The Hodag scared its first victim in Rhinelander Wisconsin in 1893
Eugene Simeon Shepard first discovered the beast while hiking. The 7 foot long lizard-like creature covered with black hair and spikes bared its fangs, lowered its horns, and spewed flame and smoke from its nostrils. According to Shepard, the smell was a “combinations of buzzard meat and skunk perfume.” He wisely turned and ran.
Shepard became obsessed with capturing a hodag. He assembled a hunting party and armed them with rifles and squirt guns loaded with poison.
Shepard's Band of Hunters Discovered a Hodag Den!
They sent in their dogs to corner it. When the hunters went in to collect their trophy, they found instead pieces of the hunting dogs scattered around. Their guns had no effect on the irate hodag.
Instead of retreating, they decided to blast the beast with dynamite. The explosion and resulting fire killed the creature. Shepard brought the charred remains back in to town and put it on display.
Shepard's True Quest– Capture a Hodag Alive
Three years later, in the autumn of 1896, Shepard discovered another hodag in its den. With a chloroform soaked rag attached to a stick he was able to subdue the creature. Finally, he’d captured a living hodag.
Shepard displayed his prize from a dimly lit tent at the Oneida County Fair. The popularity of the exhibit encouraged Shepard to tour the state with his attraction. Hundreds paid to see the beast and hear it’s ferocious roar. When not touring Shepard housed the hodag in a shed behind his Rhinelander home. Visitors were always welcome.
Today the creature seems to enjoy sports. It appears frequently at football games at both the high school and college level.
To learn more about the hodag visit The Hodag Press or Hodag Sightings
Thank you to Brent Kelley for suggesting the hodag. Follow him on Twitter @spicyhambone