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A Noise in the Yard - Owl, Deer, Bear, or Something Else?

  1. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    As a guest was leaving I was going to bring out a bag of trash (because I don't really like going out in the dark yard alone).  There are woods around my street, and we have all the usual woodland creatures (and owls) including deer.  We have coyotes too.  As far as I know, we don't have bears; although bears have been in towns not all that far away from us (like two or three towns away).   There's never any guarantees, but in general it isn't all that likely there would be a stranger in the yard.

    As my guest and I stepped onto the porch I heard this really loud sound, like a man running (and flopping his feet hard on the dirt) with, maybe, big, floppy, sneakers.  The "flopping on the ground/running" sound went on for quite a few seconds; and while it was going on I was picturing a man running (but without the kind of direction a person would probably have).  I was yelling "what was that?", and as the noise went on I (non-sensically) imagined that my daughter had parked her car in the street, heard me yell, and was running across the lawn to get to the porch.  (She wears flip-flops, though, and she wouldn't make all that noise even if she were running. )

    I ruled out all animals from coyotes (size-wise) down because they just wouldn't make that much noise.  I did imagine a giant owl flapping its wings, but I'd think it would have gotten out of ear-shot more quickly than this did.  So, after all this big story, my question is, "Does anyone know if a deer sounds like I described, if a bear may sound like that (I've always imagined more of a thumping sound for bears), or if something like a hawk or owl may sound like that?  Basically, I'm trying to rule out the possibility that it was either a bear or an aimless crazy person with giant, floppy, sneakers.   smile

  2. darkside profile image80
    darksideposted 7 years ago

    Got any cows or horses nearby?

    If it was around here I'd say cow, kangaroo, wallaby, wild dog, horse or even a camel. We have camels next door.

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      There may be a couple of horses somewhere sort of nearby (but not wild ones).  I've heard the non-wild ones, and they "clop" rather than "flop".  smile

      Wow, you've got a lot of big animals nearby.  smile  That's both "neat" and scary.    The biggest thing we have are deer.  (The state does have moose and bears, but moose only show up in other towns occasionally.  I don't think coyotes or dogs sound like this.  (I was on the porch when a coyote ran from the yard, and it was silent.)  Actually, this thing sounded like I imagine a kangaroo may sound.  I'll probably never know, but I was just wondering if deer sound like men's sneakers or more like a heavier, thumping, sound.  (There's actually a hospital a mile or so away, so the idea that it could have been an aimless crazy person is only a little far fetched.  smile  )

      1. darkside profile image80
        darksideposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        What was the weather like?

        Sometimes a sloppy clop can sound like a flop. big_smile

  3. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 7 years ago

    Not a clue, Lisa.  A few nights ago, though, not long after I'd gone to bed in the steel storage shed where I sleep out here in the Arizona desert, something sizeable WHANGED into one corner of the shed. 

    My wife sleeps in the camp trailer about 30 feet away.  If she was in trouble, my flashlight and I would be rolling out to assist, but NOT otherwise. 

    "Pam?!" I yelled a time or two, but not so loud that it would be likely to wake her if she was sound asleep in the camper (which she was).

    No answer...except for another WHANG!! 

    Tracks in daylight were inconclusive (we'd had a little monsoon rain, of which we've had VERY little this year), but we're pretty sure it was a javelina that bumped into the shed, then bumped into it again.  They're not the smartest of pigs.

    Although I figured if I lifted the rollup door to go see for sure without REALLY needing to do so, I wasn't the smartest of dudes, either.

    Things quieted down, so Kitten Green Eyes and I rolled over and went back to sleep.

  4. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    Wow - a javelina.  I'm starting to become very aware that a lot of other people have a lot more interesting animals around than we do.  I'm just absolutely creeped out because this is kind of an area where you see mostly squirrels, neighbors' cats, bunnies, and all the other "usual" small woodland creatures.  Deer seem to have shown up more in recent years.  I guess I'm going to tell myself it was a deer.   hmm   It has sure taken the joy out of the idea of taking those Summer night walks a mile and a half away to get a Dunkin Donuts coffee and some night air.

