I don't know if the original files of Bigfoot Forums were ever restored or not. Deep within the original files, Noll uploaded a photograph of a polymeric intermediate cast being made of the original Hydrocal B-11 cast. If I remember correctly, Noll removed all his uploaded photographs from that site, and even if the original thread was restored, the photograph may be missing. From that polymeric intermediate two casts were made, a male and a female duplicate of the original.
These final duplicates were fiber-reinforced plastic, and thus presented much less burden and risk as far as transportation and presentation than the original.
Lost in the wash of words surrounding Anton's analysis was WHY the copies were made in the first place, and by whom. Chris Murphy personally told me that John Green felt that the Patterson film did not properly sway scientists when it came out. Green felt that the Skookum cast might be able to do so instead. Thus it was Green who paid the allegedly high costs for duplication of the original. According to Murphy, Green wanted the cast copies transported around to universities for analysis by scientists. The sad irony for Green is that he got his wish, though obviously not the conclusion he wanted.
Being that Perez is most certainly a Bigfoot advocate, it's not surprising that he has little or no knowledge of the analysis within the professional ichnology community. Perez doesn't need an "elk guy" to perform a proper analysis, it's already been done. Buried within the original Bigfoot Forums thread was the analysis of of Mark Elbroch, considered one of the WORLD'S finest ichnologists:
Not surprisingly, Elbroch came to the same conclusion as did Wroblewski, namely that it's an impression of a large cervid.
Clearly there are a variety of reasons why Meldrum may have refused to respond to MonsterTalk's request for comment; another might be that Meldrum's analysis is the laughing stock of professional ichnologists.
While Chilcutt may or may not have examined the original cast, he most certainly examined high quality 3D reproductions. I personally witnessed one in Chilcutt's possession in Texas. While Chilcutt's position on the subject may have changed over time, he most certainly put "dermal ridges" on the cast.
Perhaps because Perez is a Bigfoot advocate, he chooses to take the analysis of Henner Fahrenbach as his smoking gun.
This is one of the fundamental problems with the whole Bigfoot field; namely that they form a cult-like clique, and often fail to obtain professional analysis from those whose opinions have real world weight. Not surprisingly, those professionals are usually OUTSIDE the Bigfoot clique.
The Skookum Elk Cast got as far as it did because Meldrum, et al, failed to consult professional ichnologists in the first place.