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PROVINCE: British Columbia
LOCATION DETAILS: 2 miles downstream from Muskwa Bridge on Alaska Highway near Fort Nelson.
NEAREST TOWN: Fort Nelson
NEAREST ROAD: Alaska Highway
OBSERVED: No sighting - just a couple photos of prints I took.
ALSO NOTICED: no
OTHER WITNESSES: none
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: about 5 pm
ENVIRONMENT: river bottom...willows mud banks
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tom Yamarone:
I spoke with the witness by phone and can add the following narrative and details:
The witness is a resident of Fort Nelson, B.C. and spends a good amount of time in the outdoors. He stopped on this occasion along the Muskwa River floodplain to look for rocks - he is a self-described "rock hound". This is an expansive area characterized by the silty bottom of the floodplain, rocks exposed in the cut banks and various thickets of willow and other trees.
He discovered the tracks crossing his path and began to follow them. He told me that he followed them for close to 1/4 of a mile. He described them as approx. 14" long and "very wide...and characteristically block shaped with a flat front along the toes - not tapered." I inquired about the step between prints and he said it was "one and a half of my strides" - approx. 4 feet.
One very interesting event occurred as he was following this track trail. A group of wild horses that reside in this area came running from the direction that the tracks were headed. The witness described them as "spooked" and he is familiar with these animals. He is also familiar with tracking and spotting animal tracks and I asked if these were "fresh" tracks that he was following. He said they were and he was of the belief that the creature he was following was "just ahead of me". He is very familiar with bear tracks and was certain these were not such.
He submitted photographs for use with this report. One of the tracks is pictured in the first photo with his boot print next to it. He measured his boot sole to be 11 and 3/4 inches long and 4 and 3/4 inches wide at the ball of the foot. The impression it left will be a little larger. He bounced his weight up and down as he made this print, yet did not make as deep of an impression as the prints he was following.
The other photographs shows more of these prints.They all seem to show a track slightly smaller than his intial estimate when we take into account the size of his boot sole.
Regardless of the exact size, the report and photos are intriguing.