Douglas, Wyoming claims to be the “Official Home of the Jackalope.” Throughout the west one can find jackalopes in shops and statues of them. They even have a Jackalope Days in June.
According to legendsofamerica.com, “The jackalope is said to be an antlered species of rabbit, sometimes rumored to be extinct. One of the rarest animals in the world, it is a cross etween a now extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer rabbit. The antlered species of rabbit are brownish in color, weigh between three and five pounds and move with lighting speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.
Apparently the first jackalope was spotted in 1829 near the area of Douglas by explorer John Colter, one of the first white men to venture into what would later become the State of Wyoming. He was part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Colter was also the first known man of European descent to enter into what is now known as Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
Many believe that the jackalope is really nothing more than a gimmick concocted by a certain Douglas Herrick and his brother Ralph. In 1939 they were on a hunting trip and returned with a dead jack rabbit. Ralph threw the rabbit on the floor and it slid right up against a pair of deer antlers. Ralph noted that it looked like a rabbit with horns on it. Douglas, who was a taxidermist, decided to mount it. Since that time hundreds have been made and can be seen in shops, taverns and other places, mainly in the western US. There are post cards in almost every Western state.
The town of Douglas has four or five large statues, including the 8 foot tall one at the train museum. Besides the Jackalope Days event, the City of Douglas issues Jackalope hunting licenses, but, apparently, you can only get a license if you have an IQ of less than 72 and you can only hunt between midnight and 2 AM on June 31st.