Hundreds of people gathered in a 10-acre patch of woods near Elliston, Montana, this past weekend to participate in the 22nd annual hunt for Bigfoot, the legendary woodland ape also known as Sasquatch.
This year, the bounty was $150. Armed with flashlights, whistles and beer, 327 "hunters" trudged through snow for an hour and 20 minutes, the longest search in the history of the event, before someone finally blew their whistle announcing that Bigfoot had been found.
Cathleen Dobson, a member of the National Guard in nearby Helena, was this year's victor. She found Bigfoot — that is, John Peskey, a 6-foot-2 high school orchestra teacher dressed in a Bigfoot costume — nestled in a willow thicket at the back of the property.
No actual mythical beasts were harmed during the annual Elliston's Bigfoot Hunt. However, it wasn't entirely pain-free: "I had hunkered down so well that I got kind of penned in," Peskey told the local press. "My arm fell asleep and I had a horrible cramp in my leg."
Bill Henne, owner of the local Lawdogs Saloon, runs the hide-and-seek event on the property of the saloon's previous owners, Guy and Mary Jo Stoner. Over the past two decades, the hunt, accompanied by a bonfire and barbecue, has become a favorite night of the year among the local townfolk. Some out-of-towners even showed up this time around, including one woman from Ireland.
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