Here’s How Hunter S. Thompson Stole Hemingway’s Elk Antlers

Written by Outdoor Beasts Staff on August 14, 2016


Hemingway was the man.

And Hunter apparently a thief!

Here's How Hunter S. Thompson Stole Hemingway's Elk Antlers


In 1964, a relatively unknown journalist traveled to Ketchum, Idaho to mull over what drew Ernest Hemingway to the tiny ski town of 700 people in his final days of life. The writer returned home not only with a story but a souvenir: A set of elk antlers. The prized horns, presumably shot by the man affectionately known to friends as Papa, were mounted above the entrance of the cabin where Hemingway committed suicide just three years earlier.

The young correspondent told no one about the theft. He didn’t prominently display the antlers at Owl Farm — his own secluded mountain home near Aspen, Colorado — like a conversation piece or bragging point for amusement of hundreds of guests who came to imbibe and shoot guns with him over the years. He wasn’t proud of his impulsive moment.

“He got caught up in the moment,” explained his widow, Anita, over the phone. “He had so much respect for Hemingway. He was actually very embarrassed by it.”

Anita is Anita Thompson, wife of Hunter S. Thompson.

“Hunter started thinking about it more when he realized his place in American literature and history,” Anita continued. “He wrote that piece of paper that he stuck to the door (in Owl Farm) that’s still there that said ‘Please don’t steal from this home, by the management.’ That certainly played a role in him wanting to return it. You can’t expect people to behave well in your own home if you have a piece of stolen art.”

Read more here


Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.