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The Versailles Republican

June 18, 2015 • Headlines

Pitch, Hit & Run Sectional results find Cody Samples, son of Brad and Lori Samples, Versailles advancing in 13 – 14 year old boys competition, along with Lexi Franklin, daughter of Steven and Ashley Franklin, also of Versailles advancing in 7 – 8 girls competition. Both are slated to compete June 20 at about 8 a.m. at Great American Ballpark. By advancing, each will receive a hat, shirt and two tickets to the game that day.
New members were welcomed into the Delta Rho Chapter of Tri Kappa during a special ceremony at the June meeting held at Versailles Legion Park on June 8. From left are Erin Gloyd, Sidney Steinhauer, Mary Romans, Kelly Rea, Judy Sanders and Roxanne Meyer. Tri Kappa is an Indiana philanthropic organization that supports charitable, cultural and educational projects in their local communities. LINDA CHANDLER PHOTO
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Friendship State BankKing's Daughters' HealthWhitewater Motor Company Inc.
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Hunting for adventure...
Versailles trio start up hunting, outfitter business

Mary Mattingly

Did you hear the one about the two mules, a horse and three guys? It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s actually a true story! Jerry Gilpin, and Bryan and his dad Grover Miller, all of Versailles, are serious about the business they have developed, to guide big game hunters on some 40,000 acres in the limited access or wilderness of Colorado. The horses and two mules are their trusty co-workers, or perhaps better described as tools of the trade!
Shaded Timber Outfitters
Left, Jerry Gilpin, Bryan and Grover Miller stand in front of the trailer which will be driven to Colorado, full of equipment for their new outfitter and hunting business.

The trio’s intent with Shaded Timber Outfitters is to share their love of nature and hunting, shucking modern conveniences, while creating memories for family and friends in the secluded wilderness. “We want to give the best hunt you would possibly have and experience the Colorado outdoors,” Gilpin says. Or as the colored brochure reads, “It’s our mission to provide you with an exhilarating experience. We possess a deep fervor and respect for God’s marvelous handiwork and cannot wait to share it with you.” Gilpin has been hunting in Colorado for 15 years, and got Bryan Miller, 38, hooked, and then his dad. Grover doesn’t hunt, except for birds, but goes along for the scenery. “It was great, the rolling hills, the rocks, streams, lakes…just unbelievable!” he exclaims. Pictures don’t do it justice. “You have to see it with your own eyes, “ Bryan added. “I like the silence of it. You hear nothing, not a car or plane overhead.”

Their newly purchased trailer sits in Gilpin’s former monument and sign business (he has passed it on to his son Bryan) ready to be filled with camping equipment, and hauled 1,350 miles to the Colorado campground. Soon, the two horses and two mules will also be driven to north central’s Glenwood Springs, which is the western slope in Colorado, on the other side of the Rockies. The three men will follow in early July to scout hunting sites, clear trails, check equipment and set up camp in anticipation of the season. The summer season in Colorado is already underway with fishing, horse riding, and trails. Shaded Timber Outfitters will also offer up camping and fishing as well. The big game season isn’t until September. The trio said “the distance” between here and there is the biggest challenge at this point. But, they are up for it.

“I like doing different things. It’s an adventure,” Gilpin says, adding, “And I like adventures!” Gilpin has been in the greenhouse business and concert promotion, before his more current ventures in auto glass, signage, monument and screen printing/embroidery businesses in Versailles. Grover is 64 years old and winding down his local construction business to just handle remodeling. It’s not about striking it rich, but more about enjoying what they are doing. “It’s not work then,” said Bryan.

Good hunting
They say it’s some of the best elk hunting available. “Elk are as plentiful as deer are here,” Gilpin states. But elk is much bigger, like 600 pounds, even 1,000 pounds for a bull elk, Bryan says. Hunters can process their catch there, or they can pack it up. They suspect most of their clients will come for the thrill of the hunt, not so much for actual game to take back. Besides elk, there are deer and marian turkeys, and it’s not unusual to see mountain lions or bears either. “I’ve seen bear everytime I’ve gone,” Bryan said. That’s also why Gilpin says you always carry a compass and a weapon here. (Cell service can be iffy in parts, so the compass is the backup location plan.) His own son came face to face with a mountain lion there and hasn’t been back since!

They lease the land from the National Forest Service and the permits are from the USDA Forest Service. (Each hunter will have to get their own permits.)

Guided hunting and wilderness camping are a big business there. City slickers, whether they are buddies, fathers and sons, husbands and wives or families, are willing to pay for this type of experience. The Versailles trio charge $3,500 for a five-day guided hunt with a two to one hunter guide ratio, and that includes the horse pack trip in and out of camp. Figure on seven days with travel, they say. No vehicles are allowed in this secluded land; so, you can only get there by foot and horse. Hence the need for mules, which are more surefooted than horses, Gilpin explained. The base camps, fly fishing and pack trip excursions are also available for about half the price. The local men are excited about what they have discovered, and want their Ripley County peers and families to see it also.

“I’d say it’s 85 percent the experience, and not so much the hunt. You can go and not catch anything and still be totally satisfied. The camaraderie, the being one with nature, getting away from cell phones and society, I’d say that’s it for many people,” Bryan said

While they consider it a long-term business project, one that hopefully their families and grandchildren will carry on, Grover and Jerry Gilpin said at this point in their lives, they just want to have fun. “It’s kind of a wish list thing to do,” Grover Miller, said. Bryan is at another place in his life. For the father of two, free time is an issue, since he works in IT full-time at REMC and his wife is a teacher, “But if you enjoy doing it, then it’s not necessarily work.” Gilpin laughs and says they may all just grow big beards and long moustaches, and wear funky looking hats, true mountain men! Or perhaps Versailles’ own version of “Duck Dynasty!”

Pick up this week's edition of The Versailles Republican for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Mosquito bite changes her life: Encephalitis evolves to epilepsy (front page)
• Gas tanks hit by cable co. (front page)
• Versailles study conducted: Water rates likely to increase (front page)
• Register for summer reading program (page 2)
• Dept. heads meet with commissioners (page 6)
• On the Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (section B, page 2)
• Local pastor shares her artistic and God inspired gift (section B, page 4)
• Versailles Town Court (section B, page 6)
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