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DATE: Late in the month
COUNTY: Fresno County
LOCATION DETAILS: 65 miles east of Fresno California, on the Swamp Lake 4WD route. In the Sierra National Forest at an elevation of about 8000 ft.
OBSERVED: Several friends and I were riding our mtbs on the swamp route. There was about a 3-5 minute gap between each of us. As i ascended the trail I heard a large animal moving in the forest about 20 yards off the trail. I couldn't see it but could clearly hear it in the underbrush. As i proceeded up the trail one of my friends was in the trail looking at something. A set of very large footprints were in the trail. This was about 200 yards up from were i heard the noises. The track came from off the trail onto it and proceeded down the trail about 30-50. The subject walked a few steps the stopped and stood still moved a few more feet stopped as if listening. It proceedded down the trail a few more yards before heading into a small meadow. This meadow is very near the place i head the noises in the bush. The foot prints were in very deep silty powder and were very well detailed. I could see the lines in the sole of the foot the toes were very splayed and there was little to no arch. total lenght of the prints was about 14-15" as I could fit my whole foot shoe and all in the print. The track was liad down on top of the tracks of my friends who were about 5 min. ahead of us. A couple of bear hunters came upon us and we asked them what they thought, and they had never seen such a track. After loosing the track off of the road we proceeded with our ride. About one half mile up the road the track apeared again fromm off the road moving across the road going downhill toward the previous site of prints. The bear hunters also found the new tracks and tired to follow it but the brush was too thick.
ALSO NOTICED: It was very cold and the foot prints so large i doubt it was someone out walking around barefoot and we were several mile from the nearest road. It appeard that the individual was trying not to be seen. the tracks stopped and shuffeld arourd several time as though it was listening to us.
OTHER WITNESSES: We were on a very long mountain bike ride. The hunters were on there way to the high country
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was early in the morning about 7:00am and about 30 degrees in temp.
ENVIRONMENT: The swamp route runs close to the Dinkey lakes Wilderness area. The trail is jeep trail. The area is pine forest with granite out croppings. There was a large granite outcop to the left of the first site and a small creek off the trail to the left. With a small meadow. The small creek feeds into Ruby creek. Nelson Mtn is to the east and Bear mnt. is to the north. elevation was around 8000"? Longitude.119'07'30" latitude about 37'04'0"