The Real Stuffed Animals

On our way back from Virginia we stopped at Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA. For those of you who don’t know Cabela’s it’s like one of the largest outdoor outfitters. The place is enormous and amazing! An aquarium full of all sorts of fish, a large mountain right in the center with deer, bears, goats, beavers, etc. An African safari area with wildebeests, elephants, and lions. The boys were just in awe. Heck, I was in awe. I think this is one of Logan’s favorite parts of the trip, making this stop at what he calls “the fishing store.” He actually made us a map to let us know how to get to my brother’s.

Note the "fishing" store

All of the animals are displayed in their little environment. Polar bears with arctic foxes. Giant grizzlies and salmon. A giant moose, which I loved! But then the reality set in. All of these animals that my children and I are looking at are all dead, hunted animals, and I was kind of bummed. Then on the other hand we were able to get up close and admire these beautiful animals. I am sure that these animals were hunted for meat and fed many people, and their beautiful coats were displayed here for years and years. Still, it was kind of sad. I thought it might phase my animal-loving boys, but no. Not even the moose laying on the ground with the big brown bear pouncing on it. My husband and I talk to the boys about nature and balance, and the circle of life. The grass feeds the antelope, yada, yada. My boys are taught about the love and respect for animals, and they get in trouble for chasing the dogs with their pirate swords. But I still can’t get over how they didn’t get super sad. Just an “Oh mom that lion must have been hungry!” At age 6 and 4 they get it.

I know some out there may be absolutely appalled and disgusted but, all in all I enjoyed looking at all the animals with my little “kings of the wild frontier.”

Deacon Crockett

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6 responses

  1. Hahaaahaaaa! I love Deacon’s hat! My kids love that kind of stuff too and are generally too excited to see them up close and personal to really think about the dead part and being sad about it.

    I agree though, it can be hard for the adults not to feel a little sad. It is for me at least. I am not a hunter and don’t really like to eat game meat so for me hunting is a no brainer. Don’t hunt if you don’t eat it. I am sure the meat was eaten and the furs were and WILL be enjoyed for years to come.

  2. That place is a little scary! We ended up in a Cabela’s to buy a crab trap last year and there was some kind of display with a dummy wearing camouflage riding an ATV and wearing a mask type thing, maybe also holding a gun–my two year old took one look and LOST it. Screaming, running away, terrified. We didn’t have time to check out (or ponder the origins of) the cute animals. And we probably won’t take the kids back in there for a long, long time!

  3. You will have to give me pointers on explaining the circle of life. I am the one that is against hunting, baiting, etc – but love a hamburger. Also, I LOVE the pic of Deacon!

  4. We love Cabela’s! We get our “fix” when we make our trip to Minnesota every other year. I think it’s a great way to kill some time and give the kids a real close-up view of animals they’d never get to see that close otherwise.

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