Hunting Near Wellsboro

Sunday, November 29 through Tuesday, December 1

Hunters (1)Jere, Jana, and Ian arrived at our house about 7:50 AM and quickly packed Cerwin’s things into Jere’s suburban.

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Hunters (4)The hunters

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Hunters (6)Prayer for safety –  in travel and while hunting.

Hunters (7)Later in the afternoon – after they were settled in their motel room and had chosen their hunting spots for the next morning, I received two more pictures.

Hunters (8)Grandpa and Ian would be hunting from this blind. Jana and Jere were in another area of the farm.

Hunters (9)Later in the day, Cerwin sent me this picture of them enjoying supper in a nearby restaurant.

They stay in a motel suite and eat in restaurants, so this is not a “rough it” kind of hunt. 🙂

Hunters (12)I was so excited to hear that Ian shot his first buck – a six-point – on Monday morning.

After shooting it, Ian looked at Cerwin and said, “Wow! I just shot a buck. Thank you, God!” Then he gave his grandpa a high-five. 🙂 What a great memory for both of them.

Hunters (15)Then a few hours later I received a text/photo that Jana had downed a four-point.

Hunters (17)The owner of the land made it easy for them to transport the deer.

Hunters (18)Since Tuesday was a very rainy day, Cerwin and Jere decided to end the hunt. They had planned to hunt again in the morning, but hunting in the rain is not enjoyable.

Jere and Kristen are pleased to have enough venison for themselves and to donate some hamburger to a local group home where their adopted 70-year-old son, Gregg, lives.

Sportsmen’s Dinner

Friday evening, March 6 – Worship Center, Leola, Pennsylvania.

Sportsmans Dinner (1)Jana, Josh, Ian, Cerwin, Jere, and I went for the 5:00 PM meal. (There are three time choices – 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, and 6:00 PM.)

We like the early seating, as it gives us time to see vendors and reserve seats in the auditorium before the crowd arrives.

Sportsmans Dinner (2)My platter of ribs, pulled pork, beans, macaroni salad, and coleslaw. There was also a wide variety of desserts – which I did not photograph.

This delicious food was prepared by Hess’s BBQ – http://www.hessbbq.com/.

Sportsmans Dinner (3)I enjoyed reading the Bible verses on the wall of the fellowship hall.

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Sportsmans Dinner (5)We enjoyed visiting vendors – especially Kevin (blue shirt) who is our local contact person for Whitetail Trophy Hunt, Osage Beach, Missouri, where Cerwin hunted in 2013 – and I went along for the experience.

Sportsmans Dinner (6)Next to him were our neighbors Roy & Faye Reiff, owners of Rawhide Guide Service.

Sportsmans Dinner (7)http://rawhideguideservice.com/about-us/

Sportsmans Dinner (8)http://rawhideguideservice.com/

Sportsmans Dinner (9)Ian entered a shooting competition.

Sportsmans Dinner (10)He was surprised and pleased to learn – during the program – that he earned second place.

Sportsmans Dinner (11)His prize – a Hunting Video Game.

Sportsmans Dinner (13)A favorite vendor of mine is the beautiful decoys.

Sportsmans Dinner (12)It amazes me that these are hand made.

Sportsmans Dinner (14)The skilled owners of Metzger Decoys.

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Sportsmans Dinner (17)I enjoyed visiting with these vendors.

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Sportsmans Dinner (19)Taxidermy is another skill that fascinates me.

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Sportsmans Dinner (23)After reserving 17 seats for our family and friends, and visiting vendors, I went to the silent auction room and bid on a few things.

Each item I bid on eventually received higher bids, meaning I didn’t get anything. That’s good, because I really didn’t need anything.

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Sportsmans Dinner (29)Then I went to the auditorium to wait for the program to begin. The stage was decorated with a flock of turkeys.

Sportsmans Dinner (30)Several items were auctioned at 7:00 PM – just before the beginning of a huge assortment of door prizes.

