There’s a lot of love for the mythical jackalope in Douglas, Wyoming. As the unofficial birthplace of the big-eared, horned creature from North American folklore, Douglas is the self-proclaimed “Jackalope Capital of the World.” It is home to several monuments that honor the fearsome critter, including the world’s largest, and former largest jackalope statues.
Jackalopes were first fashioned into the taxidermied decor in the 1930s when the Herrick brothers affixed antelope horns to jackrabbit carcasses and sold their creations to local hotels. The trend inexplicably caught on, and jackalopes―sometimes made with horns, other times with deer antlers—began popping up as wall mounts in Wyoming, South Dakota, and beyond.
The world’s largest jackalope was built in 1965 and once sat on a traffic island, but a car took it out in the 1990s. A similar 8-foot-tall concrete beast was erected in Jackalope Square, and it remained the largest until a 13-foot tall jackalope showed up on a hill overlooking the town. This animal’s glory was short-lived though; it was only a black silhouette, and the locals wanted something a little more substantial.
In 2007, two years after the jackalope was made Wyoming’s official mythical creature, the city bought a larger jackalope from a man in the northwest. This one, almost double the size of its nearby cousin, sits in front of the Douglas Railroad Interpretive Center.
The Douglas Chamber of Commerce offers Jackalope hunting licenses, but the hunting season is two hours a year. And although the newer and taller jackalope has overshadowed its predecessor, the world’s former largest jackalope still sits perched on its concrete pedestal, overlooking the town where it was first dreamed into existence.