Footprints are the most common form of evidence to support the existence of Bigfoot. When a footprint is found, a plaster cast of the print is often taken. Many casts have been looked at by professionals and are said to contain dermal ridges. Dermal ridges are similar to fingerprints and all known primates have them. The dermal ridges found on many prints don't appear to belong to any known primate or any other type of known animal. The majority of the casts taken look like they are too complex to be hoaxed and therefore could be linked to an unknown animal. When hunting for this creature, you should always take a picture of the print first, then take a plaster cast.
By William Jevning
Author of, Notes From the Field: Tracking North America's Sasquatch
Casting footprints is not as easy as one might think, and it takes time. Preparation can make casting a smoother process. Here is a list of things I recommend, but you are not limited by this.
1. plastic bucket
2. latex gloves
3. at least one 5 gallon water container
4. plaster of paris
5. container to keep unused plaster in and dispense from
6. scoop for plaster
7. knife, I use a buck knife, works very well
8. trash bags
9. hand towel
10. cardboard box
11. newspaper or bubble wrap
12. tape measure
Casting footprints is time consuming and messy, and before you start casting, you'll want to thoroughly photo document all the footprints.
After photo documenting tracks, choose the ones you wish to cast. It will take normally one 5 pound box of plaster "per footprint" (Sasquatch). Plaster can be obtained from most hardware stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.).
Before starting with Sasquatch footprints, practice on animal and human footprints; begin with your dog or cat's footprints.
Practicing will enable you to perfect your skills at casting before casting the important ones and help prevent mistakes that could cost you that important print.
When you are ready, take your plastic bucket, and pour in the contents of one 5 pound box of plaster. Wear latex gloves as it works best to mix the plaster with your hands, removing as many dry lumps as possible.
The plaster dries your hands, the gloves help prevent this. Also, clean up is much easier.
You will want the plaster to be the consistency of pancake mix after adding water. Add water slowly so as not to make the plaster too runny. Thick is good, but it should be liquid enough to be able to pour it quickly and easily. After practicing this for a while, you will get the hang of what thickness works best.
When you get the thickness you want you're ready to pour. Be careful not to wait too long while mixing as the plaster begins to set up (harden) as soon as water is added to it.
Pour slowly and lightly use your hand to push the plaster to fill in all parts of the footprint.
Repeat this with all footprints you want to cast. You may have to clean your bucket depending on how many tracks you are casting, you will be able to tell as you go along.
After the plaster is poured, you may have up to two hours to wait for it to be dry enough to remove from the ground. Once in a while, after the surface of the plaster feels dry and hard, tap it gently. It will feel hard enough eventually. This is where the knife comes in.
You will have to dig around the cast; do not try to just pull it from the ground because it will break apart. Dig around it entirely and as far under it as you can, then lift it gently out when itís loose enough. The plaster will still take up to a week to dry enough to handle it and clean it.
You can brush some of the larger pieces of soil off the cast, but it's best to give it time to dry; you'll have plenty of time later to clean it properly. Wrap it in newspaper and gently place it in a cardboard box for transport. When cleaning casts, a dental pick with a rubber tip and a toothbrush with soft bristles helps with cleaning the small cracks. Donít try to clean it fast or all at once. Take your time and you will end up with very nice footprint castings.
Throughout this website, and without receiving financial gain from it; there are documents, pictures and literature that have been sometimes edited, and reprinted to be used as educational material under the Fair Use Doctrine of International Copywrite Law. http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html