Godfrey: Wisconsin Bigfoot – NOT!

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 11th, 2006

The following is authored by Linda Godfrey:

The Washington County Bigfoot is not a Bigfoot!

Much ado about something…but NOT a Bigfoot! Two Milwaukee TV stations, WTMJ ch. 4 and WISN ch. 12, reported Nov. 9 and 10, 2006, that Steven Krueger, a contractor who picks up roadkill for Washington and several other counties in southern Wisconsin, had an encounter with a Bigfoot. After a lengthy phone interview with Krueger on Nov. 10, I found out that he did have a strange experience with an unidentifiable creature, but it was NOT a Bigfoot. From Krueger’s description, the closest I can come is the creature that has been seen near Wausau tagged the "Bearwolf" by investigator Todd Roll, and described in "Hunting the American Werewolf." Krueger says the only thing he would change would be to make the snout slightly shorter and more covered with hair.


Linda Godfrey’s illustration from her book Hunting the American Werewolf.

So what really happened? According to Krueger, he was making his usual rounds the night of Nov. 8, when about 1:30 am on the morning of Nov. 9, he spotted a 70-80 pound deer that wasn’t on his pick-up list on Hwy. 167, at .165 miles east of the Holy Hill entrance on Church Road. He picked the deer up anyway, noting that it was "still limp" and probably freshly killed. Krueger stands six feet tall and weighs 230 pounds, and was able to hoist the carcass into the truck with some effort, using his knees for extra stabilization. After getting the deer into the truck bed, he left the tailgate down and got into his cab to make notes. He also left on the light that illuminates the truck bed, and, in compliance with DOT regulations, his flashing amber light on top of the cab. He had the windows rolled up and radio playing loudly.

"The first I knew about it was when the truck shook," said Krueger. "I thoght it might be the wind, but then it happened again, only stronger. I looked in the rearview mirror and I saw it. It was standing on the ground, bent over the tailgate, reaching into the back of the truck. It had its paw out and had the deer by one paw. I frozen for a few seconds from being shocked," said Krueger, "threw the truck into drive and stepped on it to get out of there."

Krueger estimates he looked at the creature for about five seconds before flooring the gas pedal. "It had pointy ears, triangular shaped," he said, "and they looked like big wolf ears standing up on end. That was the main feature that made me realize it was not a bear. It had a longer muzzle than a black bear, and its head was more like a wolf than a bear. It almost looked like a very large black bear standing on its feet, if you took a wolf’s head and enlarged it and set it on the bear’s body." Krueger guessed the creature’s height at six to seven feet, but only was able to see it from the chest up. The fur was about two inches long, black, and fairly smooth, he said. "I know it wasn’t Bigfoot."

As Krueger drove away, he heard a metallic clang, which he recognized as one of the aluminum, fold-up ramps he uses to help drag large specimens into the truck bed. Folded up, the ramp is about one and a half feet wide by two and a half feet long, he said. He guessed that it was tangled up in the legs of the deer he had just thrown in, because both the ramp and the deer were then pulled clear of the truck.

Krueger drove a short distance away, then decided he wanted to go back and see if he could retrieve the ramp. He drove back, he said, and got out of the truck "for about two second," mindful that the creature could still be in the area. He didn’t notice any odor or see the creature, he said, and both the deer and the ramp had vanished. Krueger continued his rounds, driving around until 4:30 am and trying to decide if he should report it. He was afraid of being made fun of, he said, but finally decided that this was something large enough to be dangerous, and that the sheriff should be alerted. He drove to the sheriff’s department in West Bend, walked in, and made his report. "I was afraid it would take a Bigfoot turn," said Krueger, although he was careful not to say that word. And yet, a TV employee later told him that the deputy who handled his report wrote that it was a "Yeti" sighting. "I told them it looked something like a bear but was not a bear," said Krueger, adding he has observed everything from wolves to coyotes feeding on deer carcasses late at night. "I never said it was Bigfoot."

He said the sheriff’s deputy asked if it could have been a person in a fur suit. Krueger chuckled, explaining that the deer he picked up was not on his list and that no one knows his route on any given night. "Would someone sit in the woods and wait 48 hours for me to come along just to scare me?" he asked. "It didn’t look like a human configuration," he added.

As for gathering evidence, Krueger said that there were no prints left that he could see on the truck bed, which was full of other carcasses, hair and blood. He wasn’t sure how the creature was able to grasp the deer with one paw and pull it from the truck bed, because he couldn’t see the paw itself. The sheriff’s department told him that bears are extremely rare in that area. "I know what a bear looks like, and this was not a bear," said Krueger emphatically. He also said that the creature did not jump on or into the truck, as was reported. He wasn’t able to see its eyes as it was looking down into the truck bed.

