When it comes to Bigfoot, researchers are eager to find out how they live and how they have remained so elusive in the forests surrounding our civilizations. Some questions that come up often in the Bigfoot community are as follows: What food sources do they take advantage of? Where do they live? Do they migrate? For us to understand how these creatures live, we must first theorize their origins. Bigfoot has been thought to be either a highly adapted great ape or a relict hominid with close ties to modern human. To determine how Bigfoot may survive the unforgiving wilderness, we must analyze how both humans and apes have done so. The Takelma tribe occupied the Rogue Valley region in Oregon and were considered a hunter-gatherer society. This tribe took to lower elevations in the spring and higher elevations in the summer and early fall, eventually returning to their villages along the river for the winter. The Takelma tribe took advantage of different food sources during each season in order to survive the changing climate. Throughout the spring season, this tribe focused on catching the spring run of salmon using techniques such as hook and line, nets, and harpooning. Trout, steelhead, freshwater mussels and crayfish were also harvested from the river during this season. Could it be possible that Bigfoot has the agility & strength to catch fish without these tools? Interestingly, early explorers reported seeing these natives occasionally catching fish by hand. The Takelma tribe was highly adapted with a strong knowledge of wilderness survival. Acorns collected in the fall were preserved during the winter months, making them a valuable food source in the spring. During this time, men and women of the tribe collected camas bulbs and materials for their hand-woven baskets, often used to catch fish. During the spring months, this tribe bow hunted and corralled deer, elk, rabbits, waterfowl, squirrels, chipmunks, and other small animals.
As summer rolled around, the Takelma traveled for the longest of the four seasons, moving up to higher elevations where the weather was cooler and more suitable to the tribe. During this time, they gathered ripened wild plums and serviceberries, nuts, and other plant products. As they traveled, this group utilized small branches and brush to create temporary shelter. They were highly organized, splitting into smaller groups to accomplish tasks. Women, young people, and older men would gather resources. Men would hunt elk and deer. Members of the group who were sick or pregnant would remain in the village located in the valleys. Perhaps the most interesting food source during the summer months was toasted grasshoppers, cooked by lighting the fields on fire & toasting the insects to be collected for consumption.
Most of the resources gathered throughout the fall were dried and stored for the winter months. Preserving food was done by cooking bulbs in underground ovens, roasting or smoking meat over fire, or by drying plants and meat. The Takelma tribe was highly intelligent and resourceful. During the autumn months, the women of the tribe carried out controlled fires in order to burn away brush and make acorn collecting much easier. This practice also attracted deer and elk populations to the open grasslands, as well as encouraged the growth of grasses used for basket weaving. Although we do not have record of Bigfoot using fire, perhaps they do. Or, perhaps their digestive system is strong enough to handle the consumption of raw meat. As winter approached, the Takelma moved back down to the valley at a lower elevation, settling along the Rogue River in structures built into the ground, covered with split sugar pine planks and bark slabs. During the winter months, preparation for better weather was done. This included fixing broken tools, relaying stories to younger generations, and teaching young tribe members how to hunt and gather.
As we analyze this tribe, we can conclude that this group was highly intelligent and knowledgeable about the local food sources, following them and adapting throughout the year. It is very possible for Bigfoot to exhibit this knowledge and follow similar settlement patterns to this tribe. However, one question still remains: How could this species carry out these jobs without tools or fire? Perhaps Bigfoot is even more adapted than homo sapiens, performing tasks using their sheer strength and elevated adaptations. Is this where infrasound comes in? Do they stun their prey with frequencies our species cannot produce? I suppose we will have to wait to find out. If Bigfoot is a human species, it is likely that they survive in similar ways to indigenous tribes, after all, with the number of stories these tribes tell about the creatures, we can conclude that they had many run-ins with one another, indicating a shared habitat and perhaps, lifestyle. However, if Bigfoot is a species of great ape, is it possible for them to adapt to the changing climate the same way humans do? Let us take a look at ape species to see how they survive during different seasons.
Western lowland gorillas are found from Cameroon to the Republic of Congo to Angola. They determine their habitat by the local food sources, specifically, terrestrial herbs. Just like humans, the Western lowland gorillas change their diet per season. However, in their region, only two seasons exist: wet and dry season. During the wet season, these gorillas consume a large amount of fruit, whereas during dry season, their diet consists of fibrous vegetation and herbs. Instead of moving around once per season, gorillas have home ranges, which they travel about frequently. Interestingly, depending on availability of food sources, females give birth every five years. Could this explain why the Bigfoot population seems rather small? Perhaps if they are a great ape, their birth intervals are also spread out and affected by resource availability. Just like other apes, western lowland gorillas make nests for both day and night. These nests are constructed on the ground or in very low hanging tree branches. Could Bigfoot be exhibiting similar behavior? The Olympic Project of Washington has done extensive research on ape-like nests found in the remote forests. The nests were analyzed by various primatologists and were closely compared to nests made by known apes.
From the research gathered, it seems that based on seasonal eye-witness reports, footprint data and possible nesting evidence, Bigfoot exhibits traits similar to both humans and great apes. Is it safe to conclude that this creature may just be…a combination of the two?
“Recreation Activities: Oregon-Washington: Table Rocks: Cultural History: Seasonal Rounds.” Bureau of Land Management, blm.gov/programs/recreation/recreation-activities/oregon-washington/tablerocks/cultural-history/seasonal-rounds.