ELMER KEITH PHOTO'S

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sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Many times over the years I've mentioned of my early visits to see Elmer Keith, I've told about seeing all of his mounts, guns, etc & the fact that I took several photo's of Elmer & his game room out back of his modest home is Salmon, Idaho.
I kept saying I would someday find those old pictures (long before digital) & share them with everyone. Well after years of looking I finally stopped mentioning about my trips to Salmon because I could never find the photo's. Over 20 years I've looked & looked for them. At first I thought it might have been slides, I looked at well over 1,000 slides I've taken, no photo's of Elmer, I went through hundreds & hundreds of old pictures, I was sick, I couldn't find them & finally came to the realization that perhaps they were lost forever. My wife thought I might have loaned them to someone years ago, I didn't know.
One of my son's recently decided he was going to try & sort everything out & put them on a CD, he's been cussing every since! After raising 5 kids & moving several times the photo's & slides were scattered into every room & closet in the house. Last week while rummaging through lots of my old magazines, Shooting Times, Handloader, Guns & Ammo, Rifle, American Rifleman, Gun World, etc he happened to find a small shoe box & when he opened it up......there were my long lost pictures of Elmer, along with some of my early photo's taken back in the 60's during my 4 years in Texas in the Air Force, I'll have to admit, it brought tears to my eyes after all those years to finally have them back.
My first visit to see Elmer Keith was in 1971, I was on a return trip from elk hunting & decided to stop & see if I had the courage to visit the grand old man of all things GUNS! Walking up to the door I was shaking like a leaf, not having a clue what I would say or if he would even give me a spare minute of his time.
When the door opened Elmer stood there with a stogie in his mouth & a 4" model 29 in a belt rig on his hip. Most people when they meet someone they much admire they blurt out, "I've been reading all your stuff for many years & consider you the top authority in the world on handguns & writing" well, I said, Mr Keith, I've been reading all your stuff for many years & consider you the top authority in the world on handguns & writing!
He said, well, you've been reading for a long time then! I was 26 yrs old!
Inviting me in he introduced me to Lorraine, his wife & ask me to sit down, he was very polite, patient & relaxed, he didn't seem to be a bit annoyed that I had knocked on his door & we spent 2-3 hours talking guns, hunts, loads, other writers & Eagles! He hated eagles, Golden eagles.
I bought one of his books, he signed it & I sang all the way home, some 300 miles I was so happy. In the next 5 years I would visit several more times, I won't try & tell anyone we were friends, I was just one of the many who stopped to see the other master, he was truly a gentleman & we had some great visits.
During that time I had a table at one of the local gun shows & a fellow from Salmon was very mch interested in my Ruger #1 45/70, the early one's had the most beautiful wood you've ever seen, this 4 digit gun was no exception, we discussed a price but he never bought the gun, instead he called a few days later from Salmon & said he wanted it, I told him I would deliver the gun if he would tell Elmer I was coming, he promised me he would take care of it. The man was Jed Wilson, he was either the sheriff of Lemhi county or the chief of police, not sure, anyway, he made the connection with Elmer & I delivered the Ruger #1. I've always thought the picture I took of Elmer was with my 45/70 but after seeing the photo it might not be, I don't remember selling the scope with mine, either way you can see the gun has outstanding wood. This picture was taken out in his trophy room behind the house, it was an old converted garage & its where he did his writing, correspondence, etc, it was full of big game heads from all over the world including some very old skull mounts, done back before pre moulded forms were available. He was cussing the taxidermist a little over one of his Polar bears because it had been mounted wrong, Polar bears are much longer than they are wide, brown bears or grizzly bears will "square" or close to it, Polar bears are more narrow & long.
Finding these old photo's after all these years has brought me more joy than you can ever imagine, I thought they were gone forever, enjoy!

First photo is Elmer Keith, sometime in the early to mid 70's holding either his or my Ruger #1 out in his trophy room in his backyard. He's wearing his favorite 4" 44 but all you can see is part of the holster.

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Next photo is some of his many trophies taken from around the world. Elmer only had 2 animals in the house, a Sable & a sheep, I think a Stone sheep, he told me it had been in a fire & he had the taxidermist put another cape on it. Also in the house was a set of elephant ivory, the tusks were brass capped and standing on end on the floor & arched over his couch, almost touching.

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I believe this paneling is the very same paneling in the Elmer Keith museum in Calelas in Boise, Idaho

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More photo's later, enjoy!! I couldn't be happier!

Dick
 

Jeff Hoover

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
Great Post, Dick ! :D . I think the #1 may be Elmers. It looks like the receiver may be engraved with his name on it !

Your creditablity remains in tact, tho' those that know you NEVER doubted you ever met Elmer. Great photos. I'm waiting on seeing a young whipper snapper, standing next to his idol :lol: . I've got mine ! You and callshot are in it :mrgreen: .

Thanks a bunch for sharing ! Extremely interesting !
 

callshot

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
952
Location
Pocatello, Idaho
Great story and pictures. I have been at your house when you were looking for those pictures. Glad you found them. One day I will be able to say that I knew the next Grand Master of hand guns and cast bullets. That would be you. I would need to get a photo of you and me, but there isn't a wide angle lens camera big enough for us. I'll have to settle for the picture of you with the Bison standing nose to nose. Oops! I forgot, that was a Black Angus bull in Dry Valley. Steve
 

flyinfred

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Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
648
Location
High Point,NC
Dick
Thank you so much for sharing these pictures of one on my long time favorite people. I have several of his books and understand how much these pictures mean to you. Thanks again.
FG
 

americal

Hunter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,174
Location
Alabama, Athens
SIXSHOT--do you know how he was able to obtain Jim Corbett's double rifle his most prized gun :?: from what I have been told---MAN EATERS is A great read 8) Read it as A teenager back in 1960's.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,100
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
YAAAAHOOO!
Ya found them!
Were they in that bunch your son picked up while we were there?
PS: Have you found the books yet?
 

cowboydave

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
108
Location
TX
Great story, I enjoyed it and can't wait for the rest of the pictures.
Thanks for sharing,
Dave
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
Wonderful news! The few times I've driven through Salmon I've thought about a visit with Elmer......

