We sometimes wonder what is real and what is not, especially when or leisure time, like mine, is often spent watching 'Beyond Belief, Fact or Fiction” and Moster Quest; and some of my leisure reading includes Piers Anthony's Xanth novels, which are filled with centaurs, harpies, dragons, and other fantastic creatures.

These are the unexplained things in our world, but I am here to give some explanations to some 'illusions' that are found in the taxidermy world.

To back up some. I work for a taxidermist, and I was married to another for over 20 years. (One friend said I was the only person she knew that had relationships with two taxidermists, as my current boss is also a very close friend). Anyway, I am well versed in the art.

Last week, Feb. 2015, I answered the phone at work, one of my jobs, and a man on the other end wanted me to, basically, set his girlfriend straight. Okaaaay. Maybe. I didn't want to start a fight here.

“Are jackalopes real or are they just something a taxidermist dreamed up?” The man asked.

CV-Jackalope I explained to him that, even though his girlfriend had read about them on the internet, they were not.

However, a jackalope, as seen today, has DEER horns, not antelope horns. Not sure where they got the name 'jack-a-lope' The real story from Legends of America site.

So, there you have it, the myth and the straight scope. Jackalopes do not exist. At least, I have never seen one. I take that back, I guess I have seen a few doe jackalope, they don't have horns.

However, they have a following, and you can buy jackalope milk, (suppose to make one stronger and more, well, whatever.) Jackalope hunting licenses, (often see under a full moon if you drink enough moonshine.) And you can buy mounted jackalope, and even jackalope skulls. Some people go to any length to perpetrate the legend.

For the largest collection of jackalopes in the world, or so they say and I believe them, try the Exxon County Store in Dubois, Wyoming. Lots and lots of jackalopes.



 The furry trout is actually international, as Iceland has a legend about it as well.

  The Truth: A taxidermy furry trout produced by Ross C. Jobe is a specimen at the Royal Museum of Scotland. It is a trout with white rabbit fur "ingeniously" attached. There are no real examples of any fur-bearing trout species.

Still, if I were a Wyoming trout, I would like a fur coat, swimming in that cold water, brrr.   I have some friends who are ice fishermen, I'd love to see the look on their faces......


The Powder River Owl is another taxidermy novelty, that is simply a deer or antelope butt with eyes and sometimes teeth added. I could not find just when that oddity started, but it was obviously from someone with too much time on their hands.

The art of illusion. It is amazing what can be done with hides and feathers and horns.   And it is amazing what people believe sometimes.

Let it be known, for the record, I tried to get some photos, but, true to the supernatural nature of the above, I was unable to snap the digi-cam fast enough to get the photos. Sorry.

But, this world is full of wonders, and some of the living creatures on earth, such as the platypus, or the   goblin shark, the hawk-moth, (that looks like a hummingbird), the narwhal, the okapi, and Muchkin cats. So, even if the above don't exist, there are enough real, live strange critters around us.