Sportsman’s Dinner & Expo 2018

Saturday Evening, January 27

We arrived early – to get tickets at the door.

We hadn’t gotten tickets ahead of time because of a possible conflict in appointments. When I called two days before the expo they said there would be tickets at the door until they were gone.

The first thing we did was visit the vendors. My favorites are the taxidermists.

This was my favorite mount.

A beautiful leather pillow

Vendors advertised hunting-related items for sale, others were hunting outfitters.

Prizes for the young children. Each of the young children received a gift.

The older children’s door prizes – chosen by ticket number.

Adult prizes – chosen by ticket number.

Mounts on the stage. These were brought in by hunters in the audience.

Pronghorn Antelope

While standing there admiring these beautiful animals, I learned that the second from the right was shot in archery season by a young boy.

He and his dad gladly posed for me. The father got the one on the left. The son’s is to the right. They were both taken in archery season – a few days apart.

Master of Ceremonies

The speaker was Richard Bernier from Standish, Maine.

Before supper, he shared a seminar called “The Mystique of Following the Whitetail Track.”

After supper, Lydia, Cerwin, and I stopped by his table to find out where Standish, Maine, is located – since Lydia was born in Maine. He has a blog and was writing his website on a flyer for me – or

He liked my Nikon camera and told me that’s what he uses.

I took this picture with my cell phone to send to Lydia’s parents.

Four young hunters were honored with the “First Time Kill Award” by Kevin Van Buskirk. This young boy was Wyatt Mase.

Rowan Sensenig. He is the one who posed with his dad in an earlier picture.

Christoph Fry

His brother Henry Fry

Door prizes

They did a good job of keeping this moving. After identifying yourself, you walked up to the door prize table and chose a prize – and they went on to the next number.

When the door prizes were all chosen, Richard Bernier presented his second seminar, using many beautiful photographs from the woods. 

He closed with his salvation testimony.

I loved how he presented the fact that salvation is free – a gift from God – something you cannot work for or pay for.

He said, trying to work for your salvation is as foolish as continuing to pay the mortgage on your house after someone told you they had paid it for you.

The Grand Prize Drawings were the last thing on the program. This young girl won the youth drawing – a .22 RugerRifle – courtesy of Musser’s Outdoors.

The adult grand prize was a $400.00 gift card to Musser’s Outdoors. I did not get the winner’s photo, as he just stood up at his location in the audience.

It was a great evening.

Cerwin’s Nebraska Mule Deer Hunt

Thursday, November 9 through Wednesday, November 15

Cerwin, Jeff, and Jordan had been looking forward to this hunt for more than a year. Jordan found the hunt on the Internet and asked Grandpa to check it out – probably a year and a half ago.

Before long they were talking to D&E Outfitters out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who book Nebraska mule deer hunts. Our guys were impressed and before long it became a three generation hunt – Cerwin; our oldest son Jeff; and Jeff’s oldest son Jordan.


Jordan and Jeff came here about 2:30 am on November 9th – with Jordan driving his Dodge pickup. Jeff and Cerwin offered to drive, but Jordan (like his truck driver grandpa and dad) enjoys driving and drove the entire trip – about 1,500 miles.

They arrived at the Comfort Inn in Valentine shortly after noon on Friday the 10th. Cerwin said every room was full – most of them hunters.

D & E had 32 hunters in the area.

John Kime is the landowner where our guys hunted. He was also their guide.

Cerwin said John worked hard to see that the guys had a successful hunt.

Day 1: They left the motel at 4:30 am on Saturday and drove for an hour and a half to the area where they would be hunting.

Cerwin’s ground blind – next to a huge grass bale where he sat in the dark for about half an hour.

After daylight, he kept his eyes on the rolling sand hills for signs of movement, then (shortly after 9:00 am) he noticed a deer about 200 yards away and saw it was a nice muley.

