Yes, they have the iconic Bigfoot trap out there, but I always thought it a joke. No, not the trap itself, but of whom it was made for, Bigfoot, I never thought they existed, well, until I saw a young one up at Applegate Lake nearly 3 summers ago now.
I have to hide my real name as I work with the Forestry department Dave, and actually, I work in another state, I was at home visiting my parents with some awesome news when the event and sighting took place.
So, here is my encounter story, hope you and the community here find it insightful and compelling… Oh, and please feel free to create the backstory as well as you do, I can only share bits and pieces or I could give myself away, and that could cost me everything.
Little Bigfoot at Applegate Lake.
I am not a twitcher, but I am an avid birdwatcher. When I read your story about the gentleman who was out doing the same thing at the slough in Northern California, well, I had to share my own encounter.
Besides, it’s about time I tell someone, especially a native southern Oregonian like yourself.
As I said, I am an avid birdwatcher, and for a living I work for the forestry department. However, I work in more of a consultancy aspect than an actual employee.
And, just so you know, I work in another state, this encounter and sighting actually happened while visiting family back around the southern Oregon area.
Anyways, I was home at last, it had been nearly a year and a month to the day since I had been there. Work had kept me in another state for that whole year, even through Christmas and Thanksgiving. Well, it was not all my jobs fault.
Actually, I was engaged, and decided to hang out with the soon to be in-laws for the holidays the year before. Much to my parents disappointment, of course.
But they were happy for me, very happy, and they even liked my fiancé, well, actually, they fell in love with him to.
We decided to use our week vacation that year to head home, to my home in southern Oregon to visit with my family. I was also going to use a little bit of the time to head out to my favorite little spot outside of Jacksonville, Applegate Lake for some bird watching.
Of course, I was not going to leave my fiance alone too long, I figured one early morning would be good enough to get my fill of the lake I missed.
I was going to be looking for Osprey, spotted towhee, and if I was lucky, a green-tailed towhee.
Don’t ask me why I became a bird lover and watcher, it is just one of those things, like people and loving dogs or other pets I guess, I just ended up liking birds.
But, let me get to that morning, and the little or young Bigfoot I believe, no, I know that I saw.
Breakfast, birds, and Bigfoot?
A whole week back home, but I only got one morning, one whole morning to get some bird watching in.
I know that there are many, many people in my neck of the woods growing up that have seen or had some type of encounter with this animal, or creature if you will. I was not a believer at first, to tell you the truth, I thought it was all made up or, misidentification.
I can say today, and with 100% assurity, Bigfoot exists, and it was not just one I saw that morning, it was two actually.
I stopped by a market near the bridge that crosses over the Applegate River, if you are from here, you’ll know that market, it was near where Steve Miller and his band took that famous picture for Their album cover.
I passed that, I passed everything until I came to Applegate Lake, my favorite little haunt growing up.
I have camped there many times growing up with my parents and friends, and I can’t tell you how many fish I caught there through the years, hundreds probably.
A few times I even jumped off the platform that sits about 25 feet up above the lake right into the blue water below. Of course, you never did that in the late summer, the lake was a reservoir actually, and it would be to low at that point.
That day I would actually get my start out around the dam, and make my way around some of the inlets here and there. The spot I dropped in was Hart-Tish park, a little camping area, well, I think they still have a camping area there today.
Anyways, from there I was going to jut over through the lakes biggest inlet that had the Payette Trail that ran parallel to it.
On the east side of the inlet the was low lying hillside with little vegetation, mostly just grass covered hills with the occasional oak or pine tree.
But, to the southwest and dead west was a huge contrast as smaller mountains jutted up above the lake that were thick with brush and pine trees.
It would be there that I would grab out my binoculars and started looking around as I opened up my local book of birds, and floated right around the inlet where the Tipsu Tyee campground was. If you know who Tipsu is, you would understand why they called the place that.
There looked to be no campers that time of the year, surprisingly enough. There had been where I dropped the boat in, but here, at the moment at least, I did not see a single tent or person.
But, being the beginning of the week, a Monday if I remember correctly, most people would have been at work anyways.
I spotted a couple owls right off the bat, and one of them I think spotted me floating around and made a hoot sound and flew off.
The awesome part was the fact they were the great Grey Owls, something that was a rarity to see.
It was a few moments later that I heard another ‘whoot’ from the opposite side of the inlet. However, this one sounded a lot more clear and crisp if you will.
I immediately shifted in the boat and practically threw my binoculars to my face. I spanned the entire inlet, but nothing, not even a Grey Owl. They are pretty easy to spot if you know what you are looking for, even in a forest like this here.
I let the binoculars fall and started rowing again, this time turning around as I decided to hit the open fields on the other side of the inlet.
“Wooooot!” Again a clear and crisp sound came from the far side of the inlet. This time it sounded less like a bird, and more like, well, an animal of some kind, maybe even a human.
I grabbed my binoculars again, and this time, I found the source…
At first I thought it was another owl. I looked through every tree at about three-quarters the way up them as that is the part of a tree they usually perch on or build a nest into.
