Below is a comment from a reader that I’ve decided to make into a post. I will enter my comments in brackets throughout the post.— Peron
My family and I lived in Northern Arizona in the early 1970s. My grandfather, father, and uncles were all avid hunters so they knew the area well and they knew what kind of wildlife were in those woods and what kind was not. Or not supposed to be.
I was about 13 years old and my younger brother was about 12. We went out turkey hunting with our grandfather early one morning. Not long after sunrise we were going down a dirt road when we spotted some turkey going up a hill. We stopped, got out, and proceeded to try to get one. The turkeys didn’t panic or anything and slowly continued moving up the hill as we followed. My grandfather wanted the big tom turkey and, oddly, we passed by several hens who didn’t seem alarmed at all. I thought this was kind of strange.
[I’ve been able to get pretty close to turkeys but typically they become alarmed very quickly and take off.]
The tom turkey went out of sight near the top of the hill so we never got him and, of course, the hens followed. We decided to search the top of the hill to see if we could locate them again but we never found them. In fact, we never even heard them on top of the hill which was another odd thing because as they were moving up the hill they were pretty noisy.
[Many times I’ve lost sight of them and located them via their gobbling but this is indeed odd that they were not alarmed when you got near them and you didn’t hear their gobbling.]
Finally, my grandfather admitted defeat saying they were likely long gone so we took a little break. Not only did we not hear the noisy turkeys as we sat there taking a break but we didn’t hear anything else either. The first thing I noticed was that there were no bird sounds. In fact everything was dead quiet and dead still.
[Typical of a predator being near by in the area. I’ve experienced the same silence when there has been a mountain lion in the area or a bear.]
We finished our break and my grandfather told us we had to go. I assumed he meant go back to the truck down the hill the same way we came up so I began walking that direction. My grandfather grabbed a hold of my arm and told me we weren’t going that way and he told me to walk in the opposite direction away from the truck. I didn’t understand why. So the three of us began walking the opposite direction deeper into the woods and further away from the truck at the bottom of the hill.
[Obviously, this is when he spotted something that alarmed him. Perhaps the thing was inbetween your three and the bottom of the hill? Perhaps it had been stocking the turkeys itself? Or, maybe it was already on top of the hill and your grandfather spotted it while you all were taking a break?]
Along the way me and my brother began to whisper and I told him we were lost. I told him which direction the truck was in and that we were going the wrong way. We walked for what seemed like forever and finally we convinced our grandfather to take another little break. He went off, with his shotgun, to relieve himself and my brother and I continued whispering. Again, I told him we were going in the opposite direction and that we were lost in the woods.
Grandfather reappeared and we shut up and he looked kind of funny. His eyes were as big as saucers and he was all white like he’d seen a ghost. He was sort of scarred I thought. “Come on!,” he said, “We got to go….NOW!”. We started walking in the opposite direction and hadn’t walked long when my grandfather stopped and, of course, we also stopped. He was looking behind him (he had been walking behind us since the last break) and then turned to us and told us to keep walking. He said he had to relieve himself again and told us to walk a straight line in a northeasterly direction and not to stop. So we did what he told us to do but as we separated from him I turned and looked back. My grandfather was stooped over with the big shotgun in hand as if he was trying to sneak up on something behind us. Didn’t look like he was going to relieve himself to me. It looked like he was hunting for something.
[He obviously spotted something during your first break and knew it was stocking the three of you. Probably thought he could get a look at it by sending you two on ahead of him.]
I stopped briefly at this point wondering what in the hell grandfather was doing. My brother had got up ahead of me and when he saw me stopped he came back to me and told me, “Come on we’ve got to keep going.” Again I told him we were lost and we were getting more lost and that is when he told me something that sent a bit of fear into me!
“There’s something following us,” my brother told me in a whisper, “And it’s been following us since we came up the hill.” I was a bit confused as I had seen nothing and heard nothing so I asked him what it was. He told me he didn’t know but that it looked like a bear…only it was walking on two legs! I couldn’t believe it. “I saw it through the bushes when we took the first break,” my brother told me, “and granddad was watching it getting near us.”
[Bears can walk on two legs for short distances but no bear ever walks on two legs all of the time. So this was not a bear! ]
So apparently my grandfather had spotted whatever this thing was and my brother had also but I was clueless. I guess I was too concerned about us becoming more lost in the woods and wasn’t focused on the sounds and sights around me in the woods. Eventually, grandfather reappeared and this time I knew he was scared. He walked towards us very quickly and in a fearful voice told us to walk faster. “If something comes up behind us you two start running straight ahead to the highway and don’t look back. I’ll stay behind and take care of it.” Still I couldn’t figure out what he was referring to because I’d seen nothing.
[Well he must have seen something and got a good look at it and it scared the hell out of him. And it must have been coming closer to the three of you and that alarmed him.]
