Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gopher Hunt

Yep, you read that title right-Gopher Hunt. I know I know, you are wondering where this California girl has gone, but I'm telling you, there are fun things to do here that I can't pass up.

My parents have lived in different places and one thing I have come to realize over the years is that you need to bloom where you are planted. When they lived in Samoa for a few years my mother took up snorkeling like it was nobody's business. And when they lived in Lincoln, Montana they were very involved with the locals with various things and were named Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln. When we lived in Tracy, CA while in high school, we had cattle right outside our windows. Oh, and when we lived in Hawaii, when it was Aloha Friday, my father wore "aloha shirts" to work. It's that kind of thing. You enjoy the area you live in and you really do feel more a part of things. So see, gopher hunting? It's just what people do here.

But to enter a contest is another thing all together.

I took this shot when I was riding the other day with Dixie out at her place. We have had so much snow lately that the hills are greening up very nicely and look what the sunshine brings. Gophers! If you click on the picture you can see them even better. They are just perched, enjoying the sunshine and deciding which blade of grass to nibble on first. These guys were lucky because I was on a horse, without a gun.

So back to the hunt. Lou Lou really wants a pink .22 for her 50th birthday so when we were at the local implement store here in town looking at guns, we noticed a sign for a gopher hunt. Lou Lou was all over it, I'm not kidding. We got the low down and decided that we could do it. We could win this thing. Maybe. There was one catch though. You had to come back with the tails. Gopher tails. We don't claim to be gopher shooting experts but.............the other day, Lou Lou, Dixie and I went out to her place to shoot and we shot, no lie, 400 gophers in 2 1/2 hours. It was craziness! Lou Lou shot 120 and Dixie and I each shot 140. See , you can see our optimism.

This is Lou Lou, not me. Just so you know. We signed up at 9:30 am yesterday and we were on our way with our guns, ammo, lunch, a pair of scissors, and a homemade hook to get those gophers from their holes. We shot a lot of gophers, but to bring back their tails is a whole "nother" ball game. A lot of times they fall back in their holes and plus, we pretty much cleared the fields the other day. Just sayin.

This is pretty gross, I know. Sorry?

The rules are that you were to work in teams of two and can go anywhere you have permission, oh, and a $20 donation from each participant. You could also have a "runner" to go and get the tails but we decided that we didn't really need one. I don't think it would have made a difference for us. We didn't have scopes and we could run just as fast as a runner and clip those tails ourselves. It was kind of gross, but when you are snipping for a cause you just do it. Be strong, be strong! You can sit in your truck and shoot, but that might cost you a fine from Fish and Wildlife which is close to $300. Why would you risk it? and you can bet the Fish and Wildlife guys were out yesterday looking for us gopher hunters. We walked around the fields. It feels a bit more "real" like that. You then returned at 3pm for the count while enjoying a barbecue.

This is where we were shooting. Dixie has a ton of land and it was so nice of her to share it with us yesterday.

Oh the results of the gopher hunt. Well..............we were the only and first all girl team so that was fun. There were 12 teams and we came in 8th with 67 tails! I think we did pretty darn good. We each won a t-shirt. The winning team had well over 200 and the 2nd place was just over 100, so really? I think we did alright.

Just a tidbit form our local paper. Back in 1920 there was a gopher hunt in Leavitt (where I live). The community split up into two teams and went hunting. The winners were treated to a free dance and the losers had to serve cake and ice cream to the winners. Guess how many tails they brought in? Close to 10,000! Now that is gross!

We do normal activites too. Friday night Mark and I went out for Chinese food and bowling. Here in Canada, you bowl with a ball that you can hold in the palm of your hand and there are only 5 pins. I think the US version is a little more exciting. We had a really great time!


Wyatt said...

Yuk is right. I didn't know we even had gopher hunting contests. We have super 10 pin bowling in Lethbridge. We'll challenge you sometime! hahaha. We aren't good, but it would be fun.

Kari said...

Marilee, you totally crack me up!!!!!!!! You are DEFINITELY the bloom-where-you-are-planted gal. I'm still green with envy on the horseback riding thing.

Marilou said...

I can't wait until next year!!!!! Remind me to bring sharp scissors though because cutting the tails with a dull pair of pruning shears was really kind of gross.

Bar ZR said...

You have no where to go but UP!!
You'll win before long!! Single shot, and that many gophers, NOT BAD, NOT BAD at all!!! There will be more gophers and more adventures that's for sure! The twins are fun and the best is yet to be! Waiting for more adventures, What's next?

Kelly said...

You two are twisted. There is a perfect example of something that I hope my mother does not pass down to me. Brad and I were dying telling the office about you two...everyone thought it was pretty funny. I just cant imagine what it would feel like to cut a tail off of something. Sick.

Audrey said...

Bloom on Marilee!!! Sounds like you found your new annual ritual. Congrats on snipping the tails. You are really something else. :)

Anonymous said...

Those are not gophers, but more likely ground squirrels. Gophers very rarely come aboveground. And they are not social like the animals in the picture. But instead, highly territorial and won't go within 20 feet of each other.

Dad/Papa/David/Grandpa said...

Well I must say that Mom would be very proud of your hunting prowess and doing it together is icing on the cake! Well done and please give our best to Dixie.
You know I still have the .22 Dad made me for my 8th birthday. A real treasure that is aching to take down a ground hog (or whatever they are) a two. You go girls!!

Cher said...

You two are killing me. I never know what I'm going to find when I hop over to your blog lee lee! It could be calf birthing or cutting the tails off of "squirrels" as your anonymous commenter pointed out (so weird). We want to come up there again soon though!!! We had so much fun...

runthehill said...

Just saw one of my dogs with half a dead gopher, trying to drag it out of the gopher hole! YUCK. Jeff hates gophers with a passion. If it was legal he'd take his 9mm and shoot down the gopher hole. Hey! Maybe that's legal in Canada!!
Miss you,
Michele Risser

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