Geographical Index > United States > Wisconsin > Monroe County > Article # 250
Media Article # 250
Wednesday, November 17, 1976
Bigfoot Gone, Rumors Linger
By Terry Burt
La Crosse, Wisconsin Tribune
CASHTON, Wis. - The Cashton Creature is nowhere to be found, but rumors about the demise of the Bigfoot-like animal are alive and well.
Some of the rumors have lingered longer than the stench reportedly coming from the creature. The most persistent rumor has been that the hairy, seven- foot tall unidentified creature, seen this fall by a rural Cashton farmer, was an injured bear. And that bear was later killed by a hunter or hunters unknown.
If any bear, injured or otherwise, was killed in Cashton area this year it has been kept a secret.
Cashton police Chief Dave Schaldach said he has no report of a bear being shot. Calvin Clark, Monroe County game warden, said as far as he knew no bear has been shot, or sighted, in the Cashton area. Mike Lanquist, a state forester with the Department of Natural Resources also said to his knowledge no bear has been shot or seen in the area.
To have been shot legally, the deformed critter would have to have been taken with a bow and arrow as Monroe County does not have a firearm bear season. If someone had killed a bear with a bow it is unlikely the proud hunter would keep it a secret. And if taken by gun, there is good reason why no one has stepped forth with the trophy. Clark and Lanquist both said that anyone shooting a bear illegally would be subject to a fine.
Also, within a half mile of where the farmer spotted the smelly, hairy, creature there are several bee hives containing honey. These were unmolested during the time the creature was believed to have been in the area. In many minds, this discounts the bear angle.
The rumor also said that the bear had managed to escape from a cataract forest fire this fall, suffering with burns on the front paws and muzzle. The burns, so said the rumor, resulted in gangrene. With the demise of this bear several unusual circumstances in the sighting could be answered.
The bear in most of the rumors had its muzzle disfigured, making it blunt and unbearlike (matching the farmer's description of the flat face of the creature which was seen mingling with cows). The rumor of the burned front paws would encourage the bear to walk erect (as did the creature). And the gangrene would give off a strong odor (as did the creature). Thus rumor mongers would have killed the Bigfoot sighting by disposing of one bear.
Another rumor is that the creature is an escaped gorilla, orangutan or chimpanzee from a circus, carnival or zoo.
The most likely source of the bear rumor was explained by one Cashton man who said that a local farmer's wife was scared to go outside because of rumors of an unidentified creature in the area. Thereupon the quick-thinking farmer calmed her fears by making up the story of the bear.
Apparently it worked to the satisfaction of the farmer. His wife now regularly goes to the barn and does her chores as before.
The wife of the farmer who saw the creature in September said Monday that for the past three weeks the area has been silent. The family has not heard the strange bellow of the creature, nor smelled its vile scent.
However, George Wuensch of Middle Ridge said his son, Paul, and an 11-year-old companion from Sparta were hiking in some nearby woods the last week in October when they came across a large footprint which was clearly visible in the soft dirt of a mole trail.
Wuensch said the print, which showed four toes, was 18 inches long and seven inches wide at the widest point. It had a four-inch heel area and what was believed to be a deep arch. He said there were four prints in all, about 3 1/2 feet apart, and that two strands of a wire fence had been broken near where the prints were found.
The Wuenschs attempted to make a cement cast of the print, but the cast broke and only crumbled pieces remain. When asked what the footprint was, Wuensch said: "It looks like a regular foot."