Is It Legal to Kill Bigfoot in Texas?

Photo by Flickr user Thomas Hawk/Creative Commons

Is it legal to kill Bigfoot in Texas? Parks and Wildlife has given an official, unequivocal answer.

We’ve been talking a lot about invasive species in Texas as of late, paying special attention to the issue of feral hogs, which are growing in number and cause widespread damage (but taste delicious). Texas has responded by making it very, very easy to kill feral hogs. You can hunt them with a handgun. You can hunt them whenever, regardless of the season. And you can even hunt them from the skies (an undertaking known as “pork chopping”), if that’s your thing.

But what about that most legendary of invasive species, Bigfoot?

Yes, someone actually asked Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which regulates hunting in the state, whether or not it would be legal to capture and kill Bigfoot.

The answer was unequivocal.

Photo by Flickr user thewhitestdogalive/Creative Commons

Yes, it's legal to hunt and kill Bigfoot in Texas.

“If Bigfoot did exist, and wasn’t human, then it would [be legal]. Bigfoot would be a non-protected wild animal,” L. David Sinclair with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department tells StateImpact Texas.

So, yes, it would be legal to kill Bigfoot in Texas. “It’s right out of the law book,” Sinclair says.

This all came up recently when an Oregon man wrote to Sinclair, asking whether or not it’d be legal to kill Sasquatch in Texas. (The hairy cryptid is popular once again, thanks to the television show Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet.)

Sinclair, to his credit, sent back a letter, thoroughly citing various sections of the Parks and Wildlife code to back up his answer that yes, it’s legal to kill Bigfoot in Texas. “A non-protected nongame animal may be hunted on private property with landowner consent by any means, at any time and there is no bag limit or possession limit,” Sinclair wrote. He added:

“An exotic animal is an animal that is non-indigenous to Texas. Unless the exotic is an endangered species then exotics may be hunted on private property with landowner consent. A hunting license is required. This does not include the dangerous wild animals that have been held in captivity and released for the purpose of hunting, which is commonly referred to as a “canned hunt”.

When we ask Sinclair if he thought his letter would go viral, he responds with a chuckle. “I didn’t realize it was going to draw so much attention,” he says, adding, “the agency doesn’t want to get into whether or not there’s Bigfoot.”

While Sasquatch is mostly rumored to be a denizen of the Northwest, there are devoted Bigfoot searchers in the Lone Star State, too.

But hopefully, if an enterprising Texan with a gun encountered Bigfoot, killing it wouldn’t be the only option. Perhaps they could simply adopt it, a la Harry and the Hendersons, and enjoy the slapstick hijinks that would inevitably ensue.

You can learn more about invasive species (that actually exist) at our topic page, What You Need to Know About Invasive Species in Texas.

Comments

  • Mr. Bill

    Someone should kill that big hairy bastard so they stop it with those stupid television shows.

    • JohnLloydScharf

      No one holds you at gunpoint to watch Animal Planet. You must be terrified they might be more of a man than you. 

  • H.Henderson

    They would first have to declare bigfoot not native to texas

  • NHNetzin

    This doesn’t say much about Bigfoot, but it sure says a lot about Texas.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=37602781 Daniel Angelo Monaco

      Says what? That they have a stringent hunting policy that protects farmers and citizens from invasive out of state species? If so, I agree.

      • JohnLloydScharf

        People like you are more likely to be a threat to farmers and citizens.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-S-Shaffer/1462805720 Brian S Shaffer

        How would you know if it is an invasive species from out of state?

  • Rachel p

    The show Finding Bigfoot is nothing more than Scooby Doo minus one chick…. SMH

    • kowboykarl

      I think you mean minus 2 chicks….

    • Hoogejc

       Scooby Doo and the gang invariably find the perps behind a hoax.  Every show. Every time.  Would somebody please expose these ghost hunting, bigfoot searching, ancient alien believers for what they are…media hounds making realitivy tv for $$$$.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734871144 Sander Wolf

    but isn’t bigfoot an endangered species?

    • http://umlud.blogspot.com Umlud

      Well, technically not, since there are no population estimates of it, biologists would be able to determine what is a minimum viable population in the wild. (However, considering that there are so few that no one has been able to get a credible sighting, but also recognizing that there have been purported sightings for decades, it’s possible that the minimum viable population is quite small.)

      However, once a population were to be discovered, in order to get protection under state or federal endangered species protection, the species (like any other species) would have to be studied to determine (among other things): existing population estimate, estimated range, historical range, habitat assessment, and natural history.

      Then, the animal would have to be submitted for being listed as an endangered (or threatened) species. Unless and until it is accepted as a state or federally endangered (or threatened) species, bigfoot wouldn’t be legally protected as endangered.

