Hunting Museums
Travis Smola

10 Hunting Museums You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

Here are some hunting museums you need to add to your bucket list.

A while back we highlighted eight of the best gun museums you can visit on your next vacation or road trip. Well, it turns out there are plenty of museums focused on hunting, too.

So once again, we're going to tell you which ones are the best of the best. Whether you love taxidermy, old guns, or hunting equipment, there's sure to be something here for everyone. As a bonus, many of these museums offer excellent educational programs too.

These are definitely places you'll want to check out if you have any love or appreciation of the long and storied tradition of hunting.

The National Bird Dog Museum, Grand Junction, Tennessee

Love hunting dogs? Love bird hunting? Well, the National Bird Dog Musuem in Grand Junction, Tennessee, is probably a place you'll love. This hunting museum has a few vintage firearms and some mounted game animals, but mostly this is a celebration of man's best friend. They have an extensive collection of bird dog art you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

If you love pointers, retrievers or setters, this definitely the Bird Dog Museum is a must-visit place. The museum also doubles as the Field Trial Hall of Fame so you can see and learn about some of the best hunting dogs that ever lived and their handlers.

Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife Museum, Springfield, Missouri

Bass Pro Shops' founder Johnny Morris' dream vision is the Wonders of Wildlife Museum located conveniently next to a Bass Pro Shops. It is one of, if not the most unbelievable museum ever dedicated to the conservation movement.  Are you a fan of Fred Bear or Theodore Roosevelt? You'll find plenty of displays dedicated to them. There's an art museum full of paints depicting the adventures of Lewis and Clark.

From the highest North American mountain peaks to the sprawling African savannas, this place has a little of everything displayed in colorful dioramas filled with some of the best taxidermy you'll ever see. They also currently house Boone and Crockett's own celebrated "Collection of Heads and Horns."

If all that isn't enough, they also have an extensive aquarium here with 1.5 million gallons of water hosting more than 800 different species of aquatic animals. You can even go cage diving with sharks here for crying out loud!

Tickets aren't cheap at $39.95 for an adults and $23.95 for combo tickets good for both the wildlife galleries and aquarium. But at 350,000 square feet of displays, you're probably going to get your money's worth.

The Wild Turkey Center and Winchester Museum, Edgefield, South Carolina

Turkey hunters will definitely want to add the National Wild Turkey Federation's official museum to their bucket lists. Located in Edgefield, South Carolina, you'd be hard-pressed to finding another place more dedicated to storied history of the American wild turkey.

The museum's 3-D dioramas feature all five subspecies of wild turkey found in North America. You can see historic hunting gear and turkey calls. Speaking of calls, the museum boasts it is home to the world's largest turkey call. There are also displays dedicated to Native Americans and the U.S. Forest Service to round things out. Sounds like a real piece of Americana doesn't it?

Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame, Grass Lake, Michigan

Hunting Museums

Travis Smola

Fans of big whitetail bucks will appreciate the impressive collection at this small, but dedicated hunting museum. It's conveniently located right off I-94 in Grass Lake, Michigan. For just $5, you can see some of the largest whitetail bucks ever taken in Michigan's storied hunting history.

As if that isn't enough, the museum also has replicas of some of the most famous whitetail bucks in deer hunting history. The Jordan buck, the Hole-in-the-Horn and the Breen buck, are all here, as are many more. You'll likely see some antler deformities you wouldn't see in other wildlife museums.

After you pick your jaw up off the floor from this collection, head outside to see their collection of live deer. There's usually a white deer or two to see and feed making this a great quick pit stop for the kids.

Museum of Hunting and Nature, Paris, France

I know what you're thinking. There is a hunting museum in Paris?!? Well, it isn't entirely dedicated to hunting. But the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature features hundreds of natural history taxidermy and art pieces from all over the world. Part of their collection highlights firearms and hunting equipment dating all the way back to the 1500s!

Another part of the charm of this museum is just walking through the two 18th century French mansions that house it and admiring the architecture. The museum also has quirks that are normally reserved for American tourist traps such as a talking mounted boar head named Le Souillt. In a bit of fun irony, it also appears there's a vegan restaurant right next door. I wonder if that was planned...

Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, Harve De Grace, Maryland

Duck and geese decoys have a whole dedicated subset of fans these days. So it isn't really surprising to find there is a whole museum dedicated just to decoys and decoy making. This museum is located on the Susquehanna Flats, a legendary fishing and waterfowl hunting area.

This hunting museum features a whole section dedicated to the waterfowling traditions and the history of hunting in the Susquehanna Flats area, a section dedicated to the history of decoys and a gallery featuring some of the best decoys from some of the best decoy makers in history.

The museum operates as a nonprofit organization and is also home to an annual decoy-carving festival and competition.

The Spear Hunting Museum, Summerdale, Alabama

When it comes to hunting challenges, it doesn't get much harder than hunting with a spear. While spear hunting is definitely a niche in hunting circles, dedicated spear hunters will be thrilled to see a dedicated museum to the most primitive weapon one can use on big game.

The museum was founded by retired Air Force colonel Gene Morris, who proclaimed himself the best spear hunter who ever lived. Morris died in 2011, but his legacy lives on.

The museum may be small, but it is full of Morris' many trophies. From African lions to North American alligators, bears and buffalo, it quickly becomes difficult to argue with Morris' claim of being the greatest spear hunter who ever lived.

Museum of Hounds and Hunting, Leesburg, Virginia

While the bird dog museum focuses on pointers and other bird dogs, the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in Virginia focuses on traditional fox hunting with hounds. It's small, but it's unlikely you'll find a larger collection of historic fox hunting items like this anywhere else.

This museum is located on the grounds of the Morven Park estate, which was home to two former Virginia governors. Lovers of history and architecture will definitely find something to enjoy at this museum.

Safari Club International Wildlife Museum, Tucson, Arizona

Although located in Arizona, this museum boasts you can see it all "from antelope to zebra," in their promotional materials. It isn't just game animals either. This place has displays of exotic birds and small mammal species from around the world.

One of this museum's more unique features is an extensive insect display room. The museum's tours also feature live animal encounters with variety of reptiles, insects and arachnids. The museum also offers education and outreach programs for teachers that are great for the kids.

The Hunting Museum of Finland, Riihimaki, Finland

Finland has a storied, 10,000-year-old tradition and culture rooted in hunting, and this museum celebrates just that. Not many hunting museums boast a collection showcasing the full history of hunting from Stone Age times to the latest in 21st century technology like this place does.

This museum also features big-game animals from all corners of the globe. Firearms enthusiasts will also enjoy the displays of Finnish-made firearms makers.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels