Only a few generations ago, great herds of America's big game animals once roamed free on the northern plains known as The Great Northwest. It was a sportsman's paradise, as the saying goes, and still is, for the most part. Most of the big predators have retreated to the high mountain wilderness away from humankind, the buffalo no longer roam as they please, but the pronghorn and eagle are still free to wander the open country. The big game of the plains and the elusive mammals of the mountains, all are rare sights and a catch worth bragging about.

So it is that the huntsmen desired some proof for their tall tales, a foothold in the passing years and fadings of memory. From the fireside comfort of hindsight the taxidermist works his art, retelling tales of adventures past, the sun warming the high plains and the wind in the grass. (Whether you trust the hunter's memory to be true to reality or simply a fish tale is another matter.)

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