Bigfoot Encounters

Montgomery County, Arkansas
June 2008

On May 26, 2008, while the writer was in Clarke County, Alabama with area researchers, information was received by telephone from CK (an Arkansas RFP Research Project investigator) that a married couple in rural Montgomery County, Arkansas had found evidence and had heard sounds that indicated more than one reclusive forest primate was foraging on their property at night. That information had been submitted to CK by the adult son of the woman who is joint owner and resident of the property.

On June 7, 2008 CK, and the property owner’s son and the writer drove to the site and met with the couple. We arrived about 3:00 p.m. and left shortly after 11:00 p.m.

The couple are in their late forties and both have daytime employment in Hot Springs. They have purchased a sixteen acre track of land in Montgomery County and plan to build a home on it later. The north side of the property slopes to a small, spring-fed creek. That hillside and the creek bottoms below it are densely forested with various hardwoods, pine and cedar. The underbrush has been cleared from the area of the planned home site. Along the creek there is a very thick undergrowth of vines and brush. The land south of the creek was at one time cultivated, but is now overgrown is brush, vines and small trees through which trails have been cut with a “bush hog”. Throughout the property there is a prolific growth of muscadine, summer grape and blackberry vines. There are at least two pear trees in the old cultivated area, although the one seen by the writer appears to be ornamental Bradford pear. (A neighbor told them that he had gathered pears from one of the trees.)

Earlier this year the owners obtained utilities on the property and in late February or early March they opened a driveway through the timber on the north portion of the property. In late February of this year they purchased a new travel trailer and installed it about 75 yards from the county road that is the northern boundary of the property.

General Information About The Area: The actual location of the property is not disclosed at the owners’ request. The property is within two miles of a river which is a popular stream for canoeing and wade-fishing. The site is within the foothills of the relatively small but rugged Caddo Mountains which adjoin the southern flank of the Ouachita Mountains.

The area contains a large population of deer, turkey and raccoon. The area has some cougar and no doubt many bobcat. A large male cougar was reportedly killed within one-half mile of the property a short time ago. (During this initial visit to the site, the writer noted a very fresh cougar track in the dust alongside the county road near the home where a wide, well used game trail crosses the county road.) While the area is expected to contain all the other small animals and birds common to this part of the State, it was surprising that no coyote sign was seen around the property, and when asked, the owners said they had never heard coyotes in the area.

Summary of Events: After moving into the travel trailer the owners built a wooden porch/patio underneath the trailer’s retractable awning. While neither of the residents are hunters (and neither own a firearm), they are both avid bird and animal “watchers”. They have installed feeders for birds, and began putting out dog food and scraps for the raccoons. For some time the couple had been spreading corn on the ground in a spot in the woods in front (east) of the trailer and at another location on the opposite side of the trailer as food for the deer.

Some time after they had started putting out corn for the deer they found the carcass of a deer near the west side feeding area. The witnesses stated that one of the deer’s front legs and its head had been torn off. The head was found a few yards away, but the leg was partially eaten nearby. Both of the deer’s back legs were broken and much of its hind quarters had been eaten before the carcass was found. They stated the deer’s body cavity and stomach had been torn open and the internal organs had been removed. There was undigested corn and “corn mush” inside the body cavity and spilled outside the carcass. When the carcass was again viewed the next day they saw fresh blood and an exposed shoulder blade which indicated something had fed on the carcass overnight.

A week or so later, another deer carcass was found at the other baiting site in front of the trailer. Both of the deer’s back legs were broken, and the carcass torn open and partially consumed. Shortly after finding the last deer carcass, the couple stopped putting out corn because they thought a cougar was ambushing the deer at the baiting locations.

A day or two later, the couple found an injured dog lying beside the porch early one morning. (They don’t own a dog.) When they stepped outside the dog managed to get up and walk away, but there was a large bloody area on the ground where it had been lying. Shortly after seeing the injured dog, they found out that another dog, a Rottweiler weighing close to 200 pounds and belonging to a neighbor, had been attacked or otherwise injured. Something had torn off one of that dog’s back legs. According to the couple, the dog somehow managed to return to its owner’s home and is still alive. The couple said that now the large dog usually stays on the porch and will no longer leave the owner’s yard.

