Hunting Bigfoot: 4 Things You Learn Chasing Fiction

I recently moved to a snowier, woodsier part of the world and noticed one day while taking a shortcut home that Bigfoot probably lives near me. There are a lot of trees and foreboding areas that look like the sorts of places in which gentle folk like me are made into the forest brides of beast-men. But how could I know for sure?

If there's one thing I'm good at it's finding the worst bar in any given town and making it my own. I easily located this town's scruffiest bar that featured dead animals mounted on walls, and in no time had found no less than one man who claimed that he had heard from someone several years ago that there was a guy who saw Bigfoot around here once. Hot damn! A solid lead!

On the promise of picking up his bar tab and also returning to the bar later and picking up more of a bar tab, I got this guy to join me on a hunt in the woods. Now, you may be asking, "Felix, did you just pay a drunk stranger to take you into the woods alone?" And to that I say: You forgot that I got him to bring a gun.

This is Dan. He's loaded with beer and ammunition!

#4. Drinking Outdoors Is Fun

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My new friend Dan isn't the sort of man who appreciates small talk, pop culture, or me. But I bought road beers and we were pretty much set to have an adventure. We drove about 20 minutes out of town to a massive swath of forest that Dan told me had a big lake somewhere in the middle of it and was the place some people said Bigfoot had been spotted. Already it had grown from maybe one guy to some people. I was super psyched.

In preparation for our journey, we packed not just beers but several snacks, an emergency flare (lest Bigfoot abduct us while a helicopter is flying overhead), and outdoorsy crap like a compass, a small hatchet, some matches, and a mickey of whiskey.

I'm not much for hiking but luckily neither is Dan, so we were in the woods for a solid 15 minutes before we stopped to have a drink. Our brew of choice was a fine Canadian ale known as Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA. I bought it solely based on the silly name, but it was actually pretty fantastic and I solidly recommend it for all your Bigfoot-hunting needs.

It'd be better if there were actually monkeys serving it, but other than that, A+.

Dan and I had a good sit in the woods, during which Dan proceeded to tell me about his younger days in a biker gang and a variety of related activities I won't relate here, because I'm dumb but not that dumb. This was some secret-keeping beer we were having, and Dan may not have been the best tour guide in retrospect, but here we were, in the woods, with a gun. A gun and stories of Dan using a pool cue to destroy an entire room full of men in the most brutal, Deadpool ways possible. I'm glad I met this strange fellow.

Several beers later and Dan and I were having a pretty decent time, still within sight of the road. But alas, this was no joke expedition ... or, well, it was, but I was still looking for Bigfoot. We had work to do.

#3. Losing Yourself Is Easier Than Finding Bigfoot

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We set out in a direction I will call straight ahead. I know we packed a compass, but it was packed and, honestly, would it have made a difference to know if we were headed north or east? How could it have? We were looking for a legendary man-ape.

Dan told me as we walked that coyote activity in this area has been very much on the rise lately. There's just a huge population of them. I've never seen a coyote outside of a Warner Bros. cartoon and was having a hard time reconciling my image of a cartoon wielding an anvil with an actual wild dog that probably has rabies tearing open my scrotum. Dan assured me they rarely attack humans unless they're starving or in large groups, then, without missing a beat, added, "Or maybe not." I almost forgot Dan is not a woodsman, merely a fellow drunk I met at a bar, and I am about as much an expert on what we're doing as he is.

"I eat a lot of Jack Link's, though."

We stumbled upon a number of tracks that could have belonged to Foot, but definitely not Bigfoot, unless I have been grossly misled regarding sizing in this matter. Most were probably squirrels and assorted other woodland turds, but there were definitely some deer tracks as well, and in my mind that was close. The bigger the animal, the closer to Bigfoot. If we found moose tracks we'd be pretty much where we needed to be.

We trudged on through snow-covered underbrush, slightly tipsy and with no clear direction. Dan had brought with him a 20 gauge shotgun, which he said would probably work for taking out Bigfoot if we got him to stand still long enough. I'm no gunsmith and assumed any shotgun was probably good for blowing a Bigfoot's leg off, until Dan told me this was his rabbit-hunting gun. He had a license only for small game this year, and he wasn't going to get fined by bringing a higher-powered rifle into the woods when it wasn't season for hunting something like elk. Dan had no faith in our expedition. Although he did point out that, if we shot Bigfoot with the 20 gauge it'd probably slow him down enough for some photos, so I should be fast with my phone and snap a pic or two. Maybe see if he's down for a selfie.

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Felix Clay

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