In mid-October 1996,
I made a hunting trip for mule deer bucks into the Pasayten Valley.
The Pasayten River Valley is located west of the town of Princeton off
of the Hope-Princeton Highway just east of the border of Manning Park,
then some 10 to 12 miles in the bush very close to the border of the
state of Washington. I towed a 16-foot trailer into the area with my
truck and decided to make camp at a favorite spot of mine in a
clearing along Peeve Creek.
Being truly tired from
both the three-hour drive from home and the stress from a week's work,
I made a quick dinner, washed it down with some cool mountain water
from the creek, and then hit the sack early for some much needed rest.
I awoke, got out of bed, and then quickly stepped outside into the
cold to answer the call of nature. Upon opening the trailer door, I
was surprised to see snow quietly falling with a light skiff already
accumulated on the ground. After attending to the business at hand, I
quickly climbed back into my warm bed with high hopes that the snow
outside would be around to offer decent tracking conditions come
A crisp, clear dawn
found me slowly hiking in towards Trapper Lake, high in
the hills above and east of Peevee Creek. I hadn't gone too far when
suddenly I cut across a fresh trail of huge, five-toed, barefoot,
man-like tracks made in the inch or so of freshly fallen snow. I
couldn't believe what I was seeing, and upon careful examination these
man-like tracks did not appear to have any type of claw or nail marks
ahead of the toes like that of a grizzly or black bear would. These
man-like tracks were an estimated 16 to 17 inches long by 7 to 8
inches wide with a stride of about four to five feet - much further
than I could possibly step even stretching my legs out.
I followed this
reasonably straight line of giant man-like tracks for several hundred
yards until they entered a thicket of young evergreens and blow-downs.
These barefoot tracks seemed strange in that they did not wander about
like the tracks of most wild animals would and showed little or no
straddle from an imaginary line through their center. Thinking back,
it almost seemed like the maker of those tracks was heading for a
place with a purpose in mind.
After looking into the
thicket and envisioning all sorts of strange scenarios, I decided I
didn't want to meet the maker of those tracks and rapidly hightailed
it out of that country for the season. I did, however, return to the
same area the following September with a friend and we managed to
harvest two beautiful mule deer bucks. Although I looked hard, I found
no further tracks or possible Sasquatch sign.
Over my last 40 or so
years of hunting big-game in the wilds of British Columbia, I have, at
times, been far too close to big bears. I have smelled, seen and
tracked both grizzly and black bears. The tracks I found in the
Pasayten River Valley during October of 1996 "were not" the tracks of
a bear or any other animal that I am familiar with.