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Bearpaw88
03-23-2009, 09:09
Hey I am originally from Wisconsin and was raised hiking the Ice Age Trail. I had several relatives from Rheinlander WI, which is not to far from the IAT, and grew up hearing about the legendary hodag. I have been collecting stories about it for a while. Any one have any knowledge about the hodag? This creature is said to be a mean spiked lizard woodland animal. Anyone know of any similar beast stories in the woods of the Appalachians? Just curious.

To learn more about the hodag

www.hodag.com
www.hodagpress.com

Bearpaw88
03-23-2009, 09:26
hmmmm..... not to many bites on this thread. Am I suprised, NO.

IceAge
03-23-2009, 10:57
I have hunted ducks and deer in the Rhinelander area for many years, so I am very familiar with the Hodag. I have heard mysterious crashing sounds through the brush and willows near the river before sunrise that must have been a Hodag, but it was too dark to see. I have also seen deep gouges on trees that were probably caused by it's spiked tail.

Do you know if it is true that they eat porcupines? Maybe I could build a trap.

Pedaling Fool
03-23-2009, 11:47
This is a true story, but I don't intend it to sound like a monster story, to me it's become a mystery over the years.

When I was 16 I did a SOBO thru-hike of Maine starting June/July Ď81. This encounter happened on the first day of the hike, we (father, uncle & me) were going up Katahdin from the north to Knife-edge, starting from Roaring Brook Campground and going up the Helon Taylor trail (IIRC).

Iím not sure how long into the hike we were, but I know I was pretty tired, but we were still a good way from tree-line. All I remember was hearing this deep sounding roar, sort of like hearing an African lion in the zoo. It caused us all to stop dead in our tracks. Never saw anything, but heard some rustling in the brush and a second growl, then it was gone. It was scary as hell, now when I hear the term, "freeze in your tracks" I think of that moment. I was Ė we all were Ė stopped in our tracks with great concern for whatever that was.

At the time we just assumed it was a black bear. However, Iím now, just recently, starting to wonder if it was a bear. Iíve read a lot about bears and the sound they make and from what I gather they donít make the sound we heard, at best they make a weak roar/growl, this was no weak roar/growl, it was a very powerful roar. Iíve heard recordings of mountain lions and this was no mountain lion, too deep of a sound, thatís why I say it reminds me more of an African lion, but not quite.

I donít know, but I really donít think it was a black bear.

hoz
03-23-2009, 11:48
When I was caving we attended a "Hodag Hunt" in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Mainly it was a reason for cavers to get together, do a little caving (small caves up there) and have a banquet.

I was told Hodags live in caves.I think this is a Wisconsin phenomenon.

Bearpaw88
03-23-2009, 15:35
I am pretty sure it is a wisconsin specific legend.

John it does sound like you heard a boar. Maybe that is where the hodag legend started. Although there are no wild boars in WI?

Wisconsin has some weird legends hodags take the cake.

possible theme for a Billville event: release your inner hodag?

mkmangold
03-23-2009, 15:54
I am pretty sure it is a wisconsin specific legend... Although there are no wild boars in WI?

Have you ever talked with anyone from Cudahy?

IceAge
03-23-2009, 16:16
The lumberjacks back in the 1800s in WIsconsin were always trying to catch a live hodag because the rumor was that if you fed a hodag corn, it would piss pure moonshine whiskey.

camojack
03-24-2009, 03:45
When I was caving we attended a "Hodag Hunt" in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Mainly it was a reason for cavers to get together, do a little caving (small caves up there) and have a banquet.

I was told Hodags live in caves.I think this is a Wisconsin phenomenon.
I had only heard of hodags previously in reference to caving. :-?

Bearpaw88
03-25-2009, 10:32
Piss Moonshine eh?


Now I gotta find one. lol

turtle fast
05-09-2009, 17:12
Rhinelander every year hosts a Hodag Festival. Old timers in the area will tell you that the Hodag is real....no joke.

jaywalke
05-09-2009, 20:10
Hey I am originally from Wisconsin and was raised hiking the Ice Age Trail. I had several relatives from Rheinlander WI, which is not to far from the IAT, and grew up hearing about the legendary hodag. I have been collecting stories about it for a while. Any one have any knowledge about the hodag?

