Sportsmen’s Dinner

Friday Evening, March 11

1We always look forward to this Sportsmen’s Dinner at Worship Center, Leola, PA.

2 (1)After the meal I checked out the vendors.

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DSC_8846Our grandson Ian checking out the door prizes.

There were 15 in our group: Cerwin, me, Jeff, Chris, Jordan, five of his friends, Diana, Gloria, Jere, Jana, and Ian.

DSC_8849Each year I enjoy seeing how they have decorated the stage.

DSC_8850This year the theme was a mountain cabin.




DSC_8858There were a few hunting dogs that were quite comfortable on the stage. This one was checking out the door prizes.

DSC_8862Giving out door prizes.

DSC_8864I received a camo beach towel that was thrown directly to me, and a hunting beanie and neck warmer that was thrown into the audience and landed at my feet. None of ticket my numbers were called. There is a general admission ticket number and each lady receives a special ticket – just for ladies and girls items.

DSC_8873Then came my favorite part of sportsmen’s dinners – the speaker. This year’s speaker was Jason Cruise.

DSC_8875He was a great speaker and often quite funny when making a point or when challenging the men to be present for their sons.

“There is nothing, and I mean nothing, a man can buy for his children that will ever, ever, ever compare to the steady comfort of the presence.”

“My dad did so much for me, but nothing my dad ever did for me was as powerful both then, and now, as the gift of his presence.”

Great American Outdoor Show – Part 1 of 2

Monday, February 8

Great American Outdoor Show (1)I don’t derive great joy in going to where there are great crowds of people, but Cerwin, Jeff, Jordan, Donovan, Diana, and Gloria were going – and it was my birthday.

Great American Outdoor Show (2)What I do enjoy is watching activities that are going on in the Large and Small Arenas while the others are visiting the outfitters.

There are also exhibit halls filled with any kind of outdoor and hunting equipment imaginable.

Great American Outdoor Show (3)I looked at the schedule and chose the DockDogs Jumping Contest – Training Seminar in the Large Arena. There were some trained dogs, but anyone could bring their dog for training. This one was not about to jump off the dock.

Great American Outdoor Show (4)They tried the ramp, but he wasn’t real excited about that either.

Great American Outdoor Show (5)This one stood on the dock and barked, because he wanted to get his toy, but he wouldn’t jump, they tried the ramp, but he would not go in the water.

Great American Outdoor Show (6)Then they showed us what happens with a trained dog.

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Great American Outdoor Show (8)He knew how to wait for the command.

Great American Outdoor Show (9)Then caught the object mid-air.

Great American Outdoor Show (10)Trying to train another one. He didn’t like the dock.

Great American Outdoor Show (11)This one went off the ramp but not the dock.

Great American Outdoor Show (12)Trying to coax another one to retrieve.

Great American Outdoor Show (13)Nope. Not jumping.

When that program was over, I had time to go to see the Outfitters in Main Hall where Cerwin, Jeff, and Gloria were  talking to Joel from Track Down Kennels and Lodge near Fort Kent, Maine. I never did see Jordan, Diana, and Donovan.

Great American Outdoor Show (14)My favorite thing in the Outfitters Hall is the beautiful animals on display by the taxidermists.

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Great American Outdoor Show (19)My favorite thing of the day was watching Birds of Prey: Raptors The Ultimate Hunters in the Small Arena.

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Great American Outdoor Show (21)The first bird was a beautiful Barn Owl.

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Great American Outdoor Show (23)He told us about the history of Falconry and how he got involved.

Great American Outdoor Show (24)I don’t know where I’ve been, but I did not know that falcons are used for hunting.

Great American Outdoor Show (25)There are 4,849 falconers in the United States. He highlighted three states – Pennsylvania because that is the state in which the show was being held. Ohio because there were a lot of visitors from our neighboring state, and West Virginia – his home state.

We also saw license plates from New York, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Great American Outdoor Show (26)His second bird was a Red Tailed Hawk.

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Great American Outdoor Show (30)It was interesting to learn that to become a falconer you must capture your own hawks, owls, and falcons.

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Great American Outdoor Show (32)I think he said this one is a Harris Hawk.

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Great American Outdoor Show (34)I will show you pictures from the rest of my day in my next post.

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 –

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.

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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.)


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:

They only needed three days! 🙂


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


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


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

monkimageInternet Photo

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.”


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

DSC_6353The stage is always decorated as a field or forest. 



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.



DSC_6373Auctioneer Tim Keller does a great job of getting bids.


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

DSC_6378Love this moose!

No, I did not bid on it.


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. 🙂


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)


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

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.

A Goose Hunt

It was a slow day in our part of the country.

1When I got up at 5:30 this morning, I noticed lights in the field in front of our house. I thought that was strange, but at daylight we saw there was a goose hunter out there – with a bunch of duck decoys. (He moved the truck to another area of the field.)

DSC_1085It was a cold morning to be in a duck blind – 24 degrees.

DSC_1088After several hours of calling he took his blind and decoys and left this field.

DSC_1097Later in the day, when we left to get a few groceries for tomorrow, I saw some Canada geese flying overhead. I suspect he moved to another field on the farm.

I told you it was a slow day in our neck of the woods. 🙂

Outside Photos At The Hotel in Missouri

Monday, November 18

1 (1)It was fun to open our hotel room curtain early each morning, then open the sliding glass door to our small deck overlooking the lake and watch the sunrise.

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1 (6)It was about this time that I made coffee (in the pot in our room) and began to blog about the previous day – while Cerwin was out in the field anticipating a day of hunting.

1 (7)Because Monday was the nicest day that we were there, I chose that afternoon to walk around the hotel grounds and boat dock.

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1 (10)It’s always fun to see vegetation that is a bit different from what I am used to in Pennsylvania.

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1 (13)A view of the hotel from the driveway that led to the boat dock.

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1 (15)Our room was on the second floor – somewhere in the middle of this picture. To give you an idea of how steep the hill is on the way to the lake – the main entrance on the other side of the hotel is on the 4th floor.

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2 (3)After enjoying and photographing the dock area, I got my workout for the day when I walked up the other side of the hotel – through the condominium area. I can’t imagine how they get cars in and out of there on snowy, icy days.


I can hardly wait to go back to Osage Beach some day.

I told Cerwin a story that one of the women told me about their first trip to Whitetail Trophy Hunt.

When her husband asked her to go along on this hunt several years ago – with another couple she did not know. She declared that she was not going because she didn’t know his friend’s wife or any of the other women.

No matter how many times he pleaded with her to go along, she said no. Finally he said, “I will give you one hundred dollars a day if you will go along.” She finally agreed to go.

He did not have a good hunt on any of the three days, and said that he was not going back the next year. She said, “I’ll give you one hundred dollars a day if you will go back.” 🙂

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.