If you're thinking about getting into bigfoot research, here's five tips to get you started in the right direction. At least according to Dr. Jeff Meldrum.
1. Science is hard; study anyway. If you're already a biologist or an anthropologist, congratulations on your Sasquatch-ready career path. Sort of. Bigfoot researcher Jeffrey Meldrum recommends establishing unassailable credibility in your field before taking on the search for the big guy and damaging your budding career. (See No. 2.) The rest of you will need to read. Stepp is neither a biologist nor an anthropologist, so he reads everything he can get his hands on by people with relevant scientific backgrounds, even the old out-of-print stuff. Stepp says being able to cite a thorough list of books by bonafide scientists keeps skeptics from shouting him down, adding that he knows few people are willing to sit down and do the reading. However, lacking a TV, he says he's never seen an episode of Bigfoot Hunters.
2. Expect some hate. Most people who take up this cryptozoological quest take quite a bit of flack along with skeptical eye rolling. Meldrum says that while biologists, trackers and wildlife specialists have been supportive, he's experienced "vitriol" and even some career sabotage from other scientists. He says one colleague, whose name he preferred not to disclose, complained, "it chaps my ass that every time I go to a mammal (biology) meeting, everyone wants to know what the bigfoot guy is doing."
3. Know where to look. Meldrum and others stick to anthropologist Grover Krantz's assertion that there may be as many as 2,000 Bigfoot (Bigfeet?) in the U.S., but not in every state and not in every climate. According to Meldrum, "The rule of thumb for that is, if a black bear, which is a large omnivore ... [is able] to make a living," there's room for Sasquatch. He also says it "grates on [his] nerves" to hear the common claim that there are Sasquatch in every state.
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