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Jackalopes Legends and Oddities

Jackalopes Legends and Oddities

The Jackalope
The jackalope is a wonderful, fictitious little mammal first imagined by bored cowboys on cattle drives a long time ago. The cross of a jackrabbit and antelope make for some very amusing pictures. Which is why even today the jackalope is the topic of many postcards, t-shirts, and other gifts out west.


Jackalope Facts
Is the Jackalope real or mythical? You can be the judge!

The Jackalope has many names and the following are just a few: Jack Hare, Jack-a-Rabbit, Jackahorn, Jackadeer, Deerbunny, Bunnybuck, Texas' Little Loch Ness Monster, Jackelope, Jackolope, Jack-o-lope, Jack-a-lope or Jackalop, however you spell it has been studied by the scientific community over the past 400 years. Since then it has been proven that the unusual horned protrusions on the animal were caused by a rare carcinoma, (maybe).

Jackalope postcards have been available since the 1930's!

Several American towns have offered jackalope hunting licenses as novelties.

Douglas, Wyoming, has an annual festival, "Jackalope Days", on the second Friday and Saturday of June each year.

The Governor of the State of Wyoming in 1985 proclaimed Douglas to be the "Home of the Jackalope."

Mounted heads of jackalopes are offered for sale at truck stops, roadside restaurants and on websites.

The jackalopes are displayed all over the country in barbeque restaurants, drug stores, souvenir shops and one drug store (Wall Drug on the edge of the South Dakota Badlands!) has a six-foot fiberglass jackalope one displayed.

Even a U.S. President has owned a mounted jackalope.

There are many websites devoted to jackalopes and they are occasionally covered in popular articles.

Like snipe hunts, jackalope hunts have been used as a ritual form of hazing in rural communities all across America


Jackalope Orgins

If you encounter the rare fabulous Jackalope you should be
advised not to approach it as it has been known to attack without warning! Where did it originate? Some say Douglas, Wyoming and others claim College Station, Texas! The jackalope, a cottontail or domestic rabbit or jackrabbit mounted with the horns of a young antelope, deer or goat is commonly believed to have originated in the folklore of the American West.

The first sightings were in Germany in the sixteen hundreds?

A obituary in The New York Times attributes the origin of the American Jackalope to Douglas Herrick, a native of Douglas, Wyoming, in 1939?

Kreider and Bartlett (1981) also note: "Horned jackrabbits and cottontail rabbits were known to the pioneers of the western plains and were first described in popular hunting and fishing magazines in the early 1900's.

Ernest Thompson Seton published in 1909 his "Life-Histories of Northern Game Animals", in which he included a drawing of the head of what was certainly a mounted jackalope. Seton also reported seeing diseased cottontail rabbits in the American West that had growths resembling horns.

Perhaps immigrants to the U.S. from Europe brought the idea of the horned hare with them and this has evolved into our modern jackalope. This notion is strengthened by the fact that illustrations of horned hares were included in the Encyclopedia Methodique (1782-1832) and in some 18th century German schoolbooks.

The Persian scholar, Zakariya Ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini (1203-1283) produced a geographic dictionary, Kitab 'aja'ib al-makhluqat wa-ghara'ib al-mawjudat, (Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing) in which he presented a legend about Alexander the Great's adventures on an island in the China Sea, "Tinnin". Alexander is said to have helped the islanders to kill a dragon by feeding it poisoned cattle. The grateful islanders gave Alexander several gifts, including a large and ferocious yellow animal with black spots and a dark horn. Although al Qazwini did not give the animal a name, other medieval Muslim scholars copied his manuscript and called the animal "al Miradj", a horned hare.

Far older reference to a horned hare (Lepus cornutus in Latin) was painted by Joris Hoefnagel in the late 1570's.

All the above stories of orgin of the jackalopes are fun and interesting but the real orgin is an "True Story" (Well, maybe not!) but it was written by Caddylak Maxy and Edited by Doctor Christmas. Sources for this story include Anne Dingus' "The Truth About Texas". This "Almost Famous and True Story" follows:

Legend of the Jackalope

The Jackalope is one of America's most famous cryptic critters and hunter's "wanna-have-one" wall mounts. If you precisely follow a long established, not so common, culinary procedure, the Jackalope is a deee-lishus eatin' little varmint. Sightings are few, but the Jackalope, Texas' little Loch Ness Monster, has been caught in a few rare photographs over the years depicting these rabbit-like creatures in all their antlered glory.

