My experience in Tennessee I moved to Clarksville TN in the fall of 1995. I was still in the military and had just been transferred there from Alaska. I met two friends B & D through a friend who wanted to go and get some firewood. When I first went to where B & D lived, it was a rural area bordering Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge in Indian Mound, TN (Stewart County).
Most of the land was for sale around them and it was owned for years by a paper company and bought up by another company that I purchased 5 acres from. At that time I think there were 4 or 5 trailers in the hollow. We spent a lot of time out there getting fire wood and talking with B & D once we purchased the 5 acres I was out there just about every weekend hunting and fishing. The first few years it was quiet and nothing really happened. I was deployed during that time and missed most of the late hunting seasons.
We got on the subject of Bigfoot one day and D looked at me and said maybe that's the crazy hillbillies I kept seeing when we first moved out here. I guess she would see things running on the ridge above them when they first moved to their property. She told me about nights when something would be above their trailer growling at them just out of sight from the back porch. We also noted that the dogs refused to go into the woods during these events.
In late fall 1997 I was finally able to hunt the whole deer season and had the whole hollow to myself during the weekdays. I hunted on Fort Campbell during the weekends when I could but the weekdays I was out on my land and the surrounding land.
I would park at B & D house and walk to my property just down the road or through the woods it depended on which way the winds blew most of the time I would take the road then cut up hill to my deer stand. I started to get the feeling of being watched & something wasn't right I could tell the deer disappeared and when I would see them they acted nervous and stayed in large groups sometimes I would see 30 or 40 together and always running flat out from the ridge across the street onto my property and straight over the top never stopping.
Then the stalking started I noticed something following me back to my truck it would come in about an hour before dark stay just far enough away so I could never get a look but it was there.
I heard it following me off my property (just far enough back as to not be seen) but I never felt threatened. I think it was more of a game and curiosity than anything else.
I did notice the deer would not appear or make their mad dash across my land on the nights I was being followed. I lost 2 deer that year one was during ‘bow season' and the other during ‘muzzle loading season,' both were hit with good kill shots and I tracked the blood trails to the spots they died at and found nothing but blood and a little disturbed area it was as if they had been picked up and carried away no drag marks or anything out of the ordinary.
I had acorns & sticks thrown at me twice while I was in my deer stand and a couple more times while I was stalking around. There was a spur with a thicket on it the acorns & sticks would come from that direction. Also I noticed dead trees had a habit of falling over allot on calm days?
It became a game of sorts but never threatening. I would leave my deer stand in the tree if I was coming back the next morning and one morning I returned early before sunrise and when I got to the tree my stand was in it had been pushed up the tree to about 12 foot off the ground. That kind of surprised me but what can you do if you say anything people think your crazy or won't let you hunt on their land so I just chalked it to experience and carried the stand in & out.
I made friends with a man who was born and raised in the area he was in his late 80's his family farm wasn't far from were my land was. We would talk allot about my hunting and I asked if he had seen anything out of the ordinary. He told me that when he was young there was a white ape running around on his families land (tobacco farmers) and he had seen it but he was very young at the time and couldn't remember much except it scared him. He told me about a time that he and a friend went down to the Cumberland River to fish one evening and some thing was making (in his words) such a ruckus that they got scared and left the area and never returned. He said the trees were swaying & it was a screaming. I told him about what I felt (being watched) and what happened to me, the acorns, sticks and my tree-stand and he got the biggest grin on his face but would say nothing more than strange things happen. Sadly he died not long after that conversation.
I started hunting across the street on other people's property off and on during those years most was private property and some belonged to Westvaco, a paper company. I tried to hunt during the off parts of the season (weekdays) because during the weekends hunters where out in force. Most people in the area liked having me around because I would runoff the hunters without permission.
One lady in particular always had something to say about me hunting on her land and that I didn't have permission to hunt hers. It seemed I was always blamed when she saw someone on her land chasing deer. I look back at it now and the deer would always run across her land to my land and who or what did she see chasing the deer? I knew the boundaries and stayed away from her land but I was blamed just because I was the only one out there? 95% of the time I was on my side of the road and land I knew I was aloud to hunt.
I hunted her side of the road during the late ‘rifle season' in 1999; it was about 4 am when I got there. I couldn't get to sleep and really didn't realize how early I had left that morning.
I parked my truck and waited until about an hour before sunrise and started to walk the ridge back behind another friend's property. I had found allot of scrapes and rubs on the ridge and was going to a giant tree where I knew I could see a good distance down the ridge line. The weather was perfect about 40 degrees, no wind, no clouds and the stars where bright enough to light up the area. I got to my spot and sat down with my back to the tree.
