Remer’s first settlers in the late 1800s quickly learned that they shared the town with some inhuman neighbors. Great prints not altogether unlike a man’s regularly materialized in muddy riverbanks, although they were far deeper than a man’s weight could ever press them down. Small tufts of dark fur not attributable to bears were found clinging to the balsams. People frequently caught glimpses of darkened forms flitting between the trees, although on occasion they saw them clear as day. Bigfoot — more than one, even Bigfoot children, were spotted regularly throughout the area. “Saw Bigfoot at lunch today” was not an unusual note to drop into casual conversation in old Remer.

Remer’s Bigfoot habitat took a heavy hit as the result of logging in the first half of the 20th century, and reports of the enigmatic brute in the wild gradually tapered off. Bigfoot may have just been laying low, however, because a trail camera photo taken in Remer in 2009 revealed his hulking form flitting between the trees, just as it had always done before. This made national news, and got local real estate broker Marc Ruyak curious.

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“I was skeptical at first,” said Marc, “But the more I spoke with people around the area, the more I appreciated the real evidence that Remer is an epicenter of Bigfoot activity. We’ve got plaster casts of footprints, unfalsified photos, and countless stories of sightings to back it all up. Just recently we had a man and his son who were out logging when they saw a creature throwing trees around like they were matchsticks. They later took me to the location, where we saw a 100 pound log nestled in the top of a tree. There is no way wind or a man could have put it there. A couple of summers ago one of our locals was out fishing when he saw Bigfoot, in full daylight, come up to the shore. Bigfoot soon noticed the boat and decided he didn’t like it, and left. The giant prints preserved in the riverbank corroborated the story perfectly.

“I wanted Remer to get the attention it deserves for our Bigfoot activity, so I put everything I had about it together and pitched the idea of branding our town after him to our chapter of the Lions Club and the chamber of commerce. They loved it, so we trademarked Remer as the ‘Home of Bigfoot.’”

Remer is rapidly earning recognition as Bigfoot’s premier stamping grounds. After spending three days in the woods there the crew of television’s Finding Bigfoot declared the town a Bigfoot hotspot. Remer has attracted tourists from around the world who want to get to the bottom of whether Bigfoot exists or not for themselves. It’s now not uncommon for trail cameras to reveal visiting enthusiasts traipsing around at night in search of him.

The best time to visit Remer is during their biannual Bigfoot festivities. On the Friday and Saturday after Independence Day the town hosts Bigfoot Days with a 5k race, a barbecue competition, and a Bigfoot calling contest. (A Bigfoot call, Marc informs us, sounds like a moaning scream that starts low and crescendos in a loud, guttural yawp.) Things get a little more serious when people who’ve actually encountered Bigfoot take the stage to share their experiences — the audience becomes so rapt by these stories that you could hear an actual pin drop. On the third weekend of September the Bigfoot Music Festival is held, where live bands from across the area play to an open field of listeners who are free to enjoy dancing, beer, and a reprisal of the cacophonous Bigfoot calling contest.

“Because he’s so elusive, a lot of people don’t think that Bigfoot exists,” said Marc. “But think about it: Even if you spend a lot of time in the woods, you’re unlikely to see a bear very often. Most people have never seen one, yet we all agree that bears exist. Now imagine an animal who’s got more sense than a bear, and wants even less to be seen. That kind of creature could easily have been spotted few enough times that his existence would still be open to debate.

“The only reason Bigfoot isn’t accepted as real is that too few people have gone searching for him. If you’re a skeptic, a trip to Remer could easily cure that.”

 

By David Scheller