  5. CEN7777 profile image59
    CEN7777posted 7 years ago

    It must be owl or a big bird like eagle or bat.

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      As I try to recreate the sound in my head today, I'm leaning toward thinking it was a giant owl.  We do have the occasional hawk around here.  (If it was a bat, I'm moving to another part of the country.  smile ).

      1. lrohner profile image86
        lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Don't be so afraid of bats! smile When my kids were younger, we lived out in the country and there were tons of bats around. In the summer at dusk we would go out in the back yard, lay on our backs and toss balls up high into the air. It was neat watching them swoop down following the balls!

        We also had tons of snakes. Now snakes are worth moving to get away from! smile

        1. Lisa HW profile image83
          Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I'm not necessarily afraid of bats (if they're little), although I I don't really want to be out if they're flying around.  I'd be REALLY worried about a bat that sounded like this thing did, though.  lol

          Whatever this thing was it didn't sound like it was running or flapping away.  It sounded like it was either coming toward me or else maybe (if it was a bird) circling.  Apparently, having spent the first twelve years of my life living in a little city has never quite left me when it comes to having woods around thing.   smile

          1. Pamda Man profile image60
            Pamda Manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Chupacabras has wings of bat. smile

  6. Pamda Man profile image60
    Pamda Manposted 7 years ago

    Only 3 possible answers.

    a) Aliens.
    b) Chupacabras.
    c) You have hallucinations.

    lol

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I hadn't considered any of these, but they are all distinct possibilities.

      1. Pamda Man profile image60
        Pamda Manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Lol. You didn't get the joke. sad

        1. Lisa HW profile image83
          Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I did, I think, get the joke.  I think you may have misinterpreted my attempt at dry humor.

          1. Pamda Man profile image60
            Pamda Manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Oh. That's good. smile Lol.

  7. Colebabie profile image59
    Colebabieposted 7 years ago

    I agree. Don't be scared of bats. We have them here in Florida. Very cool to watch as the sun goes down. We have lots of snakes too. They don't bother me at all, but the boyfriend hates them.

    Now the crazy amount (~150,000) of pythons out there, I'm not exactly a fan. But they aren't poisonous, just huuuuggggeee.

    Not sure what your sound is. Hmm.

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      We have little foot-long grass snakes that are only seen rarely.  They don't bother me.  Pythons would kind of worry me, though.   smile

  8. wesleycox profile image82
    wesleycoxposted 7 years ago

    Horses, cows, deer, owls, and hawks sound nothing like what you describe.  Even when you scare them in the woods they all move very fast when scared.

    What you heard was BIGFOOT.  No doubt about it.  Don't worry though, these creatures have a huge migratory path so it will be a long time before he, or she, comes back.

    1. Pamda Man profile image60
      Pamda Manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I disagree. I say it's either an alien or Chupacabras. Or topic creator has hallucinations. big_smile

    2. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Now THAT is exactly what it sounded like (assuming, of course, I know whaqt Bigfoot sounds like).  When it was going on I had this image of a giant, giant, man's sneaker (the old fashioned kind). 

      Of course, the other part of the story is I must have scared it; because we just went out onto the otherwise silent porch; I heard the noise really close, and (much to the shock and horror of this otherwise calm-in-a-crisis person) I just started yelling, "What was that!  What was that!" over and over again (like a giant four-year-old).  So, now today I'm thinking it could have been an aggressive, scared, giant, bird circling (rather than leaving)....    (Now I have to process this discovery I've made that when I'm in the dark and thinking someone is running around in circles with big sneakers, my instinct is to start yelling like a four-year-old!  smile   I think I need to sign up for therapy after all this!  smile  )

  9. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 7 years ago

    Um, you know all of the familiar animal sounds. The sound of a person running would have led me to call 911. It's pretty distinct from animals. Sometimes we don't trust our instincts enough.

    Although the bigfoot comments are really making me smile - alot. And Pamda Man what is a Chupacabras?

