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VOLUMES 171 & 172 -------- SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

November 19, 2016

Wow!  I'm really late this time!  Although, I continue to wonder whether anyone reads this stuff anyway, since I rarely get complaints that I'm not current on Newsletters?

Oh Well, you know I have good excuses.

Back in eary September I was drafted into the position of Lodge Secretary at Greater Spokane Elks Lodge #228.  This is a job I did not seek nor really want, but here we are.

I won't bore you with a lot of detail, but an Elks Lodge Secretary job can be very time consuming!  With the able assistance of my Spouse, Little Heifer, on special projects and mailings, and Board Chair, Kathy Sink's excellent guidance through the office processes and the National computer systems, (While doing most of the work) we will hopefully make it through the rest of the Lodge Year.  To make a long story longer, this is beginning to feel like a full time job, which I ain't had for over 13 years!

Anyway, back to happenings here at the ranch:  Today as I write this, the late buck whitetail deer season comes to an end.  No one here has tagged anything yet, although Rick, Ann, and I all have tags.

The early season in our area provided a special deal for the 'old farts' among us, providing that anyone over 65 years of age could shoot either sex deer.  As usual, Ann and I opted to hold out for a mature buck, and they are rarely seen here at the ranch until the late season when the rut begins in earnest.  As you might suspect, holding out for that mature buck often means that some or all of our tags go unfilled.

For example, last year Ann's was the only tag notched, while Rick and I had no opportunity at anything we wanted to shoot.  Well, this is the last day and we'll see if someone gets lucky before the end of shooting time this evening.

November 24, 2016

Well, back at this project again.  Seems like I just can't get anything finished lately!

No deer tags notched at the ranch this year!  Only one really nice buck was seen during shooting hours and he was spooked when I went outside the house with a cell phone instead of a rifle.  Never saw him again!

Why was I outside with a cell phone?  Well, we barely get a cell phone signal here at the ranch.  We can usually text but voice calls are always dropped when we try to talk from inside the house.  Sometimes, moving a few feet outside the front door will maintain a call until I can tell the caller to call back on the land line.  I was trying to do just that with a call from a doctor's office, when the big guy saw me and moved on.  Better luck next year!

November 27, 2016

Yep, still procrastinating but moving forward.

Other milestones passed in September and October, were birthdays for both Ann and I.  I turned 74 on September 20th and Ann hit the same milestone on October 30th.

My birthday was on a Taco Tuesday at the Elks Lodge, so Ann brought in cupcakes for the crowd, then Rick, Jennifer, Ann, and I dined at Texas Roadhouse in Coeur d'Alene that weekend.

Rick accompanied Ann and I for her birthday at the Coeur d'Alene Red Lobster on October 30th.  "All you can eat shrimp" was one of the menu specials that day so Rick took advantage of that.

Ann and I had our own little celebration on November 4th at the Coeur d'Alene Olive Garden.  We were both too stuffed after dinner to partake of their seasonal pumpkin cheesecake, so, since that's one of  Ann's favorite desserts, we brought a slice home with us.

Dinner At The Olive Garden

And Here's The Pumpkin Cheese Cake

My brother Ed, and his younger son Scott, made a trip to Africa earlier this year, along with a retired Baptist Missionary.  That trip is a story in itself, and I won't go into it here.  What did come out of it was a New Mexico elk hunt for Ed?  H'mmm, how'd that happen?

Dan Rorabaugh, the retired missionary, has a friend and fellow missionary who has a 'log cabin' right in the midst of elk country in New Mexico.  Apparently Dan encouraged Ed to put in for the annual elk tag draw in that area and he would go along if Ed got drawn.  Lo and behold, Ed did apply and was drawn for a tag!

So mid October found Ed in New Mexico along with Dan and his friend, Jack Sprayberry.  At this point I don't have many details about the hunt itself, but I do have some pictures and a wild verbal account that says the bagged elk was hit twice with the same bullet!  More on this in a minute.

Ed with his elk.  The bull was a 5X5 and the rifle is a Browning BLR in .325 WSM.

The photo caption says 'was' a 5X5.  The reason goes back to the two hits with the same bullet.  I was told, as the shot was fired, the bull turned his head to the side and the bullet took off the upper fork of the right antler before entering the shoulder and killing the elk!  If you look closely, the right antler ends just above Ed's right hand.  I'm told the missing piece can be repaired and reattached for the mount.

The happy hunter along with Jack Sprayberry and Dan Rorabaugh.

Ed described the Sprayberry 'Log Cabin' as a three story unit of about 3700 square feet, filled with trophy mounts from all over the world.

One corner of the trophy filled home.  The lion was taken with bow and arrow, as were many of the others.

Ed tells me that Jack and his wife Judy live in this home in New Mexico six months of the year and missionary in Africa the other six.  Dan is now retired, but he and wife Peggy spent 33 years in Tanzania.

"There were elk bugling in the front yard and behind the house every night we were there." says Ed.

"In fact, the morning we left for home, I was awakened at 3:00 AM by an elk bugling just outside my bedroom window."

I'll try to get more details about the actual hunt and shooting off the antler and report more at another time.

This months hillbilly wisdom comes from a piece Ann gleaned from one of her Good Houskeeping magazines:

"Don't worry about the mule going blind; just keep the wagon loaded."

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

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