Cabela’s

Each Cabela's store in the franchise is built of huge timber logs, resembling a quaint yet stately lodge, but the interior and parking lot is larger than Wal Marts and usually full.,

While big-box sporting goods stores exist throughout the US, there is something special about Cabelas.  So when I saw a Cabela’s just off the highway when we were on our way to Old Orchard Beach, I knew I must somehow find time to stop in.

It was only an hour before closing when I arrived on motzei Shabbos, but Cabela’s was booming, despite the mostly higher-end retail prices.  Whole families toured its boundless aisles filled with anything and everything having to do with outdoor recreation (biking, camping, kayaking, hiking), target shooting, hunting and fishing; clothing related to those activities; home decor (as long as the “home” is a log cabin or lodge, since everything has a woods theme with lots of canoes, moose, and bears incorporated in the design), and food preparation and preservation (food dehydrators and camp stoves and anything to do with beef jerky).

Ever wondered how ice fisherman drill a hole in 3' thick lake ice in the dead of winter when it's -25 F? They use a huge, heavy, gas-powered augur (kind of like a giant corkscrew). This one costs $900. (The salesman thought it was pretty funny when I asked him to take my picture doing a product demonstration, especially while wearing my Shabbos clothes and pearls!)

This vast collection of rods and reels for sale captures only about 25% of the actual display of fishing equipment, which besides yet more rods and reels and other fishing paraphernalia, includes hundreds of taxidermied fish species displayed on the walls and a giant aquarium filled with many varieties of live fish.

A tiny portion of the camouflage clothing department

This taxidermied moose is wired so its lips and mouth move when it talks, inviting visitors to try their luck in the shooting gallery

Junior hunters enjoying the shooting gallery with their parents

There are literally hundreds of magnificent examples of taxidermied animals from around the world displayed throughout the store.  There is a group of gazelles frozen in time, “running”in flight; a deer scratching itself; and other such “natural” and “action” poses that are amazingly lifelike.  It’s actually kind of sad to think of all those animals that were killed for sport.  Many of the animals on display are now on the endangered species list (although that was not the case at the time of their being shot).

Big game hunting for sport has little in common with local deer hunting, which in many cases keeps hunters and their families from going hungry in the winter, when jobs are scarce.

At the store entrance behind a clothing display is a rock cliff which has a 360 degree display of taxidermied big game animals.

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One response to this post.

  1. to midlife in maine — your sharp eye (and camera) and descriptive writing even make going to a store something so interesting and educational. It has made me sensitive to the vast regional differences in our wide, wonderful country. You sure won’t see very much of what this post shows here in So. Cal! (well, maybe a stuffed fish in a fish restaurant). Thanks so much for the tour(ist) feeling. mf. la

    Reply

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