The Inside-Out Museum 2: Cabela’s in Maine

August 8, 2013 — Earlier this year, I posted about my first visit to a Cabela’s, the North American outdoorsman retail chain/nature museum. You go in, you buy a rabbit-fur lined hat, a 20-gauge shotgun, and some chocolate-covered bacon, all the while marveling at the taxidermied polar bears and lions and moose and other aspirational corpses. That store was in Connecticut, but since that time I’ve been able to hit up a second one, in Maine.


I’m MacGyver when it comes to guns, just generally uncomfortable with them unless they’re in the hands of RoboCop, the Waco Kid, or any of Charlie’s Angels, but I dig me some taxidermy. And to be able to see a varied and impressive collection of it for free while I pick up clothes in that special shade of orange that I’m trying to make go mainstream is just a bonus.

Of course, the store has camping stuff and winter weather stuff and fishing stuff and other outdoors stuff besides projectile grommeting.

Now, not that I want to compare Cabela’s against each other, but in many ways the two stores that I visited were the same, still like an inverted nature museum, with the gift shop taking up 90% and the exhibits 10%. Sorry, I felt like I needed to explain the post title again.

The main difference is that the Maine store was only one floor, so its main-feature mountain o’ taxidermy was smaller, and the large freshwater aquarium moved to the back of the store instead of under the mountain. But there was still an equally cool array of exotic pieces and, most cool, a sizeable carnival-style shooting gallery in the back. The kind that uses lasers to hit targets to make objects in the environment move. Hit the right target and make snake slither or a can dance or a bell ring or an old guy in a rocking chair rock.

If that last one were true of all guns, I’d be much more comfortable with them.


Anyway, I don’t want to be a lost soul swimming in a fish bowl running over the same old ground, but I did want to post a few pictures from my second Cabela’s jaunt. Although I am highly aware that between these two Cabela’s pieces and the one on the Kittery Trading Post, I’ve exhausted this subgenre of oddity unless on my next visit they all go Jumanji on me. As far as posting about them anyway. I’ll still stop by every single time I come across one.






This jerky was the size of a piece of notebook paper. Wanted to write
this entire post on it and then scan it into the computer.










9 comments:

  1. There is seriously more taxidermy in Cabela's than in the mammals section of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. It's kind of disturbing. Did you notice that the hand dryers in the restrooms are also camo patterned?

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  2. I'm guessing you meant to write 20 gauge shotgun, or .22 caliber rifle.

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    1. Thanks. Changed it in the article.

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    2. You're welcome. If you're ever in PA again, you should check out the Cabela's in Hamburg. It's not too far from Hershey.

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    3. Definitely will. I run through PA pretty regularly and one day hope to really give it the exploration it deserves.

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  3. That's cool. Any chance for an appearance/book signing in the Lehigh Valley area?

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    1. Probably not on the immediate horizon. I'm pretty sporadic with my appearances and don't usually stray too far from home. At this point, anyway.

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  4. Last question: Have you toured the Edgar Allan Poe house in Philadelphia? It’s closed for the summer for restoration work, but I’m thinking of checking it out in the fall.

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    1. Not yet. I was in Philly a couple months back, but, like you said, it was closed. I'll definitely be checking it out come Fall, though.

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