Are the taxidermied animals at Cabela’s real or reproductions?

I’ve been to the Cabela’s sporting store several times and am always surprised to see the number of stuffed animals have in their collection. There is an elk and raccoons and turkey, etc. are everywhere. although I’m not a vegan, but would love to be one, I’m somewhat appalled at the idea that these animals are real. The gratuitous use of trophy animals on this scale in a nationwide franchise, meaning in every store, is shocking.

I was especially bothered at my local Cabela’s when I saw a family of black bear. There was a mom, dad, and two or three cubs . I don’t know if they were shot together or separately but it just seemed over-the-top to use real animals as trophies in the store. I really hope they’re just reproductions.

7 Answers

  1. Dan, when they opened the Cabela’s in Ft Worth the company ran ads in the local papers asking for taxidermy pieces for the store. They offered reasonable prices and anyone who sold a piece had to sign documentation that the animals were legally harvested. When I inquired about about a couple of my pieces they were very concerned about the African mounts and I had to produce documents fro the guide service or PH that these were taken under the applicable hunting laws.

    They do have some replicas of some animals, birds and most of the fish are replicas. They also get permission in some states to exhibit state owned pieces or seized pieces like polar bears or protected species that died of natural causes or injuries and were taxidermy objects done by state or conservation groups.

  2. they are real

  3. The taxidermy is not fake. At least most of it. Some of it like fish and some birds maybe fake.

    A lot of those collections in those stores are from various points in history that were either bought or donated by various individuals or groups. My Cabela’s has taxidermy from the 1950s and 1960s. As well as newer examples.

    I prefer the taxidermy in Cabela’s over bass pro.

  4. Yes, they are real. A lot of those are donated to the store by benefactors or estates.

    Not all of them are hunted, however. Some are roadkill, or died of natural causes and we’re taken in for taxidermy.

    If it messes with you so bad, then don’t shop there. The world doesn’t owe you squat for your emotions.

  5. Yes, those are real animals that have been preserved through taxidermy. Most of them were legally hunted but a few may have died of natural causes or other things such as being hit by cars or something. In the case of animals that were hunted their meat was harvested and used while the taxidermy process preserved mainly their skin & fur for the trophy.

    There are a few exceptions – for example the 2 Cabela’s stores near my house have a Bald Eagle and an Orca Whale – both of which are fake because they’re both endangered and cannot be hunted.

    If that bothers because you have an irrational objection to people killing their own food instead of paying other people to do it, then don’t shop at cabelas. I’m sure they’ll miss you.

  6. It doesn’t bother me at all… least they don’t have a restroom ID problem there. The men go to the men’s and the ladies go to the ladies…

  7. Those “trophies” are nothing but skin over a form, the rest of the animal was eaten by the hunter. The bear cubs were not shot since that’s illegal in every state. They most likely were hit by traffic and the carcasses were saved to display. It never ceases to amaze me at how strong the opinions of the uninformed are. In the USA a “trophy” animal is not just decapitated and left to rot, the entire animal must be used. That elk you saw was eaten, the hide was cured and stretched over a form. Those turkeys you saw were eaten, the skin and feathers were stretched over a form. And yes, in some cases the stuffed animals are fakes manufactured for retail display.

Relevant information

Moncton — It’s a sad day for outdoor enthusiasts with the Moncton Cabela’s location closing less than three years after the store opened.

Bass Pro Shops bought Cabela’s in 2016. Today Cabela’s customers were turned away, and directed toward the Bass Pro in Champlain Place for all their fishing- and hunting-related purchases.

As laid-off employees mulled transfers to the Dieppe Bass Pro or the Halifax Cabela’s, the question on everyone’s mind was what would become of the closing store’s stuffed wildlife.

“We weren’t sure what to do with all these lifeless critters,” said Cabela’s spokesperson Nate Barrington. “They’re part of the family too, and we didn’t want to just dump them in the Chocolate River or something. Thank heaven the good people at Magnetic Hill Zoo called us this morning and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

Magnetic Hill is “adopting” all of the stuffed creatures, from bears, to mountain goats, wolves, and elk.

“Not sure why we hadn’t thought of this before — we could have been displaying local taxidermists’ handiwork for years alongside our more traditional ‘living’ animals,” zoologist Renée Parks told The Manatee.

“The zoo can’t afford to get new real animals these days, with attendance numbers down and the rising costs of feeding and keeping them alive,” said Parks. “Honestly, zoo patrons won’t even notice the difference. Our animals are pretty listless this time of year anyway, just lying there looking miserable and dead-eyed.

“The stuffed ones will probably be more believable as actual animals.”

Trapper Joe Jardine of Mountain Road expressed his dismay at the closure of Cabela’s.

“I love this place and I’ll be sad to see it go — best spot to get live traps and any gear ya need. But part of my reason for shopping here was that I got to look at all those exceptional taxidermy jobs, got to see that permanently bright sheen to their coats, and admire their the pointy teeth forever bared. It is quite a consolation that I can still go visit them all at the zoo.”

The zoo, however, will be raising its entry fee to $50 per person.

“Well, c’mon, these new animals we’re getting are of much higher quality,” reasoned Parks. “Our pricing will reflect that improvement.”


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