This Desert Life – Jackalopes
Posted by Dan Draney on May 14, 2006
Contrary to popular belief The Great American Desert is not just a vast, desolate wasteland. It is literally teeming with creatures of all types, from the mundane to the exotic. The most prized trophy among local big game hunters is the fierce and wily jackalope.
The hunting of jackalopes is not for the faint of heart, and a successful hunt is extremely rare. Wikipedia notes that President Ronald Reagan “had a rabbit head with antlers, which he referred to as a ‘jackalope,’ mounted on his wall. Reagan liked to claim that he had caught the animal himself. Reagan’s jackalope hangs on the ranch’s wall to this day.”
The origins of the jackalope remain somewhat obscure, according to Wikipedia:
The jackalope is said to be a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit. Reportedly, jackalopes are extremely shy unless approached. It has also been said that the jackalope can convincingly imitate any sound, including the human voice. It uses this ability to elude pursuers, chiefly by using phrases such as “There he goes! That way!”. Although no jackalope has ever been captured alive, it is said that a jackalope may be caught by putting a flask of whiskey out at night. The jackalope will drink its fill of whiskey, and its intoxication will make it easier to hunt. It is also legend that the Cherokee Indians would eat these at the end of a vision quest.
There is also a card in the Magic: The Gathering game called Jackalope Herd. Fittlingly, the artwork for the card was done by Nebraskan, Ron Spencer. We also enjoy the “flavor text” for the card, “There’s little more demeaning than getting your butt kicked by a bunch of bunnies.” Just ask Jimmy Carter about that.