Date:september 14, 2004
Morrow county, OR
Nearest town: Hardman
Nearest road: Lava flat Rd.
Conditions: warm and clear
Location: Location is land locked by private property. Ranch land surrounds about half and a hunt club owns the other half. Trespass is strictly forbidden. I was with a friend who was a guest of one of the owning ranchers. Exact location will be kept confidential for now. The onwers do not know about this encounter and it probably should be left that way for the time being.
Description of event: My two friends and I were deer and elk hunting. I had been hunting alone for deer while my friends went after elk. At the end of the second day we had decided to all hunt together and go after a small herd of elk that they had been pushing around.
The general area consists of a large meadow approx. 1 1/2 mi. long x 3/4 mi. wide. It is surrounded by mountains approx. 500' higher than the meadow floor. We were to hunt the West end of the meadow and up into the mountains.
Upon reaching our spot we located the elk feeding through a small field to the South and about half way up. Friend one was going to head straight up and cut Southeast through the field. Brandon and I headed Southeast from the beginning but stayed low. Upon reaching the East side of the field we headed straight up and waited for friend one to push the elk to us. Brandon set up about 100 yards above me on the trail.
After about twenty minutes of waiting I heard a call coming from the West side of the field. I assumed this was friend one making his way to us. To me it sounded like the type of call an animal makes when it is alarmed. This really bugged me. It was not the soft, reassuring cow call that I thought he should be making. The sound was very rhythmic. You could have played a tune to it. This was also very annoying. I thought, "You are overcalling. Shut up already!"
Just about this time Brandon lets out a couple of bugles so I figured that he had friend one in sight. "The call" came into the field and then abruptly turned South up the hill and then turned East again. It called the entire time.It would have gone almost exactly in-between Brandon and myself if it kept the same course. I was glassing the field trying to see friend one but I saw nothing. I know that I was looking directly at where "the call" was comming from but there was nothing to see. This probably took about ten to fifteen minutes. Then "the call" stopped. I figured Brandon and friend one had met up on the trail so I started to head down as it was getting pretty dark at this time.
About twenty yards down I heard a sound behind me. It was Brandon coming down. I stopped and waited. I asked him where friend one was? He said that he had not seen him but that the elk were now on their way to the next county. Then I asked him if he had heard "the call" Come across the field? He said no. I started to explain the sound when it started up again. Now it was across the trail to the East. It must have waited for Brandon to pass, then crossed. I shut up real quick so he could hear it but it stopped again. Then it started again but this time it was quite a ways away. He thought he had heard it but could not be sure. I jokingly said something about the stick indians trying to lure us off in the woods. I have never heard a call like this in the woods before... never. It was fairly low in tone likeaon owl but it had a real hollow sound to it. It reminded me of those blow pop whistles that you had when you were a kid only stressed or alarmed. That is the only way I can explain it.
We started walking back to the truck. About half way there we noticed that friend one was already there. We could see the interrior lights on. We asked him how the push went and if he had seen the elk. He said no. Then I asked him if he had herd "the call" in the field. He said no and that he hadn't even made it to the field before coming down. Brandon and I left it at that. It is important for me to stress that at no time did I feel in danger. Remember that for most of this time I'm assuming that it is my friend messing up our evening hunt. A few days later I called up Brandon and asked him if we could go back in there. I told him I thought there was a good chance of Bigfoot being in that area. He said that was funny because he had gone back in there to hunt those elk again and something strange happened to him. He was back in the field only at the top this time. He was planning to cut it straight down the middle. As he started in he heard a sound that he described as someone taking a baseball bat and smacking it as hard as possible against a tree. He thought it was a woodpecker at first but it was too loud. And like "the call" it was rhythmic and too slow for a woodpecker. Deer or elk antlers were out of the question. As he continued further into the field it suddenly got faster. The sound was coming from some dense forest to the East of him. At this point he stopped, turned and exited the field choosing to hunt on a course that would take him back to his truck. On the way he entered a smaller field which was cover with mole hills. In one of these he found a track. It was not much longer than his but it was easily three or so inches wider. Brandon wears an eleven. He got pictures and said that it would have been castable. He said it could have been a bear track but was not entirely sure. He then went on to tell me that the elk we had pushed the other day had acted real strange. He didn't think much of it until now. When he had got above me on the trail he saw the elk below headed down the field towards the place where friend one should have been. They suddenly stopped did a 90 turn and ran back up the hill. The elk had been calmly walking. This is when he tried calling to stop them. I have listened to the calls on your site. None of them match exactly. The Sonomish calls are very close but this was deeper. Your calls are intermittent. The sonds I heard were as steady as a drum beat.
record updated:2005-03-01 00:00:00