I love a good tourist trap. A good tourist trap by my definition must sell moccasins. Guntzvillers Spirit of the Woods Museum along US31 just north of Traverse City sells moccasins. It has an entire moccasin department. Jut turn right at the six-deer-head chanderlier:
I thought that would look pretty amazing in our dining room. The thing about Guntzvillers Spirit of the Woods Museum is that it doesn't just sell cheap raccoon caps and self-published books about the local haunted covered bridge, it sells tons of taxidermy specimens (there's a working taxidermy shop on site). I have a soft spot for taxidermy animals and my wife learned quite awhile ago not to express shock when a box arrives on our doorstep that she casually opens to discover a dead squirrel holding a tiny shotgun or the head cut off a bear skin rug. I was in heaven.
The best part of Guntzvillers Spirit of the Woods Museum is the donations-only museum itself. Inside the darkened room there are hundreds of hunting trophies and taxidermy specimens collected all over the world by three generations of Guntzvillers (George, Marvin, and Voss).
Some were definitely collected or hunted in a different regulatory era. One corner even has a two-headed calf and some rogue taxidermy for the kids, including Babe the Blue Ox and a few jackalopes:
I liked this exhibit of hunting/raxidermy antiques behind glass:
Perhaps best of all is the collection of Indian arrowheads and Native American antiquities, which are staggering to behold. There are literally dozens of huge glass cases of arrowheads, hatchet heads, spear points, and stone tools arrayed in geometrically complex patterns:
According to the museum's website: "This collection was started well over 100 years ago by George Guntzviller, [current owner] Voss's grandfather. George would find arrowheads and different artifacts while he was plowing the land with a horse. As he walked behind the plow, he would pick up his treasures and put them in the coffee can that he had attached to the plow. Two of George's sons, Marvin and Harvey, also took an interest in the artifacts and added to the collections as years went by." I thought this bear-claw necklace was pretty cool, especially after the stories I'd been reading to the kids all week:
Definitely worth a stop and way less commercial than Call of the Wild in Gaylord. If you're driving along 31, you'll know it by the giant scrap metal mastodon out front: