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SWWASAS

Gifford Pinchot Encounter April 21, 2015

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BigTreeWalker

Did you set up a game cam in that area?

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SWWASAS

I cannot figure where to mount it. It is an active human trail running past a cliff. Would take some technical climbing to get it up away from humans yet have a view of the slide area. You know any kind of gear other than loggers spiked boots that one could use to climb trees? Seems like some mountain climbing gear would work just don't know how to attach that high in a tree you want to climb. Strange area for that sort of activity. Busy trail, and on the other side of the river is a house on the bank. I would love to set up a camera at he house but I think it is too far away for the IR to work.

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BigTreeWalker

Yes, usually the best range you can get a camera to trigger is 60ft or less. Only solution to that would be a Plotwatcher or a remote trigger setup.

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SWWASAS

Trail too active in the day to expect any day use. Has to be night. Here is the cave I found over the movement area. The slopes are 45 degree or more. I got as high as I could, held the camera over my head and forced the flash to fire. I could easily hide in the cave if I could get there. Something has been moving in and out because of all the skid mark footprints. The last picture is either a foot or handprint. Larger than either of mine. Not sure what to make of it. Not splayed like a bear but bears may not splay their toes out when they need traction. No sign of claw marks I could see. Sorry I could not measure it because it was too high for me to get to. Held the camera up over my head from as high as I could get on my feet and this was a good 8 feet above my feet and I could not get to it to measure it.

Cave near chute.

post-23549-0-85585200-1441562926_thumb.j

Inside of cave

post-23549-0-76047300-1441563013_thumb.j

Foot, Paw or hand print

post-23549-0-58134400-1441563090_thumb.j

Not saying what this is. Don't really know but way up where I could not get.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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BigTreeWalker

I zoomed in on that print. I can't tell if there are four or five pad/finger marks there. I'm kind of leaning towards four impressions. Using the fir needles for a size comparison, which are about 1" long, the print is about 6" wide. I don't see any claw marks either. Just speculation but I would say big cougar or possible hand print.

Another thing. Those marks are about an inch wide. For a comparison, my largest fingers will leave a 3/4" impression at best.

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SWWASAS

6 inches is a good estimation. I see 4 pad or finger marks in the picture and that is what I remember. My hands are not that wide nor are my fingers. Bear, very large human, or BF. Previously I found a large footprint there in the gravel at the base of the chute. But I could not tell if it was human or something else. That was about 14 inches so human is possible. It was my first time out with the bike and I did not even have a camera with me. I was just riding the bike not looking for anything. It was kind of spooky staring into that cave. It was so dark I could not see anything with my eyes. But the flash on the camera illuminated it pretty good in the picture. Because of what happened the day before I expected a cougar to jump out at me. But I was miles from there.

If I could get there, the cave would be a good place to hide a game camera. Humans would not see it but if it was pointed down it would show the lead in to the cave and the bottom of the chute. Would have to rappel down the cliff face to get there. Next time I go there, I am going to above the chute and see what leads to it. I think I can get there if I take my time and approach it from above.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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BigTreeWalker

A big cougar could leave a print that size. It would be four toed and I have seen where they have gone up a bank without leaving claw marks. I say could, because that would be big even for a cougar.

Randy, I discovered something interesting. If I enlarge the photo to my hand size, my left hand goes into that print with just a slight bend to my little finger. Of course, there is no thumb impression.

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BigTreeWalker

I noticed something else. There is a a flat area below the print that would coincide with a forearm impression. Were there any toe marks from say a boot anywhere below that print? I still think it's big for a human handprint though.

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SWWASAS

The only obvious footprints that could have been human at the location yesterday were mine from a few days before. Without rope, I could not get at any level close to the picture print. It was well above my head and I could only get that high by holding onto the wall of the chute, and going up the side. The material was clay looking and quite slick. Lots of slip marks where something had slid feet but not left any sign if footprints. I suppose that someone could have rappelled down from above and left some of the markings. From where I climbed, I nearly broke my neck getting back down to the trail level. It started raining on me right after I took the cave pictures so I do not spend a lot more time there. I did not want to get the cameras and bike too wet. So I packed the cameras and rode back to my truck.

I wish you had been there with me to look at all that. There was so many rub marks where something had slipped on the clay it was hard to sort out. I took another picture of something 12 feet higher than my head but it did not turn out well. At the time it looked like deep toe marks pushed into the clay. It was blurry so I am not seeing much. I was trying to keep from falling off the cliff face and took the picture with my left hand so must have moved the camera too much. It also just occurred to me that something could have slipped over the edge in the dark falling down the face. I would guess this is about 6 inches across too. At this point the cliff face is about 50 degrees from horizontal.

Here it is.

post-23549-0-41073700-1441571858_thumb.j

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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BigTreeWalker

No you wouldn't want to hurt yourself out there. I know clay is very slick when wet. The more I look at that the more I lean towards a hand print. I might be able to make mine fit in it but I think it is bigger than that.

Something else. You said the print you found was 14". That would take a size 16 to 17 boot to make a print that size. Not to many people with that size boots.

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SWWASAS

I really do not think there is enough to figure out what it is. Kind of like the print on the frozen road I found sometime back. Anything human or otherwise that attempts to navigate that slope up or down is going to do mostly slipping and not leave much in the way of prints. My boot and footsize are within a half an inch of each other. But larger sizes are not nearly as long as their size numbers.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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BigTreeWalker

This might be helpful for those impressions we find at times in the woods. Gives you an idea how big some of those tracks are compared to our boot sizes. Here's a chart that shows shoe size in inches. To arrive at the length of track each size would make add about an inch. Click it to enlarge it.

post-24465-0-53585000-1441589607_thumb.j

Notice that it would take about a size 16 to 17 to make a 14" impression. A bare foot would be about a size 20 for 14".

Edited by BigTreeWalker

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SWWASAS

Quite honestly I really do not get very exited about a bare footprint unless it is considerably larger than my own. With these separate toes shoes you cannot go by silhouette any more. Throw in some gravel or heavy pine needles and I really cannot tell. While it might make me believe an area is active, if Meldrum cannot convince his colleagues from footprints alone, it does little for me other than suspect I have found an active area. Right now I would settle for that. No contact in over a year and a half now.

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BigTreeWalker

I know what you're saying. I just included that to show what size human foot we're looking at with just a 14" impression. I haven't found any of the details Meldrum looks at in a track. It's just not possible in most of the forest environments around here. I look more at where I am when I find something. And I look to see if something actually passed through, a trackway in other words. In the forest broken sticks, branches and scuff marks at step/stride length can tell you if something moved through the area. You are seldom going to find perfect tracks, period! Of course if it's just one impression or in a easily accessible area, then you have a problem.

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BigTreeWalker

Heading out tomorrow for archery elk season for a couple weeks between Mt St Helens and Mt Adams, GPNF. I will be in the area where we found the 2nd bone pile. So I will be keeping my eyes and ears open. I usually set up my game cams in various locations near camp. Also will do a little recording.

One problem I find with hunting is I am concentrating on finding elk with the exclusion of other things. It is a constant effort to keep myself aware of other things. Especially things like sasquatch tracks. All I have found aren't very apparent so they are easily missed when I am hunting. I see bear and find cougar tracks but that isn't where my attention is usually focused. I've been hunting this particular area for the last 10 years. It's only been in the last couple that I decided I may have been missing some things. :)

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