Dec. 20, “Route 51” Hunts For The Hodag

Air Date:
Heard On Route 51
Early Hodag "Specimen"
Photo courtesy Kerry Bloedorn, Historian, Pioneer Park Historical Complex

Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Route 51” uncovers the folklore, history and cultural significance of one of Wisconsin’s most famous and terrifying legendary creatures, the horrible Hodag.

Guest host Rob Mentzer of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, Rhinelander historian Kerry Bloedorn and reporter Keith Uhlig explore the origins of Hodag mythology and the life and times of Eugene Shepard, whose Hodag hoax brought the city of Rhinelander the attention it needed to survive changes in the timber industry. They will also discuss the continued significance of Rhinelander’s mythological mascot on Wisconsin Northwoods culture.

Featured Music
“Shep and the Hodag” by Shawn McBurnie and the Slight Exaggerations:

“The Hodag Song” by Rob “Lefty La-Roo” Letvinchuck:

“Hodag” by Meat Raffle Road:

Episode Credits

  • Rob Mentzer Host
  • Joy Ratchkramer Producer
  • Keith Uhlig Guest
  • Kerry Bloedorn Guest