Thanks for sharing!

flatgate
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
americal, I'm not sure about how Elmer came by Jim Corbett's double rifle, I'm guessing John Taffin might know the story, he frequents the singleactions forum. Maybe we can find out.
Funny how you remember things differently after many, many years, I thought I had taken Elmer's picture holding my 45/70 in the front room of his house, instead he's holding his own & we're out back in the trophy room. Also I didn't remember the paneling out back. The photo's sure jogged my memory.

Dick
 

Cholo

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
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Dec 30, 2008
Messages
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Georgia
Another great story sixshot! Glad you found the pics after so long. With all your adventures, when's the book coming out? I'd be 1st in line to buy one!

Now, I want to know what it was like on your last space shuttle mission :wink:
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Cholo, do you have any idea how much rocket fuel it would take it get me airborne!! :cry:

Here's more photo's from over 40 yrs ago, don't know if I have anymore pictures of Elmer Keith, I"ll have to wait until me son gets back up here from Utah.

This is me (yes I was smaller) with my Red Wolf, taken west of Sherman, Texas in 1967, they might be extinct now, not sure. I wrote up the story for Northwest Hunter magazine in 1970.

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AT that time the locals said they were, Lousiania Red Wolves, don't know if thats their real name or not. There were a fair number of them in the area back in the 60's.

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This was at Brownwood, Texas, I had shot my buck the day before on Dub Carney's lease using a Remington 6mm. Dub had shot the bigger buck just south of Sonorra, Texas. His buck was facing us at about 175 yds (guesstimated!) he shot between the front legs & struck one of the hind legs using his 264 magnum. Within 10 minutes it was dark so we drove back to Sonorra and drank coffee until daylight (I drank coffe then...& a lot of other stuff :wink: ) then drove back out to where he had shot the buck, the place was called Loma Alta, or Alta Loma, can't remember, been well over 40 years ago. Anyway I tracked the buck to where he had went onto another piece of property. You don't trespass in Texas! We didn't want to lose that buck so I left my rifle & went through the fence & soon located the buck, he was alive & pretty fiesty, I worked down below him & forced him up into a small arroyo, he would turn & face me & drop his head & step in my direction, I would back off & then follow him further up the arroyo, finally we came to a steep spot & he couldn't hobble along anymore, it looked like we were going to duke it out.
I pulled out my Puma lockblade folder & tried to ease up to the weakened buck, he still wanted to fight & would back me down with his antlers. I looked around & found a large piece of mesquite, laid my knife on a rock & turned sideways, easing up close to the buck, he would drop his head & bluff charge on 3 legs, the other leg was shattered. We jousted back & forth for 5 mintues or so & I finally got in quite close & when he dropped his head & went for me I clubbed him in the head with the mesquite, knocking his right eye out (I'm left handed) it knocked him down & it also broke my club, I grabbed my knife & his rack & started trying to cut his throat, he didn't seem to like that much & fought like a tiger, he was wearing me down but I finally got his throat cut & ended the ordeal, gutted him, put him on my back & eased back down to where Dub & his nephew were waiting.
You can see on the bigger buck where I knocked his right eye out with the club.

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Bobcat taken on Dub Carney's farm outside of Whitesboro, Texas, I shot it with a Marlin 39A, the Gibsons Discount Center I worked at part time sold them new for $48! :cry:

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One of many turkeys I shot on Dub's lease at Brownwood, Texas using a Remington 308 & a 165 gr cast slug #311291, my load was 5 grs of Unique with a pinch of kapok pushed inside to hold the powder down next to the primer. I could shoot them in the breast & you could eat the bullet hole.

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You can get an idea of how big these Texas bullfrogs were when I tell you that lid they are laying on is a metal garbage can lid! :shock: They were huge, I shot hundreds of them in my 4 years in Texas with my recurve bow, I don't think I ever used a gig like the locals. I would shoot them with field points & pin them to the mud, some of the bigger one's would stretch clear across that lid.
I had several one night & put them in an old gunny sack & headed for home about midnight. MY wife & I were living with a lady who had a very large home with a swimming pool in the back. I took my sack of frogs in the back yard & wetted them down with the water hose, planning on taking care of them the next morning.
About 2am the lady was banging on our bedroom door, several of the frogs were still alive & had escaped the sack & were swimming in her pool, dragging intestines, etc as they swam, she was really mad & I had to get my swim suit on & start chasing bullfrogs, croaking as they tried to escape me! I never did that again! :cry:

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One of the neighbors with a nice mess of catfish, Texas size!

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Bowhunting at Possum Kindgdom in Palo Pinto county, Texas, everybody used recurves back then.

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Only good buck I ever bowkilled in Texas, you can see where the Black Diamond broadhead hit him.

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Practicing in the backyard at home, my wife would retreive my arrows & hand them back to me.

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A small button buck taken at Possum Kingdom with my 60# Bear Kodiak, I had several apples scattered around my tree & this little guy had one of my apples in his mouth when I took the shot, he jumped the string on me & I hit him through both hind quarters, he bled out in 30-40 yds.

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More photo's later! Enjoy, Dick
 

Jeff Hoover

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
I never knew Frankie Avalon hunted ! Darn Dick, you stud muffin, you :D

I like the pre-tree stand days picture. When men were men !

Great pics ! Keep 'em coming ! :D
 
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