Monday, April 30, 2007

An Appraisal Adventure

Water Valley, MS> At stated before in this blog, Deer Camp Blog, every now and then I get to do an appraisal that is very interesting. I recently finished the appraisal on this building known as the Wagner or Parker building to everyone in Water Valley.
I started the appraisal, moved to the second floor and soon stopped appraising and began exploring. I found something strange and very interesting to do with the mysterious Order of the Freemasons. I left and returned the next day to investigate further.

Denise, Erin and I met the new owner, Old Scratch and a local Mason (Curtis Rogers).
We entered the rear of the old building. The lower section has been used for different stores over the years, but the second floor has been mostly abandoned for the last 50 years. We located a narrow rear staircase and headed upstairs.
Reaching the second floor, that had at one time been cut into different offices, we looked at the height of the walls and marveled over the architecture around the giant capstone windows. We looked through the upstairs and then I led them to a hidden alcove with a ladder going to the attic. Ascending this ladder, you reached an old attic and you could easily see that a false ceiling had been installed years ago.

What I never knew was that there was an office up here in the very front of the building. Scattered around were old letters and legal summons from 1910 and earlier.
A judge and a lawyer had used the office at one time. There were metal suitcases form the 50's for clothes, magazines and other letters from the 40's and assorted bric-a-brac that I would love to carefully go through. Moving to a plaster wall here, I shone my light through a hole in the wall to show my friends what had been covered up for the last 80 or so years when the false ceiling was not there. This had been the Grand Hall of the Masonic Temple of Water Valley.
Inside, the walls were covered with ancient cheese cloth wall paper with the famous logo of the Masons. My Masonic friend was very impressed and we tried to figure a way to get a part of this to frame and donate to the local Masonic Lodge. I took a bunch of pictures. We haven't figured how to get it off the wall but think that the Historical Society or the National Masonic order will help. Here are a couple of the pics.

Very interesting indeed!

I thought about this and remembered something I had seen a long time ago and then I remembered an old picture I had seen of Water Valley around 1900. I remembered the Masonic Temple sign on the front of the building! A little digging and I located the picture. the building is to the left and you need to click on it to enlarge it if you want to see the symbol.

After our adventure, Denise, Erin and I retired to Turnage Drug store to enjoy a homemade chocolate milkshake. The only place that you can still get a real one. It cooled us off and our adventure was over for now.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The OthHat

MegaBillions Farms, BC, CN> Do you want to travel the world hunting with beautiful women hunting guides? Do you want to spend your winters hunting the high country for Dall Shepp or Elk and spend the off-season lounging on the beach in Monaco or the Caribbean?
Do you want all the great hunters in the world to be in awe of your hunting skills, be in demand night and day for talk shows, interviews and public appearances? Do you want to be Number #1 in every hunting category, chased by beautiful hunting groupies and, be the most sought after hunter for every television show? If you do, you can start right here with the official Othmar Vohringer Hunting Cap. Buy one and he will personally autograph the bill. Everyone wants to be like the ultimately cool and famous Othmar! Hurry! Supplies are limited and if you want to be the coolest guy in your camp, buy one today! Hey! Buy 2 and send me one!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

We Don't See Panthers

Wildcat, MS> In the south, we don't see panthers. People who admit they have seen one are looked at like they are crazy. I have hunted in Mississippi all of my life and have seen plenty of bobcats, but have only seen one panther.
The only panther was not seen off a deerstand as you would expect. I believe that they are very nocturnal animals and seeing one in daylight would be almost a miracle.
I had left the camp going home, Burney was in the truck behind me and we moved north up the gravel road and crested the hill past The Hanging Tree. I started down and about 100 yards in front of me, a large cat sprang onto the edge of the road. It was light brown with a long tail. I swerved so that Burney could see also. The panther took a leap, hit the center of the road, jumped again and was gone. I stopped the truck. Burney pulled up beside me.
We rolled down the windows. Burney said "What'd you see?" I looked a sec at him and said "Nothing, how 'bout you?" Burney said "Me Neither" We headed home.

Texas Blogmeet

Kerrville, TX> Just got word that GuyK at Charming, Just Charming is at the Texas BullShippers Blogfest in Kerrville, TX. That is one rowdy group he is meeting up with.He is having a wild and fun time, but from his post you would think that all he is doing is fishing. You have to know the secret code to figure it out. Everytime he mentions fish in a post, think this....