Jordan and I were the only two from our group who had our number called. I forget what he won, but I got a pink t-shirt (which I gave to Jana and Diana – I think Jana kept it.), a wildlife blanket (which looks great in the man cave.), and a $25 gift certificate to Kohl’s (which I spent on a maxi skirt).

Sportsmans Dinner (31)It took about an hour to give away all the door prizes – then they threw a lot of t-shirts , into the audience. You can see many of our family members in this photo – hoping to get a shirt. See if you can find: Jere, Diana, Jeff (look between Diana and Jana), Jana, Nate (behind Jana), Josh, Jenna (mostly hidden behind Josh), Dustan, Ian, (front) my empty seat, and Cerwin. Jordan (hidden behind Diana) and three friends were also there, and next to Jere were two other friends for whom we saved seats. That should equal our 17 seats.

Sportsmans Dinner (33)The featured speaker was Chad Schearer (and his family), a champion elk caller and outfitter from Montana.

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Sportsmans Dinner (34)He began by asking us to imagine that it was early morning and we were in a field surrounded by elk.

Sportsmans Dinner (35)He began calling elk, and soon we heard elk behind us.

Sportsmans Dinner (36)The 2nd and 3rd calls came from his sons Wyatt and Walker who walked in the back doors and up the aisle to the stage while calling elk.

Sportsmans Dinner (37)Walker

Sportsmans Dinner (38)Wyatt and his dad.

Sportsmans Dinner (39)He asked how many young hunters bagged their first deer this year. There were quite a few. He gave prizes to several – including these bows.

Sportsmans Dinner (40)After introducing his boys, doing a variety of wildlife calls, and showing some hunting and fishing videos, he called his wife Marcia to the stage.

Sportsmans Dinner (41)It was quite fun to hear about some of their hunting experiences.

He closed the program with a gospel message – reminding us that it is important to invite your friends and family to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is even more important to invite Christ into your life and follow Him.

Mighty Hunters

Today ~ November 30

1This morning as the sun was rising, I was saying goodbye to four special hunters.

2The Pennsylvania whitetail hunt opens tomorrow, and these hopeful hunters were on their way by 7:00 AM.

This is the first hunt for Jana and Ian.

Jere has been hunting for thirty-something years. I am not sure when he first went deer-hunting. He was probably twelve when he shot his first squirrel.

Cerwin has been hunting deer for fifty-eight years. He shot his first white-tail when he was fifteen. He went with Uncle Amos, and barely knew what he was looking for.

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This afternoon – after arriving at the motel where they stay – they set up their blinds on the private farm where they hunt. Ian and Grandpa will be in one blind and Jere and Jana in the other.

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Jana and Ian.

Me? I cannot imagine why anyone would want to be outside in freezing temperatures waiting for a deer to walk by. 🙂 Going along is not even a temptation. I would rather stay home – even in a house where the hot water heater is not working. (The repairman will be here in the morning.)

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My day:

I had a good morning with Cerwin’s mother. It was her first Sunday in the Oregon House section of Landis Homes, and I thought it would be nice if someone went with her to the worship service. Since East Bethany Chapel is in the Personal and Nursing Care building, almost every one comes to church with walkers or in wheel chairs. I felt very young.

Laura, a friend of Mother’s from Erb Mennonite, lives in Cedar (Personal Care) and heard that she is in Oregon House, so came to visit her after lunch. It was fun listening to their conversation. Laura had polio as a baby and has never walked without the aid of crutches. Today she uses an electric cart.

Mel and Velda came about 1:00 – after their church’s fellowship meal.

I left about 1:30 PM – timing myself to go to the viewing/visitation for John Ebersole who died a few days ago following a massive stroke. I have known John and Dolores for many years (she made my wedding dress), and their children are friends with our children. The viewing began at 2:00 PM. I got there at 2:00 and the church was already filled with family and friends. I waited an hour and fifteen minutes to see the family.

It is always sad for a family to say goodbye to their husband and father.

Successful Whitetail Hunt

Cerwin, our oldest son Jeff, and Jeff & Chris’ middle daughter Diana, are on a five-day hunt at Hunt West Kentucky: https://www.facebook.com/HuntWestKentucky.

