5 Rules For Bigfoot Searchers
Bigfoot researchers spend a lot of time studying the mythical creature, and most will go on a search for the elusive creature at some point in their lives. The need to know gets the best of everyone, making us want to venture into the woods hoping for a photo and proof that Bigfoot exists.
With so many sightings throughout the United States, just about anyone is within a short drive of a reported sighting. Since many believe the creature is friendly, though shy, they also see a weekend 'hunt' as a family activity. It's quite common to hear of families packing up for a camping trip to a sightings hot spot thinking they might be able to get some evidence.
I have studied enough and read enough reports to know that just heading out into the woods looking for evidence is a big mistake. Here are 5 rules that any Bigfoot researcher should follow before heading out in search of Bigfoot.
Don't Go Alone
Most of us have the preconceived notion that Bigfoot is a friendly creature, but that is probably false. There are enough stories of Bigfoot encounters that would suggest that the cryptid may not be as friendly as thought. Many have reported their tents being shaken, objects moved, and bone shaking growls and vocalizations that should be taken as a warning.
Unfortunately, most don't heed these warnings and go out alone.
Plenty of hikers and campers disappear every year, and while all strange disappearances shouldn't be linked to Bigfoot, most likely at least a few are related. Consider the story of Albert Ostman, a Canadian prospector who reported that he was abducted while in his sleeping bag in 1924. He stated that he was carried for hours deep into the woods and held captive for 6 days before escaping.
Don't Separate From Your Group
This is a rule that makes sense on any hike or trip into the unknown, but it's especially important when your goal is to see Bigfoot. Any animal becomes defensive when a predator is nearby, and stumbling into an area that has been claimed or marked is going to make you a target for attack.
Just like any animal, Bigfoot is also going to be especially defensive if you manage to get close to its children. This maybe be why many encounters report rocks being thrown - an attempt to scare off humans that are getting too close for comfort. A good rule for Bigfoot observation is to always search in pairs at the minimum. This gives you a better situational awareness and decreases your chances of becoming prey to a creature we know little about.
Don't Try to Lure Bigfoot
Plenty of people head out and try to bait the big guy into coming closer with 'gifts'. Usually, these gifts include food offerings and rock arrangements meant to draw attention. While baiting is a necessary technique of advanced researchers who have experience, it's not something that should be practiced by the weekend camper for a couple of reasons.
Let's look at food offerings first: we know virtually nothing about Bigfoot and what diet is consumed. We can guess that the diet includes things like leaves, berries, and game that would typically be found in the local habitat. But who is to say for sure? It's all just speculation. What may be meant as a kind gesture on your part may actually cause harm to the creatures biology. Leaving your processed food as an offering could cause harm or even death.
Also consider that, just like any other animal, if a plentiful supply of food is expected - animals will return to retrieve it. I like to think of the stray cats in my neighborhood who come and dig through the trash. These cats know they don't have to hunt because we are feeding them. But what happens if that food supply goes away? I can deal with an angry cat, but a Bigfoot? Providing food may be the start of a problem you may not be prepared to deal with, which I think explains many of the reports of Bigfoot looking inside of homes and cars.
Secondly, gifts are a somewhat silly idea in my opinion. I don't think Bigfoot has much of an interest in human toys, so leaving these as an offering is probably not a great idea. There are reports of Bigfoot taking small stuffed animals or other items, then returning them to places where they are easily seen by the gifter. This is read as a friendly gesture that I think is mostly false. I see it as an anthropomorphic interpretation, the false belief that Bigfoot enjoys our gifts and is playing a game with us. We may just be creating a relationship of expectation, and what if we don't provide the right gift?
Don't Go to Hunt
Hunting for Bigfoot is a contentious topic in the community. Some think that organized hunting is the only way that we will obtain hard evidence to prove existence. Others say that Bigfoot hunting is criminal, and taking the life of a reclusive creature that posed no threat is a major no-no.
I see both sides of the argument, but lean towards not hunting for other reasons. I just don't think that a human being is going to be much a a match against an 8+ foot tall, 600+ pound animal deep in the woods. Though most think of Bigfoot as a 'safe' creature to hunt, they still head out with guns and weapons to try to even the odds against the huge creature. This is probably a huge mistake: Bigfoot has been observing people in the woods for centuries, if not longer, and is probably well aware of human hunting techniques and indicators.
In other words, you're not going to be the guy to outsmart him, and in trying to do so will probably place yourself in danger. Most animals are able to pick up clues of predators in their habitat. The general consensus is that Bigfoot has intelligence well beyond any other animal we know of, and most likely has enhanced senses that make it aware of human presence. Something as simple as the smell of gun oil in the air is most likely enough of a warning, and Bigfoot is going to be a better tracker than we could ever be. Chances are if you have an encounter, it's because he let it happen.
Don't Set Unreasonable Expectations
The need to know is the driving factor for most Bigfoot searchers, but plenty hope to gain fame and fortune by bringing one in. Well, some have claimed to have achieved just that - bringing in a Bigfoot - only to change their story or recant it completely.
Chances are, the government is already well aware of the creatures existence and refuses to let the truth out. That means if you are lucky enough to bring one in, you're probably going to get a Men In Black type of visit that scares you into changing your story. So much for fame an fortune.
If you go looking, start out with reasonable expectations: tracks, prints, and broken tree formations may be enough to appease your curiosity. If you are well prepared, you can provide photographic evidence to the community that helps us paint a clearer picture about Bigfoot. Most sightings have been unexpected, so always be prepared for the unexpected by having a camera or fully charged cell phone, practice situational awareness, and above all else, be safe.