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Migration

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Whether you call it migration or nomadism, or simply a response to local pressures and shifting resources, any of these behaviors would make it hard for modern humans to "find" a creature endowed with near human intelligence, including a capacity to exhibit a kind of 'theory of mind', as well as their presumed physical endurance and capacity to travel on-foot over major distances (just like modern humans evidently used to back in the early days of our own evolutionary pathway, before we became sedentary and came to think of walking and running long distance as an exceptional ability, as some authorities in human evolution assert (Harvard's Dr Danniel Liberman and other)), in particular if you compare modern humans feeble-by-comparison ability to thrive, let alone survive on our own over any length of time in a typical wild environment. A belief that BF are like forest apes such as gorillas or chimps and for whom travel over long distance is not one of their strong points, and therefore are a lot like modern humans have become, is one reason we under-estimate their potential to evade our attempts to discover much about them.

I wonder if we managed to train a wild animal that is good at travelling in the wild environments, like a dog, to wear a video camera and to seek out and encouter BF, whether we might be able to demonstrate their reality. Cheers

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IMHO, I believe that geographic location has some bearing on whether they migrate. Out west, if they depend on migrating herds of elk/deer, for thier base sustanance, I can see the squatches moving with them as the weather of the season forces them to find thier diet staples elsewhere. In some eastern states, they don't appear to migrate at all. Someone mentioned overlapping territories. That may be the case where migration is not displayed. Like it was suggested, I think by Jodie, that these overlaps would facilitate "group" interactions from time to time between family units or clans. This would take care of mating, keeping in-breeding from descimating the population in the long run. Plus it would give these social creatures time to interact with others of thier species in general.-Knuck

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I am not sure what to call it, migration or whatever. I do believe they move around to different areas at certain times of the year. As someone else said, following the food source.

What we had/have experienced was a rarely in the summer or winter, a little bit in the spring, mostly in last August into November.

That throws this following theory out, but sometimes I wondered if they stayed close to areas of the river in the winter that werent completely frozen over. The eagles around here do, so maybe...anyway, just basically thinking out loud.

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Though i give COGriz huge props for the map and its correlation, it maybe a bit misguiding... Ya see I have found say from the 70's to present day here in my neck of the woods the prime factor for the species to move out of a wide swath of territory is the influx of a new neighbor, Man... We got pummeled by California residents moving up here for work and cheap housing "To Them" which boomed the economy, sent home construction numbers soaring, and well was not good for any species that liked to be elusive, quiet and stable.

So I found the biggest factor, at least in my area, is the intrusion into the species land with the huge influx of new population....

Edited by TooRisky
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IMHO, I believe that geographic location has some bearing on whether they migrate. Out west, if they depend on migrating herds of elk/deer, for thier base sustanance, I can see the squatches moving with them as the weather of the season forces them to find thier diet staples elsewhere. In some eastern states, they don't appear to migrate at all. Someone mentioned overlapping territories. That may be the case where migration is not displayed. Like it was suggested, I think by Jodie, that these overlaps would facilitate "group" interactions from time to time between family units or clans. This would take care of mating, keeping in-breeding from descimating the population in the long run. Plus it would give these social creatures time to interact with others of thier species in general.-Knuck

I think Knuck hit it on the head, it depends completely on what part of the country you are talking about. "Seasonal habitat" might fit better to explain what I've seen in the plains. They use an area at certain times of the year.

One thing I have come to believe from reading accounts is that they don't do anything by chance. They aren't just wandering about. IMO, if they are moving, it is to a place they are familiar with and possibly have had a member or members of the group scout out for any problems before they move the family group to the new location. Those "scouts" might account for road sightings

In colder climates, it is important to determine how they are surviving the coldest months. Where are the females and young taking refuge? Whatever patterns we observe or detect are limited to the geographic location where they occurred and might not be relevant somewhere else.

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Makes sense. Less energy output. I know gorillas and other great apes know when different portions of their territory have blooming plants.. so in effect they are botanists and know the geography. I dont think there is any reason to think otherwise here. That poses a problem in winter.. so lots of opinions there.

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I'm also perplexed by what happens in areas where the winters are severe. Here in Colorado, prime summer habitat becomes a very harsh environment in the late fall through spring months. The Native Americans speak of BF using caves as shelter, but many others reject this theory because a cave is viewed as a "trap" of sorts for anything that enters, assuming that there's only one entrance. Even though they almost certainly can survive much harsher conditions than Homo Sapiens, it stands to reason that an animal possessing their suspected level of intelligence would utilize something more sophisticated than a ground nest or hole in the ground to survive the harsh winters.

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In one area here the three sightings of presumably the same individual all happened in the same general area, at the same time of year (June, July). It is also near a place where a previous cross-highway sighting occurred. It makes me wonder if there is an annual migration across that section of the valley. It certainly would make sense that a population residing on one mountain group goes down in summer to take advantage of the farmer's crops, particularly tall corn, as well as the salmon runs in spring and fall in the river, while staying up high on the peaks during the hot months--particularly early fall, when the berries, mountain lily tubers, locusts and ptarmigan are so plentiful up above. I would think it would be a no brainer, and indeed it seems that our First Nations people hereabouts did exactly the same thing (except the corn, which came later with the Dutch). It just stands to reason. There are areas of food plentifulness, they are just following the menu, probably. And the comfort.

