Animal Heads, Elk, Wolves, Deer and other Random Notes from the Road

A few notes from recent travels in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota …

Darby, Montana: I spent 20 minutes talking with Jimmy The Hat Man and what a quality hat maker he is. He has a brass contraption that straps onto your head for taking the perfect measurement. Impressive. Previous clients include George W. Bush and Miss Rodeo Montana.

Elk Hunt Numbers in Darby, Montana

Hunt Numbers in Darby, Montana

Darby, Montana: apparently these elk hunt numbers are down. The locals say the wolves ate them all. They also told me rumors of wolves eating the stomachs out of pet dogs. One thing is for sure in Montana – everyone has a wolf story.

west side of Jackson, Wyoming: as I headed for Jackson from West Yellowstone I missed a right turn in Ashton, Idaho that caused me an hour delay, which frustrated me. Back on my way and about to enter the pass into Jackson, there was a barricade. The gas station clerk said there had been an avalanche – one hour earlier.

Thermopolis, Wyoming: good hot springs here, though I still rank ones in Alberta and Chile higher. While doing an evening soak in 30 degree weather twelve deer wandered into the yard. Very peaceful to sit in steaming water and watch the deer graze.

Thermopolis, Wyoming: After the soak I headed inside for dinner and was blown away. Every available square inch was covered by the head of an animal. African animals, Wyoming animals, unidentified animals. Must have been 200 of them. Amazing. If you are going to decorate with animal heads, this is how to do it. Go all the way.*

Thermopolis, Wyoming: I met a lead singer for a bluegrass band and tried to think of a bluegrass song. John Denver is NOT bluegrass. What about “Dueling Banjos”? “Yes,” she said, “but you don’t want to play that one at a bluegrass festival.”

somewhere on an eastern Wyoming highway: I saw a road-kill deer on the side of the road. Nothing too unusual, but someone had cut off its head. A headless deer!

I had a table at the Yellowstone Ski Festival and told some people from Wyoming about this. They explained that while this isn’t regular behavior for Wyomites, this deer probably had a very good rack.

Custer, South Dakota – Interesting fact from a veternarian: did you know antibiotics don’t work well at all on buffalo? This is good because ranchers have no choice but to treat them decently so they don’t get sick in the first place. Contrast this with cattle raised in conditions where they are basically guaranteed to get sick, but the antibiotics let them survive until slaughter.

Rapid City, South Dakota: I was in the area and decided to see Mount Rushmore. I paid $10 and, in 5 degree weather with bitter 30 mph winds, marched through the line of state flags to see this national treasure. This is what I saw.
Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

*I currently have a very nice buffalo shoulder mount available to get your collection started. Email me about this.

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More posts in this category: Life in West Yellowstone

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