January 11, 2012

Kill v. No-Kill v. Habituation

In an attempt to get my mind moving forward, I have decided to take on three (3) issues – all at once. I love a hot topic and I really enjoy the conversations that can be sparked.

In an earlier article I posted on this blog:
Question I discussed my own particular thoughts on the Kill v. No-Kill argument. I just read it today, again, and realized my attitude about this issue hasn’t changed. Which, I find, interesting.

Kill v. No-Kill v. Habituation.

Sounds like the opening to a legal case, doesn’t it?

The No-Kill camp: believes in employing technology and boots on the ground (along with witness interviews) to try and prove “Bigfoot” is a living breathing animal.

The Kill camp: employs all the same techniques as the No-Kill camp – with one very obvious difference:

They have not thrown out the idea of killing one of these animals. Let’s face it, killing a Bigfoot and shipping the body via UPS to the offices of a scientist would absolutely end this mystery.

Habituators: This group of people is rather difficult to define. Every one of them I have spoken to are staunch “no kill” advocates. They wouldn’t even send in the body of a Bigfoot if it died of natural causes.

The Habituators are exactly what the word defines them as. They claim to have a Bigfoot (or many) living on or traveling through their property. They claim to have regular encounters with these animals.

They claim to have made their property, “Bigfoot Friendly,” by leaving food items and other things that will make these animals want to come back.

Which group has it right?

*big shrug* I have no idea. None of the three groups above have provided absolute proof of the existence of Bigfoot. Okay, calm down. I know the “non-Bigfoot researchers” who read this blog are yelling at their flat screens, “Well, if the Habituators have this animal on their property all the time, why don’t they show the world this animal is really out there?”

That is a dang good question. Because according to them, they are not uncertain (at all) of this animal’s existence, they know it’s there and they can show you. But, here is the catch – you can’t have anything on you to either film or document this animal in anyway. Why? Because they state the Bigfoot won’t come back. Some will even tell you, “You must be pure of mind or you won’t see their bigfoot(s)."

You can draw your own conclusions on the, “pure of mind,” comment – I aint touchin that one with a ten foot pole.

This Kill v. No-Kill debate has raged for years, and years – long before I became involved, and it still rages today. I bet people will still be debating this in another 40 years. Which stance is best?

I guess that depends on you, and what you can live with.

Now, before I get angry emails, I am not picking on or poking fun at the habituation crowd. Why couldn’t it be possible? Any other animal can and could be habituated. All you need is the right information about what they eat and prefer – and you can set up your own habituation scenario right in your own backyard. But, be careful, that animal you are habituating may be a bear.

I keep seeing reference to Dian Fossey and the Habituators.

Dian Fossey did her work after the Mountain Gorillas were known to exist. Dian did not build a hut in the African jungle and leave out food in the hopes of having them “drop by” for a snack. She went to them. She had trackers that could find the gorillas. Dian put herself in the world of the Mountain Gorilla; she did not bring them to her world. I would even venture a guess and say if Dian Fossey were here today, and she knew about these Habituators she would not be happy. I would bet $50 bucks her advice to these "Habituators" would be to "Grow a set, get off your ass and use your knowledge to help educate and get this animal protected!!"

Why? Dian Fossey worked hand in hand with science. If it hadn’t been for scientific funding, her work probably would not have happened. I also think she would have been upset with the withholding of information that could bring about the protection of any animal, especially a large primate like Bigfoot.

Dian Fossey showed the world, the mountain gorilla, was not a savage beast. She took films and photos. Dian did not refuse to share her discoveries with the world, because she knew the best hope for the mountain gorilla’s survival was to change the belief that these were beasts into an animal that was important to the ecology of Africa and one that deserved to be protected. Dian showed us the beauty of the mountain gorilla. She fought knowing that fight, could and did, end her life.

Dian Fossey knew how important it was to share her information with the world.

Dian had emotion, but she used that emotion to educate and inform (okay, she also used that emotion to scare the crap out of some poachers too. giggle)

I have heard it said, “Habituators,” don’t want to show the world what they have out of fear of harm and an emotional connection to Bigfoot. How can anyone hunt your habituated Bigfoot without the location? No one is asking for directions.

