As business shut their doors and entertainment options become more scarce than ever, many people are turning to nature for leisurely activities. While more common outdoor endeavors include hiking, fishing, and bird watching, more adventurous explorers are spending their time in quarantine pursuing a much different pastime: hunting for Bigfoot. Also called “squatching,” searching for evidence of Bigfoot’s existence has become a fairly common hobby, even gaining attention on nationally televised programs. In this edition of The StickerTalk, we invite you to grab your compass, put on your best pair of hiking boots, and follow us away from civilization as we give you some tips for your next squatching expedition!
At the heart of any squatching venture lies the essential equipment needed to successfully locate a Sasquatch and stay safe in deep woods. Many Bigfoot experts believe that the creepy cryptid may be more active at night, so a strong flashlight and a thorough knowledge of the surrounding area is strongly recommended. Seasoned “squatchers” also emphasize the need for comfort when trekking through heavily forested areas and encourage novice Bigfoot hunters to don comfy hiking boots and use plenty of bug spray as you search for Sasquatch. Additionally, because Bigfoots are rumored to have keen sense of smell, you may want to forgo spritzing of cologne or perfume before heading out.
Once you are all geared up and ready to head for the woods, there are several tell-tale pieces of evidence you should look for. Perhaps the most commonly gathered artifacts are alleged Sasquatch prints. Since Bigfoots are characterized by their, well… big feet, it comes as no surprise that squatchers often take pictures or plaster casts of eerily large footprints as evidence of a Sasquatch encounter. If you choose to snap some photos of any footprints you find, veteran squatchers advise that you take pictures from several angles so the foot size and gait length can be accurately measured. When there are no prints to be found, Bigfoot hunters search for tufts of fur left behind on tree branches, fences, and other rough surfaces that can later be DNA tested. Should you happen across an unusual hair sample in your search for Sasquatch, experts suggest that you quickly place the hair in a paper bag so the DNA will be intact and unadulterated when extracted for testing.
Footprints and hair samples are only a few of the many forms of evidence frequently gathered by squatchers, however. Be sure to listen carefully during your expedition; Sasquatches tend to be vocal communicators, using a distinct howl to broadcast their messages. Bigfoots are also thought to be extremely territorial, so stay on the lookout for territorial markers such as split trees and broken limbs. Nesting sites, best described as mats of branches, are another common signs of Bigfoot activity.
Of course, it is always best to employ the buddy system when hunting for Bigfoot. Especially if you are not familiar with the area, having a friend or two join you on your late-night jaunt through the forest reduces the likelihood of losing your way. If you are having some trouble finding someone adventurous enough to go squatching with, there are a plethora of organizations created for the sole purpose of searching for Bigfoot, the most prominent group being the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO). In fact, the BFRO sponsors several expeditions each year, so check out their website to see locations and dates for their upcoming squatching events.
Although many continue to debate the reality of Bigfoot, squatching offers a unique opportunity to commune with nature and maybe even make an exciting discovery!