Oklahoma state Rep. Justin "J.J." Humphrey invited people around the world to hunt for Bigfoot in the state on the floor of the House of Representatives in Oklahoma City Wednesday. Earlier this year, Humphrey introduced a bill to create a Bigfoot hunting season in Oklahoma as a way to attract tourists and pushed for a bounty, which has now ballooned to $3 million. A reality television series on the hunt for the mythical creature in Oklahoma is in the works as well.
In order for a hunter to collect the reward, Bigfoot must be delivered unharmed and captured in a humane way. "We're extending this beyond just our region and throughout the state," Humphrey said, reports KOCO. "We're wanting the whole world to come to southeastern Oklahoma, to the state of Oklahoma and get involved in our bounty – Oklahoma bounty, Bigfoot bounty. So, we're excited to invite the whole world to come and participate."
Humphrey also spoke about how "awesome" it was that a series about the hunt for Big Foot is being shot in Oklahoma. The film crews were at the state capitol on Wednesday to follow Humphrey's call for the $3 million bounty. "We'd really like [to] make sure that Oklahoma is known for the home of Bigfoot and bring people from all over the world to come see our great state," producer Stephen Stafford told KFOR. Their visit also came a few days after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a new law increasing the tax rebate cap for film and television productions from $8 million to $30 million.
Humphrey first introduced a bill to create a $25,000 bounty on Bigfoot to attract tourists to Southeast Oklahoma. That bill did not get far, but in March, Humphrey said the bounty claimed to $2 million thanks to the film producers and private businesses. On Wednesday, Humphrey said he was surprised that the bounty got national international attention. "Who knew that that would go international and that we would gain so much attention? I did plan on trying to get a little attention for a festival in Honobai, Oklahoma, which is where everyone knows where Bigfoot lives," he said.
While Humphrey's Bigfoot bounty may get international attention, he also made headlines in April when he compared the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan. When the Oklahoma House debated banning "critical race theory" at state college and universities, Humphrey said what the KKK did was "terrible," adding, "Everybody agrees on this floor that they have burned, that they have threatened, that they have destroyed, that's what they're famous for." Then, he asked the bill's co-author, Republican Rep. Kevin West, if he would "agree that when people burn, threaten, kill, intimidate, that they are a terrorist group, and that Black Lives Matter meet that same description?" West said he "would agree."
Later, Humphrey told The Hill he still believes the Black Lives Matter movement is a "terrorist group," but noted, "there has been injustice done to the Black community." The bill passed the House and the Oklahoma Senate, and Stitt signed it into law earlier this month.