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I think my instinct told me it was an animal or bird.  If I think of sound (even though I was imagining big sneakers flopping), I realize what even a big guy's running shoes would sound like on the grassy yard.  It really would have had to be Bigfoot to sound like this (which is, of course, why my instinct apparently made me start yelling like an out-of-control robot).   It almost sounded like someone beating a rug really loud.  My friend was laughing and said, "Now we know how you'd react if you came across a bear."  (He has had plenty of experience with bears in his yard in the past.)

  10. Pamda Man profile image60
    Pamda Manposted 7 years ago

    Chupacabras has red eyes and has wings of a bat. Witnesses say.

  11. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 7 years ago

    Around here, opossums like to get inside trash cans and when they get out they can make a lot of noise. Some of them are pretty big and they are nocturnal. Raccoons also like trash cans and can make a lot of racket, way more than you might expect.

    Finding a possum in a trash can is really common here. I once cleaned out a garage and found a mother and four babies behind a cardboard box.

    God they're ugly. The babies aren't even cute. yikes

    1. jonwenberg profile image59
      jonwenbergposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      My dog brought one in through her doggie-door and placed it next to my sleeping wife one evening; what a fright to wake up too. She said she felt it in the dark and first thought it was the dog, but the long hairless tail gave it away. The poor hideous beast had only been gummed by the dog and was alive, well and hissing, so I pushed it into a box and let it go in the yard again; promptly washed sheets.

  12. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 7 years ago

    Okay Panda Man, I just googled Chupacabras. Very interesting. Have you considered a hub about this topic?

    1. Pamda Man profile image60
      Pamda Manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Probably write it tomorrow.

    2. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe I should add my "report" to the Chupacabra thing and say I heard one in Massachusetts in 2009.   smile

      You know what just occurred to me as I was thinking about Chupacabras, which led to thinking about the fact that we do have Fisher Cats around around here....      I'm thinking there could be some animal that makes some weird sound as a way to defend itself.  (Not that Fisher Cats do that - it's just that they're weird animals, which led me to thinking about other weird animals and sounds.  smile  )  Maybe it was a snake that mimics other sounds when it's disturbed (or something like that).  Oh well, I'll never know (unless I run into it again, which I won't - because I'm not going out in the yard at night for a really long time, if ever).   smile

      1. Pamda Man profile image60
        Pamda Manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Yeah, I will probably write a hub with you as a witness. HAHAH

  13. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 7 years ago

    Chupacabras in Massachusetts! I surely hope it was western Massachusetts and no where near Cape Cod. The only wierd thing this coward wants to hear at night is drunk tourists.

    1. Pamda Man profile image60
      Pamda Manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Lol. big_smile I made a thread on Chupacabras.

  14. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    Nelle, not Western Mass (which is where my friend lived with the nightly bear-in-the-yard "issues"); but nowhere near the Cape either.  smile  We live in what I always thought was a civilized, developed, suburb not awfully far from Lexington and Concord (but which I have now learned is apparently the bloody WILDERNESS!!  mad ).   (I need to find out if there are Chupacabras or 20-foot bats closer to the Boston area; and if there aren't, think about moving there.   smile   )

  15. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 7 years ago

    Lisa there are an estimated 250,000 bats that live within Route 128 area. How do I know this? I used to be a municipal planner and I worked in that area. (Did my internship in Concord as a matter of fact.) I had a friend/planner have a bat invade her bedroom. She then did lots of research and told me about it.

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Well, thanks for sharing that.   Now I have yet more creatures that I know are "out there".   smile  I hope, at least, they're little bats.  hmm  Now that I'm thinking about it, I can see how that loud flapping/flopping I was hearing could have been something like a bat on near or even on the porch.  I didn't put the light on because of mosquitos (a huge, huge, problem where I am).  That would mean we stepped out on the dark porch, and if it was a bat it could been kind of stuck somewhere, not knowing how to find its way out.  (Or else it was Bigfoot.  smile  )   Carlisle had a bear recently, so that's why I was wondering about bears.  I read that bears can easily go 100 miles in a night.