They only needed three days! 🙂

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Jeff got his eight-point on the first day of the hunt.

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Cerwin was next – on the third evening. His is also an eight-point.

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Diana texted me about half-an-hour after her grandpa, saying, I just point!!!

The High’s will be eating venison this winter.

20141117_130304All packed and ready to travel home.

Sportsmen’s Dinner

Friday, March 7

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We arrived at Worship Center near Leola for the evening’s activities about 5:00 p.m.

DSC_6347Our group included: our son Jeff, his sons Jordan and Nate and daughter Diana, and friends Justin and Tyler who had arrived a few minutes before Cerwin and me.

DSC_6351I look forward to their delicious roast meats. This year there was pork, ribs, and chicken – as well as baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, sodas, and cake.

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After supper, I went into the large auditorium (almost 1,500 seats) and reserved eight seats toward the center front.

DSC_6355My first vendor visit was Whitetail Trophy Hunt, Osage Beach, Missouri, where Cerwin went hunting in November – and I went along just for the experience.

DSC_6354Kevin (right) is the one who “recruited” Cerwin at this event last year. The other man behind the table is the owner of one of the farms where the men hunt.

It was fun seeing them again.

DSC_6356I am in awe of skilled artists. These Metzler decoys are beautiful.

After admiring them, I asked if she was the one who painted them. She smiled and said, “Yes.”

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DSC_6365The rest of the photos are from my seat in the auditorium.

DSC_6353The stage is always decorated as a field or forest. 

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DSC_6366The live auction began shortly after 6:35 p.m. These men were explaining a hunt that was up for auction.

DSC_6367All monies raised through the auction are given to Centershot Ministries.

Centershot Ministries is an interdenominational outreach ministry that uses the life-skill of archery as a tool that assists the local church to reach its’ community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Centershot teaches students the life-skill of archery while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ at the same time.

“MAKE CHRIST THE TARGET OF YOUR LIFE!”

 

DSC_6373Auctioneer Tim Keller does a great job of getting bids.

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DSC_6371A custom-built bean bag (or corn hole) game.

DSC_6378Love this moose!

No, I did not bid on it.

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DSC_6384While we were distracted by a song from The Coal Town Rounders…

DSC_6363…a “real live hunter” removed this dummy hunter from the tree stand on the other side of the stage. When the song was over he began shouting at the auction coordinators to hurry up, that he was only hired for three hours and was tired from holding a full draw for so long. 🙂

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After the auction, more than $10,000.00 worth of door prizes were given away: Gift cards, archery equipment, tree stands, guns, clothing, field cameras, books, and many other hunting items. I didn’t think about taking pictures. I guess I was too occupied in keeping a check on my ticket number. Diana won a beanie hat and a $25.00 gift certificate and Jordan got a book and gift cards.

DSC_6401Guest Speaker was Randy McPherson of Matthews, Inc.

Matthew McPherson (designer of Matthews bows) is Randy’s brother and is not comfortable doing the promotional work and speaking engagements, so when that became necessary, Matt recruited his brother Randy for the job.

Located in Sparta, Wisconsin, Mathews, Inc. currently employs a staff of over 300 people and operates three local facilities to a diverse line of archery equipment, bow components and accessories for authorized retailers all over the world.

DSC_6407After telling us some amusing and interesting hunting stories, he challenged us with thoughts on what God has taught him when he is in the outdoors:

1. Slow down.

2. Quiet time. It is amazing what you see and hear when you are quiet in the outdoors.

3. Relationships. In relationships it is important to listen. You learn to listen when you are in the outdoors.

4. Personal Spiritual Experience.

For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.  Romans 1:20 (New English Translation)

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10 (New King James Version)

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. Psalm 42:1 (New King James Version)

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He closed by reading “The Salvation Poem” his brother Matthew wrote:

Jesus, You died upon a cross

And rose again to save the lost.

Forgive me now of all my sin.

