I had one of the very early Cabelas store customer numbers. It was cherished because it gave me access to the best outdoor gear in the world. Over the years, when I would travel to Colorado or Wyoming and Montana, I would stop in Sidney at Cabelas and “go to church” to get last-minute gear or just go through the store and dream about past and future escapades with full realization that I could get the best stuff in the world to make my dreams come true. I was fortunate to be able to attend a few of the annual holiday parties at the home of Dick and Mary Cabela located in Sidney, Neb. They allowed me to bring a guest each time – it was amazing. Dick passed away a few years ago and the company sold to Bass Pro.
One of the huge investments the Cabela family made in the soul of America was a lifetime guarantee for any product purchased at their store. They believed that Americans were good people and would not abuse that promise. I can speak for my family and friends – if we wore it out or broke it we bought a new one – and didn’t expect the company to cover the cost of our stupidity or carelessness. That always seemed to me to be a statement about the goodness and integrity of the American Outdoors men and women and I felt Cabelas made our country better by that promise which we all respected. Bass Pro continued that policy after the purchase of Cabelas. Apparently, Bass Pro has changed or America has changed. I had a vacuum packer that failed after 6 months and went to the store in Kansas City last week to exchange it. The nice lady in customer service said that I was fortunate to have come in when I did – On Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, Bass Pro’s return policy is 90 days with receipt proof of purchase. I’m sure Dick rotated in his grave, and sadly, I can see how Bass Pro found it necessary to make that change. It makes me sad for our country.
There is a strange thing happening in Russell County. Missi Prosser has managed cattle on the Dauber ranch north of Bunker Hill for 18 years. Two years ago someone shot her ranch dog. Since 2018, she has had over 80 cattle shot on her land. She hasn’t had any significant support from Russell County and has had thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills and is frightened for her own personal safety and her herd. It makes no sense for someone to do that. I hope the sheriff can figure it out and stop it. She and her cattle deserve better.
Our marsh is quiet right now. I had a report of a Snowy Owl but I couldn’t find it. There are lots of mallards, a few pintails, and several gadwall and redheads. Still fun to go see who is still around. The short-eared owls are still at Quivira. What a beautiful bird.
Do you realize it is almost spring? We are thinking about going to Nebraska to meet a friend and go ice fishing for yellow perch and bluegill as big as a dinner plate (almost). I got my elk application in on time—Wyoming gives you the month of January to apply.
They never stocked trout in Veterans lake this year. First time I recall that they skipped Great Bend. Henry and I loved to catch those trout – and they were great table fare!
Keep Missi in your thoughts and care for your own –you never know ...
Doctor Dan Witt is a retired physician and nature enthusiast.