Thanks to Wayne for this great report.
Place: About 20 kilometers south of ^%$#@ on the *&^%$# to *&^%$ Road in NSW.
Incident: I received a phone call from a very good Mate of mine (deceased now). Before I go on I must say that my Mate was hardly scared of anything. Being an ex-bikie and an adept master of Ju Jitsu and I must say a damn fine gunsmith. This man as I said before was hardly scared of anything; anyway he went onto say that there was something down in a gulley close to the house.
He stated that something not native to the Australian bush was growling and screaming from this gulley. He also said that the dogs that he had cowered in their kennels all night and never said a word. They would generally let them know if there was a stranger or an animal close to the house by barking.
He went onto say that the dogs started barking at something about 7.30pm that night after initially hearing a scream. Once the dogs heard this scream they shot back into their kennels and stayed silent the rest of the night.
He said that this went on the whole night in sporadic stages. He said that this put the wind up him and his wife so bad that he had a gun at every door and window and never got a winks sleep the whole night.
After talking to him I put my rifle in the vehicle and drove to his place arriving their about 8.15am.
I then spoke to him at length about the noises and the possibility it could have been a group of drunken youths or a fallow buck in rut. He said “no” to all of my suggestions and further said that the screaming and growling had only stopped 5 minutes prior to my arrival.
The gulley in question was about 150 meters from the house in a northwesterly direction that was covered in heavy timber and blackberry bushes. The gulley was about30 meters deep and ran about 150 long. At the western end of the gulley there is a thin crop of blackberry bushes.
Making my way quietly and cautiously down into the gulley, I made use of the timber for cover and made sure that I had the wind/breeze at my back, but as everybody knows wind has a tendency to swirl around down into a gully. So I selected a large tree and sat back against it and waited and watched.
About 20 minutes later the birds went quiet and the wind/breeze stopped. I had the distinct feeling I was being watched, and that feeling directed my eyes towards the blackberry bushes to the west.
I saw a black shadow lying low behind the bushes and it was silhouetted by the green grass behind it. Distance was about 30 meters. I had already chambered a round in the rifle but had not closed the bolt. On seeing the shadow I kept perfectly still for what seemed an hour just looking above and to either side of this shadow trying to pick up any movement; the flick of an ear, the twitch of a tail; nothing. It just laid there.
So, very slowly I started to raise my rifle, at the same time I carefully pushed down on the bolt of my rifle. The next thing it was up and gone in two bounds back up to the top of the gulley and gone.
I realized that the breeze had come back and the birds were singing again.
I have studied big cats most of my life. They epitomize the feline breed by their grace, strength, speed and their deadliness. This was a big cat of the black variety. I still get the hairs rising up on the back of my neck every time I think about that incident.
I didn't tell the couple what had happened until a week later, because I wasn't sure that what I had seen was true, such was the impact it had on me.I went over to the place where I had seen the animal. The ground was grassy and no prints were found, but when I felt the ground where it laid and watched me, you could definitely feel the warmth if it's body on the grass.