I became interested in what people around here (I live near Hot Springs, Arkansas) call the Howler (Ozark Howler or Black Howler) after I had my own sort of experience with it.
Last year, around NewYear's, I was driving home after a party, and I was going around this curve which is really tight, especially at night after a party, if you know what I mean, and I saw this big thing run across the road right in front of me, caught in the headlights.
I didn't see a whole lot, but the one thing I did notice was that it had a big, long, thick tail. At first I though it was a bear, but then I thought, do bears have big tails? I couldn't remember for a while, but then I remembered that they don't.
I was pretty confused, and a little scared, so I just started my car right back up and went home.
The next day, though, when I was a little bit sobered up, I went back to that curve on the road and looked for where I had pulled off the road the night before.
I found the ruts my car had made in the shoulder pretty easily, but what really surprised me was that there was a few other things there in the snow too, like what looked like blood or something and these big paw prints.
I went back to town and got a friend of mine who does wallpapering and carpentry work when he's not on duty a fireman, and he came out with me and took this picture of one of the paw prints. We were going to try to make plaster cast, but it got warm and the prints melted before we could figure out how we were going to do it
So this is the picture we took.
When we got it developed and showed it around, a lot of the people, especially those from the country, started telling us about something they call the "black howler", or "ozark howler", or just "howler". They didn't all agree on what it looks like, but most say it's black and looks kind of like a cat, but really thick.
Since that time I've been looking for others who have actually seen it. If you know anything, please get in touch.