I do not live in California anymore, but back in 1980 while out turkey hunting in the northern part of the state, actually, just east of Shasta City, I was harassed, to say the least by a turkey hunting Bigfoot.
The visual lasted mere seconds, but the experience, looking back on that day, well it seemed to me there were lots of warning signs I was not paying attention to that should have warned me something strange was afoot.
Here is my story…
Moving to monsterville.
I was a bird hunter enthusiast from the mid-west before I relocated to the crazy state of California. I have not lived there for over a decade now, and no, it was not due to my incident with Bigfoot for relocating, I simply could not afford the state itself.
Between high taxes and nutty politicians, I moved. Idaho was the place for me eventually.
But, during the late part of 1979, I had moved out west to a small town named Dunsmuir, California where I worked for the school district in Shasta City for about five years.
That is as far as I’ll go with the reason that led me up to the encounter other than, as I said, I love hunting bird. From pheasant to grouse to the larger than life turkey (which is my favorite).
My wife and our three children loved having wild turkey on the table than store-bought, even today. By the way, I still love hunting bird in Idaho.
Being from the mid-west, I never heard anything about Bigfoot. You do now, but before the internet, I never heard anything. If it were not for the film out of Northern California in the late 60’s, well, I would have never heard of the thing.
But, I do now, and these things are scary, massively huge, and can be rather dangerous and unpredictable I believe.
Here is what happen while I was hunting turkey, and what I saw with my own eyes.
Making a turkey call.
Before the family and I moved out west, bird hunting was already a passion of mine. My father passed on this passion and hobby to me I guess you could say.
Recently up to the encounter, I was making my very own and unique turkey calls. As a matter of fact, I created a few popular ones that are now sold through large outdoor stores around the country.
I know we think of turkey hunting as something you might find in some other more, well, to be honest, “conservative state,” but that is not true. California, especially northern California has a thriving bird hunting community, and to my surprise when I moved here.
Just so you know, before I moved here to work, I did look at the laws and other regulations around the sport before making my decision. Today, I might not have made the same decision with all the craziness there, that was why I moved to Idaho after only five years there.
Anyways, back to the encounter.
I had already started to work with the local school district when hunting season got underway, and yes, I started a bit with quail first, but, by November 11th, I was out the door every day getting some turkey hunting done.
Back then you could bag a few, and that is what my goal. I have to say, week one and I already had two, and I was amazed at how huge the turkey could grow naturally out here in the Pacific Northwest. Call me what you will, but my bottom dollar was on the mid-west or northeastern parts of the country for turkey as big as I was seeing.
The week before Thanksgiving and things became frightening and downright crazy.
My location at the time I remember was east of Mt.Shasta itself, about 20 minutes east, somewhere up Ash Creek.
It was a Saturday, early morning and I was in no hurry to fill my tags at all. I wanted to get most of the day in enjoying the last bit of turkey hunting for the year. I love being out in the wilds, then, and now, even after seeing a monster.
I was near the creek, and at that time of the year it was in full force, so the rush of water could be heard loud and clear. But, so could other sounds, like clicking.
It was the weirdest thing I’d ever heard while out in the woods, anywhere, here or the mid-west, but clicking was something you simply did not hear out here, it is unnatural I guess you could say.
But, I could plainly hear a clicking sound coming from about 20 or so yards in back of me.
Now the land here is rolling hills, mountains, and throw in some flat lightly wooded areas making it difficult to see too far in any direction. This is higher elevation, but still within the edge of being heavily wooded, maybe not like the lower areas, but enough to cut down visibility a bit.
I kept looking around thinking that some other turkey hunter was around and was using some, well, personally speaking, a ridiculous new turkey call. I decided to let them know I was close by and let out a somewhat loud cough.
Nobody answered back, the only thing I heard once again was a clicking sound. It just sounded odd, that is what caught my attention in the first place. But, nobody answered and the clicking every few moments or so continued.
It was a minute or more later that I noticed the clicking sound was on the move. Still unsure of what it was, I gave it up to something that was at least non-threatening, yet I decided to move on down the way about 100 yards or so.
Finally, settling down just as the sun was starting to warm up that frosty fall morning, the clicking did stop, or I was out of earshot finally.
I broke out my new call and started away making turkey call bringing them in closer to the makeshift blind I made out of some large old branches that were left behind last spring rains and snowmelt.
It was 10 or so minutes later I was getting a response.
