BIGHORN MOUNTAINS — If the numerous television shows or inability to find any conclusive evidence about Bigfoot have taught people anything, it’s that the large hominid is an illusive son of a gun. Hunters found that out firsthand Saturday at Arrowhead Lodge.
A Bigfoot hunt took place on the property surrounding Arrowhead, and in one hour of fierce searching, not one person could successfully tag Bigfoot — much to the surprise of Arrowhead Lodge owner Charlene Severson.
“With the number of determined and skilled hunters we had, I was surprised no one got Bigfoot,” Severson said.
Severson and her husband came up with the idea for a Bigfoot hunt from a similar event that’s held in western Montana. The husband and wife duo, however, quickly put their own spin on it and made the hunt the centerpiece of a much larger fundraiser.
“When we decided we were going to do it, we thought, ‘What else could we do instead of a hunt to kind of make it a fun evening?’” Severson said. “We decided, ‘Let’s do a benefit night, a silent auction.’ Then we got ahold of George (Williams), and it took four weeks to plan it and that was getting all the donations lined up.
“We just had a lot of good sponsors.”
All of the proceeds collected Saturday — the hunters’ entree fees and the silent auction sales — went to WYO West Warriors Foundation. The group — in which Williams is a board member — helps veterans and active military members adjust to home life after or amid their military service.
The auction alone raised nearly $3,000 for the WYO West Warriors Foundation.
“I was a combat infantrymen, and I fought for 10 years with my brothers to my left and right,” said Chris Ferguson, another board member with the WYO West Warriors Foundation. “When I got out in 2013, my brother to my left was in Florida and my brother to my right was in California, and I’m in Sheridan, Wyoming. … [The WYO West Warriors Foundation] got me out of my shell.
“We encourage guys that are just out or transitioning or whatever, whoever needs a break, just come out and have fun.”
Ferguson had plenty of fun Saturday night participating in the Bigfoot hunt. He and 25 other hunters took to the woods surrounding the lodge, searching for Kody Williams — Bigfoot.
Williams donned camo attire from head to toe with a gorilla mask covering his face. He took to the forest at 9 p.m. to get a lay of the land and find a good initial hiding spot.
At 9:30 p.m. the hunters entered the woods armed with paintball guns. When 10:30 p.m. struck, Williams sounded an air horn as no one had tagged him with a paintball.
Williams was rewarded $150 and a gift basket filled with a t-shirt, gift cards and some other items.
Many other gift baskets highlighted the silent auction portion of Saturday. Sponsors of the event put together a bundle of items featuring alcohol, gift cards, shirts, books, hats and much more.
Severson walked away pleased with the amount of money raised and plans to make the Bigfoot hunt an annual event. Perhaps next year someone will find the illusive creature.