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Outdoor News – Halloween Frights in the Great Outdoors
Sunset over Lake Ministikwan. This area is world famous for fishing and Black Bear hunting. It is here that Harold Smith took Don Bull and Jim Wiland bear hunting and got a lesson in how seriously the First Nation Native Indian Tribesman take their Lore.

Outdoor News – Halloween Frights in the Great Outdoors

*Editor’s Note: The Greenwood Tradition is grateful to Patti and Harold Smith of Greenwood for interviews sharing their stories and photos of world travel, hunting and fishing for this segment that is very popular with our readers. From international travel restrictions, tribal customs, deadly game and exotic locales to hunts in the Rockies, Canada, Texas and fishing everywhere, the Smiths’ firsthand experiences make for a truly unique outdoor news feature as Harold shares hunting and fishing tips and valuable outdoor advice.

Halloween Frights in the Great Outdoors

In the season of spooky thrills, there are some unexplained sightings and terrifying tales out there in the woods that match any yarn about spooks, “haints”, goblins and alleged witches that only pose a threat on Halloween night. The frightful sights in the great outdoors are not seasonal.

In every direction from Greenwood, there are legends of beasts in the woods that come with their own groupies, believers and enthusiasts. In Canada, there have for hundreds of years been stories of Sasquatch. The native Indians there call them “Hairy People.” The folks down near Texarkana in the small community of Fouke, Arkansas thrill visitors with their own version of the beast. It was the subject of the “B” movie that made millions back in the 1970’s about the terroristic monster/ape that threaten the whole region. The story is better than the movie and the museum there is better than the acting.

Over in Honobia, (Pronounced Ho-nobbie) Oklahoma (about one-hundred miles from here and safely out of Big Foot range)-there is an annual Big Foot Festival in the fall each year that draws thousands of believers, skeptics and eye witnesses to the Kiamichi mountain community for food, music and the sharing of tales about the menacing creature in that region.  Seems that no matter where you are hunting on Halloween night, there is plenty consider and raise the hair on the back of your neck. Hunting alone is not recommended on Halloween night.

Every continent has a creature except for Antarctica. Harold Smith says that’s because there are so few people there to be spooked by them. Big Foot and Sasquatch in North America; Yeti and the Abominable Snowman in the Himalayas…the big creatures have several names and it’s been that way since ancient times. Our Big Foot Craze began in the 1950’s, but Native American Indians knew Sasquatch before the Europeans arrived. Tribes told stories of the Forest Spirit that shared the hunting lands with them.

Harold Smith relates a story about a 2013 bear hunt in Saskatchewan, Canada with friends Don Bull of Greenwood and Jim Wieland of Springdale. The hunt was with Johnson Outfitters around Ministikwan Lake. We have mentioned Johnson Outfitters before. Owners Paul and Donna Pospisil have become friends of Smith through the years of guiding and outfitting hunts and fishing expeditions in the unspoiled Canadian wilderness. Donna Pospisil is a native descendent of the First Nation Indian Tribe. To take the Hairy People lightly is to insult the elders of the tribe who pass along generations of regional lore.

Upon arrival, Wieland asked about Sasquatches. Is there any truth to the tales and legends? Since it is a part of their culture and their spirituality, Paul and Donna take the matter rather seriously. He simply answered, “Well Jim, we call them ‘The Hairy People’ here at Ministikwan Lake.” Harold recalls that all the humor intended for the moment went out the situation. The Arkansans realized that storytelling and passing along from generation to generation every minute detail of lore and legend was regarded as something akin to religion to these people as a way of keeping history and spiritual values alive. Wieland, Bull and Smith were in Canada for some great black bear hunting, not to offend native culture.

Here is a story Paul sent us that ran in his local press in the Ministikwan Lake area. He has been kind enough to share two of these stories with our readers:

The Hairy Guy

The putrid odor was like the fresh spraying of a skunk. John and Kathleen were clearing a snare line as rabbits were once again plentiful around Ministikwan Lake. The overwhelming odor began to taek their breath away. Only then did they see the extremely large hairy figure removing a snared rabbit from the line that held it. With hearts pounding, unsure what they were seeing, they slowly took their leave retracing their steps in reverse trying desperately not to draw attention to themselves.

Totally exasperated and exhausted, the crawled back into their truck unable to speak but seeking sense of safety the truck provided. Back in the driveway at home, the color returned to their faces and they were able to speak.

Unable to get out of the truck, they both sat looking at the lake replaying in their minds what had just happened. The overwhelming size of the Hairy Guy-as they would call him-the white/grey hair, long shaggy hair brought back memories etched into their minds by grandparents and elders in the community. The hair color was such that you might not notice him in the poplar forests, he was so perfectly camouflaged.

What elders had said was that the Hairy Guy was not to be feared. He could be a friend. Elders had said that he loved the hill country and traveled along the river valleys.

Having come to grips with their fear, john decided to return the following day to track the Hairy Guy. Yesterday’s odor still lingered as he approached the snare sight. John scouted for a track. He triangulated the site and found the first track.

In an ant hill was the large footprint. The big toe appeared the size of John’s fist. What was unusual as John knew from tack deer and other game was that the tracks were not deep. No heavy indention into the soft ground almost as if the creature was floating over the ground and this would make him difficult to track. After a couple of miles tracking the light footprints, suddenly the tracks disappeared as if the mountainside had opened like a portal for the Hairy Guy.

Confused at the ability to just vanish, John turned to head back the way he a come. Suddenly in his peripheral vision, John saw the shadow of the figure towering over him in the forest. He stumbled, lost his balance and in falling, he grazed his head on a rock that rendered him unconscious.

When John regained his consciousness, he was in his truck with no knowledge of how he had gotten there. He had no idea how much time had passed since his fall. He headed back to his home. The shock of the sight in his rearview mirror nearly caused him to lose control of his truck. His long jet balck hair was now completely snow white.

Attempting to appear bodacious, John vowed to keep the experience to himself. The change in hair color from black one day to white the next opened him up to years of ridicule in the community.

To this day, many years later, john does not stop on the road between Ministikwan Lake and Worthington Lake. Even on a day when he developed a flat tire on this truck. He drove on to the other side of Worthington Lake destroying the rim of his wheel to avoid stopping his truck. He wondered, “Was the Hairy Guy watching?”

Saskatchewan’s Paul Pospisil will share another Halloween Season Outdoor news story about the Hair Guy in our next issue as we explore some other spooky outdoor phenomena…some of them nearby.

Next issue, more Halloween Outdoor News!

 

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