The origin of the Jackalope has always been clouded by public dispute and intellectual opinions, arguments and strife but, if the truth be known, it was a Texas Aggie scientific experiment gone amuck.

Sometime during the early 1960s, a battery of Aggie scientists attempted to cross a Jackrabbit with a deer, an antelope, and an elk to provide an animal that would reproduce quickly and be equally suited for purposes of hunting, eating and exporting as a profitable commodity.

The first attempt, between an American Elk and a Jackrabbit and the second attempt, between a Pronghorn Antelope and a Jackrabbit failed (producing stillborn non-hoppity wabatti); but the third attempt between an Whitetail Deer and Jackrabbit succeeded to the delight of the Aggie scholarly team. Alas, their joy was short-lived. Within months the first and only successful crossbred Jackalope (Aggies name for the little hoppity wabatti creature) escaped from its Aggie creators and vanished into the wilds of the central Texas Plains and Hill Country.

To begin with, crazy things always happen because of the phenomena of the University of Texas and Texas Aggies' old college rivalry. This particular weekend was no different, spontaneously creating a non-sanctioned University of Texas libation driven Frat Rat "Round Up" Rush and G.D.I. party-hardy weekend panty raid. This impetuous retaliatory emotional prank was a response to the Aggies kidnapping and branding U.T.'s Mascot (Bevo the Longhorn Steer) with a 13-0 (an earlier football score with the Aggies being the winners) upon his old bovine rump. This patriotic crusade for the Maggie (a nickname for Aggies of the female gender) panties was lead by "Doctor Christmas" Randy Rogers and consisted of Stewart "Ducky Log-Jam" DeVore, "Caddylak Maxy" Max Gathings, "Dizzy" Bob McCarroll, Jon Patrick "Big Liver" Mulligan, T.U. "Cowtown" Taylor, David "Beaver" Crowley, Johnny "Tab-Brave-Boy" Clarke, Sidney "Fat Pig" Gibson, Leslie "Trigger" Mendenhall, "Big Roy" Anderson, Louie "Greaseball" Sommers, DeeWayne "Bull" Gray, Ricky "Tonto" Ward, Greg "Corky" Gansert and other young academics that were the sons and followers of the Austin City's 4o Acres (nickname for U.T.'s campus).

These soon to be demoralized and embarrassed Texas fans in their pursuit of over-indulgence jollities initiated a serious targeted trek to College Station on behalf of old Bevo's honor. These motivated students and friends of U.T., with little knowledge of the Aggieland campus, found themselves staging their little firewater charged panty raid enthusiastically on the Aggie Animal Research Building instead of the desired ladies dormitory. In the throws of exhilarated passion, revelry and merrymaking and in the confusion of the moment, the little mutant Aggie-experiment made a freedom break from its imprisoned days of Aggie scientific probing, testing and examinations. As an escapee, our little furry horned Jackalope exiled itself to the forest, prairies and mountains to become a part of the legends and folklore of Texas and the American West.

Though the Aggie scientists sent out scores of searchers from its renowned corps, they were unable to recover this little cow pasture running critter. Only later did the scientists discover that they had mistakenly transplanted into the bunny-cum-deer both sex organs, rendering it hermaphroditic. Thus the Jackalope was able to reproduce in the wild, accounting for occasional sightings long after the estimated lifespan of the grandparent of them all.

Of course, being Aggies they misnamed the creature, which is indisputably a cross between a Jackrabbit and a Whitetail Deer. Strictly speaking, the varmint should have been labeled a Jackahorn, Jackadeer, or perhaps even a Bunnybuck, but not a Jackalope. Its antlers are the slender, many-branched horns of the deer, not the thicker, stubbier variety of the Pronghorn Antelope, which, unlike the deer, does not occur countywide

Another Jackalope"Almost True Story!"
The Legend The Jackalope (Lepus-temperamentalus) is one of the rarest animals in the world. A cross between a now extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit, they are extremely shy unless approached. None have ever been captured alive.

Known by the ancients as "deerbunnies", it wasn't until the early 1960's that the modern more fearsome name of "jackalope" was adopted.

Jackalope Attitude
The truth is these creatures are aggressive and unpredictable, and should not be provoked for any reason!

Jackalope Milk
It is written that you can extract the Jackalope's milk as it sleeps belly up at night. The milk is believed to be medicinal and can be used to treat a variety of afflictions.

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