I reject the notion that emotion is more important than knowledge and education when it comes to the survival of Bigfoot. Dian must have been just as worried that if she succeeded in habituating Mountain Gorillas it would make it easier to hunt and kill a gorilla. Yet, she went forward. I think it was because she had to know education was the key to the survival of the gorilla.

Since the “Habituators” won’t end this, I guess it will fall to the Kill v. No-Kill crowd.

What other choice is there?

I’m not sure Bigfoot needs our protection. It has, if you believe the reports, being surviving without protection laws for a long time.

Hey, people are still seeing it.

What I worry about is the Chicago Executive who builds a log cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Someone who never thought this animal could possibly exist and is one day surprised - out of his mind! What is he going to do? Protect himself and his family –that’s what.

This person probably won’t tell anyone, because he won’t really be sure what he shot. Bigfoot doesn’t exist right? There is nothing on “the books” to keep this from happening.

Kill v. No-Kill v. Habituation.

Which one is the better solution?

You decide. Then, let me know what you come up with. I have no answers. I have made my decision based on what I can live with.


  • At 6:44 AM, Blogger T. Bennett said…


    I am definitely against kill. The thought of killing one of these in order to protect it seems like an oxymoron to me.

    In all honesty I believe that getting actual proof of their existence will do more harm. Maybe this is why habituaters don't want to provide evidence or proof. I can't help but wonder if they will end up in zoos, being hunted to make money or to show off hunting prowess...just think what kind of money the body parts of a bigfoot would bring... even if they are protected. I'm just not so sure being labeled "protected" is going to protect them.

    I know I'm going to get a lot of crap for this remark but I'm going to say it anyways. Their best protection is to remain undiscovered. This comment does make me out to be a hypocrite because I DO go out and research areas that have had sightings. I have also been on expeditions with the BFRO in hopes of catching a glimpse or hearing those howls deep within eerie forests in the dead of night. Not to mention being able to see some of the strangest tree structures.

    In the eyes of Science there are no wrong answers here. For Scientific proof there needs to be a body whether it's living or dead, science doesn't care. Without it DNA evidence is of no value and bigfoot remains undiscovered.

    Each time I think of this topic I always wind up with more questions then answers and they all boil down too... "Which one is for the greater good?" A question that I still can not answer.


  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger Ed Smith said…

    It can be captured and returned to the wild, the target just needs to be managed every target is specific and will require a specific response and post handling rules.

    This problem is workable and is being worked.

    Have a good day

  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As you previously stated, you have to find them first. Thats the pesky part.

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Regan Lee said…

    Capturing the "target" (isn't the being called Sasquatch, or Bigfoot?) isn't ideal either. Aside from the ethical and moral issues of taking a creature from its habitat to satisfy one's own agendas, too much can wrong. The Sasquatch can be injured, or die in the process, despite the protocols in place. I'm as against a capture as I am a kill.

  • At 4:40 PM, Blogger Ed Smith said…

    Again the problem is workable, to use your words Regan the agenda is set and in motion. I am against killing the target as you are but we work with the options we have and the capture option is viable.

  • At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I cannot believe that we are still entertaining the "kill" crowd. For what ? Science isn't interested. Which I do not understand.

    Two of my favorite aspects of the bigfoot topic are the mystery itself and the "garage"science , both of which will be gone forever

    Killing for the sake of science is human nature and very embarrassing.

    Cant wait until we discover a new planet with life .. go get em men

  • At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What makes you think Science isn't interested?

    Melissa Hovey

  • At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello Melissa,
    After more than 40 years as a big game hunter, guide and tracker, I believe the idea of tranquilizing one of these creatures should be explored in greater depth. Killing one, regardless of where you live, obviously brings up legal ramifications and probable entanglements. Trying to prove the existence without a body - well, just look at what that has established: nothing.
    Tranquilizing this specie seems, to me at least, to be a great compromise - provided it is carried out by well-trained personnel and with the certainty that the creature will be returned back to its habitat once the studies have been completed to fully acknowledge the existence of the specie.
    Very rarely do we see conversations about tranquilizing this specie for scientific acknowledgement. Yet over and over throughout history tranquilizing animals for study has been a successful technique used by wildlife managers, biologists, and others all over the world. Though somewhat invasive to the creature, tranquilizing would be an important compromise to the kill vs no kill controversy and an obvious achievement for science and mankind.


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