Bigfoot Legislation

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Date Host Connie Willis
Guests Justin Humphrey

Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey recently filed legislation (PDF) that would establish a Bigfoot hunting season allowing the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Division to create hunting licenses and fees to trap (but not kill) Bigfoot. He joined Connie Willis (info) for the entire program to discuss his reasons for the legislation. Humphrey said that Atoka County, where he lives, is among the poorest in the state, and hopes that this bill would raise money for infrastructure repairs and improvement. He said that "Bigfoot is really a big deal around here" with numerous sightings over the last few decades, and that the creature is "just part of our culture." While it was originally reported that the bounty for a capture was $25,000, Humphrey stated it's now been increased to $2.1 million.

Humphrey said that he's been attempting to think of a creative way to earn revenue for his district for a few years, as well as "promote the area." There is currently nothing preventing anyone from killing or otherwise harming the creatures, and he believes that his proposal will also protect any Bigfoot that happen to be roaming the wilds around the little town of Lane (population 414) from harm. He mentioned that the townspeople tend to take the cryptid quite seriously, saying "if you go down there and start talking smack about Bigfoot, you're going to get run off." Humphrey emphasized that the proposed bill currently states in part: "…to ensure Bigfoot is not killed, that trapping is humane and no person is injured, that if captured he would be examined by a vet or other professional and that he be released back into the habitat that he was captured in."

A major aspect of Humphrey's plan is to raise revenue simply from the publicity that would accompany the sale of hunting licenses and other activities for, as he said, "memorabilia and nostalgia." The $2.1 million bounty has been raised from businesses and individuals who are either interested in this revenue stream, or who want actual proof of Bigfoot. Humphrey is also planning other ancillary or recreational activities in his district which would be a source of tourist dollars, such as tours, guided hikes, offroading areas, and even a Bigfoot visitor's center. The actual "hunting season" for Bigfoot has gone from a proposal of a few months to the idea that it should be year-round, presumably to increase revenues.

Connie took tweets and Facebook comments from listeners, which ranged from those who were completely on board with the idea of capturing one of the beings, to others who expressed concern for the creature, and how it might be equivalent to putting a bounty on something close to human. The second half consisted of callers' comments and ideas about the proposal, including a few Bigfoot researchers, such as Mike Patterson, who referred to them as "an ancient race of people" and played a stunning piece of audio that he said was a conversation with an actual Sasquatch. As for his own feelings about the creature, Humphrey went back to his law enforcement training, saying his job is "to look and to let evidence lead me, and...get me to the truth." As for the actual existence of Bigfoot, he stated that "I'm open to the idea, but I'm not a total believer."

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