When vacation season is here, recent sightings of Bigfoot, Lizard Man or even a new backwoods monster can spice up the prospect of a value-added outdoor adventure — if you want to go where these creatures have been seen.

When vacation season is here, recent sightings of Bigfoot, Lizard Man or even a new backwoods monster can spice up the prospect of a value-added outdoor adventure — if you want to go where these creatures have been seen.

Tom Peeler, a modern-day mountain man who lives alone on top of a mountain in Casar, N.C., told News Channel 36 in Charlotte that he recently came face to face with Bigfoot on his back porch.

Peeler said the creature is 10 feet tall. He counted six fingers on each of its huge hands. If monster chasers aren’t interested, NBA scouts probably are.

Peeler said the beast got tangled up in his dog chains.

“I rough-talked him and said, ‘You get away from here,’” Peeler told reporters.

He said the big guy left, but came back again. That time Peeler poked it with a stick.

I don’t know about you, but if Bigfoot was messing around in my dog pen, I would make my approach with something more threatening than a stick — if at all. There’s a distinct possibility such a monstrously big creature could feed you your close-range weapon without breaking a sweat.

It comes as no great surprise that Peeler didn’t have a camera handy. If he was close enough to jab Bigfoot with a stick, he could have snapped some valuable photographic evidence.

Several people living near Scrape Ore Swamp in South Carolina have had encounters with Lizard Man. He is described as more than 7 feet tall, with huge clawed hands and glowing red eyes.

The big lizard has been flying under the radar since he allegedly chewed up a Dodge minivan a couple of years ago. As reported by the local television station, the whole front half of the van had been gnawed on, and something had bitten clean through the front grill. The wheel wells had been gnawed and the side panels torn. There were bite marks everywhere.

Of course, nobody actually saw Lizard Man tear into the van. The van’s owners were not awakened by all the commotion. No one has seen hide nor scales of Lizard Man since then. But it’s just a matter of time.

Tourism needs a jump-start in my area. Even the most gullible have caught on to me taking them on snipe hunts.

If I could get my hands on a realistic costume — sort of a cross between a river gar and a bullfrog — the area could be back in business. The creature could add spice to our no-cameras-allowed nature hikes by occasionally rising up out of the dark, murky water and scaring the bejesus out of our patrons.

While it would fetch some notoriety, it may be a tough sell.

George Little can be reached at ccmglobal@aol.com.