Ch. 12, on its 10 pm broadcast Nov. 10, changed the animal’s tag to "mysterious creature," and used Krueger’s voice to say it wasn’t a Bigfoot or Yeti.. Still, Krueger is sorry he reported it to the sheriff’s department in the first place which is unfortunate from a researcher’s point of view. This is exactly the reason that the great bulk of sightings probably are kept secret, preventing the public from ever knowing the true scope of these creatures’ existence and thwarting an accurate database. I’m just glad he did come forward.

—Linda Godfrey, 11-10-06

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

18 Responses to “Godfrey: Wisconsin Bigfoot – NOT!”

  1. mystery_man responds:

    I think it is interesting that he actually went back to get the ramp with this large, obviously aggressive creature still possibly lurking about. If it were me, they’d have to bill me for that ramp because there is no way I’d go back after seeing that, especially if I were unarmed. That being said, could it have been a hunter in a ghillie suit? He might have just killed the deer which would explain how fresh it was, then taken it off the truck when Krueger tried to haul it off. In the heat of the moment, a ghillie suit could resemble a large creature, couldn’t it? I don’t know much about hunting, but I’ve seen pics of these suits. And some people don’t have the best manners, so this hunter might not have bothered to advertise his intentions to take the deer back. Just speculating, throwing ideas out there.

  2. Rillo777 responds:

    Since the deer wasn’t on his route and was very fresh, is it possible this creature had just killed the deer and then retrieved it when it thought someone was claiming its kill? It obviously wasn’t after the man and may have hidden until it assumed it was safe to get its deer back. I’m also intrigued by this “bearwolf” thing.

  3. archer1945 responds:

    Interesting idea here. It does make some sense because if it had been a deer killed by a car that car would probably sustained a fair amount of damage. I know too many people who have hit deer with a vehicle and it is amazing the amount of damage a small deer can do to something weighing so much more than it does. Back to the main subject.

    Since this was very late at night, it is very possible the deer had been killed by a poacher who wasn’t about to let it get away. This would also explain the missing ramp. As soon as Krueger took off the poacher got off the road with the deer, came back for the ramp and pulled it off the road also, might even have pulled them off together. This hypothetical poacher might even have still been beside the road when Krueger came back but would not have been seen because Krueger would not be interested in a bush off to the side of the road. Since Krueger said he only looked around for a couple of seconds for the ramp it is very possible this, hypothetical, poacher was just a few feet away.

  4. CamperGuy responds:

    In another post on this topic going back for the ramp to me is certainly normal for many guys. Men who use tools for their job really really don’t like to lose them. I might have turned around and went back but the speedometer would be at 100 mph and as far as stopping no way!

    I suspect Mr. Krueger was also not sure in his own mind what he had observed and was hoping to see a bear or wolf in the area standing over a deer.

    One other thing is that usually stories of this type seem to fall apart the more it is examined and to me this one is the opposite and is becoming more cohesive the more detail that is reported.

    I believe Mr. Krueger and wish him well.

  5. Shihan responds:

    The poacher with a ghillie suit is a really good theory, however, why would a man who was breaking the law like that risk being caught by pulling the kill out of the back of a truck? With the number of deer available in Wisconsin, it just doesn’t make sense.

  6. kittenz responds:

    Could have been a big black wolf, or wolf-dog, standing on its hind feet, with front paws on the tailgate. Wolves have huge paws, and their claws are so long that they almost look like fingers. Possibly the wolf was using its front paw to pull the deer toward itself. There could have even been another wolf or wolves, nearby, unseen by Mr. Krueger, that helped pull the deer out of the truck. His description sounds a lot like a big wolf. Wolves are immensely strong, and while most are about German shpherd-sized, they can be much larger. It would have been nothing for a wolf to carry off a 70 to 80 pound deer. The aluminum ramps would not have been much of a hindrance and they probably will be found laying somewhere nearby in the brush after having been dragged or chewed away from the deer’s legs.

  7. bill green responds:

    hey everyone wow very interesting new update article about the wisconsin sasquatch situation. good morning bill. i do agree with your above replys as well. please keep me informed.

