Sheridan County, Wyoming

Near Shell

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Sheridan County Wyoming (Class A) BFRO

September 1985

Myself and two friends went into the forest with our slingshots to find some squirrels. We had been coming to this place for years every September for our church retreat. The elk were just starting to come into rut and we could hear them bugling up on the higher plateaus as we were hiking in. We were about a mile or so in, N.W. of the lodge. There was a barbed wired fence cutting through the woods here and on either side of it for about 10-15 yards the trees were younger, ranging from 4-8 feet tall. It was apparently cleared for the making of the fence. We decided it would be easier to walk alongside the fence for awhile. We went another few hundred yards and as we rounded a bend my friends stopped suddenly. I was following, and so I stopped as well. I thought maybe we had walked up on something. My friend turned and looked at me and whispered "Do you see that?" I couldnt see as there was a small pine in my way. I started to ease forward and as the tree moved out of my view I just froze at what I saw. At first I thought it was a large bear, but discounted that idea immediately. It was like a massive human like animal, covered in a dark, course looking hair. Like a black bears, but not as thick in all areas. The face, chest, inside elbow area, and hands were nearly bare. It was around 8ft. tall and I would say it weighed between 450-550lbs. It had shoulders that were extremely wide, and they sort of slumped forward, Its arms were phenominally long and thick, they hung far below the thigh area, and the hands werent as large but still very big, they were more thick than long. The buttocks were unproportionately large, they didnt seem to fit the animal, they too were very muscular looking. The head of the animal seemed to be plopped right onto the shoulders, If the thing had a neck it wasnt any more than 3-4 inches long. The face was somewhat like a man's, and somewhat like a gorilla.. We were about 15-20 yards from it. It stood there seemingly observing us, and we crouched there observing it. This went on for at least 2 minutes, then it took a small step to the left and forward, partially blocking our view of it from about the croutch down. You could hear it breathing, like it had been running to get where it was. Then my friend yelled at it, saying "very funny, who's in the ape suit?" We scolded him telling him to shut up, I could tell it wasnt a joke, this, whatever it was, was a real animal. Then it made a noise, not really a growl, but more like a deep cough, like it was clearing its throat, but quite louder, like a coughing bark. Its really hard to describe a noise you have never heard before with words. That did it for us, so we turned and sprinted down the fenceline, took a cut through the woods and went straight to my parents camper trailer. We told him what we saw then my friends left to go tell their parents. My father knew I wasnt fibbing, I was 12 then and im 28 now. He had been outfitting for nearly 20 years all over Wyoming, and since I was 6, I got to go along on alot of hunts. He knew I knew the difference between one game animal and another. We waited till morning and headed back into the place we had seen the animal the day before. We searched for 2-3 hours and other than smashed grass and current bushes, we found nothing. You could see where something heavy had stood, then proceeded in the opposite direction we fled. He didnt know what to think of it, but he did believe me and my friends. He said he had heard here and there about the animal that they call bigfoot, but not in these parts, and he wasnt so sure about such an animal even existing. Even to this day, if its brought up, he still says "You saw what you saw".

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