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VOLUME 82-----------APRIL 2009

SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'

WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY

April 1, 2009

Damnifitaintstillsnowin! . . . And rainin', and hailin', and blowin', and all this with healthy doses of lightning and thunder.  Must be springtime in Eastern Washington!

Still no shootin' to be done here at the ranch.  Each day a bit more of the target stand sticks up above the snow but I refuse to get serious about shooting until we have some 60 degree days, the snow is gone, and I can sit at the bench without shivering!  (or at least something close to those conditions)

The Parman clan attended the Spokane Friends of NRA Banquet on March 7th.  As always, the major attraction was the opportunity to win a gun via the various games of chance and raffles.  (I started to say, win a 'free' gun, but buying all those tickets and playing the games could make one better off financially, to just go to the store and buy a gun!)

You may recall that Ann and I both won guns at the 2008 banquet, and did not expect to repeat that feat this year.  That didn't prevent us from buying lots of raffle tickets though.  Since Rick's family attended this year, I thought it only appropriate that I purchase a $20 Rose for both Jennifer and Ann.  The purchase of each Rose included a ticket for a two gun drawing.  (This is the same raffle that won Ann's Pink Lady revolver last year.)

Low and behold, the second ticket drawn belonged to our ladies!  The remaining prize gun was a .22 rimfire revolver with pink pearl grips!  All agreed that this would belong to Jennifer when she becomes old enough to own it.  Meanwhile it will reside in the gun safe under Christi's ownership.

   

Jennifer and the Pearl Handled Pistol

Although none of the local Parmans get overly serious about turkey hunting, I suppose we'll all get tags in the event a big Tom comes into the yard threatening suicide.  The weekend of April 4th and 5th brings a 2 day season for hunters under 16 years of age, so Jennifer will need to buy her tag before then.  The general spring season for the rest of us will begin on the traditional April 15th date.  A reflection of the abundance of turkeys in recent years finds the spring season running until May 31st with a bag limit of 3 gobblers, depending upon the area of the state where taken.

I've begun preparations for another Reloading Seminar at Center Target Sports in Post Falls, ID.  We're on the calendar for June 16th for a 4 hour evening class.  Hopefully we'll have a better turnout than we did for the class last fall.  If any of my local area readers are interested you can call Center Target at (208) 773-2331 for enrollment information.  Visit Center Target's website at www.centertargetsports.com to see what else they have to offer.

I was asked to make a presentation on the process for becoming a state certified hunter education instructor at a meeting of the Northwest Sportsman's Club on March 26th.  This is a newly organized group of sportsmen and sportswomen who are looking to promote shooting, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities with emphasis on encouraging members of our younger generation to get involved.

Our Dentist, Dr. Steve Belknap, and his brother John (also a DDS) are founding members.  I have been seeing a lot of Dr. Steve in recent weeks during the process of making and fitting a new denture.  Doc tells me that some their members are considering seeking certification so they can provide Hunter Education Classes under the auspices of the Club.  Since he knows that Rick is going through the process now, they wanted to hear about the new procedures.  (The new certification process that Rick has now nearly completed, is described in the February 2009 newsletter if you'd like to refresh your memory)

I also learned more about the Club.  They appear to be dedicated to their public service mission by putting both money and manpower toward worthy projects.  In February a group of more than a dozen hardy souls braved the cold and snow, upon very short notice, to gather at a nearby WDFW fish hatchery for a fin clipping project.  This included donning waders and entering the frigid water to herd the fish into capture nets so they could be handled!  Another project, approved the evening I attended, was the expenditure of up to $1,000 for 2 shotguns for a 4H youth shooting project.

I was so impressed that I plan to turn in an application for a family membership next week.  Membership fees are $20 a year for an individual and $40 for a family.  Of course, prospective members must be voted on and approved by the Board of Directors, so hopefully my presentation to the group wasn't so bad as to get me blackballed!

Cabin fever was (and still is) affecting Ann and I to the degree that we had a short getaway a few days ago.  We started by accompanying Rick, Christi, and Jennifer to Wallace, Idaho on March 21st, where we attended the Sixth Street Melodrama production of "God's Favorite," a play written by Neil Simon and directed and performed by local actors.

This was our third trip to the Melodrama, and each one has been a treat, although the first two got the audience more involved in the action, which is always more fun.  For more information about the melodrama, visit their website at www.sixthstreetmelodrama.com

On Sunday the 22nd, Rick's family headed home and Little Heifer and I trekked on to Missoula, Montana for a couple more days of relaxation and shopping.  We bunked in at the Grant Creek Inn Best Western, one of our favorite hideaways in the Missoula area.  A two room suite with gas fireplace is affordable even for us during the off season.

I mentioned last month, that my old desktop computer crashed and required major surgery.  With it back up and running OK for now, we elected to go ahead and replace my laptop.  Being a bit disgusted with Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 software on Ann's new computer, we did decide to go with a Mac laptop.  I'm now the proud owner of a new Mac Book Pro as a result of our shopping spree!

The long range plan is to first learn to operate the Mac and its attendant software, (right now it's little more than a $2,000 paperweight) and then replace the desktop with an iMac.  Next, we hope to begin using Dreamweaver web development software for administering the website.  This may seem a bit ambitious for an Ol' Fart, but we'll get there eventually.

While in Missoula, we managed a short visit to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  The Foundation has been headquartered in Missoula since its inception, but they built a brand new visitor's center and office complex 3 or 4 years ago.  This is a beautiful facility and should you have the opportunity, well worth a few hours of your time.  In addition to a small movie theater, they have some magnificent taxidermy with several record book specimens on display.

           

Outside the center and some of the taxidermy inside.

According to their website, ( www.rmef.org ) the Foundation has successfully helped preserve and enhance over 5 million acres of elk habitat, with well over a half million acres of that area open to public access for hunting or other outdoor activities.  We've been members for years and would encourage anyone interested in our wild lands and keeping our elk herds healthy, to consider joining.

Hopefully by next month I'll have some shooting experiences or gun tinkering to report on.  Come on Spring Weather!

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote attributed to business executive Elmer G. Leterman:

"Personality can open doors but only character can keep them open."

Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .

'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!

THE OL' HILLBILLY
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