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OK maybe I'm not too early with this. Ya know the first liar never stands a chance so maybe everyone else has already told their story and I can be last up. :)

First up I'd like to thank Wes, Dan, Robbie, Jeff, Alvie and Rick for hosting this event and taking us out of town folks out to shoot. I'd also like to thank all the land owners who allowed us to shoot on their places. I'd like to thank all the sponsors for the gifts I had to give away as door prizes.

OK enough for the formalities and now onto the story of my trip. For the most part this is a copy of my e-mail to my friend Barry in PA. He and I swap e-mails daily and this was my report to him of my trip.


Yup I made it home yesterday afternoon about 3:00 PM but was just too beat to compute. I went straight to bed after we got Dennis' stuff loaded in his truck. He was just barely ahead of the thunderstorm when he left here. Dunno if he ran into it on the way or not. Haven't heard from him since and didn't see any posts by him on the forum today.

I spent most of my day today catching up on the forums. I finally gave in to a late nap and didn't get back up until nearly 6:00 PM. I then finished unloading my stuff and took a short ride around on the Bruin to see what the rain had done here. I think I told you but Matt had dumped 4.5" of rain from gage one day while I was still out there. I didn't check it again yet but maybe will tomorrow.

Day one we headed out about 2:30 AM from my house. Dennis had already come about 125 miles to get here from his home in north Bama just shy of the TN line. We headed out to B'ham where we picked up US78 to Memphis. There we picked up I40 after one bobble that took us downtown along the MS River and past Beale St. Once outside of Memphis we found a rest area where I took my daily dose of pills and Dennis took over driving duty. It had rained on us all the way from my house to Memphis. It rained on us twice more in Arkansas and was raining when we got to the Holiday Inn Express where we stopped for the night. We got to it about 12:30 PM I guess. So we got a pretty good night's sleep before heading out the next morning early.

We pulled out of Van Buren, AK in the darkness with me driving. I made it all the way behind the wheel and we arrived in Hooker at the Cole Family Inn again about 12:30 PM or so. Distance from my house was 1025 miles on the odometer. When we arrived we found Fuzzy and Mitchell already there as well as Hellacatcher and Jimmy. We called Wes to let him know we were there as had the others when they arrived.

That evening Wes came over and all of us who had arrived went with him out to his boss and hunting buddy Dan Gibson's place. That's where we gathered again on Friday and Saturday nights as well. Saturday was the prize give away night. Some of the folks shot their rifles on Dan's range to make sure they were sighted in. Sure didn't see many Handi's coming out for a group of Handi Holics and commented to that effect. I think I saw one go to the bench that evening.

Friday morning Jeff Herald took us out to a 160 acre pasture of his to shoot. As best as I recall in addition to me and Dennis there were Deadeye, Warf and seems someone else but I forget who just now. We first set up on the road that split the 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile pasture down the middle. That made the fences 440 yards away on both sides. I fired the first shot of the morning there and hit a prairie dog I'd guess to have been about 430 yards off. Action was a bit slow but pretty continuous but the dogs were a long way off mostly. I moved back up the road to about where we had been when we first stopped and set up again. I was shooting on the other side of the pasture then and right along side the fence where Jeff had put his cattle to keep them out of the section we were shooting. I shot dogs there from about 80 yards to right at the fence 440 yards away. Shot some out at an angle from my position that could have been further. Dunno. I was expecting a new Quest binocular/rangefinder to be there when I arrived as John at Bushnell who was filling in for Laura while she recovers from knee surgery had promised. It didn't show and like a dummy I had left mine at home expecting the new one to arrive. So I wasn't able to range distances on the trip.

I shot there for a good while and used perhaps 60-70 rounds of ammo to make an unknown number of kills. I made no attempt to keep up with shots made or kills either as numbers weren't real important to me. By then the wind was really blowing hard. I was aiming way into it by two and at times three dots on the crosshairs and still hitting on the wrong side. So I gave up. Dennis hadn't gotten much shooting at that time so we moved up to a new spot in the field and set him up with the wind at his back so he didn't have to figure the cross wind so much. He used my bench and I took a nap.

