Day 115

The trophy wall

July 19th, 2010

I prefer the museum-like display above the dairy case, personally.


  1. Karen Too says:

    Okay, that’s more than a tad creepy, as I just said. It’s overkill, in too many ways.

    If that is a wolf hide, then that is the most disturbing part of it all.

    Before anyone gets up in arms, I understand that people hunt deer, and other animals, for food and sport, but last I checked not the others pictured here.

    Even if those died a natural death, perhaps they might have been displayed in a different manner, different place (if at all). It’s just a personal preference, not a judgment.

    • Gayle Opie says:

      The only thing in these two pictures not hunted for meat are the lion and the wolf — they are hunted because if there are too many of them, they can really reak havoc with the animals that people are raising for a livelihood. The rest are all game animals that are sources of food for the locals. I can’t say that I care for dead animals on walls but in an area where people take pride in their hunting skills, it is understandable, I guess. My dad and brother hunted when I was growing up but they never had any heads mounted.

    • MN Roxanne says:

      Personal preference agreed , Karen Too…. me too! All of this is not in good taste- in more ways than one…

  2. katzien in austin says:

    Right on Karen, I hear ya. I can’t appreciate the trophies. I just feel sad looking at them.

  3. Linda in Michigan says:

    My brother hunts for his family but they are responsible about it. They use the meat and I appreciate his skill at caring for his family. I too don’t mean it as a judgement but I don’t care to look at these. Ick!

  4. Neal D. says:

    Yes, that is a grey wolf hide. In Montana its legal to hunt up to 75 mature wolves and 200 in Idaho!

  5. Candice In Alabama says:

    No wonder Matt hasn’t seen any critters. They are all mounted on walls.

  6. Glenda says:

    the Boys and I found Matt walking about 10 miles east of Great Falls – today isn’t too bad heat wise and it looks like its gonna cool off a bit just right for a nice day’s walk. I’ll keep my comments to myself on what’s been mentioned above. All i’ll say is walk a mile in someone elses shoes and you may see things a little differently.

    • Barb C. says:

      Glenda are we finally going to meet you???? Matt send pictures. I agree with you. Me personally I don’t like to see mounted animals, but I do understand about the grey wolf killing the livestock. I’ve seen what the deer can do to corn and soybean crops. There has to be a balance in nature whether we humans like it or not.

    • Jeff says:

      amen to the footsteps. everyone is quick to judge and we all have our own opinions. As long as we keep things in perspective and non violent we would be a peaceful society.

      I suppoe you did a Matt drive by…..but if I am wrong..did you say hi for all of us???

  7. I think it’s nice and I’m an animal lover. You have to think of where this is at, what the culture is about there. It’s obviously a great hunting area and this is pride in what they’ve done. I get it. I think it’s great for a country store to have this there. City folk aren’t going to understand it as much. I personally don’t like hunting and don’t like guns. But for the people that do and for ones that this is their culture/food supply/ livelihood it’s proper. I love to camp and have seen similar stuff to this so it doesn’t surprise me to see this. In some ways it’s beautiful in others, it’s gross.

  8. deanna valenti meyer says:

    In this area (Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, etc.) this is commonplace. I remember the first time I went into a restaurant and they had a ton of stuffed heads all around me…I freaked out a little (being a city girl and all), plus, there were antler light fixtures everywhere. It’s just the way it is in the Ol’ West. It’s just something you have to accept (if you live there)….kind of like having to accept all of the plastic-y looking people in LA or Miami (which I thought was totally gross).

    What is most interesting to me is the different cultures you find all over these United States. It’s neat to learn about.

    • Gayle Opie says:

      When my family and I moved from South Dakota to Texas almost 20 years ago, we stopped in Amarillo for the night. We ate in a restaurant next to the motel. The waitress said, “Y’all can help yourselfves to the salad bar whenever you’d like.” My granddaughter (age 7) got upset when we had to tell her that her kids meal didn’t include the salad bar. She said, “But she said you all!” When we got to Dallas to my sister’s I tried to get my granddaughter to tell her about “y’all” but instead, she said, “Oh Aunt Alice, they had dead animals all over the walls!” She had never seen such a thing before. So it isn’t just WY, CO, MT, etc. But it certainly is very common in some areas.

