Everybody knows the forest is full of sounds. What all of these sounds are and what is making them can be a question asked by some people. Most people who are well experienced in the outdoors can identify a great deal of the sounds that they hear. Fishermen, hunters, hikers, campers and so on hear a great deal of the forest sounds on a regular bases doing what they do and know from experience what is making a great deal of them, yet seldom all of them. Seldom if at all you will ever find a person, no matter what their experience or degree of education that can identify every sound they hear in the forest, especially at night.
The reason I bring this up is this. Familiarity is not always knowing and knowing is not always familiarity. There are animals that make some interesting and often unknown and seldom heard noises, such as foxes, deer, many birds, coyotes, and so forth.
In most cases and in most areas the strange sound being heard is probably a known animal. The sound may be one that is only made during a certain time as in a mating call during that animals perticular mating season or perhaps a distress call when the animal is hurt or whatever the case might be.
Now to the bigfoot.
It is important to listen to all of these sounds in the forest that you hear because bigfoot will often mimic a lot of them. We all know about the barred owl sounds and hoots, but the same goes for other birds and animals as well. Listen closely to every one. It is far too easy to disregard an owl or a coyote pack as just that. The key is to knowing the true sound made by the said animal and knowing the mimic. Often times it is hard to tell the difference and sometimes it is actually quite easy.
I have heard bigfoots communicating back and forth in a mimic of a bird before and would of thought nothing of it if it weren’t for the fact that it was night and the sound was was a diurnal bird. a little while later my suspicions were verified as one walked past my tent. Another time a friend and I were down in a slew at night looking foot prints in the mud. We heard what sounded like leopard frogs talking back and forth to each other, no big deal frogs do that. It wasn’t until I saw one step out from behind one tree then go behind another then follow us all the way out back to the road making the same sound as we walked along the river back out that I was certain that the bigfoot was making this frog sound.
I have on many occasions witnessed people totally ignore what is obviously a bigfoot mistaking it as a common animal and also just the opposite as well, mistaking the obviously bigfoot for a common animal. We all have done this, I have, You have, we all have. It happens all the time. That is why it is so important to pay close attention to every sound you hear because not all bigfoots mimic as well as others do and you can sometimes figure it out pretty easy if you know what to listen for. That comes with practice and experience.
Just my quick thoughts on this.
Can we understand what is going through a creatures mind as it watches us? Can it understand what is going through our minds?
I have thought about this often and still have no clear answer to these questions though I feel there must be some sort of mutual understanding there, if not mixed with some confusion as well. I have to wonder if our body language is expressing a message to visiting observers at our camps at night. Do they understand the emotions that our body language is expressing or is it merely by our voices and words? Do they understand at all? Many will say that they do understand our language and can speak it themselves. I have no doubt that mimicry is possible but as far understanding and speaking I myself have doubts there. Many animals do communicate through body language as well as sounds, both verbal and nonverbal. I know from experience that what we call bigfoot does the same. Tree knocking, rock clacking. chatter, howling, woops, and so forth are all used in communication by some means. Now for something that I witnessed myself that I can only speculate on is hand gestures. I was camping in a research area with some members of my team when I heard a sound near camp. I reached for my night vision and looked in the direction of the sound as normal. Most often it turns out to be a common known animal, though mundane still fun to observe. This time it was a bigfoot that I was able to see standing there near camp. I watched it and slowly moved closer. It took a few steps closer to me as well then stopped, and moved back towards a tree. Got behind the tree and crouched down and began waving one arm up and down as if it was conveying a message to others of it kind. I can only speculate on the message being conveyed as get down before your seen. Though I could not see any others besides this one who I could see very clearly even crouched down behind the tree it stuck out from both sides because the tree was barely a third of the creatures own circumference, I have to speculate that there were others there that this one was communicating with using hand gestures. This was the first and only time I have witnessed such an action myself though I have heard other accounts from other witnesses of similar actions. Now I have to wonder if this gesture actually meant to them what it would mean to us. Was there another meaning to it that I am not understanding because I am looking at it through my own cultural understanding and from doing this missing the true meaning of such a gesture in their cultural understanding? The same way as in many human cultures what is conveyed as a friendly gesture to one is conveyed as an insult in another. These are things we have to take into consideration in the field studying these creatures. Though obviously very close to human in many respects they still do not live the same way we do. I hear too often people talking about them as if they wake up in the morning, take a shower, and go to work the same as us and then others talk about them being savage monsters out of a movie killing, raping, and destroying all in their path. To me from what I have observed personally I have to find some middle ground there. They are like us in many ways but they are not us at the same time. They may be humonesque in appearance and in some behaviors, maybe even in thought capacity as well, but as far as lifestyle goes there is a major difference there. Most of us live on foods bought at a grocery store not giving much thought to how they got there and where or even what they were before they got there. With them they have to hunt, kill, collect for themselves like any other wild animal. With that kind of lifestyle/culture there are going to be major differences to the way things are looked at and understood between them and us. We may never truly understand their communication but if there is a chance we one day can we are going to have to try to put ourselves into their world and understand it first. Theirs is different then ours by far. We need to stop thinking in the terms of our own culture, religions, likes and dislikes and attributing these to them. Instead we need to learn about, engulf ourselves, and try to survive in their world, the natural world, only then will we ever have a chance to possible understand them on a more common level and make sense of their communications and they ways.
