Contributors to this thread:
Gene Wensel's Auction Collection
Below is a copy of an email that some here most likely received this evening.
"I am sending this email to my dad's contacts Please see below. I have attached the information also if you can pass it on.
My dad, Gene Wensel, will be selling some of his personal belongings through an on-line auction being offered through Davis Brothers Auctions. Bidding is open now and will run through Saturday, April 17, 2021 for the first auction that includes some of Gene’s stuff. Proceeds from these auctions will go toward his wife Donna's health care. This is a chance to own something that means a lot to Gene. There will be future auctions with multiple other items of Gene's listed later this spring/summer but don't miss this opportunity to view and bid on these collectibles. Gene's current items are listed as Lots 150-255 on Day 2 of Montana Masterpieces. Many of these items are one of a kind. These have been part of Gene's personal collection for many years, with many more items to be listed later this spring/summer. Please share this link and information with your friends so we can get the word out to anyone who might be interested. Thank you very much.
Jenny Wensel Hussell"
Montana Masterpieces - Day 2 | Davis Brothers Auction (hibid.com)
I’ll be participating. Gene is the best and deserves our support. Prayers to the Wensel family.
Me too. I'll feel guilty bidding on Gene's stuff but if it helps him then I will. Kinda sad.
Just a thought... if you win the auction, make the payment but tell them to keep the item to re auction it or GoDundMe??
I heard him talking on a podcast about possibly doing this. Said they would be needing money and have to figure some stuff out. It is sad but it's just stuff. He mentioned in the podcast he was wanting to know his things went to someone or somewhere that would care about them and respect them. Most of the bow site community would resemble that. You never know what life will throw at you. I'll go check it out too. Hopefully he's able to raise enough funds to make things easier.
I want that bison vertebrae with the embedded stone point, but doubt that I will be the high bidder..
Gene has been selling books from his private library for the past year and I have picked up some good books.
I can't say I know Gene or Barry. Back in the day would see them at shows and would say Hi and chat occasionally in the slow times. I certainly don't know the situation with his Wife and her medical issues
I do know that if I did know him better I think I would help him set up a go fund me account and reach out by all methods to the hunting community that he has given his life to and maybe get it to give back to him
I hate to see him give up his treasures when there might be a better way to generate more money.
Just a thought. It just takes one of his friends to pick the ball up and run with it
Maybe he’d prefer to monetize his own property before asking others to fund his situation outright with theirs
It was a thought Bou. Nothing more nothing less. As stated I have No idea of any of his thoughts or feelings.
Raising funds for his wife's medical care. A possible solution
I hope and pray that he is successful with whatever he does and I pray for the well being of his wife
A lot of times a person with a large collection gets to the point they just want to sell their collection hoping to find a home with someone that will appreciate it. Also not to leave a burden to their family to deal with it once they are gone. Whatever the reason you've got to respect a man that has lived his dream, no one has a bad thing to say about him (even on bowsite), and if he needs money would rather sell his stuff than ask for help.
Lots of good stuff on there, and from a legend. I’ll be doing the same thing one day, but my stuff won’t bring but a few bucks.
Gene knows his stuff will go to good people who want it. Nothing better than that.
When I click the link it says day 1- day 3, which is Genes auction items?
We have talked a lot about his collection. Gene loves bowhunting and it’s history more than anyone I’ve every known. He wants his life’s collection in the hands of someone who appreciates each piece. Gene has spent his life preserving pieces of bowhunting’s past for bowhunting’s future. Hopefully those who are graced to own some of these pieces will also know the stories behind them and pass them on to future generations. His devotion to bowhunting is only surpassed by one thing, his devotion to family.
Gene's current items are listed as Lots 150-255 on Day 2 of Montana Masterpieces.
Already bidding! Some cool stuff
How about setting up a Go Fund for his wife, not him. We will contribute.
I think that's a great idea. If you know how to create a fund, suggest starting a new thread.
I agreed gofund the wway to go and his personal items remain with family
Maybe he’d prefer to monetize his property before asking others to fund his situation outright.
It's a shame he is selling a wedding present from Fred Bear
I could see someone like Uncle Ted buying some of these things to preserve them.
Yea JL I can see that too. Except uncle Ted is selling some of his stuff too
You guys are making an assumption that he is forced into doing this for money, and while that seems to be one motivation, it's possible that he may be at a point in his life where he actually wants to downsize and rid himself of some of his belongings. I know that I will be looking to do the same thing in the years ahead.
Totally agree with Pat's last comment...
Personally some things I cherished 40 years ago, could less about today...
