Hey Dogs of War,
I'm not a Bigfoot believer myself - although my brother is, and a close friend, one prone to level-headedness and common sense, claims to have had an
experience. But I do believe that it is possible
that they do exist. There's no natural/biological/etc. reason that Bigfoot couldn't exist,
but like you the lack of tangible evidence throws up a red flag for me.
I will echo Voidmaster's comments, however. Most Americans do not go out on Bigfoot hunts. Matter of fact, most Americans' experience of the
outdoors is limited to mowing their lawns, if that. I come from a fairly rural part of Southeastern Wisconsin - not exactly wilderness - and even the
people who live out in the country, on farms or family plots with access to the woods, etc. seldom get out into the woods more than a couple of times
a year, usually for Spring and Fall deer season.
And (IMHO) there is not reason that a Bigfoot-sized creature couldn't survive, at least in relatively small numbers - perhaps a few tens of thousands
- within the continental US. Taking Alaska and Canada into account the numbers could be even higher. Throwing out another Wisconsin example, the WI
Department of Natural Resources estimates
that there are 10,950
black bear in the State. Now, I'm not the climb-Denali, blaze-a-trail, wrecky-recon sort, but I am fairly outdoors-y, and I am fairly well-traveled
within my home state. I have never - ever - seen a black bear in the wild, all up-close-and-personal like, and it isn't for want of trying. I've
heard them, I've seen the bushes move in a way which suggested a black bear, but I've never seen one.
An apples-and-oranges comparison, I know, and 2,645 people who shot a black bear last year certainly all saw at least one, but it does illustrate that
even a large-ish population of large animals can survive in a fairly well-populated state. There are plenty of wild places in this country, and
plenty of places for an intelligent hominid to hide.
That said, I still don't buy it.
Edited to respond to Webmonkey
As a hunter, and someone coming from a family of hunters, I feel pretty safe in telling you that I do not know, personally, a single person who would
attempt to shoot a Bigfoot. Now, that's not to say those people don't exist, but they're few and far between. The common perception that hunters
are out to kill anything and everything is far from the truth - although there are a few bad apples who spoil the image of hunting for all of us.
Hunters, by and large, are probably the most sincerely pro-environment lot you'll ever meet.
[edit on 10-9-2006 by PhloydPhan]