Report # 26957 (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, December 2, 2009.
Pre-dawn whoops and movement heard near Prince Galitzin State Park
COUNTY: Cambria County
NEAREST TOWN: frugality
NEAREST ROAD: SR-053
OBSERVED: I am a police officer and I have worked for the US Forest Service. I have been in almost all states. I have been an avid hunter all my life and have never heard anything like this.
November 30, 2009 at approx. 05:15 Hrs. – I was deer hunting on state game lands just North of Glendale Lake (Prince Galitzin State Park) It was raining during the night and the leaves were saturated which made it easy to walk in the wooded area to my deer stand with little or no noise. The skies were overcast and the moon was not noticeable. The wind at the time was sporatic and sound could easily distinguishable.
I was sitting in my stand and could smell a musky odor which I intrepreted as a mink or a fisher. The prior day when I was checking my spot I could also smell the same. It was extremely dark and I could not see my hand in front of my face. I could detect movement around me but I dismissed it as possibly deer. At the time listed I could hear a whooping noise approx. 50 – 100 yards in front of me. I could hear what I can only describe as slow walking noises and large branches or trees being broke. The whooping sound was heard two (2) times and the footsteps gradually faded. I know these woods and am familiar with all wildlife that inhabit this area. I am familiar with how a bear and deer move through the brush and this was not either.
The sun rose at approx. 07:18 hrs. and I noticed that the musky odor had gone. It did start to rain again and no other incident was noted.
ALSO NOTICED: None
OTHER WITNESSES: Unknown
OTHER STORIES: No. I have not done any research as of this date.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: approx. 05:15 Hrs.
ENVIRONMENT: Rain Wet Dark
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Paul J. Mateja:
12/07/09: Interviewed the witness. The following is the result of the interview.
The day before the opening of deer season, the witness and his friend went to the area to check it out and set up the tree stands. They noticed a heavy musty smell, much like that of a mink. The smell was not offensive.
The next day, the witness was in his stand by 5:15 a.m. It was still very dark and rainy. The musty smell was still present and he thought this somewhat peculiar. After about 20 minutes he heard an odd whistle. This came from his left approx. 75 yards away. This was followed by a series of whooping sounds coming from the opposite direction. He then heard logs or large branches breaking and snapping. From past experience in the forestry industry, he knew from the sounds of the branches being snapped were rather large, perhaps three to five inches in diameter. This incident, starting with the whistle lasted five minutes or a little more. The witness was very shaken by the incident, but did not leave and continued hunting. Later in the day the witness did shoot a deer. As he was gutting it, he had the uneasy feeling of being watched.
When he met with his friend later in the day, his friend asked if he had heard anything unusual. The friend had heard the whooping and said something was walking around his tree stand, but couldn’t see a thing because at the time it was still very dark.
Since the incident, the witness has found recordings on the BFRO website of the whistle and whoops he heard. The records are excerpts from the Sierra Sounds: