Cox's 'Shovel-Nosed Hodag' - (Latin: Nasobatilus hystrivoratus.) - [fearsome critter]
•About this critter: Described as 'About the size of a Rhino with a similar makeup' but with a "Large spade-shaped bone spur with peculiar phalanges, extending up in front of the eye, so that he can see only straight up." it uses this spur like a shovel to dig up the roots of trees until they fall, in order to get at hiding porcupines which it devours head first! - Although it is hairless, the creatures tough skin is a striped plaid, reminiscent of checkered Mackinaw clothing. (the kind lumberjacks often wear.) - Seeing that it digs: this one seems to take on the most literal meaning to the word "hoe-dag" which is also a type of digging tool.)
•History: This variety of Hodag was earliest Recorded by Minnesota State forester, William T Cox and was first published in his "Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods."  - technically making it the first 'hodag' with a proper bestiary bio proper, the entry goes as follows:
"This animal has been variously described by woodsmen from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Opinions differ greatly as to the appearance of the beast, some claiming it to be covered with horns and spines and having a maniacal disposition. - [Please see: "Black Hodag"] - The description which seems most authentic and from which the sketch of the animal has been made is as follows: size about that of a rhinoceros and somewhat resembling that animal in general makeup. The creature is slow in motion, deliberate, and, unlike the rhinoceros, very intelligent. Its hairless body is mottled, striped, and checked in a striking manner, suggestive of the origin of the patterns upon Mackinaw clothing, now used in the lumber woods. On the hodag's nose, instead of a horn there is a large spade-shaped bony growth, with peculiar phalanges, extending up in front of the eye, so that he can see only straight up. This probably accounts for the deliberate disposition of the animal, which wanders through the spruce woods looking for suitable food. About the only living creature which the hodag can catch is the porcupine ; indeed, it would appear that the porcupine is its natural food. Upon sighting one rolled up in the branches of a spruce the hodag begins to blink his eyes, lick his chops, and spade around the roots and over goes the tree, knocking the breath out of the porcupine in its fall. The hodag then straddles the fallen tree, front feet crush the helpless porcupine, and then deliberately swallows him head first.
In the autumn the hodag strips the bark off a number of spruce or pine trees and covers himself all over with pitch. He then searches out a patch of hardwood timber where dead leaves lie thick on the ground. Here he rolls about until completely encased in a thick, warm mantle of leaves, in which condition he spends the winter."
• Modern confusion: Today "Cox's Hodag" is quite often Considered an outlier among Hodag's because it is built/described so very differently from the 'hodag' of Rhinelander Wisconsin. - Its believed that this creature was likely only labeled a "Hodag" because Cox decided to equate the two, and the lore was further muddied over time, despite this, I believe that Cox was describing the beast as it was described from his perspective as a forester in Minnesota, although its fair to say that it isn't the same animal, it is possible for them to have the same name or be still be related as regional variants.
Because of this confusion, in modern day, many have decided to illustrate "Green Hodags" [that resemble the popular Wisconsin variant below] with 'spade shaped' noses while throwing the rest of cox's description to the wind... I'd personally suggest that we call these modern variants of new "shovel nosed hodags" - "Green-Spade-Nosed-Hodags" to avoid further conflation!
[an example of "Green-Shovel-Nosed-Hodag" & others, an unfortunate product of vague wikipedia entries & surface level research. (Cute illustrations though!) Image source: wiki commons Hodag_comic.jpg]
I've also often seen some described it as "stiff legged" & "leaning against trees" to rest (despite the fact that cox describes it as rolling around & hibernating/nesting in peat.) - I feel that might be the result of people getting it confused with the 'hugag' (it often has been in past!) - Perhaps the two are frequently mistaken for one another because their nose/upper lip gets In the way of a normal diet as well as their geographical location? (perhaps they where related at some point in past.
[a mislabeled Hugag? - source: ripsnorters and rib ticklers 1958]
...At the same time this hardly matters as the beauty of early "Hodag Lore" is that theres technically room for all of these and then even a couple more. As the early story's go, "a new hodag is born every time an ox is cremated in the woods, these lumber camps spread across the nation, If we decide to take the "Paul Bunyan Lore" as our 'hodag bible' - then it was specifically that "Babe the big blue ox died and was cremated over the course of 7 years, shared between several mourning camps, creating several hodags." - All of that aside, as I've covered previously: regional variants & mentions of 'hodag' outside of wisconsin are a definite thing too!
Art stickers by @samkalensky, part of my fearsome critters collection of stickers. check my shop and follow @samkalensky for many more