...and rightfully so.

Some would consider a law to protect Bigfoot to be a silly endeavor. Many around the northwest don't believe that Bigfoot is a real thing. However, many others know them to be real.

So called scientists say there is no evidence of Bigfoot existing, but the anecdotal accounts are too numerous to ignore. Old hunter's share stories of sightings in the deep backwoods. Often times the large creatures will throw stones at campfires, break thick branches like twigs and bellow loudly at the foreigners in their land.

When it comes as to why the beasts are very rarely encountered, there are a few facts to keep in mind.

First, you are in their home. Wild animals know the outdoors like you know your house and back yard. They live in it all day, every day. No human can claim as such when it comes to the deep woods. Even the most seasoned hunter has spent a fraction of the time that a mere juvenile animal has. They know the hiding spots, they know when an outsider (or insider, I guess, in this instance) approaches and they definitely understand what a gun is and does.

Secondly, the Bigfoot is more than likely nocturnal. I know of dozens of people who have had Bigfoot experiences, and 99% happened at night. From ear shattering screams, rocks too large for human hands being flung like small stones, full tree branches snapped like tinder and an unworldly putrid smell indicating the beast is far too close for comfort.

I know of just one story I've been told about a Bigfoot sighting that took place during the day. This encounter was recounted to me by a scientist from a well known national laboratory. Once, when out in the field, he and a cohort spotted what seemed to be some kind of large animal wading into the Columbia river, not too far from Bonneville. It wasn't until they saw the creature move from the what turned out to be relatively deep water, traverse its way up the embankment, across the highway and up a very steep ledge at what seemed like impossible speed and swiftness, that they realized this was no typical animal. Based upon measurements they took from the surrounding area, they surmised that the creature they saw stood at least 12 feet in height. However, the speed and agility of the animal was disturbing to them, as the slope it navigated was incredibly steep, rocky and would prove difficult for any animal to climb; especially at the speed it did. However, despite thousands of hours spent in that area, throughout his career, he never saw it again.

A third reason most never encounter a Bigfoot is just how expansive the wilderness around us is.  It is easy, as a humans, to disregard just how huge the woods are. Millions upon millions of acres across the northwest are rarely accessed by humans, and if they are, it's just a handful of us out there. Hiding in the day is incredibly easy, and at night even more so.

And lastly, the fourth reason... most people are either too afraid to admit what they saw, or neglect to tell a soul out of fear of being ostracized. Simple as that.

I personally encountered what I've always believed to be a Bigfoot. A friend and I came across one in Walla Walla county, not too far from Franklin county. As we approached the side of the river, in the middle of the night, some very large creature started to thrash about, breaking what sounded like thick branches, with ease. I can still recall the sharp, loud crack of the branches as they were broken with ease.

I remember telling my friend that we should get out of there, as the branches sounded very large. He, of course, called ma a certain insult and insisted we carry forth.

It was no more than another few yards we moved before the loudest, scariest and craziest sounding roar convinced us otherwise. The sound crackled my ears like a wall of guitar amps, sent the deepest chills up my spine I've ever experienced and sounded like a combination of a terrified scream and a manic, staccato laugh... and oddly human-esque; albeit far too loud for any human to produce.

To this day, my friend refuses to acknowledge that the incident actually happened. I assure you, it most certainly did.

As a believer in Bigfoot, I find it reassuring that Washington state has laws prohibiting the hunting and harassing of Bigfoot. When the creature is finally confirmed, we'll be glad the law is in place. Besides, based upon the account of folks who've encountered the large beast, the meat wouldn't be too tasty and mounting of a Bigfoot for display would be foolish, as the incredibly overpowering odor of would be near impossible to wash away. Those who have reported smelling one say the musk is indescribably horrible. Besides, the creature is clearly rare enough to be listed as endangered and should be left alone.

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Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals

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