I decided to put together a list of helpful tricks that I often use with good success while in the field. Iv been asked many times for advice on these subjects and decided I would put this together to help everyone out that might want to employ them. These are little tricks that I often employ myself and have found to be very effective.
Depending on your location and eco region not every thing I present here might work as effectively for you but that is another aspect that really needs to be taken into consideration as well. Each region is different in it’s ecology and biodiversity. This is a major consideration that is often ignored by people. What works in one location may not work in another, this I believe is due to the habitual differences, and with different habitats you have different animals adapted to them respectively.
1. The light versus dark debate-
Well it has been my experience that having light in the camp has drawn in more activity closer to the camp then if I keep it dark. If I keep a lantern on in the camp at night I have found that it seems to gain more attention towards the camp especially if other nearby camps are completely dark. I think this is probably because there is usually always human activity going on in the camp all night long. While some of the team is asleep some are also awake as well. Being a curious being they seem to be attracted to that activity and seem to know if there is light then there will be activity as well and they sometimes seem to gravitate towards our camp for this reason I suspect.
Many people will say no flashlights at all because you need to be totally dark when walking out there at all times. Well I disagree about this for these reasons, first yes a red light is great to use to see where your going and it prevents your loss of night vision and should be employed most of the time, yet the periodic perimeter sweep of a bright white light can often times reveal animals that you never knew were there simply because your red light didn’t reach out far enough to see them and you could not hear them. It is a major misconception that you will hear animals walking around close to you. That is not all ways the case. There have been quite a few times when I or a member of my team have noticed a deer or other animal there that none of us had heard and otherwise may have never known was there if it were not for a sweep of the area with a flash light from time to time.
3. Being stealthy-
I have found the being stealthy in the woods is not always the way to go when hunting for bigfoot, yes if you are hunting for deer, hogs, or any other type of game then you don’t want to make much noise while stalking your prey but when it comes to hunting bigfoot then make some noise. You are hunting a predator with a high curiosity not a skittish prey animal. Your not going to scare them away as many people seem to think. You want them to know your there because again you are playing with their curiosity. Consider it like a mind game, your baiting them but instead of putting out tasty treats that they care nothing about you are the bait and that they want to see just as much as you want to see them. Yourself is always the best bait for bigfoot. Noise is vital if you look at the reports its more often the campers or hikers or just regular people acting normal that have the best sightings and encounters. Yes many hunters do as well but these encounters are do to them coming up on them by accident most often. It is the people acting normal that most often have the best encounters and I have tried both approaches myself and have found that the normal actions have led to the most encounters. Stay alert to what is going on around you but make the appearance that your not and they will come much closer to you more often.
I often wonder while scouting trails if there is any possible way we could actually relate to bigfoot on a psychological level. My guess is probably no. I would love to be able to do so but lifestyle differences itself shows it would be highly unlikely if not impossible. We can take information gathered to make educated guesses as to certain behaviors, reactions, and sometimes anticipate movements with occasional somewhat accuracy, yet as for certainty there is no possible way. Us like many others researching little known species must rely as much on luck as on our collective knowledge.