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Also regarding the winter, one possiblility with teepee like structures is that they are used only in winter as shelter UNDER the deep snow (roofed/thatched with perishable evergreen boughs, only the skeleton of the teepee would remain if not dismantled, and people generally are in those areas only when the snow is gone) of the high, wooded mountain slopes. We have caves, too, though, many that are unknown/undiscovered. The NA people hereabouts have stories of them using caves, particularly in the Yale area. Caves to me would be a prime location for searching for remains, particularly in areas just below the glaciation line.

Edited by vilnoori
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With a lifetime of poking around in rough terrain where people normally don't go, the idea of discovering undiscovered cave systems and keeping them hidden seems plausible. Just thinking out loud here.

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I remember reading in Sanderson (I believe.. guess I dont remember too good) about the entrance to an opening in the mountain.. that sometimes was plugged with a big rock. I have had one report in my own state about a big cave like entrance that was jammed with logs and trees and the property owners could never figure that out. Correlation ?

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Also regarding the winter, one possiblility with teepee like structures is that they are used only in winter as shelter UNDER the deep snow (roofed/thatched with perishable evergreen boughs, only the skeleton of the teepee would remain if not dismantled, and people generally are in those areas only when the snow is gone) of the high, wooded mountain slopes. We have caves, too, though, many that are unknown/undiscovered. The NA people hereabouts have stories of them using caves, particularly in the Yale area. Caves to me would be a prime location for searching for remains, particularly in areas just below the glaciation line.

vilnoori - I guess that I never thought of the teepees and brush piles as being part of an igloo-like structure. Good call. Caves do seem like ideal shelter, however I think that we would have heard much more from spelunkers about encounters with BF.

With a lifetime of poking around in rough terrain where people normally don't go, the idea of discovering undiscovered cave systems and keeping them hidden seems plausible. Just thinking out loud here.

indiefoot - I'm sure there's many caves that haven't been discovered by Homo sapiens. It would seem that we could predict locations if we know the geology of an area. There's a female researcher on the web that has done a lot of research on correlations between types of rock and locations of BF.

I remember reading in Sanderson (I believe.. guess I dont remember too good) about the entrance to an opening in the mountain.. that sometimes was plugged with a big rock. I have had one report in my own state about a big cave like entrance that was jammed with logs and trees and the property owners could never figure that out. Correlation ?

treeknocker - I've heard of the rock plugging a cave scenario and it could be true, but wouldn't that block airflow too? I haven't heard of the trees being jammed into the cave opening, so thanks for that info.

***

I'm wondering out loud about how these shelters may effect their travels. In the book The Prehistory of Colorado and Adjacent Areas by Tammy Stone, there are two seasonal migration models presented for Paleoindians through the Post-Archaic period. Again, this is only for areas in the central Rockies and does not address any seasonal adaptations, or lack thereof, in other parts of North America.

Benedict(1992) proposed a model based on seasonal rounds along the Front Range of Colorado that make use of seasonal and elevation changes, with a clockwise pattern of movement from higher elevations to lower elevations in the fall and winter and from lower elevations to higher elevations in spring and summer.

Metcalf and Black (1991) proposed a more limited intermountain model based on less migration. They suggested that centrally located long-term winter base camps were established at middle elevations, with temporary short-term satellite camps being occupied during the spring in low elevations and during the summer in high elevations.

This doesn't account for the today's land development that would have an impact on BF migrations, but with nighttime travel it is still possible in this day. Furthermore, isolated mountain regions that are difficult to access could still support these kind of seasonal movements.

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LittleFeat: Interesting thought on the rock into the cave entrance idea with questions about air circulation. Probably varies.. maybe there are other outlets that smaller animals use that help ventilate. I recall going through different references as to what species utilize caves.. not as many as one might think.. the emphasis was: not many species work into them deeply.

Another point, old mine shafts. Correlations between them and the big ones perhaps. So if an area has them perhaps there is use as refuge. Reference to that is Dr. J. Bindernagels reference to some people who found a nest bed in the bottom of a shaft.. complete with an apparent female squatch who put her head between her knees.. intimidated, the people left. After that they came back and found new veg replacing the older dried up veg.. remember this is all in the dark. Other references to ice caves.. I think people would use whatever was available that shielded against the wind and cold.. why would these guys do it different ? Good one on the teepee comments Vil.

Edited by treeknocker
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What an enjoyable and thought provoking thread. I'd like to compliment all of the participants for staying on topic and sharing their thoughts in such an outstanding manner. :)

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I guess in order to call it migration, you would have to have some idea of how big a roaming territory was.....I think it can span 2-3 hundred miles. To us, seasonal movement through a large territory might look like migration.

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