Bigfoot rendering

Larry Woody asks the question, "Is there really a Bigfoot out there?"

The latest in an endless string of reported Bigfoot sighting came from Virginia the other day, but its credibility was questioned when the eyewitness claimed the creature was sharing a Moon Pie and RC Cola with Elvis.

OK, I’m kidding about Elvis, the RC and Moon Pie.

But that’s the nature of most Bigfoot sightings. They tend to be a tad quirky.

Well, except for a few like the one in Wilson County. I’ll get to it in a minute.

We’ve long been fascinated with Bigfoot. The (maybe) legendary big, shaggy primate has been reported on the prowl for centuries. Sightings of Bigfoot (or Bigfeet, I suppose, if there’s more than one) includes accounts by early Native Americans.

Bigfoot has a big following. “Expedition Bigfoot” is on the Travel Channel and “Finding Bigfoot” on Animal Planet.

The descriptions – from primitive tribes to soccer moms -- are identical: a hulking beast about eight feet tall, covered in shaggy hair ranging in color from dark black to light brown.

It has long arms and (duh!) extremely big feet.

Some say it smells to high heaven, accounting for one of its nicknames: Skunk Ape.

A Bigfoot has never harmed anyone, other than to give them a good fright. Which brings us to the reported Wilson County sighting.

Several years ago I got a call at the newspaper office. The caller said since I covered outdoors, maybe I could answer a question: Was there such a thing as a Bigfoot?

This was his story:

He was bush-hogging a field in a remote area of Wilson County, accompanied by his teenaged son and his son’s girlfriend.

The kids wandered off down a trail, and a few minutes later the girl screamed.

The farmer jumped off the tractor and was met by the kids running up the trail. They said they saw a Bigfoot.

The girl was shaking and almost hysterical as they described it: a giant creature with shaggy black hair, leaning against a tree.

It was chewing something, and stopped in mid-chew when it saw the kids. They said its jaw appeared lop-sided. It ran one way, they ran the other.

The farmer walked down the trail, found the tree, but could find no tracks on the hard ground.

So what did I think?

I admitted I didn’t know, but would like to write a story about it. He declined, fearing the kids would be teased. But he said he believed them.

Wildlife experts insist there is no Bigfoot. They say one would have been killed by hunters or died of natural causes, and no remains have ever been found.

Likewise, no Bigfoot photo has ever shown up on a trail cam.

But those same wildlife experts for years insisted there were no cougars in Tennessee. Now they admit they were wrong – cougars are definitely out there.

Could a Bigfoot be too?

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