  16. Rochelle Frank profile image86
    Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago

    The bats we have here aren't very loud (or very big)-- they do eat lost of mosquitoes.

    It wouldn't be an owl-- their feathers are so soft that you can't hear them flying. That's one reason they are such good stealth hunters.
    Hawks usually fly and hunt in daylight hours.

    Deer are more noisy than you might think, especially if startled and going through brush.

    I'd vote for the bigfoot thing.

  17. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    Rochelle, I think I may have to assume it was Bigfoot too.  smile  I didn't know hawks only do their thing in the daytime.  I've been thinking (non-stop ever since it happened) that it could have been a family of deer.  That would explain why there was so much of the "flopping" and why it didn't just sound like one animal running away.  I've seen adult deer with about five "children", so that's a lot of deer feet.  smile  This was just this overwhelming, loud, long-lasting, amount of flopping really close by (so it made me think, "What on Earth is happening?").  Oh well, if it was deer maybe our going out and surprising them will teach them that just because it's dark it doesn't mean it's safe to hang out in this yard.  My neighbors probably also learned that I am apparently a crazy, yelling, person.   smile

  18. mayhmong profile image73
    mayhmongposted 7 years ago

    aww man, I was going to say big foot too!

    I'm not sure if it could be some deers trampling through a big puddle of water or perhaps it could be racoons messing around.

  19. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    maymong, everyone does seem to be leaning toward Bigfoot.  smile

    We do have raccoons around, and they make a lot of noise when they're in the trees (or knocking over trash cans), but there was no sound of trees or bushes with this.  It just sounded like giant feet hitting the ground.

    Ooh - I just thought of a possibility (that's less dramatic than Bigfoot).  We have new, automated, trash containers with heavy, hinged, tops that flop down hard.  If some animal managed to get into one of those the cover would flop down after him.  An animal that heard us come out could have been trapped and flopping the cover to get out.  (I know this is a reach, but I think I'll go look in before it gets dark tonight.)  We've had these things a few weeks now, so it might be long enough for animals to have learned how to "work" them.  smile

    1. mayhmong profile image73
      mayhmongposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Let's hope that was it!

  20. tksensei profile image60
    tksenseiposted 7 years ago

    Do you live near Crystal Lake?

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      No.  Why - have you heard that Bigfoot lives there?    smile

  21. SamSurvivor profile image77
    SamSurvivorposted 7 years ago

    It's pretty obvious you're dealing with Bigfoot. The big feet make a big flopping sound.

    Beware though, though not all will eat humans, the ones that do are actually drawn to the sound of scared female voices. The higher the voice, the more attracted they are.

    Just thought I'd let you know,

    wink

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I have to say my voice wasn't high or scared sounding, probably.  It was more robot-sounding and loud.  I realized later it was an attempt to use the one thing I had (my voice) to try to scare off Bigfoot (or the Chupacabra or the aliens or the crazy, aimless, human).  smile

  22. tksensei profile image60
    tksenseiposted 7 years ago

    You might want to consider supplementing your voice with a gun or a dog or something.

  23. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    Pgrundy, oh - they're not all that ugly.   smile    I was amazed to learn that they carry their babies on their backs, so it looks like they're wearing hair rollers.

    jonwenberg, I would have had a giant heart attack!!!

  24. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    darkside, I know what you mean about how a slop clop can sound like a flop; but the ground was dry.  My daughter said she has seen a family of wild turkeys, so I'm thinking it could have been them flapping their wings.  Then, though, she told me that she has often seen neighborhood teenage boys out and around the woods.

    1. tksensei profile image60
      tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Which brings us back to my suggestion...

    2. darkside profile image80
      darksideposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Dry ground rules out the chance of sloppy clopping sounding like flopping. But I'd have thought the slapping of flapping would sound like clapping.

  25. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    tk, thanks for the suggestions but neither is an option for me.  I think I will work on perfecting my mean, "stay-away", voice.   smile  It actually worked ok with Bigfoot last night.

