Blaine County Wildlife Museum offers encounters of the wild kind
February 23, 2011
This June marks the 2011 season opening of the Blaine County Wildlife Museum in Chinook, Montana.
The museum is the ultimate destination for anyone looking to experience Montana wilderness up-close and personal.
The incredibly detailed, accurate, and lifelike dioramas by Acorn Exhibits make the Wildlife Museum a must-see for young and old alike. Residents of the American Northwest will be awestruck when gazing upon more than 250 full-mount animals from our backyard; travelers will benefit from a unique education unlike any other.
After 18 years of dedication and perseverance, the Wildlife Museum has come to feature six breathtaking exhibits depicting every facet of the unique Montana wilderness, from mountains to prairies, moose to sparrow.
Buffalo Jump: This diorama consists of a herd of buffalo approaching and being driven off a cliff by American Indians. It includes four fully mounted buffalo and two life-sized Indian Americans in authentic buckskin attire. The exhibit is constructed with genuine rock formations and outcroppings towering 25 feet over the viewer.
Wetlands: The Wetlands exhibit takes place in the foothills of the Bear Paw Mountains south of Chinook. Its intention is to give the viewer an up-close view of spring in the mountains. There are ten species of ducks, Canada geese, fish, and a beaver dam with a mother and her young. Additionally, there are several other birds, an elk calf, insects, and amphibians. The Wetlands is typically a favorite among children.
Peaks to Plains: A masterful blending of artwork, habitats, and animals makes Peaks to Plains come to life before the viewer’s eyes. This massive exhibit spans 88-feet in length, complete with—as with every exhibit—a gorgeous mural as a backdrop. Guests are able to come face-to-face with the multiple deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, antelope, birds, and rodents without the interruption of glass casing. Peaks to Plains consists of a unique progression starting with a mountain cliff face and transitioning in scenery and wildlife to the prairies of eastern Montana.
Moose/Grizzly Encounter: This is a western Montana scene depicting a chance encounter between two of the state’s most impressive beasts.
Swift Fox: The Swift Fox Exhibit is the first to greet visitors upon entering the museum. A once-plentiful species throughout the state of Montana, the swift fox became endangered in the 1980’s, but after reintroduction to Canada in the 90’s began to migrate into northern Montana.
Geese in Flight: A stunningly accurate rendering of Canada goose flight formation can be viewed overhead as viewers exit the main chamber.
The museum store is another fantastic highlight of the Wildlife Museum, featuring artwork from Montana artists, souvenirs, and books—all featuring the beautiful wildlife of Montana.
Just one block south visitors can soak in the rich local history of the land and people at the Blaine County Museum. Just 20 miles south of Chinook visitors can tour the Bear Paw Battlefield, where Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce gave his famous final speech to end conflict between the American Indians and the federal government.
Admission fees for the Wildlife Museum are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students, with special rates available for groups of 20 or more. Hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the summer season. For complete details and photos go to www.bcwildlifemuseum.com.
It is a rare opportunity to stand merely feet away from a grizzly bear, to fully appreciate every individual quill on a porcupine, to truly understand the towering prowess of a full-grown bull moose, or to witness an active buffalo jump frozen in time. The variety of animals and delicate beauty of each exhibit provide both entertainment and education to all ages. Children squeal with excitement while adults gaze in disbelief. The Wildlife Museum in Chinook is an unforgettable experience that truly captivates all who enter.