Oddities: The Antler Inn of Shell, Wyoming

by farrah on July 24, 2012 · 5 comments

When I’m traveling I love finding random places that aren’t in the travel guides- always have.

I also think this is part of the reason why I used to (and still) love traveling by myself. I don’t like the pressure of making sure the other party is having a good time, thinks what we’re doing is ‘interesting’ enough or needing to pee/eat/sleep/etc. I like to just pull over and check something out without worrying about a schedule. Of course this is SO MUCH EASIER when there aren’t three kids along with me- so I basically never get to do this anymore. However, on the trip to Wyoming I was able to stop and take all the time I needed- for things like the Antler Inn.

When we pulled into Shell, our wrangler Chris pointed out the one bar in town- the Antler Inn. It was a really cool tiny A- style building with a slew of antlers in the front. I knew that before I left The Hideout I was going to have to investigate this unique watering hole.

To my great luck, one of my last afternoons there- Lizzie, one of the wranglers, offered to take me down to meet Al the proprietor of the Antler Inn. He was one of the most genuine, kind, and friendly people I’ve ever met that enjoys stuffing animals. Coming from Michigan, living in the U.P. and Montana at points in my life- this is saying something.

Before giving me a tour of the bar- she took me inside Al’s home to see his impressive collection of just about everything taxidermied. I wasn’t really prepared for all of this. I felt like it was something The Bloggess might appreciate.

Left to right: living room, bear head (office), lower left: Lizzie showing me the ‘den’, master bedroom and master bedroom.

She even showed me the room where he kept the shed antlers that he sold to tourists- of course I had to buy some for the boys. What mother doesn’t purchase her three young children sharp, pointy antlers to play with? Don’t worry, they’re high up on a shelf or a dresser. I think.

After we took the house tour where Al and his new bride reside- Lizzie took me to the bar itself. It was just as I had hoped- real, gritty and containing cold beer. A local’s watering hole. Probably some tourists too (as you could tell by the vast array of international currency stapled to the wall) but you’d never know it.

 That deer in the upper right corner does NOT look impressed with me AT ALL.

I was very glad that I was given the chance to experience the Antler Inn. Special thanks to Lizzie and Al for giving me the tour and showing me what I should fear in the woods.

I highly suggest that if you are so lucky to be passing through Shell, you make a pit stop. Highly, highly suggest.


Ever popped into a Mystery Spot? Stop at another Antler Inn? I’d love to hear about it!




{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robbie July 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I LOVE finding places like that. Of course traveling with kids makes it a bit of a challenge. Did you eat there? What was the menu like?


2 farrah July 26, 2012 at 2:35 am

I did not. I think it’s strictly a burgers only type of place. Reminds me of a bar I worked at in Detroit- but without the animal heads 🙂


3 Greta July 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Awesome! I love that you like to explore….I’m afraid I would be too shy to do that.


4 farrah July 26, 2012 at 2:35 am

That’s the beauty of traveling solo- no one knows you. No one knows if you’re shy. You can be whoever you want! Of course it’s not exactly easy with a bunch of kids- but if you can swing it, I say go for it!


5 Charlie October 24, 2016 at 10:00 pm

I and several North Dakota friend hunted on the shell area in the 70’s and this was our spot every mid October for a week what a great place and good people She’ll has
The Antler was known as the Shell Town Villa back the
bea and stony were the owners
Love to stop by again soon


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