Oklahoma has now put a hefty price on Bigfoot's head.
Earlier this year, Oklahoma made headlines when a state representative introduced legislation to establish an official bigfoot hunting season. Now, the Sooner State is making headlines again because a $2.1 million bounty is now on the table for the beast's capture.
This does tie into the bigfoot hunting legislation that was proposed back in January. State Rep. Justin Humphrey's proposed season is likely to never come to fruition because it never got past the committee stage. Part of the plan for the season was to offer a $25,000 bounty for the legendary beast's capture.
However, now the Enid News & Eagle is reporting that the bounty for sasquatch has grown substantially. It seems the new bounty is being offered by an upcoming movie about the creature. As if that was not enough, another business has chipped in $100,000 of their own, sweetening the pot to a cool $2.1 million.
Of course, there is one catch. The beast must be captured alive and unharmed and potential sasquatch hunters must not break any other laws during the pursuit. Probably easier said than done. In any case, Humphrey is now working on setting up more concrete rules with state tourism officials.
In the end, that is what it is all about. Humphrey told the Enid News & Eagle that a big reason he even brought up a bigfoot season in the first place was simply to promote tourism to his district in the southeast part of the state.
"We're having fun with it," Humphrey told the paper. "It's a lot of fun. I'm enjoying it. But at the same time, I know a lot of people thought I was crazy. But, I think if people chill out, they could see that this could be a serious deal bringing in a lot of money, a lot of tourism."
It turns out that issuing a hunting license, for a large, hairy, unknown primate is more difficult than it first seemed. Humphrey found he would have to deal with state wildlife officials. It seems it was easier instead to have the state tourism department issuing bigfoot tracking permits.
If they go through with that idea for a promotional tourism campaign, the plan is to sell the permits and put those funds back into use to fund road maintenance, parks, and lakes around Oklahoma's 259A through the state's Ouachita Mountains. Many tourists already visit the area to camp and hike in Beavers Bend State Park.
It only makes sense to keep promoting the legend, especially since many local businesses are already doing that anyway. The area even has a bigfoot festival.
"There's already a positive economic impact with Bigfoot," Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell told the Enid News & Eagle. "It's been a big economic boost for the area for decades."
The paper reports the state tourism officials are still working out the details on "check stations" for Bigfoot, but plans are also in development for decals, license plates, and more.
Humphrey told the paper he hopes that they will be able to put up signs saying the roadways are sponsored by bigfoot and bigfoot tracks in public areas to further promote the legend and the area to potential tourists.