Them Jackalopes

Hi, Cecil,

You might also suggest to Fred that he take an expedition into the high Colorado Rockies and search for the illusive Fur-Bearing Trout.
The mountain lakes are so cold up there that the fish have evolved a fur coat as a survival strategy.
Prime specimens can be seen hanging in some of the gas stations and tourist shops in the Rocky Mountain National Park region.




By, “illusive”, do you mean “illusory” or “elusive”?
Powers &8^]

Maybe the jury’s out on which one , hence the intermediate spelling.

The first Jackalope I was was in a gas station in Wyoming. It was made with pronghorn horns on a jackrabbit. Being 11 years old and it being the first one I saw, I decided that was the ‘correct’ way to make a jackalope, and whitetail antlers were second-rate substitutes.

I meant “elusive.”
I’m a really bad speller and even Spell Check wouldn’t help in this case.
But actually, either spelling works here.

Thanks for pointing out the error, Powers.
(We’re enemies forever, of course.)


Actually, BMax, the only true Jackalope has the antlers of a Pronghorn Antelope.
You do see occasional specimens with deer horns. These aren’t Jackalopes; they’re Buck Bunnies.
Let’s try to keep the classification scientifically accurate here.

Glad to know my assumption was correct. I was obsessed with searching for bigfoot at the time, so the jackalope took a distant second place in my mind.

Apparently prong horns are hard to find and or/not manufactured like deer antlers. All the jackalopes I’ve seen for sale in the past 20 years have deer antlers.

The jackalope is the New World version of the wolpertinger. Hunting lodges in Bavaria have been putting antlers (and even wings) on rabbits and hares since ancient times. The Romans loved them. Great souvenir to brag that you have been hunting in Bavaria, plus the Bavarians, ever the practical jokers, probably loved pulling the legs of their noble guests.

Thanks, waddlingeagle. The wolpertinger is a new one for me.
I wonder what other deliberately fake animals have been foisted on the gullible. I’m sure there are others out there.
The subject might make a successful TV show on the Discovery or History Channels. They cater to just about any pseudo-scientific “search” for Big Foot, Lake Monsters, etc., etc. They just might go for a topic like this.
I’m sure there’s money to be made! The pseudo-scientist con-artists are making a bundle.

I did not intend to point out an error. “Illusive” properly means “illusory”, but a lot of people confuse it with “elusive” and I wasn’t sure which one you meant, as either meaning would work in your statement.
Powers &8^]

When I wrote my comment I meant to say “elusive” and I did, in fact, misspell the word.
So, intended or not, you pointed out an error.

And I still hate you for it, Powers.
You’ll just have to live with that.


Which is how a lot of Americans would become aware of an ancient European analogue (predecessor?) to the Jackalope. World of Warcraft has seasonal “World Events” that represent that fantasy world’s equivalent to several real-world seasons, and Brewfest is the equivalent of Bavarian Oktoberfest. And one of the things you can do at Brewfest is purchase an in-game wolpertinger pet.

(I spelled it the way I intended this time, Powers.)

Talk of the wolpertinger for some reason reminded me of another imaginary animal from my youth, the Snow Snake.
This animal, like the Fur-Bearing Trout, lives in the high Rockies. It is, indeed, an unusual reptile in that it has evolved to live in the freezing snow drifts and bitter cold winds of a Colorado winter, the only reptile known to do so.
It is deadly poisonous.
It is also pure white, making it invisible to skiers and snow-shoe-ers, putting them in great danger.
To take precautions against the virulent poison, those determined to enjoy winter sports in spite of the risk are advised to carry a flask of rum and take frequent sips of this sure-cure to ward off the effects of a possible undetected snakebite.

After many winter outings in the high mountains I’m still around, so it obviously works.


It is probably no coincidence that the first taxidermists who made jackalopes are said to be of German descent.

The WoW wolpertinger is actually earned, not purchased, by completing a quest in which you thin the population of wolpertingers. The pink elek (a kind of elephant) is purchased.

The ultimate purveyor of such critters is Jackalope Jack’s in San Antonio, Texas. He carries jackalopes, wolpertingers, and numerous other fantastical creatures.

It would be a great subject. There are mermaids at Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe in Seattle, Washington. These have the heads and torsos of monkeys and the bodies and tails of fish.

I seem to recall that there are examples of actual scientists creating fake animals by mistake, such as mixing up dinosaur bones or, in one case, putting the head of a penguin on the body of another species of penguin.

Yeah, that would make a great TV show.

Is that because people of German decent are good taxidermists or that they like to play practical jokes?

In Yukon, Canada, my brother-in-law and I ran into something the Canadians displaying it on the wall of a roadside diner called: “a Corridor Owl,” in an area heavily traveled by Americans transiting Canada to interior Alaska.

It was a HUGE owl’s face, nearly round, about a foot across and with a large beak, glass eyes, and no ears, mounted on a plaque hung on the wall. The locals watched us closely as we stood in awe assessing it (pun intended), until we finally realized it was not at owl at all but a local I.Q. test for Americans.

The “owl” was, in fact, the south end of a north-bound Caribou, white fur trimmed off, beak and glass eyes added, and wholly convincing. Only when you consider the impossibility of what you are seeing, and note the grin-stifling behavior of the Canadians watching you ‘work the problem’ do you begin to consider other options. We played it with a straight face in discussing this “fine specimen” with the woman clerk at the cash register. It’s the only way to handle Canadians when they get like this.

They’re also quite common in Oregon too.