The hodag was a "bonding legend" used by the lumberjacks in WI. They'd send someone (usually a native american) out into the woods to make bloodcurdling sounds on the nights that new 'jacks arrived, while the old hands would spin tales of a half-lizard/wolf/bear/whatever came out of the whiskey bottle. It served two purposes: it gave the young guys a common enemy that was not the oldsters, and it gave the oldsters a shared knowledge that was earned through experience rather than effort (an early form of seniority).

BTW, nowadays it's spelled Rhinelander, as opposed to the proper German spelling.

If you're interested in local folklore,be sure to look up the Wolfman/Michigan dogman at http://www.beastofbrayroad.com/

mkmangold
05-11-2009, 23:28
...

...Do you know if it is true that they eat porcupines? Maybe I could build a trap.

They eat badgers.

double d
05-12-2009, 00:10
Hiked the Ice Age Trail this past weekend (Kettle State Moraine Park) and don't come across any Hodag. I did come across alot of cheese heads, but Hodags, no.

mkmangold
05-12-2009, 01:05
Hiked the Ice Age Trail this past weekend (Kettle State Moraine Park) and don't come across any Hodag. I did come across alot of cheese heads, but Hodags, no.

North or South Kettle Moraine? Either way, let us know next time and we'll try and get together. Isn't Joliet like all prisons and oil refineries?

World-Wide
05-12-2009, 06:12
Hey I am originally from Wisconsin and was raised hiking the Ice Age Trail. I had several relatives from Rheinlander WI, which is not to far from the IAT, and grew up hearing about the legendary hodag. I have been collecting stories about it for a while. Any one have any knowledge about the hodag? This creature is said to be a mean spiked lizard woodland animal. Anyone know of any similar beast stories in the woods of the Appalachians? Just curious.

To learn more about the hodag

www.hodag.com (http://www.hodag.com)
www.hodagpress.com (http://www.hodagpress.com)


I think I captured a picture of a "hadog" when I was taking a leak just off the highway in Wisconsin on my way up to the U.P. I didn't see a spiked tail, so it musy have been an infant? Is this one?
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/1/5/1/8/5/05-09-09_1009_thumb.jpg (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=33508&catid=newimages&cutoffdate=14)

World-Wide
05-12-2009, 09:35
I think I captured a picture of a "hadog" when I was taking a leak just off the highway in Wisconsin on my way up to the U.P. I didn't see a spiked tail, so it musy have been an infant? Is this one?
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/1/5/1/8/5/05-09-09_1009_thumb.jpg (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=33508&catid=newimages&cutoffdate=14)

Sorry Bearpaw88! After further review, I mistaked that salamander for the real photo I took in the woods of Wisconsin. Here's the actual snap-shot. This just might be the "Hadog" you've been looking for? I used a low-light aperture due to the poor conditions. The photo almost looks like a drawing. Hope this assists in the hunt!!! http://www.copyrightexpired.com/earlyimage/prehistoriclifebeforekt/stegosaurus.jpg

World-Wide
05-14-2009, 10:12
Sorry Bearpaw88! After further review, I mistaked that salamander for the real photo I took in the woods of Wisconsin. Here's the actual snap-shot. This just might be the "Hadog" you've been looking for? I used a low-light aperture due to the poor conditions. The photo almost looks like a drawing. Hope this assists in the hunt!!! http://www.copyrightexpired.com/earlyimage/prehistoriclifebeforekt/stegosaurus.jpg

Thread-dead? Even though I've been a smart@ss, would like to hear more about the "Hadog" legend. We've got a "spooky experience" thread going, why not a never before seen horned tail lizard that scares newbie lumber-jacks while exploiting native indians to do the spook work?

