The Agropelter is an aggressive cryptid that is found in the folklore of North American lumberjacks. Its name comes from a combination of “agro” meaning aggressive and “pelt” which refers to striking or pelting with objects, in this case, branches!
|Location:||Northern United States – From Maine to Oregon|
|Category:||Lumberjack Folklore Cryptid|
|Description:||Furry ape-like creature with whiplike arms and sharp claws; known for aggressive behavior and hurling objects at unsuspecting people.|
|Behavior/Characteristics:||Solitary, elusive, aggressive when approached, throws branches and other objects at its prey.|
|Diet:||Hoot owls and woodpeckers.|
|Habitat/Environment:||Dense, remote forests, particularly in the northern regions of the United States and Canada.|
|Evidence:||Limited and anecdotal, based on witness accounts.|
|Sightings and Encounters:||Occasional mentions in local and regional legends, stories of encounters with loggers and hunters.|
|Skepticism/Explanations:||Considered a creature from lumberjack folklore; potential misidentifications of wildlife or other animals|
What Does The Agropelter Look Like?
The Agropelter is described as an ape-like creature with a slim body and particularly long and muscular arms which it uses to throw branches at passersby.
It is said to have a villainous face with menacing facial features. It is very agile and can easily move from tree to tree quickly and quietly.
For its home, it usually selects trees with dead branches to live in so that it has branches to throw at people in the forests.
In lumberjack folklore, the Agropelter is blamed for lumberjacks who are killed or injured by falling branches.
The easiest place to find the stories and mythology about the Agropelter is in two books about the North American folklore of the lumberjacks.
The first story is found book called, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts” by William Thomas Cox.
Leading a vengeful existence, resenting the intrusion of the logger, the agropelter deals misery to the lumberjack from Maine to Oregon. Ill fares the man who attempts to pass a hollow tree in which one of these creatures has taken up its temporary abode. The unfortunate is usually found smashed or pinned by a dead branch and reported as having been killed by a falling limb.
So unerring is the aim of the agropelter that despite diligent search, I have been unable to locate more than one man who has been the target for one of their missiles and yet survived to describe the beast. This is Big Ole Kittleson, who, upon a certain occasion, when cruising timber on the upper St. Croix, was knocked down by a partly rotten limb thrown by an agropelter. This limb was so punky that it shattered on Ole’s head, and he had time to observe the rascally beast before it bounded from the tree and whisked itself off through the woods.
According to Ole, the animal has a slender, wiry body, the villainous face of an ape, and arms like muscular whiplashes, with which it can snap off dead branches and hurl them through the air like shells from a six-inch gun. It is supposed to feed upon hoot owls and woodpeckers, the scarcity of which will always prevent the agropelter from becoming numerous in any locality.Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods
The second story, which has more information about the Agropelter, is found in Henry H. Tyron’s book called, “Fearsome Critters”.
A peevish quadruped, highly resentful of the logger’s intrusion upon his woods home. Common, and well-known from coast to coast, but limited to the Northern forests. The beast’s ugly disposition is attributed in part to its diet of Hoot-owls, High-holes, and dozy wood.
As with many of these elusive, nimble creatures, a detailed description is lacking. But it is fully established that the Agropelter (sometimes called the Widow-maker) has a sturdy body topped by a villainous, ape-like countenance. His outstanding equipment is a pair of long, muscular arms. Stealthily reaching out from his lair in the top of a hollow tree, he can snap off a heavy dead limb and either drop or hurl it with deadly accuracy on the pate of the woodsman passing beneath.
He is a marvelously rapid tree-climber and traveler, swinging himself, acrobat-fashion, from limb to limb. In picking a home site, he selects a tree having numerous dead branches and a dozy upper bole, and which stands handy to a frequently traveled trail. He quickly eats out a roomy nest. The pups (born on February 29) always arrive in odd numbers.Fearsome Critters
- Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods – William Thomas Cox
- Fearsome Critters – Henry H. Tryon