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Old 05-03-2020, 01:41 PM   #1
CentralTXHunter
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Default The Fat G Ranch

We got on a new lease earlier this year. Itís my buddyís fatherís land out in Val Verde County. He was contemplating selling it due to health issues and not being able to maintain it anymore. After a couple of conversations, he agreed for me and two of my closest friends to lease the property. Not only that, but our ďlease paymentĒ, for at least this year, is improvements to the ranch. Itís an awesome deal on a beautiful piece of property in need of some serious TLC.

We have a high fence ranch that borders about half the property called ďThe Lazy SĒ. We were riding around on the ranger one trip and they said our place needed a name. I blurted out ďThe Fat GĒ and it stuck.

My intent is to document our time on this place here, show you guys the improvements we are making to the place, and hopefully lots of LDPs in the future. I hope you follow along and I intend to update the content every trip from this point forward.

The Good:

Two conex boxes (one to store the ranger and another completely empty)

18íx20í Camphouse with a small porch

Solar powered water well with a 4,500 gallon storage tank

Tons of game from whitetail, hogs, and axis to elk and auodad

Decent blinds already in place all around the ranch

Cell service (makes the wives happy and super important for emergencies when you are as remote as we are)

Incredible views

The Bad:

Tons of trash piled up around camp

Plumbing has been broken for years

Feeders were non-existent or in very poor condition

Layout of the cabin is terrible and itís trashed up

The whole place is solid rock

Itís almost always windy there and theyíre prone to really high wind storms

Generator power only

Itís a 3 hour round trip drive, minimum, to go to town

Itís far (5 hour drive from home)


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Old 05-03-2020, 01:54 PM   #2
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Sounds like an awesome place. Best of luck with it.


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Old 05-03-2020, 01:57 PM   #3
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Our first trip was early February. Priority 1 was to get feeders erected and get them feeding.



Mission accomplished. We put up 6 feeders on that trip and then made a ridiculous list of all the things we needed to get done.

One thing was certain. We were going to have to secure these feeders somehow. The wind is too strong and with auodad on the place as well, they can beat up a feeder.

The next trip was at the end of February. What we came up with to secure the feeders was to use a hammer drill and a 1/2Ē x 18Ē bit to drill into the rock. Shoot some Hilti epoxy in the hole and then insert rebar. Then we used stainless steel zip ties that are rated to 500lbs each to secure the feeder legs to the rebar. Came out looking like this.





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Old 05-03-2020, 02:02 PM   #4
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Looks like a cool place! In for updates
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:03 PM   #5
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There were piles of trash like this all around camp.



In March, my buddy and some young boys did some quarantining at the ranch and moved all of the trash from around camp.



We had an old box trailer on the place. So they put all the trash in it and shut the door. Out of sight, out of mind, right?




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Old 05-03-2020, 02:08 PM   #6
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Camphouse and plumbing were in pretty rough shape. Hereís some before pictures.








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Old 05-03-2020, 03:21 PM   #7
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This weekend was a major turning point with two major projects to accomplish.

1. Repair the plumbing.

2. Build a large deck to provide us with some much needed additional living space.

Thursday afternoon we were ready to roll...





We head out around 2:30. Things are going well and we are cruising towards Sonora. Then 10 miles outside of Llano, this happened to the load my buddy was hauling.




Oh yeah, and the spare he has is a different lug pattern. I leave him on the side of HWY 29 and haul balls back to Llano. I pull up to Millerís Garage at 4:59. By 5:15 I was out of there with a new tire mounted on the rim and a brand new spare with the correct lug pattern in case we have another issue. Huge shoutout to the folks there by the way. They were super kind and stayed a little late to get us back on our way. We come rolling into camp around 9PM. Much later than our targeted time of arrival.



Our third lease member was already at camp waiting on us. He drove in earlier from a job he was on in Midland.

First things first was to install the new sign Steve made us. Big shoutout to him. He does fantastic work and is a pleasure to work with. Make sure you order a sign from him, but beware, they become addicting. You can find his posts all around TBH.