reddenbacher
05-14-2009, 19:40
hay bearpaw,sprite and i saw two in the window in monson,maine


our cats name is windigo

Matteroo
05-15-2009, 03:36
worked one summer up dere in rhinelander at an experimental forest run by the department of energy http://aspenface.mtu.edu/ and heard plenty about the hodag. Was actually the research assistant for a swedish researcher who had his wife and newborn with him. Some friendly local where we were staying gave the baby a stuffed animal hodag and said 'ohhh you're a cute lil' hodag' just baby talking to the baby. ..later my swedish friend/researcher was appalled that the woman had called his daughter a hodag.. lol

i also learned, after many months working together with occasional confusing moments in conversation, that for swedes, sucking in the breath with pursed lips while the other person is talking is a sign of agreement, and not a sign of disagreement or body language meaning "what the heck are you saying??".. made a lot more sense after i asked him about that.

double d
05-19-2009, 00:16
I hiked the IAT at the North Kettle Moraine State Park the weekend of May 9-11th, it was great, nice weather, no flying bugs, no Hodag, but once again, saw plenty of Cheese Heads (just kidding my Wisconsin friends)! Joliet is a nice town if you like prisons, construction projects and the upcoming trial of Drew Peterson (currently housed in the Joliet-Will County prison).

mkmangold
05-19-2009, 02:33
I hiked the IAT at the North Kettle Moraine State Park the weekend of May 9-11th, it was great, nice weather, no flying bugs, no Hodag, but once again, saw plenty of Cheese Heads (just kidding my Wisconsin friends)! Joliet is a nice town if you like prisons, construction projects and the upcoming trial of Drew Peterson (currently housed in the Joliet-Will County prison).

Nice. Next time let us know and we'll be happy to join you. In fact, I'm a processed cheesehead myself, originally from Barrington, IL.

d'shadow
05-19-2009, 03:11
The Wisconsin Hodag

The Hodag, a creature native to Wisconsin, has the head of a bull, the back of a dinosaur, and the leering features of a giant man. Its legs are short, its claws are long, and its tail is spear-tipped.

It is a supernatural beast. According to legend, in its first life it took the form of an ox that belonged to Paul Bunyan. Upon its death, the ox was burned for seven years to cleanse it of the profanity of its master. But seven years was not long enough. The soul of the ox emerged from the ashes in the shape of a Hodag, exuding a foul odor.

Eugene S. Shepard and a group of companions tracked the creature down to Rhinelander, Wisconsin where they succeeded in capturing it. After its capture the creature was displayed for many years at country fairs. The exhibition of the Hodag usually occurred in dim light. According to malicious rumors, what was actually exhibited was a large dog over which a horse's hide had been stretched, but such rumors have never been substantiated.

The Hodag's name comes from combining the words 'horse' and 'dog.' It is also known as the Bovine Spiritualis.

Jack Cory, editor of the Rhinelander Daily News, once hypothesized that the Hodag was "the long-sought missing link between the ichthyosaurus and the mylodoan" of the Ice Age.

Pictures showing a Hodag surrounded by men with pitchforks appeared on many Wisconsin postcards during the first decades of the 20th century. The same pictures also hung in many saloons.:eek:

Jan LiteShoe
05-23-2009, 23:53
Ah! The Hodag. Haven't heard that word in a while.

My mother was born in Rhinelander, and we (sibs and cousins) spent many a summer vacation roaming the surrounding lakes and woods.

The Hodag was great fun, always visited, at the park and lumber museum.

The town website says this about the legendary "beast":

"
The Hodag, displayed near the entrance gate of the fair proved the event’s main attraction. On Monday and Tuesday, the first two days of the fair, "the tent was filled with a crowd of curious people throughout the day." On Wednesday, "a large number of spectators gave up their dimes to see this strange animal and hear its history as told by Eugene Shepard himself."



Entering a dimly lit tent, and separated from the beast by a curtain and a good distance, the fair-goers witnessed the beast move and growl. Very few left the fair grounds not believing in the authenticity of Shepard’s Hodag. From this introduction the Hodag and its boastful owner toured county fairs and even the Wisconsin State Fair in Madison. Furthermore, Shepard displayed his monstrosity in a shed at his Rhinelander home for all to view. In this capacity the Hodag attracted thousands of curious spectators and brought a disproportionate amount of attention to a small frontier community in the uppermost regions of the Wisconsin River Valley.



