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The first thing to learn is that the preferred term is “squatching,” not “Bigfoot hunting,” Jim Myers says. He should know. As the co-owner of the Sasquatch Outpost, a Bigfoot-themed gift shop and museum in Bailey, Myers hosts a number of squatching events, including this month’s Bigfoot Adventure Weekend ($225 per person; July 29 to 31). The annual collab with Colorado-based Sasquatch Clothing Company teaches novice trackers how to identify night sounds, cast footprints, set up trail cams, and more. Unfortunately for latecomers, the event sold out in April, so we asked Myers to share a few squatch-scouting skills to help you get started on your own.
Myers wouldn’t disclose specifics but claimed that he has “not found any area in Colorado in the mountains where there wasn’t a sign they were there.” The denser the forest, the better—because Sasquatches settle where it’s easiest to hide—so try Gilpin, the most tree-covered county in the state, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The Ohio Howl, an eerie, slowly rising scream recorded in 1994, may be the most famous Bigfoot call, but in Myers’ experience, Sasquatches most often sound like the indistinct babbling of other hikers down the trail. Only no one is there.
Don’t expect to find many of these in Colorado. The state’s soil is too hard and rocky.
Snapped Saplings and Tree Arches
Bigfoot’s most common calling cards are trees that have been manipulated into unnatural positions, either to mark territory or simply to express themselves creatively. Look for saplings whose crowns have been broken and for branches that have been placed under heavy objects to keep them from springing upright again.
The weirdest thing about Sasquatches? Their eyes emit light. “I have no clue how they do it. Maybe it’s bioluminescence,” Myers says, “but it’s fantastic when it happens.” Look for pairs of red, yellow, or white lights in the woods—watching you.
Some believe the creatures communicate over distances by thumping tree trunks to make a hollow bang. Try it yourself on a dark night and see if they respond. Pro tip: A wooden ax handle makes the perfect knocker.
Researchers will leave interesting objects, such as kitchen utensils, in the woods where they’re sure no other humans will find them and return to see if they’ve been moved or taken. “They’re curious,” Myers says of the animals. “They want to check it out. Pick it up. Look at it.”
According to Myers, Sasquatches know what cameras are and will do everything they can to avoid them, including stealing them. Instead, researchers typically use microphones—which Bigfoot creatures are apparently cool with—to record bumps in the night.
The key to a successful night search is to stop quickly and randomly. Naturally inquisitive, Sasquatches like to follow hikers. If you catch them off guard, you may hear rustling in the woods before they realize you’ve stopped.