Cerwin was facing the sun and when he focused his scope on the deer, it suddenly steamed up (from the heat of the sun on the cold glass). He quickly wiped it off, refocused, and when the deer stopped and looked at him – about 35 yards away – he pulled the trigger of his 300 short mag and dropped him on the spot.

He was pleased to harvest this nice ten-point.

Cerwin took this picture of his hay bale blind – from the spot where the deer dropped.

John heard the shot and hoped that one of his hunters was successful. Before long he came and took this picture for Cerwin.

John knows his ranch and the deer that roam it, but said he had never seen this one.

John and Jordan went to check on a buck they saw at a distance, but it was small, so they came back to Cerwin’s hay bale blind.

Jordan finished out the day here, but did not see anything close enough to shoot.

Stormy-looking sky that afternoon.

Notice the eagle nest.

John told them about a time – a year ago – when a storm brought a tree down that contained an eagle nest with a baby. The parents faithfully guarded the nest – which was now on the ground – for many weeks until the baby could fly. When John drove his truck within a hundred yards of the tree, the eagles came after him. He said, “I wouldn’t have wanted those talons attacking me.”


Cerwin was the only one of our three guys who was successful on Day One.

Jeff had a successful hunt on Day 2 – bagging a nice nine-point. Jeff still has a flip-phone, so the pixels are not real high – giving a very small picture. 🙂

Cerwin took a few more pictures of the happy hunter with his cell phone.

I like this one best. Good job, Jeff!

On Day 3 – while Jordan went hunting – Cerwin and Jeff compared stories, took pictures of their deer (Cerwin’s on the left and Jeff’s on the right), and walked around town.

A scene from downtown Valentine. Cerwin and Jeff were fascinated by the building on the right. The scene was designed with bricks.

Look at the smile on Jordan’s face. 🙂

His aunt Amy told him that she thought he would probably sleep with a smile on his face that night.

John, and some of the others thought he might have the highest scoring rack because of the size and length of the antlers. So he bought a meal for everyone that night. 🙂

The restaurant

Left to right: John’s wife, baby, daughter, John, John’s brother-in-law, Jordan, and Jeff.

D&E had 32 hunters out for mule deer and white tail and there were 32 successful, happy hunters.

Our three hunters.

When they got home, Jordan measured and scored the antlers – Cerwin’s came in a bit higher. It scored 140. That means Cerwin should have paid the meal. 🙂

Cerwin brought home 77 pounds of boneless meat – which we had processed at BurPack. We got hamburger, sweet bologna, tenderloin, dried deer, and sausage.

Cerwin just picked it up at BurPack yesterday, so we haven’t tasted anything, but John told us that mule deer is much better than whitetail meat.


Cerwin said this was his best hunt ever. So I thought maybe he is ready to retire from hunting, but it sounds like that is not in his plans. 🙂

Archery Hunting in Ohio

Week of October 23 – Photos from Cerwin’s cell phone.

Cerwin had lots of fun with these guys – Donovan, Nate, Dustan, Jordan – and Jeff (not in this picture) – at a hunting cabin (doublewide house) in southcentral Ohio. Notice their foot rests. 🙂

Nate and Donovan

They spent much of their spare time watching hunting videos – because they didn’t have TV or cell reception.

It was their first hunt in this area. They were pleased with the facilities.

They celebrated Jeff’s 53rd birthday on the 25th by using a Tasty Cake, a plastic fork, and a piece of paper towel. 🙂

This mom/grandma is impressed with their creativeness.

Their favorite eating place.

The view from Cerwin’s blind.

A broader view from Cerwin’s hunting stand.

This one and the following pictures are from Cerwin’s field camera.

They knew they were hunting early – before the rut – so were not real surprised to not have any shooting. Nor did they see many deer during the daylight hours.

Some of them had another hunt planned – to Nebraska – and could not go later, so maybe in another year they will go back here, but later in the season.

They were encouraged by Cerwin’s field camera shots at night – which told there were deer in the area – and some nice buck.