Friday, April 27, 2007

Where is Thunderhoof?

I have not heard from Thunderhoof in a couple of weeks and was getting a little worried til I saw this sign near a place called Camp Cowboy, Virginia. He is doing fine and keeping up with all the blogs.

Long Ago and Far Away

The second buck I ever shot. A long time ago at Abbeville. Tiger stripe Camo from Vietnam was all the rage then.

Camp Coons

Haley caught a giant fish!

Katie, Haley and Erin having fun at the lake

Katie, Spencer, Erin, Austin waiting for me to leave so they can jump on the beds again.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hershel and Fred

In 1970, a special bow hunt was conducted by the state of Mississippi. All the great bowhunters throughout the United States were invited. Yes, my Dad was there, along with the most famous archers at that time. He spent a lot of the trip hunting with Fred Bear and enjoyed himself immensely. The main thing I remember is him talking about picking Mr. Bear up after hunting one morning and how they walked around picking up arrows. Fred Bear spent a lot of time shooting at spots on the ground for practice. My Dad was the only one to get a deer. Fred Bear sent him several photos and a nice letter. Here is Dads' favorite.

There's Always Hope

ShankHeart, MS> My brother Paul had a disaster of a deer season this year.
He whined and griped and complained all winter. All the deer are gone, Drew shot my deer, Rex gets all the chicks and deer, boo-hoo-hoo. Hell, he hasn't even killed a turkey and you can kill them with a rock here. Do you think he is relaxing this summer? No! He is still griping and moping.

I decided to post a couple of pics to cheer him up! He can think about the big old bucks that Trent and I shot all summer long. There's always hope that he can get a big deer like these one day. Meanwhile,I'm sure that he can dream about these all summer, and we can all talk about them while we play golf. It is going to be a long, long summer for him.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Where Stories Come From

Skull Island, MS> I have always been a ravenous and avid reader. A recent comment by the Hog Guy referencing Mark Twain reminded me where the stories come from and answers the question "Why do you Blog?".
I read all his classic adventures with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I read Treasure Island, read adventure comic books and amazing ghost stories, all of the Jules Verne novels, Jack London, and many more. I also listened to camp stories. People coming in to tell about their hunt and the way it would be stretched. I learned to take a simple story and make it dramatic, extremely funny, or give it a twist. I learned to look for the story just waiting to be found. I am putting the ghost and strange stories in the section called Spooky Campfire Stories .
The wild yarns and funny hunting stories are in the Favorite Wild Tales section.
Many of these stories have a lot of truth in them, some have zero. The ones that have been handed down over the years, I want on paper for my children and their children. Growing up, I led a life that to me was typical and not very interesting. Roaming the hills, gun in hand, or a float trip down the Yocona River. Snake hunting, backpacking, camping, and exploring. I later learned that the stuff I did everyday was a great adventure to be remembered by others. I will talk about these as time goes by and you can judge for yourself. We have thousands of photos from over the years that chronicle our life hunting, many great stories are in these. I have hunted ducks breaking ice, wandered grown up and forgotten fields chasing rabbits and quail, shot doves in corn fields where you thought your gun would melt, and hunted the magnificent whitetail deer all my life. Blog about what you know! Mark Twain did this as did the great writers I have read. Hopefully you will read some of these and relate some form of one of them as you gather a bunch of eager kids around your own campfire.
Please enjoy the stories and thank you to the people who actually read these posts.
I promise that if you come here we will find an adventure or two to get into.

Hunting with the Right Truth

I'm not a hunter, but I am a gun enthusiast and never leave home without one.
I was born in Mississippi, but never lived there. I'm a Tennessee gal living on the Tennessee River. At my parents house near Pickwick Dam, when I was a kid, we had deer (and turkey) that would walk through the woods right through our yard.
One day my dad saw several deer walking through the yard, grabbed his rifle, ran outside, and was chasing the deer round and round the house. It was funny. He never even aimed the rifle at them.
He would feed them apples, corn, which he grew. But he also allowed neighbors and friends to hunt on our land and we always had deer in the freezer.
I'll look forward to your future escapades.
Debbie Hamilton runs Right Truth, the counterterrorism blog. She is an A list blogger and if you read her blog you will know why. Very intelligent and on top of the political scene. Plus she has kept her southern wit and charm. She seems to enjoy the sharp repartee and fun we have here. Go read her stuff, you will learn the Right Truth.


