Outdoor enthusiast opens doors to seasonal wildlife museumPublished 10:55am Friday, May 24, 2013
Stephen Slack has brought a unique collection from around the world to Dalton and the surrounding area.
Located off County Road 82, the “Preserve the Tradition” Museum of Natural History opened this month for the summer season.
The museum is located on 160 acres and covers 6,000 square feet. Slack, the museuum’s curator, has filled three halls with over 500 species of animals, including brown bear, American alligator, South Pacific wapiti and many more.
While he has dedicated his life to hunting, Slack said the museum’s purpose is to educate younger generations and preserve the natural world.
“We can get some of the kids really excited and interested in what’s going on,” Slack said. “If you inspire a kid to be a conservationist or work in wildlife, it’s great.”
Slack has built an international reputation in the outdoors community over 25 years of serious hunting.
He has hunted on six continents and 37 countries and received the prestigious “World Hunting Award” from Safari Club International in 2003.
To date, the recognition has only been given to 82 people in the world. His trophy room, also located at the museum, is as impressive as the halls filled with the animals he’s taken.
Faced with finding space for so many mounts, Slack started a foundation and built the museum to share his life with others. As a non profit, Slack’s efforts further his belief in the tradition and sport of the outdoors.
“Part of conservation is that if you’re going to take, you have to give back,” Slack said. “This has all been a labor of love.”
The museum is open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through August 30. Tours are available by appointment.
With every youth organization or student group he meets, Slack said he lives out his dream. Even after a minor in Museum Techniques from the University of Iowa, Slack never thought his life’s passion would be so meaningful.
“What goes around comes around,” Slack said. “Who would have ever guessed I would have my own museum?”