Oklahoma state Rep. Justin Humphrey is no stranger to taking what you can call some, uh, pretty controversial stances on things like abortion access, gay rights, and police brutality. Now you can add Bigfoot to the list. This week, Humphrey filed an official bill calling for the creation of a yearly Bigfoot hunting season.
Aside from setting the rules for hunting this hairy cryptid, House Bill 1648 (which you can read here) would also direct the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to set the dates when this season would take place, and any Bigfoot-specific hunting licenses or fees.
Humphrey explained in a statement that he plans to work with his state’s wildlife and tourism departments to hammer out the final language of his bill to clarify that the goal isn’t to kill the elusive cryptid perse, but to trap it for… what we can only assume are top-secret Bigfoot research purposes. He added that he also plans to secure “at least” a $US25,000 ($32,380) dollar bounty for the first person that can successfully snag the creature.
There’s plenty of native Oklahomans who will say their state is the biggest hub for Bigfoot activity, and their claims have drummed up a steady stream of tourists — and tourism dollars — over the years. And that’s what this bill is largely about.
“Establishing an actual hunting season and issuing licenses for people who want to hunt Bigfoot will just draw more people to our already beautiful part of the state,” Humphrey said, adding that, “A lot of people don’t believe in Bigfoot, but a lot of people do, just like some people like to go deer hunting, while some don’t.”
You can add the aforementioned wildlife department to that list of sceptics. A staffer at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation bluntly told one local ABC News affiliate that they “don’t recognise Bigfoot in the state of Oklahoma,” and that this was the first they were hearing of the proposal.
Even Bigfoot true believers don’t seem to be on board with the bill. D.W. Lee, who heads the Mid-American Bigfoot Research Centre, told another local news station that he didn’t see how the bill is anything more than a misguided cash grab.
“It gives people the idea that they can go out and shoot at any two-legged thing that’s out in the woods,” he added. “And what’s going to happen when they shoot at somebody that’s got a black hoodie on with the top up and dark pants. It’s really a dangerous thing to even consider.”
Some Oklahoma residents seem to agree — at least according to a Reddit thread sparked by news of the bill. One snidely called Humphrey’s idea the “I shot some hairy person thinking he was Bigfoot” bill.
Should the Bigfoot bill pass, it would go into action by November 1.