Here is a picture of a successful rabbit hunt that Paul and Joey went on. This is for Fuzzie to let him know we are well rounded. Big, Fat, Swamp Rabbits!

Money Deer

Money, MS> This is one of my favorite pictures of my Dad. He got this really nice 9-point while hunting with my brother Paul at 6-Mile Lake Hunting Club just outside of the tiny (and famous) town of Money, MS.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Amphibious Deer

This sculpture reminds me of the true story of my strange encounter with the Deerfish.

How Wild Hogs Came to Mississippi

Charleston, MS> The two most famous animals in Mississippi are of course, Thunderhoof, Lord of the Deer and the Gigantic Hog named Scissors according to the Porcine Press.
In 1917 Charleston, MS was a small farm town on the bluff overlooking the delta. It was unknown and quiet until Col. Tom James raised a dark colored hog that soon reached gigantic proportions. He named it Scissors. This giant hog won the blue ribbon at the Omaha fair and became world renowned. People bussed in from Bugtussel, walked in from Water Valley and traipsed over from Tippo to see the giant animal. The hog soon had it’s own house, yard, and pool. It even had a private boxcar to take it around the country. The massive porker was rumored to have reached close to 1400 lbs in the 1920s’. Here is a picture of the restored house outside of Charleston.

At this time the first World War raged on, but soon the Kaiser heard about the hog and realized that an army of giant hogs would make the French surrender quicker than you can say.. welll.. we surrender. He said “ I Vant That Hog!” and sent an elite hog-napping team to Mississippi.
The train was on the way to Jackson for the state fair when a small explosion derailed the train near a little town called Thornton in Holmes Co. The hog-nappers moved in, shot the lock off the boxcar and entered. This is where their plan went awry. A 1400 lb. dazed and angry hog is hard to grab. Scissors promptly trampled the men half to death and escaped near what is now known as The Christmas Place Plantation.
Three interesting and amazing facts happened that summer.
1. Every hog in the county went crazy within three days of the escape. They tore down fences and hog wire and escaped never to be recaptured.
2. There was a famine that year as every ear of corn was eaten by herds of swine that were only seen in the moonlight. There always seemed to be hundreds eating and standing around a gigantic hog, but were never seen during daylight.
3. That spring people began to see young wild hogs. These quickly grew to giant sizes and have terrorized the delta for decades.
Scissors was recaptured that fall. Still fat and sassy and strangely happy. She went on to win several more world fairs and is a legend in the small sleepy little town of Charleston, MS.
A footnote to this is that the engineer of the train retired to California, with a hatred for hogs that was never relinquished. His great-grandson lives there now and still has the same fever. You can find him at the HOG BLOG.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Two Very Cool Links

Ardmore, Ok> Contrary to popular belief this is a classy blog. Every now and then a really good blog that likes it will link to it. Yes, it is Amazing.
The first guy is Wm. H aka Ab5Sy. I don't know either. His blog is Amazing Facts, and boy does he find them. Cool cars, lost worlds, UFOlogy, Religion, News, Dark Matter, funny blogs, politics and even a grizzly cam. this is a cool site and I am glad to link with him.

The second blogger is a Texan. A very funny one too. He goes by the name of Old Gary. The name of his blog is ~~~ Contrary ~~~ . I don't know where he got the little wiggles on it. Lots of politics, lots of funny and weird stuff, and he has the ability to cut to the chase like all Texans can. He is contrary and posts what he likes. You will like his site very much. I need to get their email addresses so I can send them all the cool stuff I keep sending to GuyK.

Finally, A Relaxing Weekend

Lazy river, MS> Finally a fun and relaxing weekend. Camo, Denise and I headed to camp Saturday morning and arrived just in time to see a sight you will not believe. Paul was cutting grass. I rushed and got a picture. Everyone please save a copy for posterity. This Amazing Fact may never be witnessed again!

No turkeys that morning, but the day was beautiful. Trent, Paul and I decided to play golf in Benton. We have swings just like the pros in the picture underneath us.
We all played like dogs and to top it off, Paul won the money! I'm humiliated.
The three of us headed back to camp and arrived just as dinner was getting ready.

First was the hors devours. Oysters served on ice!

Then came the real treat. Fresh Crawfish! We ate like Kings!

