Matters of Grave Importance: Could You Legally Hunt Bigfoot in Tennessee?

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I saw that Texas has officially declared that the law does allow people to kill Bigfoot in Texas, if they want, if they happen to find one.

So, of course, I asked myself, "Hmm, I wonder if I could legally hunt Bigfoot in Tennessee?" And, yes, perhaps I'm not the best person to answer this question, since I don't hunt. But I set out to find an answer.

In short, the answer is "no." In Texas, they have a sweeping "non-protected, non-game species" category of animals, and any animal that falls into this category — like Bigfoot, should it exist — you can hunt any time as long as you're on private property and have permission of the owner.

Tennessee's hunting laws, which are so Byzantine that it seems like every hunter needs to be an amateur lawyer to figure out what he can shoot when, seem to operate under the opposite philosophy. Whereas Texas is, "if we haven't told you you can't kill it, you can," Tennessee is all, "if we haven't told you you can hunt it, you can't."

It seems that Bigfoot would be protected by the same rules the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has for alligators. Much like Bigfoot, some folks are certain alligators have made their way into Tennessee, even though sightings of them are still very rare. About alligators, the TWRA says:

There is evidence that alligator populations are expanding north along the Mississippi River into Tennessee. Species which expand their ranges into Tennessee (such as alligators) are protected and may not be taken until a hunting season is proclaimed.

That's pretty clear. No shooting at things until the state has had a chance to rule on whether you can hunt it.

But there's a further bummer sentence for amateur Bigfoot hunters — "The taking, killing and/or illegal possession of hawks, owls, songbirds, endangered species or any other species for which a season is not set (e.g. snakes) is prohibited." Since we have no Bigfoot season and won't have a ruling on whether there will be one until Bigfoots are proved to exist, not only can't you kill a Bigfoot legally in Tennessee, you can't capture one and try to bring it back alive (unless you're a scientist).

This is quite the conundrum for Bigfoot hunters. You can't legally capture or shoot a Bigfoot in order to bring the carcass back and prove it exists until someone has proved it exists and they decide if there's a Bigfoot season.

I guess you'll just have to stick to blurry photographs and grainy video. Just be careful when you go into the swamps to get those images. Apparently there are alligators lurking.

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