Finally, after a few moments of seeing nothing, I started looking ground level, just in case one was hunting near the edge of the lake.
No deer, no rodents, nothing until I panned over near the backside of the inlet. That is when I saw a small person, okay, a teenager sized person walking along the shoreline.
He or she was dressed in all dark brown it looked like for a second, but then, I realized it was hair. It took me a second to adjust the binoculars and focus in, but once I did, I was realized I was not staring at a human being.
Bigfoot watching in the Applegate.
I have since talked with some gold panners up this way who have been experiencing Bigfoot activity for years here, even decades for a couple of them.
I never knew how populated or frequent the sightings were here, even growing up in the region.
And at that moment, I was seeing mine for the first time, and the reason behind my own private research I do today around the area when I can.
But, back to this sighting.
I was staring at, well, what most people call a criptid today, but what I knew to be a Bigfoot, or what I had come to believe to be a bigfoot.
It was a young one as I stated above. It was dark, not completely black, but a dark brown almost dark chocolate color. But, you could tell it was young, I am not sure exactly why, but you just knew it was.
It’s proportions were completely different than that of a human being, and trust me, I studied a little biology because of my current career, it demanded it.
I was looking through binoculars, pretty high powered ones to be sure, made by Bushnell if I remember correctly. They were a gift from my dad a couple years before this incident.
The arms were long, just past the knees if you included the fingers as well. The thighs were huge, but the lower legs were short, not like ours if you know what I am saying. Basically, the lower leg was real short compared to the upper leg.
It was definitely hair, not fur that covered its whole body, even the face was mostly covered, mostly. I could see that it had a nose that was flat, but not too flat. And the brow line was really thick and even seemed to protrude a bit.
It had a neck, not much of one, but I hear reports that they don’t, but this one did. Maybe because it is young and not fully grown is why, but who knows at this point.
It started walking in its own weird fashion with long strides along the shoreline.
Every few steps or so it would stop and it looked to be scooping up some dirt with its hands then eating something. I gave it up to worms. There were a ton around here like anywhere, especially near the cool, moist shoreline that early in the morning.
Like birds, maybe these things eat worms early in the morning too.
Either way, it was there scooping up dirt, picking through it for what seemed to be worms, then eating them.
I kept almost completely still as I watched this thing continue around the inlet and moving closer around the bend towards me.
There was a couple of times it looked up and across the inlet, but never once did it look out my way, fortunately.
I could not see or notice any ears, even if there were, the hair would most likely hide it anyways. The eyes were dark I believed, but I swear I could notice whites behind them, but at this point, I still could not be sure.
Even with high powered binoculars, moving water, and moving object did not help.
It had a weird walk or stride I noticed, and it was really muscular, really, really muscular. It was slighlty hunched it seemed too, even when it stood up and walked a few steps in its own weird fashion.
I was amazed, but at the same time, I was starting to feel a bit of fear starting to surface as well. I had an idea of what I was looking at, and if it was a Bigfoot, well, I did not know much about this thing.
All of a sudden, my heart jumped out of my chest as this thing looked over its shoulder, into the woods, and let out a “whoop” sound that I could plainly hear.
Its lung capacity must be enormous, even for a young Bigfoot I remember thinking to myself.
It stood there all of a sudden completely still. Its arms hung down past its knees, it stared across the inlet again, and then finally turned its head.
I could not believe my eyes, well, I could not believe them for a second time that morning that is.
Slowly, and only partially, it looked as though a female Bigfoot stepped out from the forest edge and stood behind a tree. She made a whoop sound back, and the young one went back to digging and eating.
However, this time, every other fistful of dirt was now tossed back near the feet of the female, which I was now presuming to be the mother. I could not get much of a visual on her after that first few seconds, she kept herself hidden.
I swear it was a sighting that lasted at least 5 or so minutes, one of the longest I ever heard of, well, there were some from a few others, of course.
It kept digging, looking, and eating for another minute or so until I heard what sounded like a boat motor from directly north of me, and that is when this encounter ended abruptly, and with a little loudness.
I have to say, I am a little fearful of these things, trust me, when you catch them off guard they can be somewhat scary!
It must have heard the motor as well, and before I knew it, it was looking right at me, only this time I had no binoculars on, but I could see it plain as day staring at me.
“Raaahhhhaaaeeeeaaahh!” It screamed like a banshee loud, and quickly, then in two leaps it covered what had to be 10-15 yards to the tree line and vanished.
That sound and the way it looked at me as it screamed really did have my heart pounding, I could not have imagined if I was on land facing that thing.
Today I do more than bird watching when I can.
I have since moved back to the southern Oregon area and take my son and husband out there to the spot once in a while hoping for another chance encounter, from the boat, of course.
I still consult for the Forest Service here, and even though I try to pry for real answers from them, I don’t really get any, period.
Well, thanks for letting me share Dave. When I lose the job I would love to sit for an interview…!
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