CacheCrazy.Com: Baby Swamp Buck

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baby Swamp Buck

Baby Swamp Buck
It was the fall of 1986 and I was stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base near Rome, NY. I was a Security Specialist and we worked a 6-days-on/ 3-days-off schedule.  On my time off I loved to go hiking or hunting. Several friends of mine and I had decided to go on a three day Black Bear hunt in the Adirondack Mountains.

We chose to go to a place called Wells, NY where two A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft had crashed earlier in the year. The guys who had been to the crash site said there was a lot of bear sign, so we knew that was a good place to hunt. They also told us to be on the look-out for a strange animal that they had heard, but never seen.  We just said "Yeah, right."

We arrived on our first day off and set up camp. We had had a long hike up the mountain and, yes, we were deep into bear country. When we got everything set up we got a fire going and then sat around enjoying the heat it provided as we ate our dinner.

A little later we heard something way off in the distance. We were not sure what it was, but it sounded very eerie. We blew it off, and we all went to bed. The next morning we were up VERY early, and we all headed off in different directions to hunt. Little did we know what was about to happen. This was a day I would never forget.

What I want you to realize is that we did not have a GPS with us. We all had topo maps and compasses. Do you remember what those are? And if you know anything about the Adirondack Park you know it is a vast mountain area. The Adirondack Park is 6.1 million acres large. That's 9, 375 square miles of mostly woods.  It is the largest park in the contiguous United States. Could you get lost there? You bet.
The four of us guys knew what time to be back at camp for dinner. We also knew we were each on our own for the day. Stupid mistake! I had walked for quite some time when I decided to stop and sit for a while. I had a beautiful view down over this ridge with extremely large boulders. It just looked like a place  where a bear would want to hang out.  

After sitting for over an hour I decided to walk some more. I was getting a little cold and I knew that walking would warm me up. After all, this was October.  I walked, still-hunting, for a few hours. As I came around the corner of a large boulder I heard a noise. I hunkered down and raised my rifle hoping to see my first bear. I peaked around the rock and I could not believe what I saw. There was a bear laying near a large tree and he was not moving. He appeared to be dead. I watched him for a while to see if he moved and all the time I had my rifle trained on his heart.  I inched ever closer to see that this bear had not just been killed; he had been torn apart by something very large, perhaps another larger bear. As I walked up to it I could smell a stench that I did not recognize. By the looks of it the bear had been killed the night before. I wondered if that was the noise we had heard before going to bed last night.  
As I was looking him over I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned around, but did not see anything. Now I was getting a little tense. I decided to head back to the camp and bring the guys with me. That was when everything happened and it happened so fast I could not react. From out of nowhere a large animal lunged at me and knocked me over. It had hit me so hard that I lost control of my rifle. I heard it smack against a large rock and I knew that was not a good sound.

I got up and looked at the animal who was now standing over the dead bear. I could not make out what it was. It was deer-like with antlers, but it had teeth like I had never seen before. It also appeared to have a long tail. Could this be the animal the guys had talked about? A Swamp Buck?

I thought that maybe, due to my being knocked down, I was just not seeing straight. The animal began ripping into the bear. I began backing away from the area. The last thing I wanted was to get in the way of some vicious animal as it was eating its meal. I also knew I did not want to become its next course.
As I slowly backed away another one appeared, but this one was a lot smaller. Probably a baby of some sorts, but still not anything I wanted to mess with, especially without my rifle.

(The only picture of a Baby Swamp Buck)

I knew I had to get out of there fast. When I was a good distance away I turned and ran as fast as I could. As I was running I heard a blood curdling howl, which made me run even faster. I even think my pants were a little wet. I looked back to see that the big one was now on my trail. I began zigzagging in and out of trees and brush. This thing was closing in on me fast.
I dove under a large uprooted tree and crawled back in as far as I could get. All the while this thing was chomping at the hole I had just come through. His eyes were so evil looking and his breath made me turn my head in disgust.

 I took off my hunting jacket and threw it in his face. I then noticed a small opening behind me, so I slipped out the back and began running. The animal was still chewing on my jacket. I knew this was my chance to make it to the Ranger cabin I had seen on my topo map.
When I got to the cabin I found it was all boarded up. I looked back and saw the animal was now running in my direction. I knew I needed to get on top of the cabin to be out of his reach.  I began climbing up on top of a wood pile and then I jumped for the roof. I grabbed a hold of a branch that was sticking up out of the roof and began pulling myself up. That was when I felt the piercing pain in my leg. I let out a scream and looked down to see that he had a hold of my leg. He began biting harder and I screamed even more, and then he began pulling my leg... just like I'm pulling yours
I hope you all have a safe and fun fall and keep an eye out for those Swamp Bucks while you're out caching. 
Written by: BigAl


Heather Cook (Lady-Magpie) said...

Well that one got me going, I got so involved that by the end I was reading faster and faster. Your a real tease BigAl.

CrazyCris said...

That was fun! Love the portrait of the baby Swamp Buck! ;o)

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Good one! You had me until I saw the baby swamp buck picture. I know the Adirondacks have a great deal of mystery surrounding them, so anything can happen there.

kyle powell said...

i like that one and the baby swamp duck is something i keep in my house to go along with all my strange stuff.thanks

kyle powell said...


Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

Awesome twist ending!


FANTASTIC STORY! Done in a style, only BigAl posses! I LOVE THE ENDING! Nice work. Thanks for contributing and everything you do for CacheCrazy.Com - One of the Founding Fathers!
We Luv Ya Man (that's a guy thing)

Kyo-Kat said...

This is really good! I know the story behind this but it had me a little freaked out. (But more along the lines of how good your writing is lol). Good job daddy :)

Ann said...

Lol i am glad i was reading that in daylight, Ha.
When we went to Vegas a number of years back we met up with friends from WI, we went to Hoover Dam stopping off for a look about and coffee, In the coffee shop was a stuffed animal in a glass case, Phil took me over to it and told me it was a jackeroo, having never heard of this animal and certainy not in the UK! Of course I was completely taken in.....hook line and sinker!

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