Bigfoot Encounter While Coon Hunting
I had been told this story many times while growing up, but it was not until much later that I began to question the event and to gather as much information as possible. My dad has been a lifelong raccoon hunter. He started at a very young age and was passionate about what is commonly called coon hunting. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, raccoon fur would fetch a pretty good price. Dad would frequently sell fur to help pay for Christmas presents for my brothers, sister, and me when we were small. Dad was no stranger to the outdoors, hunting dogs, and wild animals of all sorts.
It is a hunting trip in the early 1980s that was of particular interest to me. This was when I was still too young to accompany dad on these hunts. My uncle owned a large farm in rural Roane County, West Virginia, USA. The land is rolling hills with some pasture, but also areas of thick brush and hardwood forest of oak, hickory, walnut, and other trees. This farm also borders Charles Fork Lake, a 70 acre impoundment, just south of Spencer. The lake sits on 1600 acres in the pristine Appalachian backcountry. It is full of bass, catfish, bluegill, and other gamefish, all good sources of food.
Coon hunting season usually begins in mid-to-late October. This particular trip was in November at approximately 8-9 pm. As daylight savings time ends, darkness begins to fall at around 6 pm each evening. It was a cloudy evening with the temperature at around 40 degrees. Dad and my uncle took their favorite coon hound named George out for the evening. George was a Black and Tan hound. This particular breed is known for being strong, independent, and stubborn. Dad had hunted with George for many years and knew the dog’s temperament very well.
They led George way back to the top of the ridge before releasing him. Once you have a well-trained dog, you can start him in a particular direction and he will follow your instructions. As the hunting party pulled to the top of the ridge, Dad started George down over the left side. George had barely gotten out of their sight when they heard the sound of dry brush breaking under a heavy foot. They could tell that whatever was passing through, below them in the darkness, was definitely something big. It was not the sound of a whitetail deer running through the brush as they had heard many times before. It sounded more like the step of a human—only much heavier. This was approximately 50 yards or so down toward the hollow. The entire event ended almost as quickly as it began. In only a few seconds, the crackling brush was silent once more. Actually, it was eerily silent as there appeared to be no noises of any kind in the forest.
Now, you must be wondering what happened to George in all this commotion. Well, George had retreated back to the side of my dad and uncle. His hair was bristled on his back, but not in an aggressive way. His tail had dropped to between his legs, and he was obviously terrified. He was silent, not even a whimper, as to say. Whatever was down over the hill, was something he wanted to go away. The hunt for that night was over as both the hound and the hunters wanted to be out of the woods.
There has been much discussion since then about what it was that broke the brush passing through below the ridgetop. Could it have been a deer? Not likely, as the hunters would recognize the sound of a whitetail and even though George was a coon hound, he would also sometimes chase deer and not the other way around. Could it have been a black bear? A bear would certainly be much heavier and could easily break brush as it hurried away. However, the sound was more of a footstep rather than the running or lunging of a bear. Also, the hunters did not think that a bear would have terrified George to the point that he would leave the hunt and return to their side. In addition to the Black and Tan breed of hound being used for coon hunting, they were also bred as bear dogs. It is highly unlikely that a hunting dog with coon and bear hunting in its bloodline would retreat from a bear, cowering in fear.
With the remote location of the farm, along with the vast, uninhabited acreage of the lake and abundant food sources, could this stranger in the night have been the elusive creature known as Bigfoot? In recent years, I have had numerous other reports from eye witnesses who say they have seen things they cannot logically explain, all in and around this area of Roane County, West Virginia, USA.