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COUNTY: Ravalli County
NEAREST TOWN: Hamilton or Darby
NEAREST ROAD: Don't remember
OBSERVED: Guided elk hunting trip in bowls creek, deer lodge anaconda pintlers. Coming down a game trail on a ridge in deep dark timber. My horse was tired. All of a sudden he became nervous. A little breeze coming to me. Went about 75 yards and my horse started looking to the left. About 25 to 30 feet there was a big root ball from a downed pine tree from the waist up crouching down was a bigfoot. I looked at him in the eyes, it was surprised as I. It was not an ape it looked more like a man but it had hair all over about 6 to 8 inches long. I had a rifle but I was so close to it I was afraid to make any sudden moves other than just keep riding. I will never forget and some day if funds are available I would like to make an effort to find it again.
ALSO NOTICED: no
OTHER WITNESSES: no
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Just before sunset dark timber
ENVIRONMENT: Heavy Timber, Pine trees.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator John Salmond:
I would like to provide more information about the experience from my phone conversation with the witness. He has been a professional big game guide for many years, and is very familiar with bear, cougars, elk, deer and other large game.
He was the hunting guide on this trip and the next day was opening day for the elk hunt. He had a couple of hours of daylight left and decided to do some scouting in the area. He was on his way back to his base camp, cutting through some deep timber. He had just made the trail, his horse was very tired from all of the activity of the day. There was a slight breeze hitting him in the face, putting him down wind of any animal that he would be approaching. His horse started to act-up and from past experience with his horse he knew it was behavior indicating the possibility of a bear or moose in the area. He continued on down the trail and shortly after, his horse looked left. The witness turned, looking in the direction the horse was focused on. There was a downed pine tree with the roots exposed creating a large root ball. On the other side of the root ball was a Bigfoot crouching and staring in his direction. The Bigfoot was squinting at him at first and then his expression changed to a type of shock. The witness believes, by the expression on the Bigfoot's face, that he heard a four-legged animal coming down the trail but was not expecting to see a human riding on it. He was down wind of the Bigfoot so any smell wouldn't have given him away. He felt threatened and didn't want to do anything to provoke it. He said he doesn't know what would have happened, but did not want to risk it. He acted like he had not seen the Bigfoot and continued to ride, leaving the area. The witness emphasized that he wouldn't have seen the Bigfoot if it was not for his horse looking in the animal's direction.
The Bigfoot had reddish brown hair all over its body. The facial hair was not thick, but thin and did not cover the entire face. He believes the Bigfoot to be male because he did not see any breasts. The skin color was brownish. He said the face and appearance was more like a man than ape. The eyes were brownish green and his mouth was closed. His hair draped down over his eyes a little and was parted in the middle. The Bigfoot was large with shoulders about thirty-five to forty inches wide and was built like an NFL player. He said if he was to guess on the age of the Bigfoot, using the age of humans, he would have to guess it to be twenty to thirty years-old. He could not determine how tall it was because it was behind the root ball and remained crouched the entire time. The bigfoot never took his eyes off of the witness.
The witness also noted that the area is rich with elk and deer and other large game. He said there were bogs and natural springs in the area. There were small streams with plenty of fish and he also made mention that there were huckleberries, food was plentiful in the area.
I found the witness to be credible. The witness said he also had another experience with Bigfoot in Southern Utah down by Beaver. They were making calls and had one come in making very deep grunts and howls in an area with junipers and sage brush.
About BFRO Investigator John Salmond:
John Salmond grew up in Utah and is a lifelong outdoorsman and former hunter. His father owned a Motel in West Yellowstone where he would spend summers exploring and taking pictures of wildlife.
He is a Certified Visual Tracker; Level 1 Human Tracker (Sasquatch Emphasis)
Northern California Spring 2008, Washington Olympic Expedition 2008, Northern California Spring 2009, Utah 2009 (Co-organized), Wyoming 2009, Northern California Fall 2009, Co-Organized the Utah 2010 and will be Co-Organizing the Utah 2012 Expedition.