    • Dan says:

      I agree Deanna – This is a Grand Country (Grand as in Large) with many different regional traditions, depending on where you grew up. I could not imagine living someplace where I could not escape night light and pavement. Matt has probably seen absolutely amazing night skies on his journey.

    • Barb V from Michigan says:

      Well said, Deanna. And loved the comparisons between Ol’ West trophies and LA/Miami trophies. Hilarious!

  9. Michelle says:

    And, there are times you have to kill to protect your livestock. Not advocating setting traps or leaving your own farm or ranch to go find the predators, but if you are calving and you see a coyote or wolf circling, you’d be a dang fool not to shoot.

  10. Don in Tennessee says:

    HEADS UP , Business is dead at this fine establishment. I say RACK um up and lets play some pool! OK it is to STUFFY to play pool! OH my DEER, I bet these animals drank some of that good 99.9% bottled water-to bad.


    This is the wild wild West. I am not a hunter, but as you all have seen (not a lot of fencing) cattle, horses and other livestock roam freely in many of these vast wide open places just like the wolvles, coyotes and other animals. If the preadotors are not kept at bay the livestock will be killed even more than they are now by these predators.

    Montana has some of the best hunting and fishing areas in the whole US. My younger brother goes fishing in Montana every year.

    I live in a subdivision and my house backs up to a 100 acre cattle farm and looks into the Great Smoky Mountains. The back of my lot ends at the fence for the farm. We see coyotes all the time. Cattle farmers use donkeys to keep the coyotes at bay from the cattle. Donkeys will kick coyotes to death.
    As for deer-their populations have to be kept in check as their would not be enough food for all of them to survive because of how they breed.

    Over the last several years elk have been reintroduced into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with some success. We have black bears wander into our area from time to time when berries are scare. Animals will seek food where ever they have to for survival.

    • Dan says:

      Don – In the mountain sheepherding country in South Central Montana, close to Yellowstone, they use donkeys and llamas with the sheep for the same purpose.

      • Don in Tennessee says:


        And they do a great job don’t they! I always knew there was a purpose for a jackass! Those sheep are BAAAAD!

      • Patty says:

        Same thing goes for goats – visited my sister and her family in San Fransico and took a road trip that went by a goat farm. In addition to all the many kinds of cheese for sale, they offer tours of the farm. When asked why there were a few llamas hanging out with the goats, the gal responded that goats aren’t too bright and don’t keep an eye out for coyotes and other predators. The llamas however are great for alerting the goat herd; the goats pick up on the llamas alarms and will take off running when the llamas bolt for the safety of the barns.

  11. Christine says:

    I love it. This is what is great about meeting new people in new places.

  12. Pacis says:

    Now put brown eyed Betsy the cow, Wilbur the pig, Brownie the chicken and Little Miss Bo-peep’s lamb up there and then what’s the big deal.

    Don’t really agree with the Wolf hunts. Maybe relocate them to more southern states to help with the out of control pig and deer populations. Since wolves were hunted out in most of lower 48, deep pop. has gone from 500k in the 1800’s to 25 million+. I guide and see hundreds of diseased deer while scouting and guiding during the season. We jokingly call Dept. of Fish and Game the Dept. of Famine and Fever because of rediculous game laws that cause massive over crowding.

  13. young says:

    In the mean time, I’ll keep hoping and dreaming for a future when we will be free from slaughtering and subjugating any of God’s creatures…

  14. Christine says:

    The Last American Cowboy is on Animal Planet right now. Cool show about Montana cattle ranchers.

  15. John in MI says:

    Not a hunter, but this really doesn’t seem to bother me. You want to know something gross, there’s a restaurant/pie shop not far from us here in MI, and they have their family dog stuffed and in the entry way. Now that does seem to bother me. Wild animals are one thing, family pets are another.