I could hear what seemed to be a few or more turkey than I thought was around, and eventually, I could see them working their way through the underbrush and around a bunch of trees.
Crap I thought, the clicking was back all of a sudden!
This time I could hear what sounded like walking and mumbling too from the southeast of my then current position. I did not want to cough this time and possibly scare off the turkey as they were then strutting and walking around about 20-30 yards in front of me.
All I needed them to do was step out into the clearing and I could get my last one for the season. However, with the possibility of someone out here walking around trying to get the same turkey I was, well, I did not want to become or create a statistic out here.
I lowered my gun and kept listening.
The turkey stopped, all of them, and one started spreading its feathers. That is when I listened to what sounded like a lion growling nearby and getting ready to pounce on some bird.
The beast of the mountain.
The sound was quiet mesmerizing, I mean I felt compelled just to stand there and do nothing. I could feel it too, like a low vibrating rumble going right through me.
I am not sure about all the hocus-pocus some attribute to this wild animal, but a growl can paralyze you if you let it. I felt almost paralyzed there for a few seconds myself.
I also felt as though I should not move, and quickly or I might be in some trouble sooner than later.
The turkeys were as still as trees, which is weird knowing that turkey is very skittish and run off at the slightest fart in the wind. But not this time, that growling had them staring off as if mesmerized themselves into oblivion.
The next thing I heard was a voice, the mumbling was back, but this came from opposite the growling side of the small open area.
Step, step, then running is what I heard. Suddenly, from the north side of the area out came a 5-6 foot hairy person running like the wind. It got to those turkeys so fast I thought I was staring at some dark misty ghost-like figure in the shape of a person.
It grabbed 3 turkeys and immediately started slamming their heads against a nearby tree. And yet, through all this, the other turkey still stood there, never moving. The growling stopped, and then, finally, the turkey started flying around like lunatics trying to escape Arkham.
But two were caught by a much larger figure that came from the south side of the clearing and squeezed the life out of them until eyeballs and heads practically popped off.
Two Bigfoot stood there, then, squatted as they began to tear into the turkey eating them. I will admit that I felt like peeing my pants I was so scared. The smaller one, solid black, it looked to be female, I swear I noticed breasts, and it squatted there, eating the whole turkey, well, everything but the feet it tore off seconds later.
The larger one, a female for sure was more chocolate in color, dark chocolate for that matter. I could see its monkey-like face really well, and its large blocked teeth that had canines the size of my small finger towards the back for sure.
While the mouths seemed small when closed, it was scary and crazy to see how wide they could open them.
They were squatted, eating, and always turning from the upper torso up to look around their position here and there. I had a feeling it was just them, but I also had a feeling I should not move a single step, my gut was screaming at me to “sit still, but my mind was saying run!”
Amazing grace, and turkey.
I have to say; I am not sure about the human-like appearance of these things other than arms and legs, the faces were seriously much like a gorilla. Well, I guess the nose was a little less like a monkey of some kind I suppose, but the rest of it was pure ape-like features.
Their arms were massive and long, these things were literally within 20 or so yards of me, and I could make out just about everything about them, even their dark pitch black eyes and heavy browlines.
I’ve seen the Patterson/Gimlin film, and I have to say, that was pretty spot on to the bulk of monstrous bodies I was looking at. Even what I could tell of their gate was spot on I would come to notice.
It did not take them long to devour a few of the turkey. As they finished them, they would toss what they did not eat down. Finally, after about two-three minutes, they stood up and walked over to a thicket of trees.
I could not believe my eyes, the larger one reached up in a tree and pulled down what looked like a baby one, well, at least what we might consider a toddler, from a bottom limb.
It handed it a chunk of the turkey it still held and this thing started ravaging it.
At that moment I realized I was standing up, plain to see and that is when the smaller one that was in the clearing saw me and charged!
I pumped the shotgun and fired in the air out of pure fear and reflex.
It stopped, the female with her young was already gone I realized, and this one lets out a scream in my direction that hit me hard I thought I would pass out. It stopped, however, turned, and ran off. So did I, and in the opposite direction.
I told my wife, and since then I told my kids, who of course, think I am a little off my rocker about the whole thing.
Either way, I still hunt in the wilds of Idaho today. No, I do not wish for another encounter, nor do I want to be scrutinized about it, so I leave it to you once and for all here on the PWB. Thanks for letting me share Dave, God bless you.
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