In order for us to be able to fully relate to them we would have to live their life in their world from birth. That being said, no matter what yours or mine woodland knowledge or experience has been it still is not enough. We can only work on speculation and luck at this point. There is nothing else.
Personally I suspect they are very near to us on the human scale, most likely relic human ancestors that have survived without going extinct like science tells us they did. I could be wrong here but it makes the most sense to me at this point. So if we are to fully understand them and get into their brains we have to look at what is known about our human ancestors, what is known about ourselves, and what is known about living apes. This might seem disrespectful to some who believe they are humans and I mean no disrespect what so ever but the truth is human or not they still live primitively not modernly. This is something people have to understand. A ape lives in the wild and bigfoot lives in the wild. A ape lives and survives in the wild partially by living by what would be considered primitive means. Chimpanzees for instance live almost a hunter gatherer lifestyle. It could be in some ways considered very similar to the lifestyle many human ancestors are thought to have lived. I f you take what is known collectively by many bigfoot researchers and what is known about many ape species then there is an obvious parallel there.
Us modern humans live in our apartments, houses and so forth, many of us still hunt game and even gather wild edibles when need be. The major difference here is we as a society rely more on cultivated plants and farm raised animals in most instances. Cultivation can be and ,rightfully has been considered the mother of culture and civilition. Yet that is our culture and civilization as modern humans, we can not mistake them for us. This is something I see too often. What we consider culture to us they may may not. This is something we have to take into consideration. We can not say they are uncivilized simply because they don’t live by our rules and on the flip side we can not say they are either simply because they resemble humans in appearance, partial behavior, and some ways intellect. This is simply not possible because we can not fully know their mind. All we can really do is speculate based on reports and if lucky enough then also observation, unless one of us out there was raised by them from birth and grew up in their ways. So far I have yet to find anyone of credibility who has done this.
Some say when in the field it is imperative be extremely quiet and others say to act normal and make a little noise. I was discussing this with a friend not too long ago and decided to write a post on it expressing my views for anyone who might be interested and find it useful.
Well here are my feelings on this topic. I think it is best to use a combination of both noise and quiet. I believe that making some noise and acting more like regular hikers or campers, who though you remain very aware of the surroundings, yet you are pretending not to be is the best strategy while moving around through the forest and when at camp. My basis on this is that most animals will be aware of your approach and move away, which is a good safety measure as most know in areas where bear are a common animal. While since most animals will move away bigfoots which show to be very curious by nature, which is in itself a sign of intelligence, and with that curious nature and the fact you appear preoccupied(though in reality you are not), it might give them a reason to approach slightly closer to investigate you and your party then they might would under the alternative. The less likely you appear to notice them the more likely they are to get into closer proximity believing themselves to be less likely to be noticed by you. Though this is purely theory and I very well may be wrong here but I have found it to work.
Now here are my feelings on being stealthy and quiet. Most predators will move with stealth when stalking up on their prey so I would assume that when being stealthy and appearing to be stalking through the forest a bigfoot would associate you as a predator and keep a distance. Though it would dominate you with ease and be very aware of that fact you would still appear as more of a threat then otherwise. Appearing as a threat to any thing living in the wild with wild instincts tuned to survival as its main premise would react accordingly either with avoidance or with the potential of attack. A threat is the last thing you want to be perceived as being if you are looking to get as close as safely possible which most are wanting to do.
Now for the mix. Regular talking and laughing at times and when something of relevance is heard then quietly listening, preferably with listening equipment like a parabolic microphone attached to a digital voice recorder and I often use a camcorder for recording as well. When things get quiet again start making a little noise again yourselves to get their attention again. They will probably be watching from right out of your field of view and hiding even in the dark, though with luck you might get a glimpse or with a lot of luck a full out sighting of them as they investigate you.