I was only there about 10 minutes in perfect quiet no sounds what so ever when something roared/screamed it felt like it was right next to me but it was about 100 yards down hill in a thicket. I was in a state of shock everything hit me at once what was it? Where is it? Where is it going? I was sitting down but went from a sitting position to standing instantly I had a gun Winchester .338 but knew it was useless what ever it was to big. When it roared/screamed (the only way I can describe it) it took off like a Bull Moose charging through the woods taking out everything in its path. I can remember it was on two feet that I could tell right off. It stayed in the thicket running from my right until it was in front of me about 100 to 150 yards and stopped roared/screamed again and took off at a dead run over the ridge and down into the gulley staying in the thicket the whole time. I could hear it running all the way down to the bottom it was a steady thud, thud, thud as its feet hit the ground. When it got to the bottom I figured it was gone but it roared/screamed and started climbing the next hill over I could hear it going up and when it got to the top it stopped and roared/screamed and went over that hill. I was in shock never did I expect that to happen to me not in Tennessee maybe Alaska but not Tennessee. I left the area went to my truck expecting to see that my hair had turned white from nearly being scared to death but it hadn't. I did realize one thing no bullets were in the chamber of my gun I forgot to put one in on the way to my tree I had 3 in the magazine but none chambered.
I went back during the day time a few days later walked back to the tree I was sitting at it was a nice day I decided to go down to the spot the roar came from but it was too thick to walk into so I walked the edges the same way it ran. It was in a thicket I could not even navigate thorn bushes everything it was a tangle of vines & bushes. I walked the edges of the thicket and it took me over 3 and a half hours to climb down & up to the spot I last heard it roar/scream. It took a minute at the most for that thing to navigate that thicket at a run in the dark.
One night just as the sun was setting I was in my tree stand and heard the deer coming up a small draw at a full run they ran up and over the ridge heading straight towards my property after they passed it quieted down and I heard a high pitched gurgling noise like talking but not? It continued for a few minutes then stopped. I figured it was bucks in rut but now that I think about it was out of the ordinary. I had never heard that sound before or after that night it wasn't a normal sound.
The next year 2000 was a good year I was hunting private property at the other end of the same ridge the property was cornered on two sides by the Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge I had an old tree stand that was left years ago and about 20 feet up. It was across from B & D's house so I could park and walk to it in 10 minutes. I shot a buck and followed the blood trail found where it went down but it was gone just like the other two times before.
A week into hunting I got the feeling of being watched and it continued for a few days then one evening I heard a snap like a branch breaking then another and so on for over an hour it went on I thought it might be a buck in the thicket. After an hour it started to get to me the branches were to big to be snapped by a buck in rut it was sounding more like a tree being broke in half so I climbed down and looked around (never left the clearing) but saw nothing. I did get the feeling of stay away when I looked or moved toward the area the noises came from. I started heading back to my truck and something started to follow me just back in the wood line out of sight. I took off at a dead run all the way back when I got to my truck D was standing there looking at me like I was crazy she had watched me running and asked me what was wrong I told her and she just looked at me.
I went back up there after the season ended 3 days later to the spot the branches were broke. I found them all sapling trees 4 to 5 inches round snapped in half funny thing is they were all snapped over 8 foot up I couldn't reach any of them I'm 5' 9". There was no wind on or after that day I was hunting.
I can add that I looked for foot prints but the ground cover was a thick leaf covering and I never found any prints. The woods that this all happened in was last logged 30 years ago.
There are a lot of abandoned homes, farms, barns in the area with old fruit trees in and around those areas. The area was full of oak trees and thickets very hilly with water close by. I found some small caves back on the wildlife refuge but they are small only going in 10 to 12 foot.
I can't remember smelling anything out of the ordinary but during that time of the year the tobacco smoke houses are going and the hollow always smelled like smoke.
All of my experiences took place in November & December. Never had anything happen during the summer months?
I did find a few deer kills that didn't look right one was on my property and it was more of a blood bath than anything else it was spread around a 20 foot area blood everywhere and looked like it had been ripped to pieces scavengers had been there before me when I found it was a day or two old. I found 2 doe's nothing wrong with them no arrow/bullet holes just off the trails dead I think their necks had been broken?
After 2000 I was deployed with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq so hunting was out of the question. I retired in 2005 from the Army and haven't been back since. D has since past away in 2004.
I had to put this down in writing everyone said I was crazy but it all happened. I was there I know what I felt & heard and the occasional glimpses of something moving around that didn't fit in. Maybe it will help someone doing research in the area?
B still lives out there but we have little communication I guess a lot of people are building houses out there and the area has changed allot since then.
Feel free to e-mail me with any questions I will respond as I can. I am currently living overseas.
Saturday, October 10, 2009, 2:18 AM
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