The Wookie Whisperer: Living With Wookies

(This is a series about a real-life Bigfoot habituation situation in the Midwest and the man who has learned to coexist in a most playful and remarkable way).

Prior installments -
#1 Home (Not) Alone
#2 Tootsie Pops and Bacon
#3 Little Andy the Klepto Peeping Tom
#4 The Hairy Owl Ladies
#5 The Coyote Men and the Sentinels
#6 Night Moves 

*In this installment, Dave shares his insights on the realities of living with the "Wookies" (his affectionate name for this extended woodland family).* 

This is what its like living with Wookies in the woods. This is all going to depend on if you want to interact with them or not. 

We shall begin with if you do not want interaction the best thing you can do to keep them back from your home is to use trail cams and motion sensor lights. That will keep them at bay, although they may destroy the light bulbs and maybe even the trail cams. Also, stay inside after dark to avoid them.

I, on the other hand, wanted to interact peacefully with them. And, so began my journey. I read a lot of things on the Internet and so much of it was tainted with fear as to be useless. Jane Goodall seemed to be a good place to start, as she had so many years interacting with apes.

So, back to trying to figure out how to begin interacting with them. I found that reading the oral history of the Native American Tribes was very insightful. They have been dealing with them for thousands of years and like anywhere you go they have a whole new batch of names for them. There are stories of them killing man, but those are usually after man has provoked them to it. 

There were no reports of sightings at the Game Wardens office or at the Sheriffs Department, so that told me they are not some bloodthirsty monster like some make them out to be. When I read that some of the tribes actually traded with them, it told me this was not some ape.They were men of sorts. Not like us, but but more a true man of nature perfectly suited to his environment. 

We try to use human terms when speaking about them. That needs to be thrown out of the research field. We far underestimate their intelligence as we judge by the level of technology. We fail to realize they really have no need for it. If they kill a deer they do not need a knife to skin it as their brute strength allows them to skin it as easily as a human would a rabbit. 

As I try to figure out what motivates them to do the things they do, I make comparisons with the Native Tribes before contact with the Europeans. At that time, they were pretty much living in the Stone Age. Now, that did not make them stupid by any means. I do not believe they took a leap in evolution in the last 300 years. Their kids, when they apply themselves, seem to test as well as any other in school.

To live peacefully with Bigfoot, it all begins with respect.

What I do when I go outside is yell a loud, "you whoo?" That's kind of a courtesy to let them know I am out wandering around in case they are sleeping nearby. The last thing I would want to do is startle them. It's sort of like when you go to someone's home and knock on the door before entering their home. Respect is good and makes them more accepting of you.

Like Jane Goodall, I began with offering them a little bit of food, not so much as they would become dependent on it - just a little snack

Since they had watched me for years they knew when I would feed the goat I called out, "are you hungry?" He would come running and get fed. So, I picked out a spot where I had my second encounter. It was far enough from the house and seemed to be where they would be. 

I would yell into the hollows, "Are you hungry?" and smack a shovel on the side of a burn barrel I had near by. Then, I would walk back to the house. This allowed them to come take what I left and feel safe in the cover of the forest. 

One thing that I discovered was that if I had raw eggs and they took it there were no shells left there. If some varmint got it they would eat eggs on the spot. So, if I found eggshells I would collect them so I would know who got the food.

What not to do is trickery. 

Many people in the field of research use methods of trickery and get rather dismal results because of it. Nobody wants to be made a fool of. Once the Bigfoot realizes they have been tricked they get mad and go away.

If you encounter one do not freak out and scream, as that can be rather unnerving and make a bad situation. Also, do not look them directly in the eyes, as that could be taken as a challenge. Be sure to show open palms, as this lets them know you do not have a weapon and mean no harm. As hard as this sounds try not to show fear if they act a little aggressive. Remember, if you need to get out of there do not run, as they will give chase. They are an apex predator so running makes them give chase. 

Sometimes they get a schoolyard bully mindset, so if you show fear it makes them more aggressive. One of the hardest things I ever did was to turn my back on one that was in my barn and growled at me. He felt trapped as I was in front of his escape. It first removed me as a threat to him leaving and second it showed him that I trusted him not to harm me.

I no longer fear them. I trust them not to harm me. 

Their habits and size of family as well as territory all depend on the habitat. If the game is plentiful they will be able to have a permanent residence and if its not they will likely migrate from time to time as food sourced get depleted. Just like in areas with more desert climate, they will be in small groups and cover a vast area to get food and females will likely hunt too, just out of necessity.

Knowing that they mimic calls it always leaves you wondering if its them or something else. After coming to realize they were not going to harm me I got used to them being around and would look forward to them coming around to interact. 

It seems they choose to interact more with the opposite sex. So for women that can be even more frightening as the males are enormous when grown. Here they run in the 12 foot range. Females run around 8 feet tall.

Other things you have to get used to is the way they raid gardens. That and fruit trees. Here they will raid the mulberry tree first and all the berries with any color will be picked clean off to a height of 12 feet. They also eat all the wild plums as well as all the peaches from my trees. Thats not so bad but when you plant 20 tomato plants it would be nice to get more than 3 tomatoes in a season. lol

Lets not forget they snipe all the morel mushrooms (can't find them anywhere)

On the other hand they do kill all the poisonous snakes and keep an eye on my place when I am not home and I feel if I were in real trouble they would come to my aid.

Now, my roommate has a different set of things to deal with as one likes to pick him off with pebbles. They have never picked me off but I am older. But Ralph gets picked off quite a bit and its not to hurt him but seems more playful like maybe the young one wants a friend to play with. lol 

But, at just over 8 ft in height and likely 10 times stronger, Ralph worries he might get hurt by accident if he were to pursue a friendship with this big kid. He has been picked off before and heard a giggle from the woods. I try to treat them like that oddball family member that comes to visit. They may be strange but they are family so you welcome them anyway.

**Dave's very insightful and intelligent observations show the fine line straddled between a natural respect and concern and realizing you a sharing your land with a clan of people who live the woodlands and waterways and choose the "short hairless" ones they wish to cautiously trust.**


  1. Thank You Dave for your stories regarding the first hand encounters with the Real People; as I know they call themselves. I think you have done a great job interfacing with these creatures, and then advising the rest of us humans on what you found out about them and how to get along with them as in showing them respect! Great Job Dave! Yea, you can go ahead and tell them a little about your mentor! :-)

  2. So well written! I could read 20 more chapters thankyou for sharing your insights.


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