If You Go Out In The Woods Today

Since I was a child I have loved the the song the Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

If you go out in the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You’d better go in disguise.

I have a few rules setup for myself when I am in the woods. # 1rule is that if I see or hear something unusual that I take it all in, remain calm and try to remember the details and enjoy the moment.

Yesterday, the 11th of June 2012 I was driving to a location to interview a witness. Since it was close to my main research area I planned on stopping and letting my dog exercise for a couple of hours. I got to the location around 08:15 and slowly walked through the woods.

This photo was taken last fall at the general location. As many areas of Central Illinois it is a mix of wooded streams and farm fields.

I was walking along a small dirt road and as I came to a corner that overlooks a four acre field I stopped to check out the field. There were three turkeys trotting across the far end of the field and I stopped to watch. As I did so just fifty feet in front of me along a small brush and tree line an orange solid colored five foot tall animal barely broke through the foliage and then leaped straight backwards into the brush.

The sighting lasted such a brief moment that I was unable to make out any definable shape. All I can say for sure it was about five feet tall and covered with long orangish hair. I got the impression that whatever this was, it was curious about what had spooked the turkeys and didn’t realize I was that close to it.

Belle was about 50 feet behind me and hadn’t come around the corner yet. The hair on this animal was about 5 inches long and not manicured looking. More of a scruffy or shaggy look to it. I don’t believe it was a deer.

I could have walked with Belle into the exact spot but I am in this for the long haul and do not want the locals to think I am aggressive. I know of two other daytime sightings at this same area. I have recorded lots of vocals here in the last seven and a half years.

This is the same location where a group of us last spring experienced unusual howls, possible infrasound and dirt throwing.

5 Responses to “If You Go Out In The Woods Today”

  1. DavidG says:

    Congratulations on your daylight sighting! You visit "squatchy" areas so many times that the odds for that 1 in 1,000 experience comes due.

    Thank you for sharing your detailed and tactful observations.

    Did you have your omnipresent audio recorder running at the time? If so, did you pick up anything? Also, how did Belle act in such proximity to the creature you saw? I wonder whether such proximity is not so unusual for Belle.

  2. stancourtney says:

    Thanks, I have probably visited this location 250 times over the last 7 plus years. Amazingly Belle never picked up on any unusual smell. She was behind me at the time and so did not have a clear path to see the animal. I doubt Belle would have reacted anyway as she has been the same as raised at this site and never barks except at raccoons that she has treed.

    I was not carrying my recorder as I just stopped in for a quick hike.

  3. T says:

    That is cool, Stan! I like DavidG's comment about odds coming due. Someone out there as often as you Stan has got to hit a nice payday every so often. Keep the loafers like me posted! : )

  4. Scott in Iowa says:

    Hi Stan. You inspire me. I've read your posts over the last few years. And then I finally attended a BFRO Expedition in Iowa this past Spring. Now I'm poking around in promising areas nearer my home in Iowa…some of which have had recent Class A sightings (reported directly to people I know) and that have not yet been reported to the BFRO. I grab bits and pieces of time when I can to get out and check these areas…some of which are surprisingly densely wooded and remote. My trips only count in the low double-digits so far, but I firmly believe that it's a numbers game, and if I can continue to rack up time in the field I'll eventually have a firm Class A. Or so I hope.

    Keep up the good work.


  5. Jeff says:


    I appreciate your perspective on collecting information in a disciplined, controlled manner letting the evidence unfold with thoughtful pursuit. I have a hypothetical situation that I would like your opinion on. Say, that you got a legitimate phone call from an individual who happened upon a sasquatch carcass or a severely debilitated sasquatch either through disease or injury. If the location of this report was within just a few hours drive of your location, what advice and what plan of action would you give that person? Contact the local game warden immediately? Contact a local veterinarian immediately? Contact local law enforcement? Are there other experts that should be contacted first? If the sasquatch were still alive, should the person try to maintain remote visual contact until help arrives? Just a few “what if’s” to think about. Thanks.

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