  8. lorelady responds:

    That ramp had been on my mind, too, and I had another conservation with Mr.Krueger last night about it.The thing that puzzled me was why Krueger would have heard the ramp hit the pavement, indicating it had fallen to the ground, and yet it was nowhere to be found. Did the creature pick it up and take it along? Did another motorist come along and grab it? Krueger says the latter is unlikely since he only drove as far as Hwy. K, a few minutes away, before turning back, and didn’t see any other vehicles in the area the whole time. It’s also hard to imagine both a human poacher and a 7-foot carnivore being in the same area and fighting over the kill (Krueger was adamant the truck-pilferer was no human in a suit) with the human taking the ramp as a consolation prize. Krueger’s best guess was that when he took off in the truck, the creature held onto the deer which then got dragged out of the truck with the ramp entangled in its legs. He thinks the deer and ramp hit the pavement at the same time. I’m not sure how the bulky ramp could have stayed tangled in the legs of a freshly killed, smallish doe …so tangled that the creature was forced to carry both away together….but there doesn’t seem to be any other explanation. Possibly a motorist did approach from the opposite direction, nabbed the ramp and turned back around without being seen.
    I really wish Krueger had been able to see the creature’s lower body as well. Then we might be much closer to a positive ID. – Linda Godfrey

  9. Porkchop responds:

    Linda Godfrey wrote:

    “the closest I can come is the creature that has been seen near Wausau”

    You need to clarify the reference, if by close you mean spatial proximity. Wausau is almost 3 hours of 65 mph interstate driving from West Bend. Godfrey’s Beast of Bray Rd is closer and reasonably matched in description.

    The Wausau reference is also confusing because a wolf or bear near Wausau would be interesting but not news, as bear hunters I know just recently have found hibernating bears south of Hwy 29, but only just recently.

    If you said you saw a bear as far south as West Bend, I would first say “no way,” until someone else confirmed it. The way this reads is bears are common in SE WI, and they aren’t.

  10. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Linda Godfrey’s witness interview thoughts were reposted here with her permission.

  11. Scarfe responds:

    At least we know Nov 9th wasn’t a full moon.

  12. lorelady responds:

    Quick note to Porkchop; when I said “closest I could come” I was referring to types of creatures that have been reported to me, not to spatial location. – Linda

  13. DWA responds:

    Whoo brother.

    He’s afraid it will take a Bigfoot turn. When what he’s really going for is American Werewolf.

    Sheesh. Hey. Maybe it’s the Phantom of the Opera, moonlighting. Always thought the guy needed to fix those ears, though.

  14. titletown responds:

    Isn’t there supposedly a roaming werewolf in Southeastern Wisconsin? I thought it was near Jefferson County or by Whitewater. I was watching the Travel Channel once and they were talking about several reports of this. Isn’t Bray Rd in Jefferson County? I have never heard of the Wausau werewolf sighting.

  15. Mnynames responds:

    Well, it’s not everyday that you get a witness that says “Heck no!, that wasn’t a Bigfoot I saw” and then goes on to explain that what he saw was far, far, stranger and less easy to explain. So assuming that he’s correct in reporting what he saw, just what the heck IS this thing?

  16. rfritz responds:

    Maybe it is related to the Bearwalk…the mythical creature referenced in the Jeff Daniels movie “Escanaba by da moonlight”.

    It is interesting that this happened only a few days before Wisconsin’s deer season opens.

    Maybe the guy is opposed to hunting and is thinking a story like this will keep hunters out of the woods.

  17. moregon responds:

    One problem I see with a ghillie suit, is I’ve never seen them with wolf-like ears or muzzles on them. Would someone who’s interested in poaching a deer, really go to the trouble of wearing a ghillie suit at 1am? There would have to be a vehicle parked nearby because I doubt they would want to drag it for miles, maybe someone should ask Mr. Krueger if he saw any vehicles parked along the road in that area.

    Rillo777, you said you are intrigued by the bearwolf thing, do a Google search for an animal called an Amphicyon. It’s also known as a beardog. Some artist’s have made it appear as if it has a Wolf’s head on a Bear’s body, so on Google look under Images too. The big problem is that it’s been extinct for 14 million years.

  18. Potninja responds:

    I believe in the Wisconsin werewolf or Beast of Bray Road or whatever you please to call it, but the picture isn’t entirely accurate. Eh, call me crazy but there is a werewolf in the generall vicinity of where I live and it looks like what people are describing, just not the pictures. Whoever drew that one must not have known all that much about human/wolf anatomy. I have sketched what it, or should I say, they, look like. It is at my deviantart page, moonbeast14. Check it out if anyone wants to.

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