Lou Wyman is dedicating the upstairs at the Wyman Museum at 94350 E. Highway 40 in Craig to game trophies. The collection is starting small, but the idea is to display local game shot by local hunters. Wyman is encouraging community members to contact the museum if they have mounts to display.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Lou Wyman is dedicating the upstairs at the Wyman Museum at 94350 E. Highway 40 in Craig to game trophies. The collection is starting small, but the idea is to display local game shot by local hunters. Wyman is encouraging community members to contact the museum if they have mounts to display.

Heads on a wall

Wyman museum to display local trophy head exhibit

If you want to donate:

What: Trophy heads

When: Anytime

Where: Wyman Museum, Craig

Call: 824-6346

— Climbing the flight of stairs that leads to the newly constructed loft atop the Wyman Museum, it's hard not to notice the dozen or so eyes watching.

It's a large space, about 1,000 square feet that overlooks the enormous collection of historical items gathered through the years by Lou Wyman.

Below, everything is old.

Above, everything is new.

The eyes aren't those of people watching; they are the eyes of trophy heads mounted on a wall.

A buffalo, a mountain goat, a couple of white-tailed deer, a mule deer and a cinnamon-colored black bear, gaze about with glass eyes.

The Wyman Museum plans on mounting many more animals throughout the next month, as they will open an exhibit dedicated to displaying the success of local hunters' chosen sport.

The idea was pitched to Lou Wyman by John Ponikvar, who also came up with and promoted Craig being branded as the "Elk hunting capital of the world."

"I think it would be a great asset to the people of Craig to have a wildlife exhibit," Ponikvar said. "I've gone out of my way to stop at the display in Wiggins, and I thought why not have one here?"

Ponikvar said Wyman jumped at the idea, and the man who owns the museum is excited at the opportunity.

"It's a great way for local hunters to get the chance to show off their accomplishments," Wyman said. "And it will also give hunters from out of town a glimpse at what they came here to shoot at. You can compare your best to our best."

The museum is calling on all local hunters who might have a mount stuffed away somewhere that need a place to hang their heads.

"We are looking for the big ones," Wyman said. "We aren't interested in the little ones. As the bigger ones come in, they will replace the smaller."

If you are interested in displaying that prized kill, but you are torn between keeping it and donating it, don't worry. Wyman doesn't plan on keeping them.

"You don't have to give them to us," he said. "We are just taking them on loan until a bigger one comes along, or until you want it back."

Wyman and Ponikvar both mentioned they have talked to area hunters who have mounts stored away and hidden from view.

"This is a way to have the community participate in marketing the area," Ponikvar said. "Dig out those mounts you have hidden away and put them into the view of people who would really appreciate them."

Wyman has plenty of space. Three walls have been designated for use in the upstairs loft and only half of one wall is being used.

"We want to have a game-type atmosphere," Wyman said. "We plan on having the best display in all of Northwest Colorado. You shoot 'em and stuff 'em, we'll hang 'em."

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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