The following is authored by Linda Godfrey:
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