There is a popular practice among quite a few researchers who wish to try and lure Bigfoot closer to them. It's known as habituating or gifting. This practice involves leaving various types of human processed food items, as well as fruits and vegetables.
So far this method of trying to attract a Bigfoot has been widely accepted in the community but I think we need to reevaluate what we are doing.
Is there any evidence to suggest this is a better way of researching than other means? In my opinion, no, there is not. Some people prefer to utilize trail cameras, some like to hike for hours, searching for structures, prints and other forms of possible evidence that may lead to a Bigfoot sighting. Others prefer to sit quietly in one location and study the surrounding area for edible plants, mushrooms and berries. I think all of those are acceptable because those methods have no direct impact on wildlife.
I won't bring up any names here but I recall having a heated debate with a researcher who uses gifting as a way to try to obtain evidence, such as saliva or hair. To the credit of the individual, she admitted that no hair or saliva has been gathered through the gifting of food, if I remember the conversation correctly.
She did, however, feel it was okay to leave out pies and fruit because her opinion was that Bigfoot was taking these, yet there was no evidence to support the notion.
There is another person who travels to the same location repeatedly and he leaves all sorts of food gifts. Some may be nutritionally valuable but most food stuff left is processed junk food, wrapped or contained in plastic.
I know I am not alone in disagreeing with habituation using food but I think we are the minority, albeit a vocal minority. I say this because I don't come across very many people talking negatively about this serious issue.
I have been told that I am over reacting to this because it isn't harming anyone. Obviously the people that said this to me have not really thought out the potential problems of gifting Bigfoot.
Since we have no evidence or proof of Bigfoot taking food, we should rightfully assume that forest animals are taking the food that is left out. I have never seen any food left in hard to reach or strategic locations. For the most part, the food is left on the ground or close to ground level. Other food is left on trees or on branches.
Researchers and enthusiasts need to wake up to the fact that feeding wildlife is wrong, and it is illegal. Leaving food out will make animals less wary of human interactions and the animals will become dependent on hand outs.
The biggest problem with habituation is that this can lead to a person or group of people being injured, mauled or killed by a bear. There are signs everywhere in campgrounds informing people to not feed the wildlife. Signs are posted in parks and on picnic tables. The signs are at trail heads and pathways. The signs are there for reasons...very good reasons.
Researchers employing this method of research not only risk the lives and well being of wildlife, they endanger their own lives and the lives of people under their care or in their vicinity.
As Bigfoot researchers and enthusiasts, we must become more responsible and respectful of nature and its inhabitants.