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Media Article # 68

Thursday, January 18, 2001

Bigfoot making tracks and headlines; DOW staffer responds to reports of Sasquatch

By Lynn Burton
Glenwood Post

Bill Heicher's friends are calling him the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Sasquatch expert, after he was quoted in a Sunday Denver Post article on Bigfoot. The lengthy article has also opened up speculation flood gates on how the DOW would respond if a Bigfoot were dragged from the woods, bagged, or wandered into town. "Weıd probably be called in to investigate whether it was an animal," Heicher said. "Or the feds might get involved, but who knows. It would be sort of like an alien landed." Heicher is a DOW biologist in Eagle, and he responded to a report of Bigfoot tracks being found in a hard to get to spot on the Eagle River last April.

The article quoted Heicher as saying the three tracks were 18 inches long and nine inches wide, with five toes. "I donıt think it was human, and I ruled out wildlife tracks. I donıt know what it was," Heicher told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Heicher said that if the tracks were a hoax, they were put in a place that only about three people a year would stumble across. Most of the Denver Post article focused on reported sightings, including one north of Crested Butte, plus tracks and forensic investigations from a Texas law enforcement finger print expert. Many of the sightings put Bigfoot at 8-feet-tall, and 450 pounds. Heicher compared the meat intake of a 150 pound mountain lion to a 450 pound Bigfoot, and estimated it could survive on one deer every two or three days. "The food supply is out there," Heicher said. If anyone wanted to mount an expedition to find a Bigfoot, Heicher said it could be along the lines of how the DOW tries to find grizzly bears. For bears, the DOW baits traps and sets up cameras with infra red film, that donıt require a flash, plus motion sensors to set them off. Even if a grizzly bear isnıt captured, the species can be proven by DNA tests on fur left behind.

Heicher said that sitting up a tree with night vision goggles would be "a waste of man-hours." Even though he has seen three tracks which canıt be explained, Heicher said he is skeptical. For one thing, nobody has found any physical evidence, such as scat. This comes at the same time an increased number of people are exploring the back country. Heicher said that it seems like bear or mountain lion hunters would have found some evidence, because they hunt with dogs in remote areas where nobody goes. "Youıd run across some signs, but it doesnıt happen." Folks who believe in Bigfoot sometimes point to plane crashes that go undiscovered for years, and say that Sasquatch could stay that hidden as well. "But airplanes donıt move around. A feeding animal moves around."

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Glenwood Springs Daily Post

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