  16. Bev from Vancouver WA says:

    Venison stew or chili anyone, yummy. Or will it be duck or Christmas goose? I wonder if all the deer were taken by the same person or is he displaying his children’s and grandchildren’s first.

    • Don in Tennessee says:

      Bev from Vancouver WA

      Yes venison chill is good. So are ostrich burgers. They look rare almost raw when cooked because they are so lean. Buffalo burgers are good also!

      My favorite is cat at Chinese restaurants! (just kidding). I not eat Chinese food! I had to have my Turskish Angora solid white odd eye – (one blue and one green) cat put down last September. I still miss Casper, my friendly ghost.

      He was a great lap cat who never saw a stranger! I would love to have another one.

    • Don in Tennessee says:

      Bev from Vancouver WA

      The duck or Chrstmas goose reminds of – I which this every year several times (ROFL)

      • Bev from Vancouver WA says:

        Thnanks Don, I never seen that video before!

        I love making buffalo stew on a cold drizzly day here in the NW.

        • Don in Tennessee says:

          You mean to tell me you have never watched the Christmas story on TV? It is an old old classic about a boy who wants a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas-Chirstmas dinner gets spoiled (by ????) and so they have to go out to eat and the Chinese restaurant is the only place open!

          It is a classic from way back and it will make you laugh!!! I promise!

      • Gayle Opie says:

        My daughter’s favorite movie of all time, I think. She watches the marathon every Christmas and she also bought a copy of the DVD when it came out. Jean Shepherd wrote that. He also wrote The Great American Fourth of July which was made into a TV movie and was also very good.

      • Barb V from Michigan says:

        Chinese turkey! “It’s a beautiful duck. It really is. But you see, it’s smiling at me.”

        I love “A Christmas Story”! It’s a must-see in our house every Christmas. Some of Hollywood’s best quotes:

        Best version of “Deck the Halls” ever: Deck the harrs with bows of horry, Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra! ‘Tis the season to be jarry, Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra!

        “Fraa – geel- eee! Huh! Must be Italian!” (the word is “fragile”)

        “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

        So many quotes to choose from; they’re all my favorite! OK – enough fun… back to work!

  17. Don in Tennessee says:

    not which watch! DAH!

  18. Christine says:

    I order buffalo meat from My favorite is making italian meatballs with the ground. So tender, more than beef.

    • Barb V from Michigan says:

      Great resource! Thanks for sharing, Christine.

      • Christine says:

        I ordered one of everything, thinking I would be really into the steaks, various cuts. Nope, loved the ground, which I left for last. Now that is my preferred meatball making meat, not that I always have it. Glad I helped, Barb V from Michigan.

  19. Tonia says:

    I think the owner’s wife was like, “Oh hell no!! You’re not hanging those things in our house!!” So what other choice did he have, really?

  20. Jaimye says:

    I’ve been silently following Matt’s journey for a long time now, but I must speak up in defense of that poor wolf on the wall. And also because, as Christine says, this is what it’s all about–encountering different views.

    To me killing wolves is like killing elephants or dolphins–they are highly intelligent and have highly formed social structures like we do. Yet they don’t systematically kill out of malice or boredom or irrational fear or because we might inconvenience them sometimes — only humans do that. They deserve a break, even at the expense of a few livestock (though usually it’s wild dogs, not wolves, doing the killing). Because we take so much from nature already.

    so that’s why I respect Matt’s journey into the West, and his meeting all these different people with different views. I’ve been reading about wolves since I was a girl; Lord knows I’d have a real hard time keeping my mouth shut! :) Go Matt!

  21. Laurenis says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m not used to seeing this sort of thing on the wall out here on the East Coast, but seeing these heads and the skin/fur makes me sad :(

  22. Oaken says:

    Aint nothing wrong with showing off some trophies. You people just over think things. Its not like those animals have any spirtual powers to them… they are fur and bone. thats it.

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