      … so, if bigfoot were to be real, then it is nearly certain that the species would be (at least) a threatened species. However, since it isn’t on a list of managed threatened and endangered species, they are (legally) neither an endangered nor a threatened species.

      • JohnLloydScharf

        By no means is a dead body required or even as much use as one captured, samples taken, a transmitter put on them, and released. Texas hunters just want a trophy.  Their justification for a voucher specimen is weighed and found wanting. They only read what they want to read for self-justification. 

        1.0 Definition
        A ‘voucher specimen’ is any specimen, usually but not always a cadaver, that serves as a basis of study and is retained as a reference.A voucher specimen of such a species may be warranted, but consideration must be given to what effects this may have on the viability of the local population. Factors to be evaluated include the species’ abundance (local and overall), life history characteristics, role in ecosystem, ability to recolonise, size of area in question, age and sex of the animal to be collected, etc.Your justification and minimization  is as transparent as their true motivation – trophy hunting. http://www.animalethics.org.au/policies-and-guidelines/wildlife-research/voucher-specimens

        • http://umlud.blogspot.com Umlud

          I don’t see how your comment relates to mine…

  • Jonathan_9

    Most Sasquatch sightings are in the Washington area, Bigfoot would have to have taken a pretty long trip to get to texas!

    • http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/author/thenry/ Terrence Henry

      True, but there are devoted Sasquatch searchers in the Lone Star State, too. Here’s an article on them: http://www.chron.com/life/article/Searching-for-Bigfoot-in-Texas-2425856.php

      And here’s their website:

      http://www.texasbigfoot.com/

    • Tlquinn1965

      True, there are more sightings in the Pacific NW.  But there are also many credible sightings in about every state in the United States and in Canada.  If you are curious, check out Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO). Pretty cool website!  

    • Reggie6567

      Wrong.  Check out the BFRO site adn you will see that there are sightings in every state, and quite a bit in areas like Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.

      • JohnLloydScharf

        Go check out BFRO yourself. However, I would point out Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois are mostly urban and suburban compared to British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and the high Sierra of California. Perhaps most in the PNW would not confuse a BlurFoot or a BlobSquatch for Bigfoot. 

    • MarthaLou

      Bigfoot gets drunk down in Luckenbock all the time. What else would anyone do in Texas?

  • Black_magic_7

    Killing a Bigfoot would be like killing another human being!!!! It IS part human, you idiot!!! It would be flat-out murder!!!! You should make it an Endangered Species before a bunch of redneck dumbasses go out in the woods, looking for one!!!

    • MM007

      Calm down. There is no solid evidence that Bigfoot exists.  If we follow you’re logic we’ll have to put mermaids and centaurs on the endangered species list as well. That’s just silly…

      • MM007

         *your

      • http://umlud.blogspot.com Umlud

        … and fauns (not fawns, but fauns), nymphs, sylphs, and dryads; elves, dwarves, redcaps (the murderous little buggers), and goblins; and kenku, kappa, and oni.

        … and don’t forget the leprechauns!
        ;)

      • JohnLloydScharf

        All unidentified species should be on the endangered species list. There are new species being discovered every day. 

  • vanca

    Bigfoot doesn’t exist. In fact about 5 years ago a man in Washington died and his children revealed that their father had been bigfoot the whole time. They showed his suit, his foot prints, the whole nine yards.. so luckily those Texans can’t kill something else.

    • Bigfootisreal

      That’s what the Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) want you to think. That man was a Bigfoot plant.

    • JohnLloydScharf

      Nice try, but that claim has been dismissed with more justification than the original sightings. However, just because a hoax happens does not prove anything. Regardless of that, all unidentified species should be protected to prevent them from becoming extinct due to some idiot who just wants another trophy. 

      • Bordercreep101

        why does it have to be a trophy?? So all hunters and people who own firearms are evil rght? How the hell do you know if Bigfoot will become extinct if one is captured or killed for scientific purposes? Do you even know if its an animal at all??? You seem to run to the word trophy alot!

        • JohnLloydScharf

          If you are not killing it because you need to eat, it is a trophy. I have no problem with real hunters. I do not consider it a sport to shoot an animal at 300 yards. 

          However, I do not hunt at all. My only use for a firearm is to kill humans. It is a tool of self defense. I have no other use for the revolver, pistol, shotgun, and rifle that I own. I have only been trained to use them for that. The point is to protect all unidentified species. If this is not an animal, then it is protected by law and a manslaughter case. Perhaps you need to improve your vocabulary and not put words in another’s mouth. It leaves a bad taste. However that is typical for Net Trolls who hide behind a nickname… Cowardly. 

  • Kathy Perantie

    Bigfoot is by no means limited to the Pacific NW.  There have been sightings in OK for decades that are every bit as creditable (read: not very) as the ones in the NW.