Eventually the Hodag was discovered to be an elaborate hoax, its body, a carved stump covered with an ox hide; its horns and spikes derived from oxen and cattle; its movement controlled by wires; and its growl supplied by Shepard’s sons hidden in the monster’s lair. This discovery, however, took nothing away from the Hodag’s popularity. People from across the state and region continued to travel up the Wisconsin to Rhinelander to view Shepard’s concoction. Although the original creature was destroyed by a fire near the turn of the century, the Hodag continued to gain popularity. By the 1920s, an extremely popular postcard portraying the Hodag’s capture circulated throughout the region. Soon Rhinelander became known as the Hodag city, and its inhabitants proudly touted its unique identity and the piece of local color on which it was based.



To the casual observer, Shepard’s Hodag ploy was a practical joke pulled by Rhinelander’s most celebrated prankster. A more in-depth investigation of the circumstances surrounding the Hodag’s creation, however, reveals a far more serious side of the beast. In addition to comprising a known jokester’s most successful ploy, Rhinelander’s Hodag was, and continues to be, a very serious, preconceived promotional project. To be sure, the Hodag played an important role in making Rhinelander what it is today--the regional industrial center of Northern Wisconsin with an odd twist of local color.:


More at:
http://www.rhinelanderchamber.com/history2.htm

Jan LiteShoe
05-23-2009, 23:56
North or South Kettle Moraine? Either way, let us know next time and we'll try and get together. Isn't Joliet like all prisons and oil refineries?

Do you or anyone know which part of the IAT is closest to Franksville, WI? (west of Racine).
I'd love to take a stroll when I'm out that way in two weeks.

mkmangold
05-24-2009, 02:47
Do you or anyone know which part of the IAT is closest to Franksville, WI? (west of Racine).
I'd love to take a stroll when I'm out that way in two weeks.

Closest is the Merton Segment, 34 miles northwest of Franksville. It is near the intersection of Dorn Road and County Hwy VV in Waukesha County. However, I would seriously recommend the Southern Kettle Moraine Unit of the IAT near Eagle, Wisconsin which is farther from Franksville. I can't vouch for the scenery at Merton but being at the Eagle Segment is like being in Appalachia. Call 888-947-2757 to reserve a shelter if you are staying overnight. If so, PM me and maybe me and the boys can hook up with you.

World-Wide
05-24-2009, 05:28
The Wisconsin Hodag

The Hodag, a creature native to Wisconsin, has the head of a bull, the back of a dinosaur, and the leering features of a giant man. Its legs are short, its claws are long, and its tail is spear-tipped.

It is a supernatural beast. According to legend, in its first life it took the form of an ox that belonged to Paul Bunyan. Upon its death, the ox was burned for seven years to cleanse it of the profanity of its master. But seven years was not long enough. The soul of the ox emerged from the ashes in the shape of a Hodag, exuding a foul odor.

Eugene S. Shepard and a group of companions tracked the creature down to Rhinelander, Wisconsin where they succeeded in capturing it. After its capture the creature was displayed for many years at country fairs. The exhibition of the Hodag usually occurred in dim light. According to malicious rumors, what was actually exhibited was a large dog over which a horse's hide had been stretched, but such rumors have never been substantiated.

The Hodag's name comes from combining the words 'horse' and 'dog.' It is also known as the Bovine Spiritualis.

Jack Cory, editor of the Rhinelander Daily News, once hypothesized that the Hodag was "the long-sought missing link between the ichthyosaurus and the mylodoan" of the Ice Age.

Pictures showing a Hodag surrounded by men with pitchforks appeared on many Wisconsin postcards during the first decades of the 20th century. The same pictures also hung in many saloons.:eek:

Okay, three creatures are sitting at a bar and have had way too much to drink!! Their in deep paranoia because they had their first hit off some Panama Red. As luck would have it, they meet in the alley on their way home. Their situated in a "Good, the Bad and the Ugly" western stand-off formation staring eachother down! The creatures are the Hadog, Big Foot and the Locke Ness Monster. (Nessie is kicking it in a large water trough!) Who'd win this show-down?? :-?

World-Wide
05-24-2009, 06:46
Okay, three creatures are sitting at a bar and have had way too much to drink!! Their in deep paranoia because they had their first hit off some Panama Red. As luck would have it, they meet in the alley on their way home. Their situated in a "Good, the Bad and the Ugly" western stand-off formation staring eachother down! The creatures are the Hadog, Big Foot and the Locke Ness Monster. (Nessie is kicking it in a large water trough!) Who'd win this show-down?? :-?