After a few adult beverages and some domino games, we called it a night.

The next morning we got to work. I handled all the plumbing while they worked on the new deck addition. It took ALL day and it was hot. Temps were well into the 90s on Friday.







We ran out of screws on the deck so the final touches will be completed next trip. Still have railings, stairs, and a header to install. We also decided to build a L or U-shaped bar with a griddle built-in to the right corner where the original footprint of the porch was. Not sure when we get to that project, but itís on the list. The view off that deck into the canyon canít be put into words. Awesome project that dramatically improved our amount of functional living space.

Original setup was a 12V RV pump ran off a car battery that theyíd have to charge all the time. The RV pump had cracked and the PVC from the pump all through the cabin was in terrible shape.



I installed a brand new RV pump and enclosed it in a box to help keep it out of the elements a bit. Then installed a 20W solar panel ran into a solar charge controller. I mounted a switch to the side to easily turn on the RV pump. A brand new 100AH deep cycle AGM SLA battery enclosed in a battery box completed the install here.





From the pump on I installed all new pex lines to the whole camphouse. The sewer line was in decent shape, but the kitchen sink and shower drains had never been plumbed into it, so I tied those in.








The kitchen faucet had never been plumbed and the strainer body on the sink was in rough shape.



After a pipe wrench, hammer, and eventually an oscillating tool, I finally freed the nut to remove the strainer assembly. I installed a brand new one and a S-trap. Discovered I didnít bring enough parts to plumb completely into the drain in the floor. (Another thing to compete on the next trip) Installed the faucet and sprayer as well.



As Mike (our landowner) tells it, when he purchased the place, the original owner got drunk and came onto the property and took the propane hot water heater. True or not, we didnít have one, and it had never had hot water since Mike has owned it. So I also installed a tankless, propane fed hot water heater. The igniter is ran off D-batteries, so no additional power requirements for our generator. I also put an exhaust stack and simple enclosure on this unit to help protect it from the elements.




The supplier I ordered this eccotemp L7 from is working on getting me the adjustment knob. It wasnít sent in the original box the hot water heater came in. It didnít arrive in time before we had to leave for this trip.

Ended up being a super long day with these projects. Joe cooked us an amazing dinner and he fell asleep shortly afterward. Keegan and I were up until about 1AM drinking and telling lies. I didnít test the plumbing Friday night because I didnít want to run down a leak in the dark.

Saturday morning rolls around and itís go time for the pressure test. We open the valve from the well and I hear water. Turns out to be simple. I installed a water hose connection that was a shark bite fitting. Pushed the pex in a little further and the leak stops.

I flicked the switch on the control box and the RV pump fires right up and shuts off once it has pressurized the house. Just like it is supposed to. Solar is working and charging the battery. All is good!

Go inside to test all my valves. All good! Success! Now time to test hot water.

The tankless fires right up and hot water is delivered in 30 seconds. And let me tell you it is HOT! Very impressed how that little unit works.

All three of us got our first showers at camp. Total game changer. When youíre working that hard in the heat, a shower makes you feel like a new man and renews your drive.

Installed the most important piece of equipment in the cabin as well.



Then I couldnít take the dirtiness and clutter anymore and got after the kitchen countertop and sink. (If you look pics in an earlier post, youíll see how bad it was)




Kitchen faucet cold water valve has a problem. Just going to buy a whole new assembly and replace the next trip. Also, the toilet floor seal is bad. Another thing to replace.

We have tons of projects left to complete, but itís coming together. Views like this are what make it all worth it though.




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Old 05-03-2020, 03:47 PM   #8
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Maaaaan, I am looking forward to following this thread! Y’all are doing an awesome job it looks like!
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:49 PM   #9
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Very cool!! Enjoying this, please keep posting your progress! Yíall are doing a great job


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Old 05-03-2020, 06:27 PM   #10
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Lookin Great! Good work!
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:37 PM   #11
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Looking forward to following along.
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:53 PM   #12
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Wow. That is looking great. You and your biuddies will have some great memories
Last camp I was in they stored their feed in the box truck.

