The Strange Saga of Hunter S. Thompson Stealing Ernest Hemingway’s Elk Antlers Has Come to an End
This is a gloriously gonzo tale even for HST.
While on an assignment in his earlier days as a journalist, as the story goes, apparently a 27-year old Hunter S. Thompson decided to swipe a set of trophy elk antlers from the Ketchum, Idaho home where his hero Ernest Hemingway had taken his own life three years prior.
As wild as he was, living life on his own terms and in his own style, it was an act Thompson later regretted. In fact, he mentioned several times to his wife that he might like to make a road trip to return them. As she told the Associated Press, “He wished he hadn’t taken them. He was young, it was 1964, and he got caught up in the moment.”
Although Thompson never did make that trip himself, his wife just did it for him earlier this month, 11 years after his own suicide. Other than righting a bizarre, half-century old wrong, part of Anita Thompson’s motivation for bringing back the trophy was so that she could have a clear conscience in opening a museum in the house where her husband lived and worked.
For what it’s worth, shortly after cataloguing these storied antlers, the Ketchum Community Library shipped them off to a Hemingway grandson in New York. And now all is well in the strange, twisted tale entwining two of our most colorful and worldly writers.