A hunter can always dream about next year. 🙂

Sportsmen’s Dinner at Worship Center

Friday Evening, March 3

Cerwin and I – and some of our family members and friends enjoyed this dinner and program.

The stage was decorated with beautiful wildlife mounts.

Dinner by Hess Catering.

There was also a choice of sodas or water and cake.

I enjoy visiting vendors. This one caught my eye, because you can go on a mission trip and hunt – in a variety of countries.

This lady and her husband make beautiful wooden pieces.

We always make sure to visit Kevin who represents Whitetail Trophy Hunt (Missouri) where Cerwin hunted several years ago.

Tim Keller (Keller Auctioneers) and his team did a great job at the live auction.

Every now and then there was a shot of the audience on the screen. I can see several of our group on the front left.

Door prizes

Brodie Swisher from Tennessee was the evening speaker.

He encourages making some of your hunts a time for family.

It’s not always about getting a trophy animal, but it’s about the time you spend with your children and teaching them godly principles as you hunt.

He closed with a message from the Bible.

Each of us was challenged to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Great American Outdoor Show ~ Part 4

Monday, February 6

One trip that is still on my bucket list is a photo safari to South Africa.

So I visited the South Africa vendors in Outfitters Hall. It may never happen, but one can dream – and to make a dream happen we must sometimes take the first step. 🙂

Some of the safari vendors interested me, others not so much.

After Jim Shockey’s program, I asked Cerwin if he wanted to visit some of the South African vendors – and dream with me.

In between visiting South Africa vendors, we stopped to admire several taxidermist displays.

Just about the time I thought we had visited every safari vendor, we came upon this one – Bosbok Safaris.

What a delight to meet Phil and Kate de Koch.

We know the Wagners and Martins who hunted and did photo safaris with them, and thought it would be fun to find the outfitter they used – but didn’t really expect they would be here.

They showed us lots of pictures of the Wagner family’s visit last year – and even had 2017 calendars for us to take to John and Joyce. The calendars featured their children and grandchildren who had successful hunts.

Now we know where to go for a safari in South Africa – but we are still in the dreaming stage. 🙂

Great American Outdoor Show ~ Part 3

Monday, February 6

Jim Shockey posed for pictures before his part of the program started in the Small Arena.

This is when Cerwin and I had agreed to meet as we both wanted to see his program.

This was my favorite part of the day – other than my delicious ham and cheese soft pretzel sandwich. 🙂

We enjoy watching his interesting Hunting Adventures on TV.

Jim Shockey is a Canadian outdoor writer, a professional big game outfitter and television producer and host for many hunting shows.

He is the producer and host of Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures, Jim Shockey’s Uncharted on Outdoor Channel and Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel.

He told a few personal stories, gave some hunting hints, and showed several videos.

If you have ever seen Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis – you can “feel” this picture.

He spoke and gave information for half an hour, then took questions.

We have a new appreciation for him after seeing him in person.

Great American Outdoor Show ~ Part 1

Monday, February 6

(Day 3 of my birthday week)

We arrived early so we could park close to the building.

There was already a line, but not too bad.

It was a nice day to stand outside for 3/4 of an hour and talk to people around us.

Before long the line went around the building. We were supposed to stand 5 deep and leave space for the people to walk by us who had to go to another line. This line had tickets. Those who walked by us went to another area to buy tickets.

After getting my bearings and figuring out the shortest distance between the large and small arena – where I spent most of my time while Cerwin visited outfitters and checked out hunting supplies – I bought coffee and a pretzel sandwich and watched the dock dogs in the large arena.

I enjoyed watching this dog. She appeared to be new to a dock, but was familiar with retrieving things from a pool or lake.

Sometimes they threw the object into the water and let her jump in. Other times she was told to stay.

Then it was time to go to the small arena to watch the Birds of Prey show.

I’ll tell you about that tomorrow evening.

Sportsman’s Dinner & Expo ~ Part 2

Saturday Evening, January 28

4:00 pm: We enjoyed a seminar by Steve Sorensen (for north western Pennsylvania) on “Choosing Quality Optics.”

