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Thread: Hodag

  1. #1
    Registered User Bearpaw88's Avatar
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    Default Hodag

    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

  2. #2
    Registered User Bearpaw88's Avatar
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    hmmmm..... not to many bites on this thread. Am I suprised, NO.

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    Northwoods Nomad IceAge's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4

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    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.

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    Climber, caver, camper, canoeist since 1965
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    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.
    We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. Finis Mitchell

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    Registered User Bearpaw88's Avatar
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    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearpaw88 View Post
    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?
    "Keep moving: death is very, very still."
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    Northwoods Nomad IceAge's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoz View Post
    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.
    Sierra Tango Foxtrot Uniform

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    Registered User Bearpaw88's Avatar
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    Piss Moonshine eh?


    Now I gotta find one. lol

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    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    Rhinelander every year hosts a Hodag Festival. Old timers in the area will tell you that the Hodag is real....no joke.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearpaw88 View Post
    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/
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAge View Post
    ...

    ...Do you know if it is true that they eat porcupines? Maybe I could build a trap.
    They eat badgers.
    "Keep moving: death is very, very still."
    ---Lily Wagner (nee Hennessy)

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    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.
    "I told my Ma's and Pa's I was coming to them mountains and they acted as if they was gutshot. Ma, I sez's, them mountains is the marrow of the world and by God, I was right". Del Gue

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    Quote Originally Posted by double d View Post
    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?
    "Keep moving: death is very, very still."
    ---Lily Wagner (nee Hennessy)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearpaw88 View Post
    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

    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by World-Wide View Post
    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?
    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!!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by World-Wide View Post
    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!!!
    Thread-dead? Even though I've been a [email protected], 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?

  19. #19
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    hay bearpaw,sprite and i saw two in the window in monson,maine


    our cats name is windigo

  20. #20

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    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.

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