    The idea that all undiscovered species (where’s the Chupacabra in that list?) must be on the list is ridiculous, but it does seem like there aught to be some law against killing the only known one of something.  But it seems likely that lots of species are only discovered because someone thought they were shooting or catching one thing that turned out to be something else.

  • Reggie6567

    I would disagree with the supposition that Bigfoot are non-native.  Indian records reflect that bigfoot has been in north America for a long time.

    • JohnLloydScharf

      It may be the case that this relict hominid is the ONLY native North American primate. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-S-Shaffer/1462805720 Brian S Shaffer

      Ah yes, the “Indian” records.  Such records are used as proof that UFOs are real apparently extra terrestrial, witchcraft, etc.  Just because there is a common religious or folklore them does not mean the theme is real or valid.

  • Reggie6567

    anybody that thinks it would be easy to kill a bigfoot has another thing coming.  First they are tougher than nails and a single shot is unlikely to kill them.   Next, they have the ability to disarm and actually disable people with sound waves.  They have been seen doing this when they hunt.  Third have a much greater sense of awareness than humans.  We only catch a glimpse of them on occasion.  No one has ever been able to hunt and find them.  In most dog led hunts, they bigfoot disable the dogs and they can’t track.  They run away scared.  So go ahead and give it a try.  I dare anyone to try.  If it was so easy, we’d have a body already.

    • JohnLloydScharf

      That it is hard to track and kill is what has made it a trophy. 

      • Gary Simmons

        Anyone who believes in Bigfoot is a complete idiot like JohnLloydScharf who is clearly anti Texan and anti hunting. The only thing I can agree with John about is shooting something from 300 yards isn’t hunting. I use a bow as rifles are too easy. I never missed a deer with a rifle so stopped using them. John take your attitude against Texans and stick it up your ass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000001228579 Stephen Purvine

    What proof do they have that it is non-indigenous?  And if there so few, why wouldn’t it be endangered?  Or are they referring to only critters that are on either the federal or state threatened and endangered lists.

  • xtex

    Humans have set foot on almost every inch of this continent, and while we’re still discovering new species of beetles and algae, there is no new species of Old World ape living in North America (aka, the New World).  Thanks, Mr. Henry, for giving a platform to these people while simultaneously wasting my time.

  • TG

    State Impact must be feeling it’s a dry week down there.  What with the dumbing down of the nation’s textbooks, Rick Perry helping destroy Planned Parenthood and all that, a hairy creature people only think they’ve seen gets all this attention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Morris/100002987615793 Mark Morris

    Is his last name Perry? If so shoot to kill!

  • Billymac

    What if he were born a Texas, raised a republican and Cowboys fan for life, would it still be alright to shoot ‘em?

  • ping the planet

    Hell………….I thought it was illegal to even be in texas, unless you’re a Texan. Y’a dig ?

  • Penyston

    What if Bigfoot were just passing through?  He then would be considered non-indigenous wouldn’t he????  I find it nice that there is no limit but I personally would suggest a good pack mule train if you guys want to carry out all that you can.

  • Larazamuerte

    JohnLloydScharf, you know nothing about the TBRC.  I think it is an honorable scientific endeavor they are on! 

  • skeptic

    Any clown who shoots at a bigfoot better be prepared to do prison time for murder of an idiot in a bear suit.  

  • Johndcky

    Unfortunately, you have been a victim of a gross misrepresentation of statements taken totally out of context and misquoted by John Lloyd Scharf.  Scharf is a retired prison guard and self-proclaimed expert, who is often shunned by most Bigfoot researchers.  Here is the official position of the Texas Parks and Wildlife as it should have been quoted by Scharf:
    “until a verifiable specimen of Sasquatch in found in Texas, our
    agency has no authority. Our authority is not limited because of a lapse
    in Texas Parks and Wildlife Code or other state laws – it is limited
    because there is no verifiable evidence that such a species is
    indigenous to Texas. Our agency only has authority over wildlife that is
    ‘indigenous to Texas’ (TPWD Code 67.001). Circumstantial evidence is
    not sufficient.
    If at some time, a new species is identified in Texas by some “by solid
    or irrefutable evidence”, we do have the authority to act and protect
    the species as necessary.

    Thank you for your letter and your interest in Texas wildlife.

    John Herron

    Branch Chief, Wildlife Diversity

    Texas Parks and Wildlife

  • RLT

    Invasive species…..but not human. Guess they were thinking of the invasion from the south when they added this clause. I would suggest a close shave before treading through some parts of Texas!

  • Scott Morgan

    My son and I love to hunt feral hogs. We are in Montgomery Co so let us know if you need hog help? We will include big-foot if he is a problem.

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