{Investigator’s Note - When CK, and the woman’s son and this writer were leaving the couple’s home site and driving through the wood’s road toward the county road the night of the initial meeting, CK, who was sitting in the front passenger’s seat, told me there was a deer in the woods on my side of the vehicle. I stopped and saw an animal that I at first thought was a coyote moving through the woods. As it entered a more open spot we saw that it was a large dog. We then drove away. The next night about 8:30 p.m. the property owner called to tell me that when he went outside early that morning he found a dog badly injured at the old baiting site east of the trailer. He said that it appeared the dog’s back, or its hips had been broken. He said at the time he did not think the dog would survive, although he said the dog managed to drag itself away the next morning. From his description of the dog, it was the same one that the three of us had seen the night before.}

Shortly after finding the deer carcasses, the husband spoke to a neighbor about any strange things that had occurred on the neighbor’s property. The neighbor reportedly told him that five of his sheep had been killed and ripped apart inside an enclosure. When asked what he thought had killed the sheep, the neighbor said he thought is was dogs because he found some type of terrier inside the enclosure when he found the dead sheep.

The couple stated that they often sat outside on the patio/porch at night, and early in the morning during the week. (He arises about 4:30 a.m. on week days to make coffee, and she joins him outside a few minutes later. They both leave for work about 5:00.) They stated that on many occasions when they stepped outside before daylight, they would hear the sounds of something crashing through the woods and brush near the trailer. They assumed it was deer bounding away, although they thought it was odd that deer would make that much noise leaving the area. They said that on several occasions they had heard loud ape or monkey-like sounds from the adjoining woods while sitting outside late in the evening and at night. Recently it became apparent to them that at times the sounds were being made by more than one animal. A few weeks ago a relative found a very large (about 18" long) track in a fire ant hill near the creek. (See attached photo.)

The residents found another such track in one of their small vegetable gardens located northeast of the trailer. (On the day of this initial visit, the writer observed two recently made tracks of about the same approximate size in the leaves and soil west of the trailer.)

The property owners also reported that some of the suet blocks used to feed birds were torn down and removed. They supposed that raccoons had taken the food, even though the couple thought they had suspended the blocks out of reach of those animals. The husband began using wire to secure the door of the wire suet baskets so that raccoons could not open them if they managed to get to them. Although the wife stated she could not open the baskets with her hands after her husband wired them shut, something continued to tear the baskets down and open them to obtain and consume the suet blocks.

Recently the couple began putting up humming bird feeders. Two of the feeders are small but one holds about a quart of sugared water. A few nights ago, when the large feeder was nearly full, something reached the feeder and drank the entire contents except for some spillage that coated the outside surface of the container. The feeder was elevated and suspended away from a tree trunk on an “L” bracket. Because of the position of the container and its capacity, the couple thinks it is unlikely that raccoons emptied it, although they concede that a raccoon might have been responsible.

Other Details: While completing this initial report the writer telephoned the reporting witnesses at 8:40 p.m. on June 10 to ask about a few details. After clarifying the details, the husband asked if he could pose a question to me. When I told him that of course he could, he asked if I had ever heard “whooping” type sounds which he began to imitate over the phone. The sounds he made were nearly identical to the “whooping” sounds attributed to the reclusive forest primates. When I told him the possible source of the sounds, he said that both he and his wife had heard those sounds about 20 minutes earlier coming from the opposite side of the creek and downstream. After some discussion, he said that he might go onto the porch and make those sounds to see what would happen. I advised him to be extra careful because the animals might be much closer than when he heard them originally.

Historical Data: This part of western Arkansas has produced numerous reports of enigmatic primates for several generations. A few of those reports are posted on this web site.

Tal H. Branco and CK, Field Researchers/Investigators, The RFP Research Project

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