The Rotary Club of San Saba was recently invited to visit the Rotary Club of Sheridan, Wyoming for a weekend filled with hunting, fishing, sightseeing and, fellowship. Eight local Rotarians, including Jimmy Shook, Deryl Hoyt Sr., Mike Thomas, Harold Yates, Donny Smith, Deryl Hoyt Jr., Ramiro Cisneroz, and Michael Deans accepted the invitation.
The group drove the twenty-two hours to Sheridan which is located in the north central part of Wyoming about fifteen miles from the Montana border. Arriving Thursday afternoon, they were greeted by P J Kane, a local Funeral Director and Rotarian, who assisted in the members getting settled into their rooms and then a quick trip downtown to visit several of Sheridan’s historic businesses including the Don King Western Museum.
King’s Museum, which opened in 1989, is home to over 550 saddles. The museum also includes a large collection of other items associated with cowboys and the West, including spurs, chaps, bits, rawhide and horsehair work, leather tools, boots, guns, wagons, and all kinds of horse tack and harnesses.
A tour of the city followed; showing the San Saba Rotarian the homes and businesses of the area, PJ explained to the Rotarians that the deer population is so plentiful that the city has had to open an archery only hunting season inside the city limits to control the damage caused by the animals.
Friday morning the club was taken to a ranch owned by Ron Mischke where they were allowed to shoot prairie dogs. The prairie dog population is considered a nuisance in most of the state due to the damage they cause to the land and the diseases that are carried in the colonies.
Later that day the club was taken to the Sheridan County Sportsman Gun Club where they confirmed the sighting in of their rifles and then were challenged by members of the local club in skeet and trap shooting.
That evening the Sheridan Club had their weekly meeting where the San Saba Club gave a presentation about San Saba’s history and culture.
Saturday was the day for the main event. Local Rotarians were taken to ranches in the Sheridan area where they were taken on guided mule deer hunts. Six of the eight San Saba hunters took nice bucks. Michael Deans won the competion for the best deer, the horns measuring 179 and 5/8 inches and weighing 198 pounds, field dressed weight.
Saturday evening the group dined at the Sheridan Inn. The historic Sheridan Inn, a National Historic Landmark, was built across from the train depot and was advertised as" the finest hotel between Chicago and San Francisco." Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody frequented the Inn and was once part owner. He would sit on the grand porch of this gracious building and would audition acts for his "Wild West Show." The Inn is widely known as the "House of 69 Gables" as listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not and it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sunday the Rotarians loaded up for an hour drive into Montana to float down the "Big Horn River". The three mile float trip was a chance to experience beautiful new scenery and try the fly fishing for Rainbow and Brown trout.
After returning to Sheridan, the Wyoming Rotarian held one last meeting to send the Texas group back on their way home. The members of the San Saba Rotary Club would like to say a special thanks to PJ Kane, Ron Mischke and Dr. Corey Jost for their outstanding hospitality as well as to the entire Rotary Club of Sheridan.
The Rotary Club of San Saba meets at noon every Thursday at Pepperbelly’s. If you have an interest in serving your community you are invited to visit the Rotary Club of San Saba.