There was a time when every Post Office in the U.S. displayed the FBI’s list of Most Wanted criminals. There was a time long before that when those Wanted posters listed a reward or a bounty for the capture (cue Bon Jovi) – dead or alive – of certain criminals. Those days are long gone … except in Oklahoma, where a state representative announced on the House floor that the state’s bounty on Bigfoot has reached $3 million. There’s no Wanted poster because there’s no mugshots of Sasquatch, and even if there was, it would only say “Alive” because of the uproar this bounty caused when it was first announced in January 2021 along with a bill to make Bigfoot hunting legal in Oklahoma – the bill failed, but the proposed $25,000 bounty stayed and in just four short months has grown to $3 million! Does anyone really think it won’t be paid out if someone brings in a dead Bigfoot?
"We're gonna offer $3 million, we raised the bounty today, $3 million for a live capture unharmed Bigfoot."
All of the local news media and some national ones were in Oklahoma City on May 25 when State Rep. Justin (J.J.) Humphrey, (R) District 19, announced the latest total on the bounty, which stood at $2.125 million in March. Also in attendance was film producer Stephen Stafford and his crew to film Humphrey’s big announcement and take advantage of the “Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021. “Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021” signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt this week increasing the tax rebate cap for films shot in the state from $8 million to $30 million -- Stafford described this credit as “one of the best in the nation.”
The same could also be said of the Bigfoot bounty – in fact, it’s the biggest and best because no other state has one at any amount. That’s always Humphrey’s cue to pipe in with his well-rehearsed disclaimer:
"We don't hunt Bigfoot. Nobody wants to harm Bigfoot. We're going to do a live, humane capture of Bigfoot. We're extending this beyond just our region and throughout the state. We're wanting the whole world to come to southeastern Oklahoma, to the state of Oklahoma and get involved in our bounty – Oklahoma bounty, Bigfoot bounty. So, we're excited to invite the whole world to come and participate."
Bigfoot Bounty – the quicker tourist dollar picker-upper! (You heard it here first!) While Bigfoot is the designated monster, Humphrey admits he’s the Dr. Frankenstein who created a second monster back in January:
“I actually filed a shell bill. I didn't even file it as a real bill to start a season on Bigfoot. And who knew that that would go international and that we would gain so much attention? I did plan on trying to get a little attention for a festival in Honobai, Oklahoma, which is where everyone knows where Bigfoot lives."
If any of those filmmakers looking for Oklahoma tax credits needs a script idea – here’s one for you. Somewhere deep in the Oklahoma forest, the leader of the local Bigfoots proposes a bounty on J.J. Humphrey – $4 million for bringing him in alive and squealing “Nobody wants to harm Bigfoot!” Wanted posters with blurry pictures of Humphrey show up on trees in every state. The FBI puts up its own blurred Wanted posters and the Bigfoot War of 2021 begins. The appropriate ironic soundtrack is already recorded – “We’re Only in It for the Money” by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
Be careful what you wish for, J.J. Humphrey and Oklahoma.