/script>
By Larry Woody, Outdoors Writer

A recent report about a Kentucky camper firing shots at what he claimed was a Bigfoot brought back memories of an alleged sighting in Wilson County several years ago.

I was contacted by a farmer who lived in a remote area of the county who claimed his teenaged son and his girlfriend encountered a Bigfoot.

The farmer, who insisted on remaining anonymous, gave this account:

He was bush-hogging a field, accompanied by the teenagers, who decided to stroll down a nearby logging road.

Sketch by Makayla Boden
Descriptions of Bigfoot tend to be similar.

A few minutes later they came running up the road, frantically shouting that they had seen a Bigfoot.

The son said they walked around a bend in the road and confronted an 8-foot-tall, man-like creature covered in shaggy, dark-brown hair. It was standing upright beside a pine tree and appeared to be chewing something.

When it spotted the youngsters it paused in mid-chew, then whirled and disappeared into the brush.

The girl’s account matched the boy’s exactly, right down to the creature’s jaw appearing to be lop-sided, as though it had suddenly stopped chewing.

The girl was crying, shaking and almost hysterical.

She stayed behind in the field while the farmer followed his son down the road where he pointed out the tree where he said the creature stood. The grass and leaves were matted down around the base of the tree, but no footprints could be detected.

The farmer said he had never believed in the existence of a Bigfoot, but was convinced the youngsters had definitely seen “something.” He said the girl’s emotional state was too genuine to fake, and his son was not the type to play pranks.

He said he contacted me not to seek publicity – he insisted no names be publicized for fear the teens would be teased – but rather to ask if I, as an outdoor writer, had heard of any similar sightings in the area.

I told him I hadn’t, and I never heard from him again. But in ensuing years I recalled the account every time there was a reported Bigfoot sighting.

The most recent came a couple of weeks ago at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

A man told park rangers he was camping when a Bigfoot appeared out of the underbrush. The man ran to a nearby campsite and total two other campers about the sighting.

He returned to his campsite, which he said had been “demolished” and as he surveyed the wreckage, he said the Bigfoot appeared again. He said he fired several shots at the creature as it fled.

The two other campers corroborated the shooter’s warning about the presence of a Bigfoot at his campsite.

Reported Bigfoot sighting can be traced back to the early 1800s – and even earlier, according to Indian lore – but most wildlife professionals claim there is no such creature. They note that no Bigfoot body or body parts have ever been produced, nor has any verifiable photograph been taken.

However, if a Bigfoot does exist, it is illegal to shoot or otherwise harm it. TWRA regulations prohibit killing or capturing any wild animal for which there is no specified hunting season.

Bigfoot – if he’s out there somewhere – is a protected species.