    1. tksensei profile image60
      tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Ok seriously, what you heard was probably nothing, but you really shouldn't bet your neck on a "stay away voice." I only say that with your best interests in mind.

  26. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    tk, last night as I was trying out the "stay-away" voice I was more than aware of how effective it isn't.   smile   My knees were shaking as I "bravely" stood at the top of the stairs yelling into the pitch black dark.  (That is before I almost knocked my guest over as I scrambled to get back inside the house.  smile  )

  27. tksensei profile image60
    tksenseiposted 7 years ago

    Is there a man in the house? (and why is a dog not an option right now?)

  28. packerpack profile image59
    packerpackposted 7 years ago

    Big bat like vampires, I sincerely think so ..... or is it that I watched both parts of Underworld last night wink

  29. HubChief profile image68
    HubChiefposted 7 years ago

    sounds scary!!

  30. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    tk, yes - there's a man in the house; but he wasn't present for this incident.   I love dogs, but I don't have the time or energy to raise a puppy right now, or to take on and get to know an older dog.  Besides, my daughter's two cats, like most cats, tend to puke every so often - and I'm not in the mood for more pet clean-ups.   smile

    packerpack, I have to say that giant vampire bats weren't something I considered.   smile  Maybe I should.

    Hub Chief, it was scary while it went on (more scary than it should have been for a grown person who usually doesn't go nuts when weirdness goes on).  It was, however, good for a lot of hysterical laughing about it immediately after, and then again later when my guest and I re-hashed it on the phone.   lol  (Of course, it probably says something that I'm still re-hashing it on here and offline.   smile  )  I'll move on tomorrow.

    1. tksensei profile image60
      tksenseiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      When you were standing there scared in the dark do you think you would have considered making the time?

  31. Pamda Man profile image60
    Pamda Manposted 7 years ago

    Lisa I just wrote the Chupacabras thing.

  32. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    tk, no.  I'd rather be killed by Bigfoot or take on hooligans with a big frying pan than to sign on for yet another pet to worry about or clean up after.  Not to be too much of a big downer, but almost four years after losing yet one more very long-time, beloved, pet (a cat); I'm not sure I ever want to sign on for more pets again.  hmm

  33. HubChief profile image68
    HubChiefposted 7 years ago

    Lisa, I lost my pet dog when i was 10, had another one for 2/3 years but then have to get rid of it as it became threat.

    Never ever had any pet after my age of 13. it si a big responsibility and you feel all the way more if somethng terrible happens. I am now scared of even having to have that responsibility

  34. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    Hub Chief, although I really do have quite a lot of demands on my energy these days, I don't mind the responsibility of a pet at all.  I have my daughter's two cats here, and even though I'm not thrilled with the occasional puke clean-up, I don't really mind.  The real problem is that I've had several pets for - like - 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21 years.   When you've cared for something for that long, and grown close to it, it's really awful when they die.  The longer you have them, the closer and closer you get to them - and then they die.  hmm  There's only so many times a person wants to go through losing yet another long-time "friend" (even if it is a pet).   Maybe in another couple of years I'll be more ready to sign on for another pet friend, but going through losing another one just isn't very appealing to me right now.   smile

    (Returning this thread to the subject of Bigfoot and giant vampire bats now.   smile  )

    1. HubChief profile image68
      HubChiefposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Fair enough! that is what I meant. I also stopped becauase I had fear of losing them.


  35. Pamda Man profile image60
    Pamda Manposted 7 years ago

    Finished my hub on Chupacabras. Enjoy! big_smile

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Chupacabras

  36. flread45 profile image83
    flread45posted 7 years ago

    I think you need to see a PSYCH now !!!!!

  37. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    flread45, oh.....   I hope you're joking.  I kind of like the fact that I've reached the age I have without losing the ability to have a little fun imagining up some drama in my otherwise not-very-exciting life.  smile

    1. flread45 profile image83
      flread45posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Grab a fishing pole and hit the water for some real excitement.smile smile

 
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