@ceilingcat - I agree, folklore is great fun. I also think it's especially cool the town of Rhinelander adopted this one as it's own, even though they did get hoaxed!
I personally think having the hodag as a high school mascot would have been awesome. Much more original than most high school mascots. Usually they are some generic wild animal, like a lion or a tiger.
I've also read that this town has an annual Hodag Fest, which is actually has nothing to do with mythical animals. Instead, it's a country music festival!