Beaver Creek Rendezvous a Community Effort
The Ekalaka Eagle - December 26, 2003
The third annual Beaver Creek Rendezvous, a hunting camp for disabled hunters, started out on Saturday, October 25, 2003, with all the hunters getting settled in the bunk house at the LA Ranch and sighting in their rifles, in preparation for this year's hunt.
Each disabled hunter is accompanied by a companion, and in some cases hunters have special permits that allow them to shoot from vehicles. This year, participants were John Moore and Wayne Walker of Anaconda; Patrick Hughes and Jon Lion of Florence, Ralph and Sol Martin of Troy, Tom DeSaveur of Fishtail, and Jolee Goddard of Roscoe.
The group began the next day's hunt getting up, eating breakfast, and setting up with guides by 5:00 a.m. The hunters went in all directions, two going to Mark Burch's ranch, one to Mac Tooke's, two to Doug Bonsell's, and three stayed at the LA Ranch.
High winds challenged the hunters on the first day, still some were nonetheless successful, bringing in a few deer. Hunters had more success on the second day, even though the winds were still with them, with yet more deer coming in to the camp...and more smiles.
The third day of the hunt left only Patrick's deer to bag, and he ran into a bit of luck when three bucks were spotted on the hill behind the LA Ranch house. Patrick made a great shot to get his buck, and the last of the tags was filled.
Sunday was a night for all those involved with the hunt to get together, with a great meal and music provided by Phil Cook on guitar and one of the participants, Jolee Goddard on fiddle. The following night, Monday, featured the final supper and awards presentation.
The Beaver Creek Rendezvous receives substantial support from Carter County residents, as well as other area individuals and businesses.
Ranches that provide hunting access and support include the Bonsell Ranch, Burch Ranch, Mac Tooke Ranch, Markuson Ranch, Schwede Ranch, Harpster Ranch, and of course, the LA Ranch.
Guides take time off from their own work, and in some cases travel long distances as well. This year, guides were Mac Tooke; Les Dorris; Jason Nygren of Seattle, Washington; Sam Denney, Jay Beach; Doug Bonsell; Kent and Kenneth Ehret; Judd and Patty Halstead; Jon Travers, all the way from Jamesville, New York; Duane McCord; and Doug Wolverton of Livingston.
A small army of cooks is assembled for the camp, too. Doing the culinary work this year were Nic Dorris, Bob Strub, Jane Logan, Janet Parks, Duane McCord, Mic McCord, and Sandy Stieg. Pork for the barbecue was donated by Joe Breding with other food from Reynolds of Baker and the Main Street Market.
The camp underwent more construction to expand the bunkhouse this year, with the help of much donated time and material. Helping with construction were K & P Construction, Wright Construction, Kuntz Construction, J & M Lumber, Duane and Mic McCord, Sam Denney, Mac Tooke, Stefan Livingston, Jason Nygren, Alex Gordon, Ernie Smith, and Les and Nic Dorris.
Blinds that were used during the hunt were donated by the Paralyzed Veterans of American, Budweiser (a hydraulically raised blind called Bud Lift I), and the LA Ranch. Gifts for the hunters came from Red Rocks Sporting Goods of Miles City, Hardware Hank of Baker, LA Ranch, A & A Stieg, Les and Nic Dorris, Jason Nygren, Sam Denney, the Buckhorn Bar, Judd and Patty Halstead, and Jon Travers.
Seven framed wildlife prints, were donated, some by the artists themselves, to be raffled as a fund raiser for the camp. Donors were Scott Birkenbuel, LA Ranch, Sheri Cobb, Mardi Rathburn, Clark Bock, and Baker Furniture. The winners were drawn, Monday (see accompanying article).
L.A. Livingston, who runs the camp, figures that there are probably a few more volunteers or donors that he forgot to acknowledge in one list or the other, too.
"Needless to say," comments Livingston, "We had a great time with the hunters and their companions. We would like to thank the hunters for coming to let us spend time with them and make new friends."
"It really means a lot to all of us to be able to do this," he says, "The outdoors is a great place to be, but if you can be out there with a friend and hunting, it doesn't get any better."