(TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - East Texas is home to a variety of animals, but some people claim there is a creature lurking under the canopy of pines and hardwoods, in the swampy areas and in some cases not far from major populated areas such as Tyler.
The creature has various names, such as the Woolybooger, Saquatch, the Old Man and of course Bigfoot.
As a movie crew wraps up filming in the Mineola area on a movie titled "The Bigfoot Wars," the tales of the elusive creature start to creep back into our minds.
What was that snap in the woods? Could it have been a Sasquatch?
Former Texas Park and Wildlife Game Warden Chris Green chuckled and said he had talked to many people who had claimed they had seen something they believed could have been the creature.
"You go into the deer camps and you'll hear stories about how someone saw one of them. There are a lot of people that swear they have seen something, but a lot of it is just old folklore," he said.
But believers point to the hundreds of sightings across the nation over the past decade — and the Tyler area is not immune to the sightings.
The Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC), claims East Texas is home to the majority of reported sightings, partly due to the vast amounts of forested land and ample water supply.
Daryl Colyer, a TBRC researcher, attributes the numerous sightings in East Texas to the densely forested and sparsely populated land, which receives ample rainfall annually.
According to the TRBC, there have been four reported sightings in Smith County since 1963, with one of the latest in 2002 by a group of teens on Blackhawk Creek near Whitehouse.
The report stated the three teens saw a large, white, hairy creature that jumped out from behind a tree and leaped over a creek.
While there are numerous reports in surrounding counties, Green still believes they are tall tales.
Green said with the popularity of hog hunting, someone would have possibly shot one of the creatures or had some really good information about where and when the incident happened.
"In this area, with all of the hunters and rifles in the woods I am thinking someone would have shot one of them by now. It's interesting to listen to the tales, but with all of the game cams, night vision and, again, with all of the hunters, someone would have captured photos of a creature that big," he said.
Green said in some of the eastern counties of Texas, there is the remote possibility of black bears migrating over from Louisiana and people may have spotted one of them. However, he does not believe there are any black bears in Smith County.
Whether the creatures are real or people are seeing something they can't understand and falling back on the idea, it must have been a Bigfoot, they believe what they saw
"It's is fun to talk about. Not too many things scare you in the woods; but talk about a Bigfoot keeps the legend alive. As long as the legend is alive then the tales will continue," Green said.