Hoofs, Horns, Antlers and Claws

An endowment from Richard E. and Dorothy Francis made possible this exhibit, which features specimens of ungulates (hoofed animals) hunted by Mr. and Mrs. Francis and other big-game hunters.  The collection is important for several reasons.  First, it offers a sense of the diversity of these mammals; second, it includes some animals that are now endangered; and third, it fosters discussion of the changing role of hunting in society.  For these and other reasons, the collection is an excellent teaching tool.

The KodiaK bear dominates the room and is the "& Claws" portion of the room's name.  It was shot in 1928 by a big-game hunter, Mr. Lafayette Taylor.  The mount stands 8 feet, 2 inches in height and would have weighed between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds when alive.  Mr. Taylor ket this specimen and many other hunting trophies in a private museum he constructed near his home in McDermott, Ohio. After his death in 1957, the specimen remained in storage until it was donated to our museum by Ruth Taylor Miller, a Miami alumna. It has been in our collection for more than half a century.  Read more fascinating details on the preparation of our Kodiak bear, compiled by an MU undergraduate as part of a class project.