Bigfoot Encounters

Field Report:

1989 Summary of Sasquatch Investigations
By James A. Hewkin, Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, 1989

Jim Hewkin has had a continuing interest in Sasquatch reports for about 30 years. As a wildlife biologist, he has conducted extensive fieldwork in many parts of the Pacific Northwest, and, since 1973, has actively sought evidence of the Sasquatch. A summary of these activities was published previously in the ISC Journal in 1986 titled "Investigating Sasquatch Evidence in the Pacific Northwest." This report summarizes his 1989 Sasquatch fieldwork.

In March of 1989, an employee of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) informed me about large Sasquatch tracks he had examined in light snow. The tracks had been reported to him by cedar shake cutters. On March 23, I went to the area in question, along the Clackamas River, in the Mount Hood National Forest, and found a scattered log and a scratched-up area. The snow had, by then, melted away. The tracks were described by the USFS employee as about 17-inches in length, and the track stride "greater than that of a man."

Two months later, on May 1 l, 1989, also in the Clackamas River drainage, I located a large log with the bark freshly torn off (a slide of this log was shown during my presentation at the ISC's Symposium "Sasquatch Evidence: Scientific and Social Implications," held at Washington State University in June, 1989). There were no claw or definite nail marks on this log; there was a possible claw mark at two locations. A small footprint, about 10 inches long and with a narrow heel, was found a few feet from the log.

During July 19-2 l, together with Jack Sullivan, I spent some time in the Blue Mountains of central Oregon in an attempt to find more evidence in the area where we had searched last year (James A. Hewkin, 1988, Sasquatch Snapped Saplings [Or Bigfoot Broke Branches...], CryptozooIogy, Vol. 7: 130-31). We hiked up an adjacent drainage, and noted several torn-up logs; some appeared old, and some quite fresh. We closely examined this evidence, and found definite nail marks at two locations and saw bear claw marks on one log. However, we suspected that a good deal of the evidence was due to Sasquatch activity.

During August 8-1 l, 1989, together with Jack Sullivan and Francis Williams, I investigated a suspected Sasquatch area in the Blue Mountains on the Oregon-Washington border. The area in question is in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, within the Umatilla National Forest, and is adjacent to the Mill Creek Watershed of the Walla Walla system, which was the focus of a previous field report in this journal (Lonnie Sommer, 1987, New Signs of Sasquatch Activity in the Blue Mountains of Washington State, Cryptozoology, Vol. 6: 65-70). We were successful in locating about 15 stumps and logs that had been recently disturbed. There were good nail and finger marks on two logs. Bear claws were noted at one location and suspected at another. We were very impressed with the Wenaha Wilderness; it is very rugged, and holds a large amount of large game (elk and deer).

We also talked with a rancher who knows the area well. Over the years, he has hunted it consistently with a pack string of mules and horses. In 1986, he reported, his hobbled horses became very agitated one night while camped on a headwater tributary of the Wenaha Wilderness. The following morning, while investigating the cause of the disturbance, he and his team discovered the tracks of what were believed to be three Sasquatch individuals. According to the tracks, one individual was quite small, and another was crippled. In the spring of 1989, they rode the area and searched thoroughly, but could not find any new tracks.

Another interesting item pertaining to the subject was found at the nearby Tollgate Restaurant. The proprietor has photos of supposed Sasquatch tracks tacked to a wall, and he showed me a photo album, which included a photo of a cougar (puma) which was supposedly found dead with its head bashed in. Obviously, until I locate the person who found the animal and took the photo, it does not carry much weight. However, I believe that there have been reports of Sasquatch feeding on cougar kills. If this is the case, a cougar defending its hard-won kill could very well end up with a bashed head!

The evidence uncovered during the past year gives additional support to the possibility that old logs and stumps are important Sasquatch grubbing sites. Such stumps and logs contain many rodents as well as insect larvae. It is also possible that large game animals are important for Sasquatch survival in rugged habitats. The reported dead cougar may be a relevant lead.

I plan to continue searching for Sasquatch evidence in the Pacific Northwest during 1990. I also hope to pursue the question of the dead cougar.

© James A. Hewkin, 1989

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