Geographical Index > United States > Idaho > Valley County > Report # 25056|
Submitted by witness on Sunday, November 16, 2008.
Fish & Game employee recalls following possible tracks while hiking near Little Payette Lake
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COUNTY: Valley County
LOCATION DETAILS: Little Lake is a well know fishing spot just east of town on Lick Creek Rd.
NEAREST TOWN: McCall
NEAREST ROAD: Lick Creek Rd
OBSERVED: In November of 1979 my wife and I drove out to Little Lake just east of McCall. The lake is very low this time of year and I went for a walk on the mud flat following the stream that feeds the lake. I wanted to cross the stream but it was hip deep and I would have gotten soaked.
As I followed the stream I could start to see large tracks on the other side headed my way. I was a little amazed to see that this animal had crossed the stream and climbed a steep mud bank without skipping a beat. There was no indication that it even shook itself off after getting wet (all animals do that!).
Now that the tracks were on my side I followed them hoping to find one clear print in the mud. Generally they seemed bipedal and if I took a really long stride (I'm 5'11") I could walk naturally in the tracks. The tracks dwarfed my size #10 boots however. They were huge! Maybe an inch or two wider and 6 inches or more longer. If somebody told me that Shaquille O'Neal had just taken a walk here the whole thing might have made sense. Short of that I don't have any idea what made those tracks. The sandy mud was just soft enough to round off any details.
After following for 100 meters or so the stream took a sharp turn to the right but the tracks continued straight crossing the stream again. Again the water was hip or waist deep and again the animal crossed without changing his stride or pace and never shook off. I find that part, not shaking off, really strange.
I've spent my whole life in the woods and work as a wildlife tech for both the US Forest Service and Idaho Dept Fish & Game. I know every animal in this area and to this day have no idea what made those tracks.
ALSO NOTICED: The tracks were generally human like in that they were narrower at the heel and broader at the toe. I can absolutely rule out bear, moose, elk, wolf deer, cougar etc.. Not even close.
If it hadn't crossed the stream I might have suspected a smaller animal at a dead run. Smaller animals (like coyote) at a run have all four feet hit the ground in roughly the same spot. In snow or mud this can give the impression of a larger animal. The give-away though is they're in a dead straight line. Also, if it had been something smaller the track would have changed as it entered and left the water. The tracks I saw never once varied in any way. Just looked like a really large man that didn't mind getting soaked and could scramble up a muddy bank without using his hands or changing pace (I couldn't have) in any way. I stared at those tracks coming out of the water and up the bank for some time. Didn't seem possible for anything to do that without breaking stride.
Also the depth of the tracks were much deeper than mine. I can't remember the depth but do remember thinking that whatever it is it must be 2 or 3 times my weight (I'm 200lbs).
OTHER WITNESSES: No. My wife was along with me but didn't walk out to see the tracks.
OTHER STORIES: I had been working out of town all summer and fall that year so didn't know there were Bigfoot sightings in the valley.
I related this observation to a bunch of friends at a Thanksgiving gathering and everyone dropped their jaw. Seems like everyone knew about the stories circulating town and mine was just the latest.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 09:00 or 10:00am
clear morning light and sub-freezing temps (mid-20's F maybe)
ENVIRONMENT: This area is a mixed pine/fir/spruce habitat typical of the Payette National Forest at this elevation. North/East of the lake (the direction the tracks headed) is very rugged wilderness.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Todd Strong:
After talking to the witness, the following details can be added to his account. He has spent a great deal of time in the woods, both professionally and for recreation. He is familiar with the tracks of all the wildlife in the area, including bears. Being 'Bear Aware' is part of his job with the Idaho Fish and Game, he's a Wildlife Biologist. He felt the consistent stride of the track line, including stepping through a creek and stepping up a five foot embankment without breaking stride, would be difficult for a man to duplicate. He believed, based on the size and depth of the tracks, they could only have been made by something very tall and very heavy, heavier than a moose. The witness had been out of state fighting fires for a few months prior to finding the footprints. Shortly after he returned from fighting forest fires, he learned that while he was gone there had been several Bigfoot sightings in the area. The witness is an experienced outdoorsman and believable. These tracks are consistent with other tracks thought to be made by a Bigfoot.
About BFRO Investigator Todd Strong:
Todd Strong has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and is self-employed.
He is a Certified Visual Tracker; Level 1.
Todd has been an avid outdoorsman since childhood. Attended the following BFRO expeditions:
Utah 2007, Northern California Spring 2008, Olympic Peninsula Washington 2008, Northern California Spring 2009, Northern California Fall 2009, Wyoming 2010, Olympic Peninsula Washington 2011.
Todd was the Expedition Organizer for the Utah 2010 expedition and is organizing the Utah 2012 expedition.