Come by my Saviour, Lord, and Friend.

Change my life and make it new.

And help me, Lord, to live for you.

Great American Outdoor Show ~ Continued

Tuesday, February 4

B (1)More pictures from our walk through the building where all the outfitters were advertising their hunts.

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B (4)Taxidermy fascinates me.

B (5)Maybe it’s because I get to look at these beautiful animals up close.

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B (9)Cerwin considered going hunting here this fall, and had talked to the guys on the phone, so he was looking forward to meeting them.

B (10)He chose Hunt West Kentucky (see yesterday’s post), but will keep this one in his memory file. Dates didn’t work out for him this year.

B (11)Cerwin hunted bear at Trackdown Kennels in northern Maine – twice – several years ago.

B (12)He enjoyed talking to Joel (left) – the owner. Joel is French so it is pronounced Jo ‘el.

B (13)After meeting all the outfitters on his list, we bought smoked brisket sandwichs and went to the Small Arena to enjoy lunch.

B (14)While sitting there we learned that Chris Brackett was going to do a show of “Archery Trick Shooting”.

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B (17)Answering questions.

B (18)Most of his targets were moving – after someone threw them into the air.

B (19)After shooting at his own items, he asked for things from the audience. He shot holes in a lot of hats.

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B (21)A ball.

B (22)A Lifesaver!

B (23)It took him a few tries, but he eventually hit it.

B (24)A can of soda.

B (25)This was his finale.

He stood at the far end of the area and had to hit a certain area of the black box for the two-liter bottle of soda to explode.

It happened on the first shot.

B (26)By the time we left for home, the snow had melted slightly.

I told Cerwin the trees now looked like tall cotton plants.

I guess we were driving through “high cotton.” 🙂

Great American Outdoor Show

Tuesday, February 4

A (1)We left home about 9 a.m. to head for the show at Harrisburg.

A (2)It was an especially beautiful drive – after about eight inches of snow the day before.

A (4)This area was breath-taking.

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A (10)Cerwin was interested in finding the outfitters, but along the way we stopped to admire a wall of trophy racks.

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A (13)This amazing taxidermist display – from Myerstown, PA – was just inside the outfitters hall.

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A (17)After enjoying this great display, we began looking for outfitters who Cerwin wanted to visit.

He had them listed on a piece of paper by their identification number. There were hundreds – most from the United States, but there were many from other countries – so it took several tries to find some of them.

A (18)Our first stop was Whitetail Trophy Hunt from Missouri, where he hunted in November.

A (19)Then we went to visit Mark Smith from Hunt West Kentucky where Cerwin, Jeff, Jordan, and Nate hunted in 2012.

A (20)His main purpose for stopping here was to sign up for a hunt this fall.

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Signing up for the hunt.

A (22)While he and Mark visited and discussed this year’s hunt I photographed the area around me.

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A (24)A wallaby holding a basking of tootsie rolls.

A (25)Zebras at a stand advertising an African hunt.

A (26)There are more pictures for tomorrow night.

While The Men Hunted On Monday

the ladies enjoyed a cooking demonstration in the hotel restaurant.

0 (1)The chef demonstrated how to make Sweet Onion and Celery Seed Dressing.

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0 (5)When he was finished we were treated to a chicken salad lunch that used the dressing. It was delicious.

0 (7)After the luncheon the ladies presented Kassy and Missy (our hostesses) with gifts because of all their work in creating activities for the non-hunting ladies.

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0 (9)When some of the other ladies used their camera flash, I changed my camera to flash as well.

0 (10)They were given bracelets with their birthstone and a whitetail deer.

0 (11)Afterward we went outside to take a group picture. I think there were about 45 ladies. A few were missing from this picture.

0 (12)This quilt was going to be a gift for a person whose name would be drawn at the evening banquet.

0 (13)The hunters who had harvested deer on the two previous hunts were in and out of the lobby all day – telling hunting stories and checking on Monday’s results.

