If you’re in the process of redecorating and don’t have room for your trophy deer mount, or perhaps have an impressive collection of antlers that are just collecting dust, Thomas Talbot wants to hear from you.
“We’re looking for taxidermied heads, full mounts, pelts, or antlers,” explained Talbot, a volunteer for the Teton Valley Museum. “We usually make agreements with people to borrow their displays for five year intervals. We had a wonderful collection on loan for the last handful of years, but the owner decided it was time to display them in his own trophy room.”
The museum, which is north of Driggs near the fairgrounds, has a few permanent items in the collection including a beaver and a sandhill crane. They would like, however, to add examples of antelope, coyote, wolf, fox, white-tailed and mule deer, black bear, and moose. Talbot says they’re open to loans or donations of other species, too. “Ninety percent of our paid patrons are from out of state, and many of them have never had the opportunity to see any of our local wildlife up close. This is an exciting opportunity for them to do so.”
Talbot explained they would also like to offer antlers or pelts for visitors to be able to touch. The opportunity to interact with exhibits is often particularly compelling and exciting for young visitors, Talbot said.
In addition to exhibit content, the museum is also in need of volunteers. Talbot, who has been a volunteer for over 15 years, explained that experience is not required — anyone interested will receive all necessary training. “Mostly, your job is to answer questions and visit with the guests,” he said. “It’s really a lot of fun.”
Talbot loves that the museum allows locals and visitors to develop a deeper connection to Teton Valley. “The whole history of the valley is there,” he reflected. “All of the historical brands, a veterans tribute, there are just so many fascinating things.”
To contact Talbot about volunteer opportunities or taxidermied animals you have to share, call (208)705-6572.