THE THREE-FOURTHS INCH by three and three-quarters inch boxed display ad topping a For Sale column in the December 19, 2022, edition of The Galaxy grabbed my attention:
Awesome Alaskan Moose Head Mount
Call BJ or Troy at 507-248-xxxx* for details
My jaw dropped as my mind flashed back 40-plus years ago to a gathering I attended in The Galaxy readership area of south central Minnesota. I was young and single then and joined other young people at a house party hosted by roommates who were not named BJ or Troy. But the housemates did have a moose head mount, which I discovered upon a trip to the bathroom. It loomed large and menacing in a cramped room that barely fit a sink, toilet and old-fashioned bath tub. Towels hung from the moose’s antlers. I hurried to exit the bathroom and the watchful moose that was freaking me out.
Whether the house party moose hailed from the wilds of Alaska, I don’t know. Maybe. Probably. Where can you legally shoot a moose? And is a moose head mount really worth $4,500? Surely that must be a misprint. I wouldn’t pay $4.50 for it.
I’ve never liked seeing the heads of dead animals displayed anywhere. Not in a bathroom or a rec room. Not in a cabin or a restaurant, especially not in a restaurant. Not in a hardware store or grocery store or at a flea market. Not in a bank either. In the lobby of my banking institution, mounts ring the room. Once while waiting in line, I counted them (20-plus) and then told the teller how much I dislike dead deer heads.
I realize this is a personal grievance, that there are hunters among you and readers who view taxidermy as art perhaps or as trophy evidence of a successful hunt. I am simply not one of those people. And that’s OK. We all have different tastes, interests, preferences.
I won’t be calling BJ or Troy about that Alaskan moose head mount, which, in my opinion, will never fit the overused and meaningless word awesome. But perhaps someone will see the small display ad and think, “That’s exactly the statement towel rack I need for my bathroom. And it’s only $4,500.”
© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
*Note that I intentionally omitted the last four digits of the contact phone number.
I’m not a fan of heads on walls either, and your memory came back in an instant, I’m sure when you saw this ad.
You’re right on that. My memory of that bathroom towel rack instantly popped into my mind. That moose’s nose seemed inches from my face, at least in my mind.
Dead animals hanging on my walls? No way. It just makes me sad.
I certainly understand your feelings of sadness.
I’m with you 100%
Yup, no moose heads or deer heads or antelope heads or…for us.
Although I 100% support hunting game for sustaining a family, the mounted dead heads freak me out, too! We met friends who live remotely in Alaska and there’s a lottery held for the amount of moose allowed for harvest during the season. It’s a family affair, as they hunt (and fish) any and all proteins for their own survival and to share with neighbors. It’s for sustainability more than sport. We hope to take them up on their invitation to visit them and travel Alaska in the coming years. I’m curious to see if they hold value in a mounted moose head as an interior decoration.
There are many people who hunt for the exact reason you site. To feed themselves and/or their families. That I understand.
I can say I have been dripped on by a moose head wearing a sombrero while grabbing a bite to eat for lunch in small California town restaurant – eewwww! I babysat for a family and he had taxiderm galore throughout the house and I certainly felt watched – ha! Not my speed and to each their own. Never would think to use the antlers as a towel rack – new one for me – OMG! Happy Day – Enjoy
Oh, my, dripped on by a moose head! I would have left that restaurant immediately. What was the cause of that?
We just shifted the table and chairs and continued to eat our lunch. We never did figure it out.
Sounds like a good plan given that drippy moose.
Amusing! I assume you think its the same moose as the towel rack?
It very well could be.
LOL! I had a chance to visit the home of a good friend. Hanging above the massive fireplace in a historic home was the head of a beautiful Long Horn steer with a horn width of nearly 8 feet. When I jokingly asked the woman of the house of how he came to be placed there, she stated, her husband bought the steer to place on their property to become part of the environment (this is Texas after all). Upon arrival, the beast started tearing up the transport trailer, then gored the fence doing thousands of dollars of damage in just a few minutes. The wife called a halt to the process. When her husband arrived, he asked where his prize steer was. She showed him the living room (large than some small houses), and pointed above the fireplace. Hubby asked, “where is the rest of him?” She replied “in the freezer.”
“Why?” hubby asked. “He was stubborn, mean and was damaging my pretty fence and wild flowers”. I once hunted hogs until I figured out real fast that they were smarter than me. Trophys such as mounted heads take up way more space that I need for other uses and collect dust that I don;t need,
Oh, Gunny, I enjoyed your tall Texas story. You made me laugh. Thank you.
A popular current trend is the European mount. Instead of taxidermy the head is placed in a medium containing maggots. They eat the fur and flesh down to the bone. The skull is then bleached.
My son has a buffalo head in his old bedroom. Probably had it since he was seven. It is huge!
I thought I might hear from you, Larry. Interesting to hear of the current trend, which still would not appeal to me. A buffalo head in a bedroom…now that’s likely larger than a moose head.
After several (yes, more than one experience) houses where “the man” must have all his dead animals hanging on the walls, I vowed, Never Again!
There is something seriously wrong with having to display a show of what you killed for anyone entering your house or establishment. It is not sustainable or even respectful. So… I am NOT a fan!
Your opinion prompted me to remember a war story Dad shared from the front lines in Korea. I believe he would agree with your strong thoughts based on what he saw in war torn Korea and which is way too awful to write about here.
I can only imagine.
I like the fact that the bathroom moose was dual-purposed as a towel rack! Yes, a moose head in the bathroom does sound like someone was a little short on decorating ability, but they certainly did find a creative use for it!
Your post reminded me of the moose head that hung in one of the houses that I lived in while in college. It was there when I moved in, and I never thought to inquiry as to how it got there. It looked like it had been there for many years! I imagine that some college student’s mother was happy to finally get rid of it when her son decided that it would look good hanging in his college digs. In true college student style, it sported a classic beer can hat with the straws going into the moose’s mouth!
I am surprised that Minnesota does not have a moose hunting season. I’m pretty sure that they did when I lived there. Perhaps their heads were of high enough value to lead to overhunting! I do know for sure that North Dakota also had a season when I lived there. It was not unusual to hear about a moose sighting in the town where we lived.
I can just picture that moose head with the beer can hat in that college rental house in Bemidji. Now we share a moose head history.
My wife nearly inherited a stuffed jackalope as part of my father-in-law’s estate (I use the term generously). I don’t believe that it would have made past the nearest Goodwill store on the way to our house. Interestingly, one of his other daughters actually wanted it, so we graciously boxed it up and sent it to her. I would not be surprised if she still has it!
I would have for sure passed on the jackalope, too. Great decision to send it to the other daughter.