My two cents: Those small generators burn very little fuel and are really quiet

BP
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Big pig View Post
Wow. That is looking great. You and your biuddies will have some great memories
Last camp I was in they stored their feed in the box truck.

My two cents: Those small generators burn very little fuel and are really quiet

BP

They are pretty quiet and very efficient. We are currently using a Predator 3500 from Harbor Freight that Keegan has had for years. Our landowner has a diesel 7500 heís been wanting to get out there. Itís actually at my shop getting tuned up right now and will be out there on the next trip. Another one of the projects is to replace the existing breaker box. It looks rough.



Going to replace it with a new outdoor 6-12 panel and I picked up a partially used 250í spool of 6 gauge 4 wire SO cord for $100 and we are going to run the generator way out away from the cabin behind the conex.




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Old 05-03-2020, 07:18 PM   #14
texan16
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What a POS place to hunt.....I will take it off your hands for a really good price.

Yall have done a great job getting that place set up !!! Hope yall kill some nice critters off that place.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:20 PM   #15
twosixteens
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Sounds looks an awesome place
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:55 PM   #16
louieagarcia
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Way to go! Tuned in. Looks like y’all are making great progress. That new porch is gonna be a great hang out spot!
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Old 05-03-2020, 09:44 PM   #17
sailor
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Excellent job...……………..
It'll be worth every minute...…………
I'm impressed...………..
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Old 05-03-2020, 09:52 PM   #18
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Man!! What a dream place!!

Oh and that sign sure is pretty!! I think you might need another one to have on the ground for the upcoming LDPs.....

Great thread!
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:17 PM   #19
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Very cool place! In for the progress!
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:22 PM   #20
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Great stuff!!!!
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Proud member since 1999

Gary's Outdoor Highlight of 2008:



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Old 05-04-2020, 08:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltaholic View Post
Man!! What a dream place!!

Oh and that sign sure is pretty!! I think you might need another one to have on the ground for the upcoming LDPs.....

Great thread!

Dangit Steve! Youíre right! Iíve also been eyeing that Gadsden Flag one too...


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Old 05-04-2020, 09:17 AM   #22
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This is going to be a great thread...can't wait
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:33 AM   #23
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Default Brent!

I didn't realize you were on here. Man that place is going to be awesome for y'all and the kids. This post is cool and cant wait to see more. Of course I been hearing about it regularly from Keegan. He is very excited, good to see folks excited about outdoor activities these days.

Your projects look great and 100%, I know your having fun planning and executing those upgrades and repairs. I know your compadres well and they don't get no better than those guys. Hope your teaching them good!! lol

Cant wait for the next update. If you need anything tool wise just holler I have about 50% of every thing know to man.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:37 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by red-fin View Post
I didn't realize you were on here. Man that place is going to be awesome for y'all and the kids. This post is cool and cant wait to see more. Of course I been hearing about it regularly from Keegan. He is very excited, good to see folks excited about outdoor activities these days.

Your projects look great and 100%, I know your having fun planning and executing those upgrades and repairs. I know your compadres well and they don't get no better than those guys. Hope your teaching them good!! lol

Cant wait for the next update. If you need anything tool wise just holler I have about 50% of every thing know to man.

Good Luck!

Thanks Rex! Itís definitely a cool place. I think we are solid on tools, but Iíll definitely keep that offer in mind if we come up short for a project in the future! Itís a good group and Iím looking forward to the future years here and getting all our kids on some awesome animals as they grow up.


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Old 05-06-2020, 06:41 PM   #25
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Where are you hauling all of that junk and trash? I'm asking because I have a lot I'm still cleaning up going into year two of our place. Been setting a lot of it up by main road and fortunately it keeps walking off.
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:44 PM   #26
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Where are you hauling all of that junk and trash? I'm asking because I have a lot I'm still cleaning up going into year two of our place. Been setting a lot of it up by main road and fortunately it keeps walking off.

