Jon Koster telling a tall-tale while Gary Robertson listens politely. EJ PHOTO/TRAVIS CHARLSON

The St. Ansgar Legion dressed itself up for “Cabin Fever Day” last weekend, for the annual fundraiser put on by the Sons of the American Legion.

Trophy fish, fowl, and fauna from area hunters and anglers were hung with pride in the west side of the Legion, where attendees could stop and marvel at the collection before warming themselves up with a bowl of chili.

Trophies of all shapes and sizes were on display, from habitats far and wide. Whitetails, mule deer, moose, elk, antelope and water buffalo were just a few of the quadrupeds on display, along with an assortment of fish and fowl. Well, I assume they were taken from far and wide — I haven’t seen many water buffalo grazing along the River Road lately.

One pair of antlers hung between the mounts was a trophy of Thorvald Hansen’s — the rack of a buck taken during Iowa’s second-ever hunting season back in 1954.

The day was an opportunity for local hunters and anglers to boast about their outdoorsmanship, but it was much more than that as well. It was a day to pay homage to the age-old intimacy between humankind and mother nature, to relive those unforgettable moments, often spent half-soused on the back of a pontoon-boat or crouched in the woods covered in deer-urine.

“Each one of these has a story,” said Jon Koster, who had a few mounts of his own on display. “That’s what this is all about.”

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