We learned a lot of interesting facts about optics that are used for hunting.

The pastor of Grace Point Nazarene Church (Ephrata) led a prayer of blessing on the meal.

5:00 pm meal

When I took the photo, I didn’t realize my dinner roll was hiding the pulled pork.

Everything was delicious (pulled pork, venison meatloaf, potatoes, baked beans, corn, coleslaw, dinner roll, and dessert), but the pulled pork – which had been smoked – was fabulous!

This lady was standing in front of me for a bit. She said the shirt was a gift from a friend.

Steve Sorensen demonstrating his turkey call to a young man.

6:30 pm: First Time Kill Awards were given to young people by Kevin VanBuskirk.

This was just after our grandson Jared got his award. I was interested in watching and forgot to get a picture when Kevin gave him the award. 🙂 The picture in the background is of Jared with his deer.

This photo was taken by Jere (Jared’s dad).

This year the successful hunters were all boys.

Following the door prizes, Steve shared stories and information about hunting mature whitetail deer.

His website is

Though I am not a hunter, I enjoy learning new information and hearing stories at these wildlife suppers and expos.

Sportsman’s Dinner & Expo ~ Part 1

Saturday Evening, January 28

After putting our things on seats – to save them for the program – we walked around to visit vendors and see displays.

One of my first stops was with Roy Reiff (left) – a neighbor and friend who owns a hunting guide service in Montana.

Before long, Larry, a friend from church stopped to talk to him.

You can read more about it on his website:

The stage

Checking out door prizes

It was easy to see this vendor was displaying something for ladies. 🙂 I enjoyed talking with Jessica Keffer.

If interested, you can find her on Facebook at

More vendors and displays

Small children’s door prizes

Door prizes for children 6 to 12.

Every child and young person up to age 12 gets a prize.

These little guys said they were checking to see if the bear had cavities.

Our hunting friend Kevin VanBuskirk was manning the Whitetail Trophy Hunt exhibit.

Cerwin enjoyed hunting with Whitetail Trophy Hunt (Missouri) in 2014.


Cerwin talking to other hunters

This was our crew – Josh, Jared, Ian’s friend Trent , Ian, Jere, and Cerwin – waiting for the 4:00 pm seminar – “Choosing Quality Optics.”


Part 2 tomorrow night.

A Successful Whitetail Hunt

hunting-1It started with target practice on Saturday, November 26. Ian and Jere

Most of these pictures are from Cerwin and Jere’s cell phones.

hunting-2Josh, Ian and Jere

hunting-7Josh and Jared


hunting-3Jesse is not old enough to hunt but enjoyed target practice with a 22.


hunting-5Good job, Jesse.

hunting-8Jere’s pickup truck was full of hunting clothes and gear when they left for Tioga County early the next day.

hunting-9Josh, Cerwin, Ian, Jared, and Jere

hunting-10The next picture I saw was this one from when they were checking out the territory and setting up Cerwin’s ground blind.

hunting-12Jared shot this buck – with a broken antler – shortly after the opening of the season on Monday morning.

hunting-11Ian and Cerwin were in the same ground blind.

hunting-13By the end of the day, everyone saw deer, but Jared is the only one who had shooting.

hunting-14They were going to hunt again on Tuesday morning, but it was raining, so they headed home and stopped at a restaurant for breakfast.


hunting-16Cerwin wondered how I knew where they were eating when he texted this picture to me. I told him to read the placemat. 🙂

hunting-17While they stood in the garage, I stood in the rain to take this picture.

hunting-18Thanks to Jared, the Jere High family will have venison in the freezer this year.


Cerwin was in West Virginia a week earlier with our oldest son Jeff, his sons Jordan and Nate and our brother-in-law Marlin. Jeff was the only one who bagged a buck – so their family will also have some venison for the freezer. I didn’t see any pictures from that hunt. It was a cold, windy – sometimes snowy series of days for them.