The Hugag - [Fearsome Critter]
• About this critter: An immense creature of the LakeStates & Hudsons Bay Area, reported to stand up to 13 ft tall! Often mistaken for an equally massive moose. it had sturdy jointless legs which left circular tracks (making it difficult to track down & hunt because you could not tell which way it was going.) it was unable to ever lay down, said to keep moving all day long… Very rarely, it would take short naps, leaning up against trees and other structures which would often fall against its weight! - An unlucky herbivore: Its extremely long-cupped upper lip & overbite prevented it from grazing; instead, it spent what energy it had sucking on tree bark and munching twigs, its diet was said to mainly consist of the sap from pineknots which cause its head to become warty & ooze a thick gooey substance. [*The last one hunted was in Turtle River in northern Minnesota, where a young one, weighing barely 1,800 pounds, was found stuck in the mud. It was knocked in the head by Mike Flynn of Cass Lake. They are now presumed to be extinct.]
HIstory: Another critter first properly written about in "Fearsome creatures of the lumberwoods." [1910, Cox] & Fearsome critters [1939, Tyron.] - it also appears in several paul bunyan stories from the 20s onwards. - Also worth mention is that the creature is earlier described in a book titled "in the limestone valley" its name seems to originate from (or is at least shared with) a small mine-shaft which was discovered (and abandoned by 1870.) it seems to often be mistaken with or to be a relative of the hodag but the two creatures should not be confused.
Coxs story goes as follows:
The hugag is a huge animal of the Lake States. Its range includes western Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, and a territory extending indefinitely northward in the Canadian wilds toward Hudson Bay. In size the hugag may be compared to the moose, and in form it somewhat resembles that animal. Very noticeable, however, are its jointless legs, which compel the animal to remain on its feet, and its long upper lip, which prevents it from grazing. If it tried that method of feeding it would simply tramp its upper lip into the dirt. Its head and neck are leathery and hairless ; its strangely corrugated ears flop downward; its four-toed feet, long bushy tail, shaggy coat and general make-up give the beast an unmistakably prehistoric appearance. The hugag has a perfect mania for traveling, and few hunters who have taken up its trail ever came up with the beast or back to camp. It is reported to keep going all day long, browsing on twigs, flopping its lip around trees, and stripping bark as occasion offers, and at night, since it cannot lie down, it leans against a tree, bracing its hind legs and marking time with its front ones. The most successful hugag hunters have adopted the practice of notching trees so that they are almost ready to fall, and when the hugag leans up against one both the tree and the animal come down. In its helpless condition it is then easily dispatched. The last one killed, so far as known, was on Turtle River, in northern Minnesota, where a young one, weighing 1,800 pounds, was found stuck in the mud. It was knocked in the head by Mike Flynn, of Cass Lake.
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) Part of my Fearsome Critters Collection, weather resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!