I decided to take the dog for walk last night around 9:30/10pm. We walked through downtown Bluffton to the Wabash River. This is only about a half mile from my house. There’s a part of the Wabash River off to the east of Main Street (Highway 1) that people fish and sometimes camp out at. There’s an old trail, big enough for a car to get through, which leads back to this area. So, I decided to take my dog (Boston Terrier) and hike back it a little. I found an old fire ring where somebody had camped out. I stopped to check it out and then started looking at the Wabash River (a natural thing for a fisherman to do). I took a few steps toward the river when something caught the corner of my eye.
Turning around I cringed as my eyes made contact with the outline of what I thought to be a big mountain lion. I saw a big round head and pointy ears with hair on them looking right at me. The beast was about 15-20 ft away from me and when it noticed I had looked towards it, it crouched behind some dead trees like it was trying to hide from me. It appeared the creature was moving towards my dog and I and my look had upset its stalking (if that’s what it was doing). I immediately thought to myself that I needed to get out of here and fast.
My first instinct was to tighten my dogs leash and walk briskly back to the trail. I did just that, but when I got to the trail I literally ran for my life (I didn’t scream). It probably looked funny, but I didn’t care. I ran up the hill I had walked down and up to a lady reading a book in her car. I probably scared her a little. I told her about what I had seen and she let me use her phone to call the cops. The cops arrived and asked me some questions and used their big car spotlights to shine down the trail. They didn’t see anything (I’m sure my call will be in the police notebook in today’s paper if you’re interested).
This morning I woke up and wanting to be sure I wasn’t a crazy lunatic or seeing thing, I drove back down to the area to look for tracks. After looking around for several minutes I came across some bizarre tracks. I sent a picture of them to my cousin (Silas) who has hunted mountain lion to see what he thought. He said he had seen some mountain lion tracks and this looked just like what he had saw out in Idaho when he was hunting for them. I looked up some cougar tracks online and sure enough they matched the tracks I found. It was an eerie moment to think a mountain lion/cougar/puma was possible stalking my dog (which had no idea what was going on the entire time) and me. I’ve never been this creeped out before. I’ll try and post the pics of the tracks I took pictures of sometime soon. So, if you live around Bluffton be careful!