Bigfoot … to shoot or not to shoot, that is the question.
Albeit a very hypothetical question considering that despite countless sightings, a host of physical proof, and a ton of interest no one can say for certain that Bigfoot actually exists. Let’s say the species does exist.
If there is a large semi-simian species inhabiting the wild the first person most likely to encounter it would be a hunter (Just look at how many turkey hunters have recently spotted the animal). If — when — that happens should said hunter kill the animal to offer proof of its existence to the world?
Many in the Bigfoot community say “No.” The most recent example of this comes from Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum and author of Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America, who resigned his position as a board member of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC) over their “pro kill” policy, which the group adopted without consulting him.
Coleman explained his position in an email to me. Mr. Coleman stated, “I find it unfortunate that the members of any Bigfoot group are out in the woods, seemingly and randomly, shooting at furry animate cryptids they feel they should kill to prove the existence of Bigfoot. Besides the unknown legal implications of such behavior (What if the species is found to be a species of Homo? What if it is a human in a hairy suit?), I have been an open advocate of the live capture (telebiology), and non-killing of hairy unknown hominoids for decades.”
Although most Bigfoot organizations, according to Coleman, “do not publicize their positions, too openly, on their policies” concerning whether they are for or against killing, it is safe to assume that most favor the latter and that the TBRC is in fringe territory. In fact, most of the commenters that responded to Colman’s resignation blog post on the website Cryptomundo agree with his stance. Do you?
The legality of shooting a Bigfoot isn’t much of a factor as, according to Coleman, there are currently no laws protecting the animal (See Coleman’s piece on the only major law against killing Bigfoot that has since expired.
If a hunter encounters a Bigfoot (not a hairy guy or someone dressed up in a gorilla suit) while afield should he or she shoot it?