It was getting dark and we all retired to the fire for a drink and storytelling time.
I wish you all could of been there. It was a great weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Scratching Post

My dear friend Old Scratch has issues

Dear Editor and Publisher,
Being blocked from posting on this site by unknown persons,
I respectfully request that you might publish an article of my thoughts on bad hunting luck.
On 2 different occasions I have, because of working like a dog on some rental property emergency, let one of my good friends and my brother in law hunt my stands on my home place..

On 2 different occasions a buck of your life muley monster has walked out within 10 minutes and committed suicide
Please find attached 3 pictures. One is of a 20” inside spread 10 point my brother in law killed in 2000, one is of my good friend Curtis Rogers who killed, I believe the daddy of the 10 pt, in 1998.

The other picture is of my youngest son who killed a nice 7 pt with his first ever shot at a deer. He was 9.

Respectfully and Humbly,
Old Scratch

Dear Old Scratch,
I do not know who would do such an awful thing as block you from posting. Probably some damn coast Lawyer, but I am glad you started this advice column.
First advice is this. Never, ever, ever let someone hunt your spot. They WILL kill a big deer and you will have to listen to it for the next 100 years. Obviously, you are an idiot, as you have already done it several times. Your brother in law? You might as well let my brother Paul hunt your stand if you want to catch that kind of hell.
PS. Exactly how many years has it been since you made toast out of a buck?

Respectfully and Humbly,

New Joisy Tom

My good friend Steven Kendus over at
East Coast Hunting bagged his turkey!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Moving Mr. Othmar

Moola, BC, Canada> Deer season is over and I have been very worried about Othmar Vohringer having to move into a new house. I decided to go up and help him, unlike some other Canuckian Bloggers. Why stay here? Hell, anyone can kill a turkey.
I flew up, rented a car and headed to his new digs. I pulled into a service station, got some gas and asked the kid if he knew where Othmar Vohringer lived. He said “You mean, Mr. Othmar?” I said yes and he pointed up a winding road called Money Bucks Lane. I took off. Mr. Othmar? Mr. Othmar?
I noticed the 10 foot ivy covered wall that bordered the road, followed it and finally arrived at the heavily barred gate. I got out and looked through the bars. The private security guard came out of his cubicle, met me and asked what did I want? I asked if Othmar was at home? He said “You mean, Mr. Othmar?”
“Uhhh, yes? I replied. He said “I’m sorry, Mr. Othmar is unavailable to talk to the riff-raff today.” I looked out across the immense manicured and landscaped yard and said “I see”. The guard patiently waited while I took in the 4 story mansion, flowing fountains, yard sculptures, winding gardens, and I could see the edge of a gigantic lake at the bottom of the hill. There were deer and turkey grazing all over the place! Then something about the sculptures seemed familiar. I recognized them! They were all from my part of the world! I took pictures after I got home just to be sure.
An eight foot tall bear stood in front of a flowing fountain. I asked the guard about it and he said, “Oh, yes! Mr. Remington sent that to him for his birthday.”

I glanced down to the edge of a perfectly manicured garden at a stunning sculpture of a magnificent moose and asked about it. He said “Yes, Sir! Mr. Moose sent that to him for Christmas.”

All around the magnificent grounds I saw different kinds of animals. Most were beautiful deer. Bucks and does tastefully placed in eye catching areas. I asked and he said “Most of those came from his friends around the globe.
I was bug-eyed and unbelieving.

Right in front of the circle drive was another giant sculpture of a 6 foot tall Buffalo. I managed to point at it and he said “ His friends from North Dakota sent that for a house-warming present.
I staggered back from the gate and said “Where, exactly is Mr. Othmar today?” The guard replied “He received a new gold plated casting rod called a BIO rod from his friends in Virginia and he and all of his close blogging friends are out on his yacht in the lake fishing today.” I asked the guard to direct me to the nearest bar.
If you want to live like the rich and famous Mr. Othmar order your sculptures from L&M Reproduction Antiques in Coffeeville, MS>

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hunting Badges

I was scrounging for Banquet tickets and wandered in
Sartains' Home and Auto. Jackie Sartain was back in his office and gave me the tickets. He has a collection of all kind of interesting antiques and knick-knacks in there. He said "Hey, you will like this for your site."
He pulled this badge out. I did not know that Mississippi had ever used them.
The date is 1938 and I expect is a very good collectors item.

