Artifacts: Historic Deer Mounts

At the entrance to the Pioneer Saloon is a very unusual deer mount. This deer was shot in the fall of 1927, by Vernon Ponzo, a Blackfoot Indian. The mule deer was killed on the Camas creek ridge north of Challis, Idaho, between Eddie and Camas creeks.

Vernon Ponzo and Fred Funkhouser were very good friends. Every summer, Vernon would come to the Funkhouser ranch north of Challis with his tribe. When Vernon Ponzo brought the deer to the ranch, Fred Funkhouser bought the deer from his friend for ten dollars because of its unusual rack. Mr Funkhouser took the deer head to Charlie Bascom, a well-known taxidermist at Mackay, Idaho. According to Charlie Bascom, the deer rack has forty-three points.

The deer was mounted and kept at the Funkhouser ranch home until Fred Funkhouser retired and sold the ranch. He gave the mount to Fred Siebe and it was kept in the Siebe gas station in Challis for many years. After Mr Funkhouser's death, the mount was returned to his son, Mix Funkhouser. Mix kept the mount and eventually gave it to his daughter, Renae Reay, who nick-named the deer "Fred".

Elsewhere in the Bar is another atypical mount that dates from 1930. This 29-pointer was taken by Walter Bloom in Superior, Wyoming. It has a Boone & Crockett score of 288 inches.

A third atypical mule deer hangs above the entrance to the Dining room. This buck is the 7th largest killed in Idaho. It was harvested by Ted Weary in Blaine County in 1942 and has a Boone & Crockett score of 287 inches. The number of points has yet to be accurately settled. Owners are Dana Hollinger and Bob Howard.

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