About two hours later Dennis woke me to say he was finished and a storm was on the way. We were the only ones left. Deadeye and Warf had been over to our left when I went to sleep but had left by this time. We drove back to town to the motel and I took yet another nap. Later that day after I woke up we headed out to Dan's house to see if everyone was there. They were. We all sat around pretty late again and almost too late for supper but some of us made it to a steak house in Guymon before they closed. So we had a late steak supper and then back to the motel for a bit of sleep before an early morning departure for more shooting. I think this was the day of the big thunderstorm that dumped a bunch of rain.

Me and Dennis along with several others went with Rick Harbison out to the Four Corner's area to shoot. Rick took five of the ten total to a field and dropped them off. We then rode about another hour or so on some seriously slick mud roads to another field where he dropped us off. With us were Marv and Clint as well as Mike and DJ as I recall. Marv and Clint were in a two wheel drive truck as was Rick and they did some real sideways driving at times and Clint said they had to back up and try some of the rises again to make it up them.

We found I think a total of maybe four prairie dogs in that town. I shot at one and what I think was the head of a jack rabbit there. I missed the jack and am not sure of the prairie dog but it sounded like a hit. I think maybe one other shot was fired at that site. Clint, DJ and me took a walk out on the field and not much activity was seen. Rick went to check another field to see if we could get there. He decided we could so came back for us.

We all packed up and headed over there and again some slipping and sliding was in order on the muddy roads. But all even the two wheel drive trucks made it OK. We all set up and Rick again left us alone. At first a bit of shooting was done but not much. I doubt if 50 PD's were killed there by all of us combined. I know I sure didn't get many. A bit after the noon hour I was laid back in the truck trying to take a nap and noticed that Clint and DJ were out walking around looking again. Dennis came over and I told them I was ready to head for town. They agreed so we packed up and headed out.

We met Rick along the way when we came back to the paved road back to Guymon. We all stopped at a small cafe for lunch. I think some of the crew continued with Rick to another area but me and Dennis went back to the motel for a nap. We later headed out to Dan's for the meal of pork ribs he had smoked for us and the prize give away.

Before the give away but after the meal Mitch gave Wes the .204 Ruger Handi we had all pitched in to buy for him. Boy was he surprised. Me thinks I saw a tear or two in Wes' eyes as he accepted it. Then we started the prize giveaway and boy was that some work. Took two and a half times thru all the names to give away all the prizes. I was as shocked as can be when Oneredbarn opened the box from Gunstocks, Inc. and found it contained four sets of stocks and fore ends not the one I thought it had. So we had three more stock sets for folks to select from as prizes.

After all the prizes were handed out everyone departed for another early morning try at the prairie dogs. I had mentioned to Wes the few shots I'd had and he said he was gonna take me with him the next day which he did. We first sat up in a field that had been shot pretty heavily the day before. There were a good many dogs and rabbits also but most shots were quite long. Not a real big issue except I had no range finder to determine how long. I made a few of the shots I took but missed a lot more than I made. We didn't stay there long before we moved a short way up the road to a place with lots of dogs. Wes spotted for me there and ranged the dogs. My hit percentage went way up and I know I hit one at a called 450 yards. Shot a lot in the 200-300+ range. Dennis was so happy there he just spent the entire day there.

Dan took me, Mitchell, Fuzzy, Mike and DJ over to another virgin dog town and we really worked on them there. We set up in two places and at the first one I got set up first and was really hammering the dogs. We then moved on up the road a bit and we all hammered them there. I gave up first as I had really taken more sun than I needed to so I headed back for a nap. Passed Wes on his way over as I was leaving. The rest of them stayed there and popped dogs until a storm ran them off.

This was the day I broke out the iron sighted .30-30 Handi. I walked along the pasture road looking for a few dogs to pop with it shooting free hand. I think the whole gang walked along with me to watch with Mitch shooting film with the camera. He got a shot of me popping one way out there with the Handi which I hope he might be able to post later but it was a VCR recorder camera I think so don't know if he can post images from it or not. Dunno how many I got with the Handi but at least 3-4 I think. Got one up close and personal and it came totally from together to apart. Can you say red mist?

