Venturing into the Wild ~ Deb Mart, Great Falls Police Department
During the MTLEIRA 2010 fall conference, a group of 12 – 15 of us took a tour of the Blaine County Wildlife Museum. Wow, were we impressed! The folks involved in completing this museum have forgotten that it is located in a small community, as it rivals museums located in much larger areas.
This is not a building with a few empty rooms and stuffed animals lying around. The facility displays Montana State wildlife as they would actually look in the wild. The Buffalo Jump diorama shows a herd of buffalo approaching and being driven off a cliff by Na-tive Americans. It includes a buffalo suspended in mid-fall in front of the jump, a buffalo on the ground with life-size Native Ameri-cans in authentic buckskin attire. The painting on the wall behind the display is so realistic that you can almost taste the dust being kicked up by the stampeding buffalo!
Our tour guide was very informative and took the time to explain the pain-staking process that the artist took to create such real-istic displays. He pointed out little "hidden" details in some of the displays and told us about some of the future changes and dis-plays that are in the planning stages. He was very enthusiastic and answered each and every question that we asked. It was very easy to tell that he is very proud of the museum and their accomplishments.
The general consensus from everyone on the tour was surprise and pleasure in deciding to take this tour. It was very informative and entertaining. We would highly recommend taking the time to discover this wonderful museum, even to those that do not usually go. There is something for everyone at the Blaine County Wildlife Museum.