; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Ozarks Hunter Deeply Regrets SHOOTING BIGFOOT

An Arkansas Ozarks hunter is in the woods where he and his father once hunted together. He encounters a Bigfoot, then shoots the creature. Afterward, a rush of emotions and guilt flood over him.

The following account was recently forwarded to me by an associate:

"It was the weekend before Thanksgiving and Lee was camping in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas trying to get a deer for Thanksgiving in the freezer. It was an annual tradition for Lee to venture into the same woods he hunted with his dad every year before he died. These woods were where his dad taught him to leave no trace, to respect the sacred place, and to always give thanks when it gave up its gifts. Going without his dad this year didn't feel right, but his wife encouraged him to keep the tradition.

Lee finished up his sandwich, cleaned up camp, grabbed his gear, and started walking into the woods. The leaves crunched under his feet and the sweet smell of forest decay and moist dirt was in the air. Reaching his favorite clearing alongside a creek didn't take too long. He set his pack down and started checking the game trails leading to the clearing from the forest deciding which way he would go next. Once he made up his mind, he returned to his pack, pulled out an apple, and left it on the rock in the center of the clearing before heading down the game trail.

He remembered the first time he went hunting with his dad and saw him leave a pile of apples. It was always Arkansas black apples from their tree back at home his dad told him that when the forest gives you a gift it's only fitting to leave a gift as well. It felt mystical as a child but now that Lee was a grown man he believed that apples were like his dad's lucky pair of hunting underwear. His dad was very successful hunting deer, and always seemed to show up near him. So he decided to keep the tradition, at least the apple part. His dad took his lucky underwear to the grave.

Lee started chuckling as he walked along the creek when he recalled the horrified look on the mortician's face when he handed her the lucky underwear they were patched with many pieces of fabric over the years, often flowery remnants of his sister's dresses. His dad may have been a mountain man but he was buried with roses on his rear end. His chuckle had turned to a laugh when suddenly a red fox ran past him and a rock landed on the ground in front of him rolling forward on the ground. He gripped his rifle tighter as he turned around to confront whoever threw the rock. He couldn't see anyone nearby so he lifted his rifle to his shoulder and started looking in the direction the rock had come from through his scope.

Near the entrance to the clearing, partially behind the large oak, was a large figure. A little scared but mostly angry Lee yelled "Hey" at the figure. The figure stepped out from behind the tree and Lee realized what he was looking at. In his sight was a creature standing on two legs covered in shaggy brown hair. It was clearly a male and had broad massive shoulders that led to a head with tiny neck in between. He could see the creature's eyes blinking through the scope. He was sure he wasn't looking at a human, but he still asks "Why'd you do that?" The creature bellowed a strange roar louder and different than any noise he had ever heard in these woods before. Lee's hands were shaking as he watched the creature through his scope. The thought came to his mind "This is your chance." He tried to be a good provider for his family but there was usually more month left than paycheck. If he shot this creature he was guaranteed a payday. There had even been a TV show offering a huge bounty for just a little proof. A body would be worth more. They could replace his wife's death trap of a car, college savings for the kids, and fewer trips to the thrift store. Just one shot and they would finally have their heads above water.

His father's reminders about only taking what you need whisper in his mind. Lee took a deep breath, whispered I need this aim center mass, and pulled the trigger. The creature grunted and screamed as it grabbed at its side. He could see the blood dripping between its fingers as it turned and ran. The creature wasn't running very fast but it maintained its distance from Lee. It crossed over a river and climbed up the limestone cliff running along the river, climbing into the mouth of a bluff shelter. Lee knew he would be at a disadvantage if he tried to climb up to the bluff shelter but he couldn't see into the shelter from his location on the ground. He backed up and watched the creature in the shelter through his scope. It was too far away to take a second shot so he stayed there observing the creature's actions. Lee could see the creature leaning against the side of the shelter taking deep breaths. If the creature died there the body would be safe,

He had been watching for about 10 minutes through his scope when he noticed a gray figure at the creature's side. He could see gray arms moving as the wounded creature was gesturing toward the wound area. The gray figure put its hand down on the wound and the creature screamed in pain. Lee felt a twinge of guilt, feeling sorry for the pain the wounded creature was suffering. "Oh God, why didn't I get a clean shot," he thought. The wounded creature sat down and put its back against the shelter wall. From the opposite side of the shelter, he saw another dark figure approach the wounded creature and fall to its knees. It rested its hands on the wounded one's legs. Its lips move as if talking. It stood back up and turned around as a small figure ran up to it. It leaned down to pick up the smaller figure and Lee could see pendulous breasts hanging. He realized this was a female, a mother.

Lee lowered his gun trembling with the realization of what he had done. I shot the father. I may have killed this little one's father. Guilt washed over him. He would never do anything illegal to help his family financially but he couldn't shake the feeling that what he had done was akin to murder. This mother was picking up her child just like his wife picked up theirs. This mother appeared concerned about the wounded creature just like his wife would be. If they had no shaggy hair someone might even confuse them with humans. I'm a murderer. What was I thinking? He dropped to his knees.

Lee looked back up through his scope and saw the wounded one standing up again. A mass of leaves where the wound was. The mother was cradling the young one's head on her shoulder. Both were looking down at him. Emotions overwhelmed him as tears ran down his face. He knew his dad was looking down on him too. He set his gun down and put his face in his hands. He was no better of a man than a poacher. He cried until the tears wouldn't come anymore, then stood up. When he looked up at the bluff shelter there was nothing there. He lifted his rifle back up and looked through the scope. Nothing. He scanned the rest of the area along the limestone cliff and river but the family was gone.

He lowered his gun and turned away walking back the way he came. He knew he had made one of the biggest mistakes of his life but he also couldn't shake the idea that this was just a bad dream. He walked back to the clearing where he had left the apple on the rock. Even from the clearing he could see the white flesh exposed against the deep redskin of the apple. A single bite was missing and there was a trail of blood near the rock. He walked out of the woods sick knowing that what had happened was real.

Lee would return to these woods every year unarmed with a pile of Arkansas black apples and an apology. Wildlife would dart through the clearing past him but he refused to hunt at this location anymore. He had violated the trust his dad had built and he wanted to build it back for his own kids. Lee didn't know for certain if his dad knew about these creatures existing but Lee had a feeling he did. His dad's patchwork flowery lucky underwear would always be a mystery, but he finally understood the importance of his dad's gift of apples."



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Have you had a sighting or encounter?
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Thanks. Lon

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