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THE TAILBONE RANCH DEER STORY From 1980, as told by Mick Von Tour

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:20 pm
by Soapweed
From 1980, as told by Mick Von Tour
Steve Moreland, December 4, 2017

In the fall of 1980, Bernie and I were batching and living on the Tailbone Ranch, about 30 miles southeast of Gordon, deep in the heart of the Sandhills. We had gone to Chadron to get a pallet of shingles to fix the roof on the old house before winter set in. While making small talk with the manager of the lumber yard, he asked if we had any deer at the Tailbone Ranch. Bernie assured him we had an adequate supply, more than a man could hunt, and plenty for whoever needed any. The truth was that we had not hunted any deer, and it was now out of season anyway.

The next day was a Saturday, and I remember it like it was yesterday. We were busy fixing the roof on the house with the shingles we had bought the day before. All of a sudden, two game wardens came driving into the yard. They get out and spot us on the roof. They tell us to get down, so we climb down the ladder and confront them. They both tell us they had reports that we were shooting deer out of season. They wanted to look around the place. Bernie said, “Be my guest.” We had not shot any deer, or anything else for that matter.

We followed them into the old block building that was our barn. One of the rafters had been kind of chewed up and had some kind of rope draped over it. One of the game wardens said, “Looks like something has sure been hanging from that rafter, possibly a deer.” Bernie chimed in and said, “Yep, it sure looks like something has been hung there.” So they search the entire place and also go into the house and look in the freezer. They don’t find a darned thing. So at the end before they got in their truck to leave, one of the game wardens says that we were in the lumber yard yesterday telling that there were plenty of deer for the whole country at the Tailbone. They left the place.

Bernie turns to me and says, “They have not left. They are probably over a hill watching us to see if we try to hide something.” So we go out to that old Quonset and get this old carpet that was rolled up. We both grabbed an end and carried it to the truck, threw it in the back, got in and drove off towards the trash blowout.

Well, here they come out of nowhere and pull up and stop us, guns drawn. They tell us to get out, stand back, and put our hands in the air. They both tell us, “We caught you with the goodies.” Bernie says, “Yep, you sure caught us,” and we both laughed. They pulled out that old carpet, unrolled it, and had the look of seeing Jesus on their faces. Bernie and I just stood there and laughed until we hurt.

Thanks, Mick. That was an amusing tale from the Tailbone to tickle the funny bone.

Re: THE TAILBONE RANCH DEER STORY From 1980, as told by Mick Von Tour

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:52 pm
by Faster horses
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Couple of jokers, those 2.

Re: THE TAILBONE RANCH DEER STORY From 1980, as told by Mick Von Tour

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:18 pm
by Traveler
Don't you just feel sorry for the game wardens........NOT! Great story!

Re: THE TAILBONE RANCH DEER STORY From 1980, as told by Mick Von Tour

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:52 am
by George
Most of ( not all ) the DNR officers I work with are great guys - - - if they were given a false lead they still need to track it down or they would not be doing their jobs.

In Indiana the DNR officers are the highest ranking with more attority and training than any others - - - ranking in Indiana is 1) local police departments 2) counthy sheriff's departments 3) State police 4) Department of Natural Resources - - - the FBI has an entirely different protocal and most people do not know they do not have attority to enforce state and local laws but we work closely with them on federal laws and they often have better labs they will put at our disposal.

We often get false leads on drugs but we take all seriously - - - your ex girl friend may call in a lead on you saying you are growing or manufacturing or selling drugs but unless she has proven un reliable in the past we still need to follow up. If we find out the report was vindictive we can and will prosecute for false reporting.

Yes I see the humor in the story but do not berate them for doing what they are supposed to do.

Re: THE TAILBONE RANCH DEER STORY From 1980, as told by Mick Von Tour

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:15 pm
by mrj
George, your state obviously has been 'in the business' of managing game for longer than some farther west. And no doubt, have stricter, stronger requirements for officers now than what NE did 40 years ago.

At any rate, in western SD, most of the game was hunted for every day food for survival until around 1920's (if it lasted that long!) My father-in-law was quite excited to spot a deer in this area, I believe in the 1950's, and it was first he had seen as an adult. He was born in 1903 and lived here all his life. My family, living about 15 miles east of this ranch, saw our first ones about 1952, as we were taking a tractor drawn 'hay ride' at night to get the last couple of miles home for Christmas Vacation from school in town, ten miles distant. It was a snowy, moonlit night, and we were amazed to see several deer, including some well-antlered bucks 'dashing through the snow ahead of us as we neared the bridge across the creek. It really 'made' our Christmas! I was half-past 11 years old and my siblings were all younger, so it was a very exciting event.

I don't know when a department of Game, Fish, & Parks was established in SD, but was probably before that time, as there were deer in the Black Hills before they 'came back' to this area. I'm sure there are some excellent officers, but do know that humanity being what it is there is an occasional 'over-achiever' with an attitude.

There was a time in western SD, when I was growing up, and till not so many years ago, that the caliber of people available for 'law officers' that some of our small towns could afford wasn't the greatest, nor was the 'training' they got (if any!). It did give some young guys a poor attitude toward 'the law' partly because those officers were lacking skills necessary for the put it gently. Some towns then did, and still do, simply rely on the county sheriff. The current ones get better training and do a great job, imo.

Same for current game officers, however, I do not believe wild life and game could be managed better and the people who are paying the land taxes and raising those animals for the department could be better served.


Re: THE TAILBONE RANCH DEER STORY From 1980, as told by Mick Von Tour

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:14 pm
by George
I agree - - - many times when I go to back up a local police officer it becomes very obvious that they lack even the most basic training - - - these are the same ones that if I was to pull them over for DUI they would try to flash their badge and expect me to give them a free pass.

And I'm sure times have changed - - - In Indiana a DNR officer is to be respected as it is the case they do way more training that any other branch around here including the State Police. I am very comfortable when I hear them on the radio when I'm out as I know they will be as good a back-up as I can get!

The ones I have worked with so far have shown themselves to be exceptional the the last man. I think the 13 week boot camp ( same lenght as the Marines ) weeds out most of the bad ones - - - they have less than 50% graduate!