If you follow Bigfoot news at all, I am sure you’ve heard about the Bigfoot hunting bill that was proposed last week. Rep. Justin Humphrey, a Republican House member in Oklahoma, has proposed a bill that would allow people to apply for a permit to hunt the legendary sasquatch. Humphrey believes this would increase tourism in his state, but it would also add some cash to his district’s coiffeurs. So I am sure his intentions are completely altruistic. Yep.
Now normally, this is the kind of story I’d read, have a good chuckle about, and then move on. But for better or for worse (usually worse), I belong to a number of Facebook Bigfoot groups. Most, if not all of these groups, are at varying degrees of being batshit crazy. At best, they showcase blobsquatches, or red circles around shadowy areas between trees, proclaiming them to be proof of Bigfoot. At worst, there’s members posting badly photoshopped images of fairies riding on Bigfoot’s back or dogmen hanging out in their backyard. I don’t usually find anything of value in these groups, but on rare occasions, you do see something worthwhile. But I digress…
This week, the insanity in these groups was sort of out of control. There was outrage. Outrage everywhere! All over this Bigfoot hunting bill. And for me, it just highlighted all the worst qualities of the Bigfoot community today.
I understand that Bigfoot researchers and enthusiasts are very passionate and polarized on the debate over whether or not we should kill a Bigfoot in order to prove their existence. The pro-kill side thinks having a body is the only way mainstream science will ever take a real interest in the subject. Anti-kill people feel that sasquatch is either a highly advanced ape species, or a primitive human, and therefore killing one would be tantamount to murder. Honestly, I can understand both arguments here.
But the insanity comes from the outrage. I’ve seen people this week starting online petitions to fight this bill. I have come across posts where people wrote to Mr. Humphrey, pleading with him to reconsider his proposed legislation. All of the old internet fights have come up again, with people yelling at each other online about kill versus no kill.
So why do I think this is all so ridiculous? Let’s take a closer look.
Firstly, this law won’t change a thing. With the exception of Washington state, there are no laws in this country that state you can’t hunt Bigfoot already. It’s not recognized by science as an actual animal, and therefore, there are no laws protecting it. So if I want to take some guns into the woods to try to kill a Bigfoot, nobody can stop me. So why would I go to Oklahoma, apply for and pay for a license, to go do something I can already do for free and without repercussion?
Additionally, it’s not like there are hundreds of thousands of people out there champing at the bit to go kill a Bigfoot, and it’s just a matter of a permit that’s holding them back. This bill, if it even passes, will not cause hundreds of Bigfoot to be slaughtered. Because as I said, it’s already perfectly legal to attempt to do so, if one wishes. So I don’t think this passing will open any floodgates. They are already open. Groups are out there actively trying to kill a Bigfoot right now. And not a single Bigfoot has been killed and dragged from the woods as of yet. Hence, all the pearl-clutching is a bit silly and melodramatic.
The other issue I have here is that we don’t even know if Bigfoot actually exists. To be clear, I’m not here to debate its existence. I typically take a fairly skeptical approach to these things. But even I have had two interesting encounters that do make me wonder. My wife and I heard some ape-like grunts and howls in the High Falls area of the Hudson Valley in New York back in 2015. And my buddy Josh and I had an encounter with an unknown animal in the Adirondacks back in August that we estimate was about 9 feet tall. So I’m fully on board with the possibility of their existence.
But when people write to this lawmaker, or create online petitions, and claim with authority that they know this creature’s mating habits, migration patterns, dietary needs, and other specifics of its physiology, I think it makes us all look bad. Yes, we have some interesting evidence. Compelling footprints. Unusual DNA results. Countless detailed sightings from credible witnesses. And yes, we can make some very good educated guesses about a possible Bigfoot species. But speaking in absolutes regarding the existence of these creatures just makes the entire Bigfoot community look quite foolish.
I can fully appreciate and respect people’s passion here. Passion to investigate the unknown is what has brought us all here in the first place. But I think too much passion can be a detriment to the cause. Calm, levelheaded debate is always welcome and productive. Screaming, insulting those who disagree with you, and insisting that pet theories are “facts” will only keep us sidelined in the eyes of mainstream science. We can’t let ourselves be triggered by ludicrous things like this Bigfoot hunting bill, which I think is more about Mr. Humphrey making a name for himself rather than any sincere or genuine interest in the subject of Bigfoot.
So stay sane and calm and carry on, Bigfooters. I guarantee you, this bill won’t cause the extinction of a species that may not even exist in the first place.