Back at the motel I had woke up and was watching TV when all of a sudden the lights went out. I opened the door and looked out to see near darkness with some pretty serious looking clouds and the wind blowing so hard the few trees outside were really bending over. When the power came back on the Weather Channel said winds of up to 70 MPH were in the storm as it hit Guymon. I'm pretty sure they were that high at the motel in Hooker too. Wes brought the guys back to the motel and they looked a bit wet from the storm which had run them off the pasture.

Next morning (Monday) not many folks were left. Everyone but Dennis and me and Mike and DJ had already left. So we all went back out to the same pasture where we had shot the day before and done so well. We all set up pointing in different directions and the shooting began. Again I have no clue how many shots I fired but for sure this was my heaviest day of shooting. I killed dogs and bunnies from about 25 yards or less out to who knows how far. I shot at one dog several times that was so far away I never got a bullet to it. I gave up when even with holding three dots over him the bullets were still falling short. Got no clue how far away he was but I never found the range.

Again on the last day I enjoyed the morning but after we packed it up there I was finished for the shoot. I had all the sun I needed and maybe more. We all drove back to the motel. I tried to take a photo of Dennis breaking down the bench Rick had loaned him but he was so ugly it broke my camera. Hey that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I did later get the camera working again even though I haven't a clue what happened to it. Wes took Dennis, Mike and DJ back out that afternoon to the same town. I elected to stay at the motel for a nap and got all my stuff packed and ready to go the next morning. When they all returned DJ said she managed to get 8 dogs that afternoon and was real happy as she hadn't done a lot of shooting up until then.

We pulled out early Tuesday morning. As we went around the front I noticed that the door to DJ's room was open so we again said goodbye to her and told her to tell Mike goodbye too. He was sleeping in late. I drove to Chelsea to make a short visit with Bullet Maker of the Strange Things Seen in the Outdoors Forum mostly. We visited with him a while and I went down with him to the bottoms where they do most of the big foot hunting. We saw the photos he had taken that were supposed to be of bigfoot. I guess I still dunno. The photos weren't clear enough for me to make any changes in my thoughts on them just yet.

The place was just eat up with both poison ivy and cow itch and you know how I hate that cow itch as it will just kinda jump out and get me. Needless to say I didn't get out and do any walking around. I did look for tracks at each mud hole we went to and saw only **** tracks. Man it is so thick there most anything could hide though.

After leaving his place we drove almost back to the OK/AR state lines but stopped for the night at a Motel Six and like old Tom Bodet says they had the light on for us. Dennis found a spider in the first room they gave him and decided he wanted another room. I wasn't really concerned about spiders as much as sleep so didn't look for any but just decided to get some sleep and head out again next morning early.


We ran thru a storm just this side of B'ham on the way back but it wasn't such a much. As we pulled up at my house it was looking like it might storm again at any moment. We quickly got what of my stuff was in the way out and got Dennis packed in his truck for the trip home. I left the rest of my stuff in the truck to unpack today.
 

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Dang GB - And you said I was long winded. :eek: :) :D
 

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I ain't believing that post somehow magically showed up. Note the date I posted it. I've been checking back and haven't seen it since my satellite connection went belly up as I tried to post it. Wonder how long it floated in cyberspace before it appeared as if by magic.

Me long winded? Dang can't say I was ever accused of that before. :-D
 

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Bill;

That struck me as being odd. Because I was making post by Thursday and then seen this come up and I know I've haven't read it because it was the bright blue highlite not the dull blue. So that indicated to me that I've haven't viewed it yet.

I did miss the storm all together, just a little rain off and on on the way home.

Thanks for doing most, and I mean most of the driving. I really got to see some good sightseeing. It's a trip I'll never forget. :shock:

Dennis :D
 

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Very Mysterious. I was starting to wonder when we would hear about your adventure. I thought perhaps that they wore you out. Sounds like like it was a great time despite some weather.
 
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