Oklahoma lawmaker proposes Bigfoot trapping season

Justin Humphrey

An Oklahoma lawmaker proposed a bill that would establish a Bigfoot trapping season in the state.

District 19 Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, said he’s not certain about Bigfoot’s existence because he’s never laid eyes on him, but said there are a lot of believers.

He said the bill is meant to be a fun way to promote southeast Oklahoma, generate interest in the region and bring tourists and tourism dollars to a beautiful remote part of the state that is covered with mountains, trees and rivers. The region is already home to the renowned Big Foot festival in Honobia that draws enthusiasts from across the globe.

“We have the best kept secret there is,” Humphrey said.

He envisions creating a $25,000 bounty for anyone who successfully traps Bigfoot, but isn’t yet sure who will be tasked with deciding whether it’s really Bigfoot versus, say, a mutated black bear. He’s also not sure if Big Foot would be classified as a federally protected endangered species. He does not want anyone to kill Big Foot, but wants him taken alive.

“I think that Bigfoot is pretty elusive,” Humphrey said. “I don’t think we’ll find him.”

Humphrey said he hopes to create a low-priced license that people can purchase as they head out after the elusive beast. But Humphrey said he doesn’t believe game wardens will arrest any unlicensed Big Foot hunters found wandering the southeastern Oklahoma woods.

He’s heard from other enthusiasts who don’t want to hunt Bigfoot, but instead want to buy the license as commemorative item to hang on their walls.

Humphrey said some people think his measure is genius. Others think it’s funny. Some have called cursing him out for wasting time filing the measure.

He hopes most people will take it as the light-hearted measure it’s supposed to be. He’s hoping it will advance through the Legislature.

“In today’s political climate, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun,” he said.

His district consists of parts of Atoka, Bryan, Choctaw, and Pushmataha Counties in southeast Oklahoma, which he said relies on tourism dollars. He said the bill has the potential to increase tourism and the resulting dollars could boost local economies.

Honobia, located 72 miles southeast of McAlester in Pushmataha County, has an annual Bigfoot festival each first weekend in October. Humphrey said the hunting season should pair with the festival.

The festival helps raise money for the Honobia Bigfoot Scholarship awarded by the Honobia Bigfoot Organization to high school seniors in the Pushmataha County area, according to the festival’s website. A total of $40,425 was given to 71 students between 2014 and 2019.

Last year’s festival was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, but the festival’s website says the event will return later this year.

“Whether you’re a serious Bigfoot scholar or a seeker of folklore, you’ll find fellow explorers at the Kiamichi Christian Mission, located at Highway 144 and Indian Trail Highway in the deep woods of tiny Honobia,” the website states.

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