For fairness sake, all three are using the same handgun, Clint's Colt 45! :D

mkmangold
05-24-2009, 15:35
Do you or anyone know which part of the IAT is closest to Franksville, WI? (west of Racine).
I'd love to take a stroll when I'm out that way in two weeks.

Franksville to Eagle, WI is 36 miles and the trailhead is 2 miles west off of Hwy 59. Shelter 1, situated on top of a hill with a fantastic view, is very close to the trailhead which is the Visitor Center and Forest Headquarters for the Southern Kettle Moraine. But hiking is great north or south of the shelter if you use it as a base. If you like fishing, there are plenty of lakes in the area, too. I hope this helps and when you go, let us know!

zelph
05-28-2009, 10:11
The hodag has been used as sacrificial food for the ancient gods of the Aztalans. It is said that they were originally caught in the crawfish River and eventually made their way into Rock Lake which is known to have ancient piramids at it's bottom. the hodags deposit their eggs on land just as turtles do. during this time of laying their eggs is when they are sited by hikers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztalan_State_Park

Near Aztalan State park is Rock Lake that is said to be the main overwintering place for the hodags. The lake contains ancient pyramid type structures.

Can anyone give me some insight on "Off Trail" hiking/camping along the Ice Age Trail? Someone from the Chicago area has inquired of me concerning this. Preferrably without any hodag crossings :D

Berserker
06-30-2009, 12:06
Anyone know of any similar beast stories in the woods of the Appalachians?
I lived up in Green Bay for a couple of years, and heard of the hodag. As for in the Appalachians, although not directly in the Appalachians the one that popped into my head was the lizard man in South Carolina.

JokerJersey
06-30-2009, 12:33
One local legend around here is the Jersey Devil. Part horse, part bat, and part goat, it is supposedly the 13th child of a witch, fathered by Satan, who now roams the woods looking for unwary humans to eat. The demon child killed the midwife the night it was born and then was exorcised by a priest for 100 years. This rumor has been floating around the South Jersey area since the 18th century, perhaps even before back to Native American legends. It's not said to live near the AT, but further south in the Pine Barrens.

Here's a wikipedia link with pertinent information...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Devil

reddenbacher
06-30-2009, 21:43
theres two in a window in monson,legend must have spredd
watchout for the wendigos too

Desert Reprobate
09-25-2010, 23:18
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/1/9/8/2/4/visiting_the_hodag_in_rhinelanderwi_thumb.jpg (http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=43135&c=)
Visited with him today

Nean
09-26-2010, 03:55
True story- I hiked with one in 02.:eek:

Not recomended!:D

BigHodag
09-26-2010, 12:00
Hodags are found the world over and vary in apperance. There are at least three sub-species of hodags.

On Crete, the local Greek hodags looked more like tribbles with feet and prominent canine teeth. "Herbie", a well known Cretan hodag, is known to wear sunglasses and a walkman that he "found". Herbie is constantly on the prowl for AA batteries to power his walkman. Herbie is also known to be fond of PB&J on a bagel. So keep an eye on your pack when caving Crete or thru hiking the E4.

Cavers attending NSS conventions often engage in hodag hunts. Due to "leave no trace" ethics, a burlap hodag is generally used. Hodags are under extreme pressure from encroaching development and the growing popularity of caving.

Elder
09-26-2010, 14:51
Hodags are found the world over and vary in apperance. There are at least three sub-species of hodags.


Cavers attending NSS conventions often engage in hodag hunts. Due to "leave no trace" ethics, a burlap hodag is generally used. Hodags are under extreme pressure from encroaching development and the growing popularity of caving.

;) Cavers use a form of LNT....eat it all or let it crawl!

bpitt
09-27-2010, 21:59
We have 'wampus cats' here in Mississippi, and the secretive 'black panther'. In the neighboring Perry county we have what anthropoligist call the 'last known band of hunter-gatherers', i.e., they hunt year round, regardless of 'season', and eat any/everything, aka 'sho-nuff rednecks'.