Limb Hanger

Moose got his turkey!
This monster had a 10 and1/2 inch beard with
1 and 1/4 inch spurs!
A real limb hanger!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

The Thinking Blogger Award is a meme. It is given out to the people who make you think as a blogger. They can make your heart leap with joy or pull gut wrenching anguish and sorrow from you. They capture special moments and make you feel part of the story. Their writing makes you use your brain to understand or figure out a certain series of events or they explain something that rings home to you so that you say "Oh! I got it" or "I wonder what happens next"
Dazd over at Dazd and Confuzed tagged me and some may think it is a little thing but I feel it is a great honor. Tagging me he said
Deer Camp Blog: Rex is definitely a person of intelligence. It's not everyday that I, the Great Dazed and Confuzed, get duped into a frenzied hunt for artifacts only to be told it was a spoof. His blog doesn't just cover hunting though. His topics do dabble into the world of archaeology and the unknown. And you're never sure just what the next post will offer.
Thank you my friend.
I center around hunting and would love to list all the hunting blogs, but will try to give a good across the board plug to some other great blogs.
The rules are simple.
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).
1. Defiant Infidel- He understands exactly what it is all about. He nevers waivers, he is proud, honest and true, and loves his country with all his heart.
2. Charming, Just Charming- GuyK mixes laughter with his rants on the political scene. His simple analogys usually cut to the heart of the matter without all the BS. A great read and the first big blogger to link me. He gave me advice and posted links to me that brought visitors that stayed. I read him several times a day and you should too. He also has a habit of finding unknown blogs and giving them a chance to succeed with his witty BWAHAHAHAHA!
3. Black Bear Blog- Tom Remington and the Skinny Moose Media stay on top of all the hunting news. They probe into places and get news about hunting, guns, trapping, elk ranching, varmints, and hunting issues from every state in the Union. They do it everyday. They also are protecting our rights and stand up to every fool that tries to pass laws against hunting.
4. Whitetail Wizard Weblog- Claude Pollington is the finest outdoor writer out there, bar none. He reminds me of all the things I have absorbed from my father about hunting. Reading him floods me with memories. Hints, tips, knowledge, great tactics and stories, its all there. Enjoy!
His blog should be required for newbie hunters for info and older hunters for quality news. He is not a link, he doesn't do that. He won't forward this award either, but he sure as hell will make you think.
5. Outdoors With Othmar Vohringer- What can I say, he runs a great hunting site. He gives quality views on all hunting topics. He is well traveled and knowledgable about different game species and thoughtful with his post. He loves blogging about hunting and is a great hunting link.

I wish I could put every one of my hunting link friends on here, the ones I chose are the oldest links. They are all great. It takes a lot of time to find info and post about a narrow subject that is mainly done in the fall and winter. Please visit each of them if you come here, it is worth your while. Thanks Dazd.

Cold Success

Water Valley, MS> It was the day after Christmas and was the coldest day that I can remember hunting. When we got up at 4:30AM the temp was 5 below zero and I have no idea how bad the wind chill was. Needless to say it was some kind of cold as we joked and drank coffee in the kitchen. We had our stands picked and got ready. Dad finally decided we were all crazy and he wasn't mad enough at the deer to go out there. Trent, Paul, James and myself left. We were wearing every piece of hunting attire we owned.
I hoped I could make it till 9:00AM as I broke the ice off the spikes going up the tree. I found later that Paul could not get in his stand for the ice. Everytime you put your unprotected hand out, it seemed to freeze instantly.
An hour later, I was completely frozen and heard the deer coming. I turned, pulled my hands out of my muff, (they instantly froze to the gun) and aimed. I saw horns, moved the scope down and pulled the trigger. BLAM! The deer jumped to the side about 20 feet and stopped. I threw another shell in and waited a sec for it to fall. The deer looked around. I figured I had better shoot it in the neck. BLAM! Things were heating up fast! The deer had to be dead. It looked around. Oh! Crap! I threw another shell in and took a deep breath. BLAM! The deer fell. It's gross but I had to warm my hands inside the deer to field dress it. When I got back to the house, I found that Paul and James had shot their deer also. 3 deer on a terribly cold day. All were about the same size, which led to much bragging and joking around the fire.
That night we took the deer inside and hung them in the shower, it was so cold. A great pic and fond memory.