0 (14)It was fun to see Cerwin’s name added to the list. We were surprised that no one had a successful hunt after him, because he shot his about 3:30 p.m. There were still two more hours of daylight after that, and deer usually move around at that time of day.

0 (15)The names of the 49 successful hunters.

0 (16)Monday evening’s banquet was the finale to this year’s hunt.

0 (17)Delicious salad

0 (18)Broccoli, baked potatoes, and the meat (not in picture) was chicken or prime rib.

0 (19)Pretty centerpieces on each table.

0 (20)All 49 sets of antlers were on display – along with their Boone and Crockett score.

0 (21)Those who scored high in Boone and Crockett were anxious for the evening’s prizes. This was Whitetail’s twenty-fifth year and amazing prizes were being awarded to the top 25 scores.

0 (22)The top 10 each received prize money ($1,500 to $15,000) and free hunts for 2014.

0 (23)11 to 20 received free hunts for 2014.

21 to 25 had their down payment waved for 2014.

Cerwin knew he did not qualify this year, but it was fun being one who harvested a deer.

0 (24)  I was not in a good position to take pictures. The man in the blue shirt was the winner of $15,000 and a free hunt for 2014. The lady was the presenter, and the two men on the left were the land owners.

0 (25)The winner posing for pictures with Kassy.

A Successful Hunt

Cerwin loved the view from his tree stand/sissy shack on Monday and took a few cell phone pictures.

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DSC_0703While he enjoyed seeing several doe, a few small buck, a nice buck at a distance, squirrels, and turkey, I took a walk around the hotel and boat dock – also enjoying the beautiful weather.

DSC_9068You may remember that I planned to work on my counted cross stitch photo of our grandson Ian while Cerwin was hunting – and I did. This is what it looked like when we arrived in Osage Beach.

DSC_0756This is what it looks like now. The hotel was a perfect place to work on my stitching – as I sat in the lobby, visiting with other women and hearing from the hunters out in the field.

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Shortly after 4:00 p.m. I received a text from Cerwin saying that he had an eight-point down.

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It was not one that scored high, but he was pleased to be one of 49 hunters to get a buck. There were 171 hunters, so getting a buck on his first hunt with Whitetail Trophy Hunt made him quite happy.

4aCraig (co-owner of Whitetail Trophy Hunt) arrived very soon after Cerwin called in and took him to the slaughter-house.

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DSC_0752Cerwin has been hunting since he was 15. He said he doesn’t remember ever having a better hunt.

A Windy Day In Osage Beach

Many of the hunters said this was one of the windiest days in which they have ever hunted.

0At least it was fairly warm and not raining.

1 (3)Even the birds perched on the ledge of the window (next to where I sat in the lounge doing my counted cross stitch) to get away from the wind.

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2We were surprised that the wind did not curtail a few fishermen – on the lake next to the hotel.

2aMany ladies gathered in the meeting room next to the lounge to work on a Christmas craft.

2b I just watched and took pictures.

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3 (7)It will eventually be a Christmas tree decoration.

3 (10)His nose lights by flipping a switch in back of his head.

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3bA finished one.

A neat back story on this photo. It was about 10:00 a.m., and there were still no reports of any deer being harvested. This woman was one of the first two to hear that her husband had gotten a deer. She was so excited that her hand was shaking – the reason she was trying to stabilize the snowman for me to photograph.

4 (1)This was the other of the first two women to hear that their husband had gotten a deer. She is looking at a picture that he had just texted her. The hunt officials had not even reported it to us yet.

4 (2)In the afternoon, several vendors brought their wares to the lower level of the restaurant in the hotel – hoping to entice us to purchase something.

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4 (5a)By evening this was the final count of deer that were shot – 12 – not too bad for the very windy day. Many of the hunters reported that they had not seen anything.

4 (6)We feel like soldiers wives waiting for our men to return from battle. 🙂

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4 (8)Finally mine showed up. He was in the last of the twenty vans, because there were two late shots and the deer had to be taken to the slaughter-house. Cerwin had a good stand, but only saw a few doe. Many of the hunters didn’t see anything.