We all three started walking faster and my grandfather kept looking behind us. I figured that whatever was following us in the woods was now very close to us. Finally we came to the barbed wire fence, got over it, and came to the highway and we walked over to the opposite side of the road. My grandfather kept staring in the direction we’d come from. I could now clearly see my grandfather was scared to death and so was my brother as they watched the woods we just came out of.
We weren’t there long when a car came by and stopped and the woman gave us a ride back to my grandparents house. My grandfather simply told the woman we had gotten lost and she said she figured as much as when she saw him and us two boys along the highway she knew something was wrong. We got to grandfather’s house and my grandfather told my grandmother to call my uncle to see if he could take him out to get his truck. She said she could take him but he refused and told her to also tell my uncle to bring his pistol! She called my uncle and he said he’d be right over to take my grandfather to get his truck that was still out in those woods and that he’d bring his gun. My grandmother told grandfather that my uncle was on his way and she asked my grandfather what was going on. He was sitting in the bedroom and I heard him tell her, “There was something following us! There’s something in those woods that doesn’t belong there!”. He was scared and his voice showed it. Grandmother shut the bedroom door and I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
In a few minutes my uncle showed up. My grandfather had put the shotgun away and strapped on his Colt .45 pistol. He started heading out the front door and I asked him if I could go with him and my uncle to get the truck. He whizzed right by me and said, “No you’re staying here.” My grandmother then grabbed a hold of my arm and told me I could not go with them. I asked her why and also asked her what we going on. She wouldn’t tell me! My brother spoke up, then, and told her he knew what was following us in the woods. He told her it looked like a bear only it was walking on two legs and was “really…really big.” I saw my grandmother’s eyes grow as big as saucers at that point and I also noticed my grandmother was scared to and had been ever since she and grandfather had come out of the bedroom. I made some comment to her about how we got lost and I knew the way back to the truck but grandfather wouldn’t listen to me. She turned to me and completely expressionless said, “You weren’t lost. You’re grandfather was trying to get you to safety.”
[Indeed he was. He saw something he’d never seen before and it was stocking the 3 of you! Whatever it was it alarmed him and he sensed danger. His response was to get his two young grandsons out of the woods and to a safer place ASAP. He knew the highway was a short distance away and that’s why he told you two to run that direction if something came up behind you. Something must have made him think this thing was going to come after all of you or he’d seen something he’d never seen before and it scared the hell out of him. I notice he didn’t fire the shotgun at the thing which may have been wise because if he missed the thing it surely would have come after you 3 then. Or was there more than ONE?]
Her words pierced my heart like a cold knife! Safety from what? What was following us? She wouldn’t tell me and told me not to ask anymore questions. Grandfather and my uncle got the truck and when my grandfather came back home he was extremely quiet. I told him I knew something was following us and asked him what he thought it was. He wouldn’t tell me but simply told me “we aren’t going to talk about it.” My grandfather was the type of man who when he told you not to talk about something, you didn’t.
[He didn’t want to talk about it, I suspect, because he wasn’t sure what it was and didn’t want to sound crazy. But, also, I think he didn’t want to talk about it with you because he didn’t want to make you and your brother fearful of ever going back into the woods.]
I’ve always wondered just what was following us in the woods that morning and I suspicion it was a Bigfoot. I think this may have been the first one my grandfather ever saw and it scared the living daylights out of him. As we neared the highway it must have increased its walk towards us because just before we got to the barbed wire fence we were in a slow run. All three of us! I don’t know for sure what was following us that day but my brother’s description of it being really big and looking like a bear (hairy) walking on two legs (bipedal) pretty much tells me it was Bigfoot.
[I agree! It likely was the first Sasquatch he’d ever seen, at least, up close. Probably scared the hell out of him for a long time and I bet it took awhile for him to hunt in that area again. I’ve heard many descriptions of Bigfoot being phrased as looking like a large bear but walking on two legs. I think your grandfather was a very wise man. He had you, his two grandsons, in the woods with him and all he had was a shotgun. Not sure a shotgun would put a Bigfoot down as he was hunting turkey so was likely using shot and not slugs. Shot would have only wounded and angered whatever was following you so rather than firing the gun at it he chose to get you out of the woods. Wise move!! Had he fired the gun this story may have had a far different ending!
Bigfoot has been known to follow (stock) people in the woods without harming them or threatening them. They seem to be rather curious creatures and likely that is why this one was following the 3 of you. It didn’t intend to harm you but was just curious. It may have been stocking the turkey itself before you all came along and perhaps you interfered with its hunt. When it saw all of you it may have gotten curious, followed you, and was trying to figure out what you were. Maybe you were the first up close humans it had ever seen.
You’ve shared with me the location where this happened and asked me not to share it here, which I won’t. I’ve been to that same area and I’ve also spoken with some people who have been in the area and experienced something similar and they believe it is Bigfoot. Their stories are much more recent than yours, however, so apparently Bigfoot has been in that area for a long time. We may set up an expedition to that area this Spring or Summer to see what we can find. Thanks for sharing your story with us 🙂 ]