Shoshone, Idaho: Another Ice Cave, Dead ThingsMaybe not quite as frigid as some other area ice caves, but it compensates with its own homespun taxidermy museum.
Idaho's Mammoth Cave
Visitor Tips and News About Another Ice Cave, Dead Things
The road sign says Mammoth Cave. It was discovered by the Gwen brothers -- it is also known as the Gwen Caves. The Museum of Taxidermy Animals is now housed in a round, lava rock-shaped building, constructed in 2004-2005 by Mr. Olson. It is an interesting place to stop and get out of the heat. Mr. Olson (who also runs a wild boar hunt in the area) has done an outstanding job putting the museum together in the high desert of Shoshone.[Janeen, 12/25/2006]
There is another ice cave just south of the Shoshone Ice Cave on the same highway in southern Idaho. The cave is not that big of a thrill, but the proprietors and the adjacent "museum" certainly qualify as something different.
A weathered billboard points the way to a strange A frame home, surrounded by pigs, chickens, turkeys, pheasants, tusked boars, and lots of cats. A woman in her mid 50s eventually comes from behind the house and leads you to a museum in a leaky 1930s equipment shed. Inside there is all manner of dead animals, displayed in no particular order. Her husband just liked killing and stuffing things. After he had finished with them, it looks like he just threw them down at the first available spot. He eventually ran out of room, but just kept piling more dead things on top of other dead things. Many exotic animals reached southern Idaho, all of which he stuffed and added to his collection.
After the tour of the ice cave, the woman invited my two daughters behind her house and had them holding and petting wild coyote pups. Her husband had recently killed the mother. Makes you wonder what the pups have to look forward to when they get a little older.[quig, 03/28/1998]
Coincidentally, there used to be a Wild Game Museum nearby in Shohone featuring the many animal trophies of Leora Coffey, "Big Game Hunter of the World." Leora gave personal tours. "I shot this gazelle's eyes out," she'd chuckle, "and here's an Eye-dee-ho bear I killed and here's a Wil-dee-beast I killed." Reported closed in the late 1980s.