One recurring idea that seems to be floating around a lot is that bigfoot type creatures are a paranormal kind of entity. Many swear they are and many swear they are not and the debates seem to usually escalade into heated arguments. Personally I am very doubtful that they are anything more then flash and blood creatures myself, but that is just my opinion and I base that on observation and logical assumptions. I will be the first to admit I may be wrong because I really do not know. The truth is that no one really knows. I can say I have experienced things that I could not understand but I make the assumption that there has to be a biological cause for such things even as strange as they may appear to us. Here is an example I like to use. Say for instance a squirrel hunter sees a squirrel a tree and that squirrel sees him and moves to the other side of the tree out of sight. That squirrel did not disappear it is simply hiding. This is a common attribute of wild animals living in a wild environment. They know their environment because it is their home and often times their instinct to hide and knowing it and knowing how to hide in it is essential to their survival. So in a sense if bigfoot is living in an area and wants to hide it could be very good at doing so. Now this is my opinion on this and nothing more. If bigfoot type creatures are indeed some sort of paranormal entity then I am wrong but I am also doubtful of that being the case. Though doubtful and knowing for sure are very much two different things. The truth is none of will ever know for sure the true nature of anything until it is proven real itself. Many of us know they are real from our own experiences, myself included, but what we know and what we can prove are again not the same thing. We need to do our best as several teams working together as one sharing information freely without arguing about who is right and who is wrong and all of these other silly debates in order to make this happen successfully. We have support from science now finally with the DNA studies being conducted by Drs. Ketchum and Sykes as well as many others in academia who are on our side. With the work being done by these individuals and the work we do in the field we are sure to be on the verge of success very soon I would like to think. I do believe it will take all the work of both the scientists as well as us researchers in the field to build the most functional base for this all to work out for the common goal. For this to happen we all need to work together as a team instead of against each other for individual goals. Everyone has a job to do in this whether you are a scientist, field researcher or someone who just looks at videos and pictures on your computer and has never set foot in the field, everyone has their place and job to do. One major problem I see is people tend to take their place and often times themselves way too seriously not realizing that this is actually a hamper on success. I see people putting again preconceived bios on certain videos and pictures that are placed out there for fair examination. Sadly in many cases they are hoaxes but to dismiss it as a hoax when it very well may be real simply because it just doesn’t fit a preconvieved notion is not the proper way to evaluate the evidence being presented. We all need to be a team assisting each other without preconvieved bios instead of all the childishness I generally see with arguments over nothing. If we want to get the real truth out there then we need to work together and stop telling each other that I’m right your wrong all in the name of personal ego.
There is one question that always seems to come up in conversations about bigfoot and that is,”how do I know where to look?” well that is not an easy question to answer with any certainty. How can you determine a population density and location to find something that has never been proven to exist and so little is known about with any certainty? The answer is neither I nor anyone else can say for sure but I do have a system I use that seem to be quite affective most of the time. It all depends on the habitat, availability of food/amount of difficulty finding food and other requirements of survival within an area with the least amount of caloric expenditure to maximal caloric intake. Basically speaking if the habitat in a certain area has the basic requirements needed and there have been sightings reported in that area then the chances are higher of there being a population of bigfoot in that area at least part of the year or all depending on the part of the country in question. A simple method I use to determine this when looking at areas I want to conduct research in is this. First I look at the amount of reported sightings in that area, then estimate that the amount of reports are probably in most cases about a fifth to a third of actual sightings or encounters depending on the area and the attitude/acceptance/willingness to talk about of the average people in that area. I read these reports and rule out any that has the potential of misidentification or hoax usually leaving about a third to a half. Then I look at a printed map of the area if possible to determine possible marked trails and routes, then I use google earth to study the lay out of the area, looking for waterways, ponds, ect. Often times there will be bodies of water that will be visible on an aerial map that will not be shown on a printed map, and depending on the area and its amount of human influence and difficulty getting to, there will sometimes be sources of water that few people even know are there. Once all this is determined, look for obvious wooded corridors from place to place, especially close to water and on the edges of woods/meadows. These areas are favored by deer and other potential prey, as well as being good locations to find many good edible plant species that could be utilized as a potential food source as well. Now with this information you are now ready to get into this area and scout it out making reference to what you find in person to what you expected to find due to the maps studied, sometimes there will be similarities and sometimes there will be major differences as well as anything out of the ordinary you may find as you scout the area. You will want to keep note of all this information no matter how irrelevant it might seem at the time because much of it can be used later to make comparisons while looking over future discoveries in the area. After scouting the area on foot choose locations to place trail cameras for further information on local wildlife that may be captured on the cameras giving more information of potential food sources as well as potential reasons for certain things you might find while scouting the area, for example certain animals will leave sign behind that can easily cause confusion while analyzing certain things found. If you know that animal is present and that it makes this sign then you know not to consider it as possible bigfoot evidence.