For the last 150 years, the legend of the mysterious jackalope has been kept alive in the American west. It is said that a man from Douglas named Roy Ball, commonly referred to as “an occaisionally sober trapper,” first reported a sighting in 1829. The original jackalopes had the body of a large jackrabbit and the horns of an antelope. They were known to reach 150 pounds. Because one has never actually been captured in the wild, not much is known about these strange and often menacing creatures.
What is known is that back in the 1880s, a herd of giant jackalopes wiped out an entire settlement near Douglas and several moving wagon trains. Other sketchy information implies that they mate during lighting flashes, like to pull barbed wire off fences and love the taste of whiskey. (The practice of baiting jackalopes with whiskey has been banned as reports of drunken brawls between various furry creatures is on the rise.)
Yet, the days of the huge, hurculean hares has ended. Though almost totally extinct, some still report sightings of smaller, jackrabbit-sized jackalopes. Though we all know that most cowboys are sauceheads, here’s word from the range: although today’s jackalope is smaller than its kin of yesteryear, they are smarter and have even been known to imitate the human voice.
Every year in June, Douglas pays tribute to its unique heritage at Jackalope Days. The event is sanctioned by Wyoming Governor Ed Herschler, who has coined Douglas “Home of the Jackalope.” While there are plenty hungover cowpoke on the lookout for the ever elusive jackalope that is said to show up every year and create havoc, most people just come for the good, clean fun. For the kids, there’s the Mini-Monster Truck Obstacle Course; for the ladies, some serious competition at the Mud Volleyball Tournament; for the men, a Motorcycle Show and Rally; and for the random losers, a Greased Pig Money Run. And don’t forget to get your picture next to a 9-foot statue of a jackalope created by a local named Leonard Lore.
When: June every year
Where: Douglas, WY, U.S.A.
More Info Please: For more info call 307/358-2950 or visit www.jackalope.org.