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A cave for the whole family

Hansen’s hunter’s haven showcases his personality

Staff writer

In his time on this earth, rural Marion resident Andy Hansen has spelunked the depths of enough man caves to know what sets the good caves apart from the great ones.

Many man caves have killer ping-pong tables, pool tables, and a personal bar. Some caves are decked out in motorcycle or piloting gear, while most caves have big screen TV’s on which to watch favorite teams play the big game of the week.

During those games, sometimes there are also commercials with actors playing typical dudes that hang out in man caves.

Hansen doesn’t see a man cave like advertisers do. He values something different.

“A man cave isn’t like the Sunday Night Football commercials,” he said. “Sports or your team are part of it, but that’s not all it is. The best man caves I’ve been to are more about the person. They have a theme, and you can tell what a guy is like and where his interests lie.”

Stepping down into the Hansen house basement it’s easy to tell he is an outdoorsman. His friend Lucas King described Hansen’s man cave as an amazing “stuffed dead animal museum.”

Along with pictures of family and friends, an air-hockey table, and memorabilia from his favorite band, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Hansen’s man cave is festooned with an assortment of hunting trophies.

He has stuffed ducks, a coyote, a bobcat, foxes, a turkey, a melanistic turkey, and a three-part mount that looms behind his pool table titled “The Triple Crown of Kansas” that has a white-tail and mule deer as well as an antelope bust fastened to the tips of three gnarled tree trunks.

Hansen’s wife Staci said it didn’t take him that much to talk her into letting him display trophies.

“I grew up in a home with lots of hunting things in it so I was used to animal mounts and stuff like that,” she said. “But I would say he’s definitely gone to some extremes on a couple of his mounts.”

Even surrounded by prize kills, Hansen is no caveman. His trophies mean something more.

“Most everything has sentimental value,” he said. “There are some first kills in here. Many mounts are from hunts with buddies or family like my nephew Tylor, or my father in law.”

Over the years, family and friends have played a big part in Hansen’s man cave, especially his Staci and their two daughters, Kirsten and Kourtney.

Where some guys might try to shut all feminine influence out of their man caves for fear of diminishing the masculinity in what is sometimes understood as a quasi-hallowed man-only space, Hansen embraced his wife’s decorative ideas.

Staci said the family’s guesthouse also serves as a complementary addition to her husband’s man cave.

When they remodeled their house last summer, Staci picked the paint colors and carpet in both the guesthouse and the basement.

“You have to have a man cave if you’re a man,” Hansen quipped. “But if you’re smart, you’re also going to do what your wife says.”

Hansen uses the guesthouse to fletch his own arrows, clean his guns, and entertain guests before and after hunts.

He keeps a bar, several tables, and a hall tree he made during his time as an industrial arts teacher at Centre. He also keeps his mother’s old typesetting drawers, a horse blanket from his parents’ time in horseracing, as well as his hunting equipment.

Staci said her husband has been good about letting their daughters use both portions of the man cave to watch TV or entertain friends.

“The girls overrun it at times and move all the furniture around to have dance parties and I wonder ‘what’s happening to my man cave?’” Hansen joked. “Staci told me at one birthday party, ‘Honey you can have them in your man cave or you can have 13 screaming girls in the house.’”

Last modified Feb. 26, 2015

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