By Francis “Frankie” Jenkins
It was a long day of me moving brush from the bottom of my yard. I’d been in the process of clearing an area for a pump. I’m done with hauling water back and forth from Green Valley and I’ve saved enough to get me a decent system. So as I was locking up my tool shed I had heard a loud screaming noise that ended in a howling yelp. It lasted several seconds and what got me shook up was that I knew that noise had come from somewhere on my property. The sun was going down and the moon was rising. I was close to ignoring the sound and contemplating on getting my camera out to take photos of the illuminating orb, but something in the back of my mind told me to check it out.
I was hesitant on getting my shotgun out with the flashlight: I didn’t want to come across someone by accident and make an unforgiving error. I took off down the hill into the mesquite bosque and immediately my vision was darkened by the overhanging branches. Out of the corner of my eye I can slowly see the horizon rise around me. I had gotten down to the bottom of the property and sunk my feet in the sandy wash. Quickly I saw there were other tracks, big tracks, with obvious talons at least an inch long attached to all five digits. As I looked closer I can see a line of blood between the indentations and in fear I propped up my trust side-by-side under the shoulder. The light dimmed ahead of me as it defracted into the branches. Fifty yards ahead I can hear something walking. It grunted heavily like a dying moose. In the sand the blood trail was thicker and warm with freshness. I dropped my light to hide my profile and followed the trail.
The sand sunk my boots deep and it gave a gravel noise that I could not mute, but whatever the animal was, it wasn’t hindered by my presence. As I approached a bend in the wash, a thick musky smell of a putrid wet skunk permeated the air. Within the smell I can taste the rusty blood from a recently deceased animal. I went to the bend of the wash and crouched down on the tall five foot bank and crept slowly over the top.
There, I saw it. A large wild beast with large pointed ears on the back of black and grey fur coat. It was twice the size of a full-grown man and it’s shoulders demonstrated superior physique. The arms were wet and with closer inspection, they were wet with blood. Dangling from the claws was a limp mule buck, flesh like spilt pasta. The buck groaned – it was still alive! In an instant, the creature responded with one bite across the animal’s neck. The cracking sound of bone jolted the buck’s legs – inconveniently I coughed in reaction! The large ears perked up and I hid behind the bank. I cocked the right hammer of the gun and slowly raised the barrel over my head.
For a moment the ground moved and I can hear the heavy thumping of the creature stampeding away from the area. I closed my eyes, holding the finger on the trigger.
In a second I turned and looked over the bank: the buck hung from a large mesquite branch, legs dangling over the wash drenched in blood and organs. I moved around the bend, looking up in all angles. The musky smell was gone. As I looked up I can see a large trampled trail that plowed over another bank that went through a split tree and up over the edge. The creature was gone.
-Francis “Frankie” Jenkins (Arivaca resident, retired military)
“Baboquivari Monster” encounter interview, recorded February 2017