Great point. There’s only so many corners in a home to stack stuff in regardless of how much someone else thinks it should mean to you Less is more and simple is better as time marches on.
That is an excellent post. There is the issue that his daughter stated in the original post that proceeds from this auction will go to Genes wife healthcare
I wish only the best for he and his family
I too agree with Pat.
Many of us (including obsessive collector me) will be in a similar situation someday... unless we unexpectedly leave for the "happy hunting ground", and then leave all our valuable (? LOL!) stuff for our loved ones to deal with.
What Gene is doing was no doubt a difficult decision, but logical.
RK is on to something unless we have reason to doubt what the daughter has said?
JMO, but the "treasures" I have accumulated to me I would not want to sell to raise money for medical bills, I want to bequeath those to loved ones, family and friends, that I know those gifts would have meaning.
Lacking the wisdom many do here, my guess is that this is probably not his first choice and maybe pride is an obstacle for receiving help? I am 62 and have already started the process of separating myself from things I know will burden Robin upon my demise. Mr. Wensel I assume is smart enough to have already begun the same before their current challenges?
Nice if someone who is close would say one way or the other to eliminate the speculation on our parts.
Listen to the Podcast with Gene and Paul. I believe this may shed some light.
I think most everything on this thread except for basically check out this auction should be deleted. If Gene was to read this thread. I doubt he would appreciate a bunch of bowhunters analyzing/speculating about his current financial state.
Bottom line cool stuff he has acquired and prayers for his wife. Leave it at that.
I hope he would take comfort and find peace in knowing people who never met him recognize our debt to his lifetime of dedication to archery and hunting.
I know I have a lot of crap that can be gone.
I'm moving in a couple months, I'd sell all my stuff except for the mounts.
I've been to Gene's home when he lived in Iowa and it was like visiting a museum. So much cool stuff and so many great stories. He is a collector with a passion for the history of bowhunting and it's time to pass some of it along and keep that history alive. I'm hoping I can take an item or two off his hands. If it can help with the finances of caring for his wife so much the better. Rest assured the Gene will still have plenty of interesting artifacts when this is done.
I am a close friend of Gene and have been to his house in Iowa many, many times. He had a rec room in his basement that was nothing but archery equipment and hunting artifacts/collectibles not to mention shelves of hunting /archery books, walls covered with art prints, and much more. His living room had cathedral ceilings filled with mounts. One discussion that frequently came up as we were visiting or riding somewhere was his advancing age and what would happen to all of his stuff when he was gone. He thought it would be a burden to his family to have them try to sell the stuff. He was also concerned with them getting fair value for stuff that was sold. Other than a few items, most of his stuff is of limited interest to other family members. At one time he was negotiating with donating or selling his mounts to Bass Pro Shops. He has not mentioned this for a few years so I don’t know if that is going to happen. Gene’s house in Montana is much smaller than the house he had in Iowa. I imagine that most of his mounts, collectibles, and archery equipment is in commercial storage. While the money will be very helpful from the sale of stuff, I think a lot of what is driving this sale is the need to “thin the herd” and ensure that the new owners will be people who appreciate the items.
he moved back closer to his kids,,,,,,,,
Gene moved from Iowa back to the Bitterroot Valley near Hamilton, Montana nearly two years ago. He needed the assistance of family to help him care for Donna. She cannot be left alone so someone has to be with her 24/7. Last year he was only able to hunt a few days in Montana and for close to one week in Kansas. In addition, he had knee replacement surgery earlier this year.
Had to dig deep for one item. Won it!
I got a few. One guy from Iowa went bonkers. Good for Gene though!
I picked up a couple also!
Damn, got busy on the farm and missed it. The items I wanted went pretty cheap. Hopefully he made good $$!
Thank you one and all. God bless each of you. As with any auction, some items brought less than expected, while others brought a lot more. Overall, I'm very satisfied and grateful. I previously donated quite a few of my collectibles to friends, family and organizations. I wish I could have donated everything but life puts some speed bumps into our journey. Thanks for your support Pat. I think I had a dream of Julie wearing that silver fox jacket.... Rest assured, I have a lot more collectible archery stuff going onto the auction block later this year. Hundreds of old magazines, tape recorded interviews with archery pioneers. I still have multiple rare bows. One made by Howard Hill himself, four John Schulz personal bows, bows made by Paul Schafer, Mike Fedora, two by Cassius Styles, half a dozen classic back quivers, hundreds of original Snuffers, a lot of my taxidermy, more framed and unframed art, the largest collection of petrified whitetail antlers in existence, etc. Thank you again. Stay tuned.....