Hoping to ride the momentum from a local Bigfoot festival, a state lawmaker in Oklahoma said he was hoping to generate tourism revenue with a hunting season for the mythical creature.

Rep. Justin Humphrey, a Republican representing the southeastern region of the state, filed House Bill 1648, which would call on the state wildlife division to make rules outlining the dates, fees and licenses that would be warranted for a proposed Bigfoot hunting season.

"A lot of people don’t believe in Bigfoot, but a lot of people do," Humphrey said. "Just like some people like to go deer hunting, while some don’t."

Several sightings of the mythical Bigfoot were reported across the state last year, according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. But Humphrey's primary motivation is to cash in on the popularity of the creature -- real or not. He is even proposing a $25,000 bounty for its capture.

"Tourism is one of the biggest attractions we have in my House district," he said in a statement. "Establishing an actual hunting season and issuing licenses for people who want to hunt Bigfoot will just draw more people to our already beautiful part of the state. It will be a great way for people to enjoy our area and to have some fun."

There is no evidence that a giant ape-like creature is roaming the North American wilderness. But Humphrey notes the state already has an annual Bigfoot festival in October that he said could coincide with a hunting season if his bill were passed. He is even proposing a $25,000 bounty for its capture.

"Having a license and a tag would give people a way to prove they participated in the hunt," Humphrey said. “Again, the overall goal is to get people to our area to enjoy the natural beauty and to have a great time, and if they find Bigfoot while they’re at it, well hey, that’s just an even bigger prize."

The annual Honobia Bigfoot Festival was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic but plans to return in 2021.

Tourism is a major revenue source for the state, though travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic may be a limiting factor. In early January, Gov. Stitt issued an executive order that reinstates an emergency declaration to limit the rate of COVID-19 infections through various social restrictions.

Bigfoot A new Bigfoot video has gone viral despite a study debunking the creature's existence. Photo: Wikipedia Commons