deer sign around with tracks in the snow that crossed the snowmobile track running along the river. I looked intensely for tracks in the snow and could find none that were unusual. I had looked for some time, before my brother and father came by on the snowmobile trail. I told them what I had seen and they scoffed.  They continued on the snowmobile trail leaving me to search for tracks. They found nothing unusual to report to me the rest of the day, and I believe that my father looked at every track in the snow that he found.

At one point, I found what looked like a trail that had been swept by something dragged in the snow. I followed it for about a quarter mile NE in the same general direction to a ridge, but I had trouble fitting what I had seen with the trail. I was finding no actual footprints.

I went back to the river to start again having no trouble finding my own tracks.

After all this time, it was good for me to resolve this matter in my mind and deal with it by reporting it. I had told a few others and like my brother, they only laughed about it joking that I had finally seen a bear out hunting.

The odd thing involved here is that it is within fifty miles of two other sightings reported in Minnesota (I know of five including my own.) And it headed in the general direction of the other two sightings. Looking at a map, I have developed a theory that there is an area used by the species for habitat north and southwest of the small town of Floodwood, Minnesota. There is a lot of remote area in northern Minnesota that provides similar habitat to this same area, which ranges from bog-like, to forests of popple interspersed with small rivers and marsh lakes.

The individual I saw looked all black and had the classic head and face. I am guessing that it was a mature male in its prime as there were no signs of any grayness whatsoever.
Please let me know of the Minnesota sightings if you can. I'd be very interested to learn their locations. I am a true believer that the ape does exist. Its possible that as the Indians say, it posses mystical powers, although many of the reports from Ohio, Kansas and elsewhere would discredit that notion. I have read all the reports from Ohio.

Honestly the Best Regard,
Charles Prichard
Date Filed: Tuesday, 20 Apr 1999