View Full Version : camping alone......

2003-07-13, 02:31
So there I was on a warm July tuesday, camping alone in the Green ridge state forest in Maryland. Nothing too unusual about that, I had been camping hundreds of nights alone at various locations from maryland to hawaii. I had actually planned for my brother and I be camping tuesday through friday, but at the last minute he couldn't make it until wednesday. No big deal, I would just go a day earlier than him. It would give me some much needed alone time.

I had a fairly uneventful day. I set up camp, hung my Hennessey Hammocks (expedition and explorer) and gathered some fire wood for the night. I explored a perimeter of about a thousand feet around the campsite for frequented animal paths just to see what I could expect during the night. I found quite a bit of turkey droppings, deer tracks and droppings, and a snake shed. In other words, nothing unusual.

I sat by the fire sipping tea a little after 10pm and I could see lightning off in the distant north west. I knew the weather station was calling for severe thunderstorms throught the night for my location, so I figured I'd go ahead and turn in. After laying in the hammock for only about 10 minutes the wind picked up a bit and it started to rain fairly heavily. This lasted only a few minutes and the weather had calmed down again. I heard a whiporwhil, then couple of turkeys cackling off in the distance followed by an owl who who hooting. What came next is still a mystery to me and this is where it gets interesting. I heard a noise.....A very unusual noise that I could not place. I can identify just about every animal in the woods and what noises they make. I'm also not afraid of any of them. Great respect for some but not afraid. So anyway, I was laying there listening to this "noise" that something was making and getting more and more scared by the minute. I then made the command decision that vacating the premises would be for the best of all concerned (me). Out the HH in emergency fashion I went in an all out sprint for my Jeep . So, feeling a little safer I stared out into the darkness trying to see what had me nearly peeing my pants. I couldn't see anything further than the shrubbery that was growing at the edge of the campsite. At that point I was thinking of leaving the mountain for a while until I could figure out what it was that was paying me a visit at 1 in the morning. I had to go back to the hammock to get my phone though. From jeep to hammock back to jeep may have taken all of 5 to 10 seconds. As soon as I was in the jeep the engine was on and I was heading down the mountain. I spent the next few hours in a nearby town and then a well lit rest stop on the highway until about 4 am when most of the heart pounding adrenaline had left my system and I had come to my senses. I got back to the camp at 0430 and went straight to sleep. I didn't wake up until nearly 11am when my brother showed up.

The only thing I can really relate the noise to was something I had seen on ethier the discovery channel or TLC about the Appalchian sasquatch. Someone had gotten a recording of a noise that animal experts could not figure out, so they determined it to be from a sasquatch or something. To put the noise in words --- I guess I would say it was a WooooOOah WooooooOOOOOahhh. Kinda high pitched got higher towards the end. I know it wasn't an owl or a coyote. I feel really stupid now for having left and driven nearly 20 miles away to sleep in the Jeep. I think it's damn near the funniest thing I've ever hear of - A grown man running from a noise in the woods.

Has anyone ever heard a noise like this? Heard any other noises you couldn't figure out?

2003-07-13, 07:20
sure it wasn't an owl? some i've heard in my neck of the woods, i would describe (in words) like you did. all kinds of owls, some screech, some hoot and some whooowah.

just a suggestion, don't watch discovery during sasquatch week.

2003-07-13, 12:37
Are you sure it wasnt another camper in the next site over, suffering from severe indigestion after eating too much of the mystery stew for supper?? LOL Ever hear a peacock in the woods late at night?? Now thats an eerie sound!!!! Streamweaver

2003-07-13, 15:15
Barred owls have a large repertoire of sounds, and frequently a pair will do duets. Their basic call is usually given as "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you alllll?" (imagine that said with hoos). I tried to attaching a sound file here with some very unusual barred owl sounds in it, but that attachment type doesn't work. PM me with an email address and I can send it. You can find some owl sounds at http://www.owlcam.com/soundlib/sound_lib.htm I have heard barred owls fly directly over where I was sleeping calling very loudly and excitedly. That's something to hear!


Voice: The Barred Owl is a highly vocal Owl giving a loud and resounding "hoo, hoo, too-HOO; hoo, hoo, too-HOO, ooo" which is often phrased as "Who, cooks, for-you? Who, cooks, for-you, all?" - The last syllable drops off noticeably. Like some other Owl species, they will call in the daytime as well as at night. The calls are often heard in a series of eight, then silence, when the Owl listens for a reply from other Owls. Other calls include "hoo-hoo, hoo-WAAAHH" and "hoo-WAAAHHH" used in courtship. Mates will duet, but the male's voice is deeper and mellower. Many other vocalisations are made which range from a short yelp or bark to a frenzied and raucous monkey-like squall.