There is an old box trailer on the property that was a former camp apparently. We just rolled up the door and piled trash in. Then shut it. We are 9.8 miles to a main road, so thereís no hauling trash out. Itís all rock, so we canít dig a hole and bury it either.


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Old 05-06-2020, 07:20 PM   #27
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Looks like a dang cool place. Following along and in for some LDP's
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:28 AM   #28
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Wow awesome place and look forward to following along!
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:41 AM   #29
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My mechanic at the shop, Robert, got our new to us diesel generator up and running. New fuel pump and battery with an oil change and sheís ready to rock. This should provide us all the power we need for our future additions to camp.




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Old 05-07-2020, 10:07 AM   #30
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Awesomeness ! I hunt in Val Verde county as well. Yall are making really good progress. Looking forward to following this thread !
A suggestion..... BIGGER Feeders !
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Old 05-07-2020, 11:06 AM   #31
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I love what you have done so far! Great Work! I will be following this for sure!
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:57 PM   #32
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Let's see some game cam pics! Congrats on the new place, I sure miss having a deer camp to get away to with friends. I'm fortunate enough to have family property to hunt back home, but it's just not the same as a weekend away with your buddies.
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:59 PM   #33
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Let's see some game cam pics! Congrats on the new place, I sure miss having a deer camp to get away to with friends. I'm fortunate enough to have family property to hunt back home, but it's just not the same as a weekend away with your buddies.

We only have one game cam on the entire place right now. Just hasnít been a priority. Joe pulled the card from it though this last weekend and had this guy...




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Old 05-07-2020, 02:01 PM   #34
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Then there are tons of hogs down there as well. We are working on denting that population right now.






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Old 05-07-2020, 02:36 PM   #35
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That's awesome work!
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:17 PM   #36
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I wish I was that handy - great work!
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:24 PM   #37
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I wish I was that handy - great work!
X2!!

Excellent work OP!! I canít wait to follow along
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:44 PM   #38
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Love a great come-back-from-the-dead turnaround thread! Great work!

One piece of advice, the Pex plumbing below the house might be a magnet for rats/critters to bite into to get water. Also, I want to say its not supposed to be in direct sunlight.

Keep up the great work.
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:57 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by hog_down View Post
Love a great come-back-from-the-dead turnaround thread! Great work!

One piece of advice, the Pex plumbing below the house might be a magnet for rats/critters to bite into to get water. Also, I want to say its not supposed to be in direct sunlight.

Keep up the great work.

Thanks for the suggestions. Weíre aware of the potential rat problem. Our well fills a trough with the float valve bypassed so it runs over and provides a little ďoasisĒ next to camp. Iím hoping they arenít suffering for water and wonít jack with my pex. With the exception of the little bit coming from the RV pump, the rest of the exposed pex is shaded all day.


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Old 05-07-2020, 05:19 PM   #40
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Very impressive!!!
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:08 PM   #41
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Headed to the ranch for another work weekend!




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Old 05-14-2020, 01:10 PM   #42
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Headed to the ranch for another work weekend!




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That doesn't look like fun and makes me itch looking at it
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:23 PM   #43
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That doesn't look like fun and makes me itch looking at it

I agree, but it will make me cool when itís 120 down there this summer chasing Axis.


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Old 05-14-2020, 01:27 PM   #44
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I bet that old camp could tell some stories! Great progress
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:28 PM   #45
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Awesome thread! Look like a great place!!
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:34 PM   #46
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You should learn how to make bowstrings. Once you get good at it you can sell 'em and name your business, Fat G-Strings!
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:38 PM   #47
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Headed to the ranch for another work weekend!




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About to head to Home Depot in Temple as well.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:07 PM   #48
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You men do good work. Looking forward to your future updates.

Rwc
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:34 PM   #49
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Had to make a pit stop in London, TX. The MAGA hat fell off and the boys insisted on fixing it.

These are our trash haulers and varmint terrorizers for the weekend.




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Old 05-14-2020, 07:41 PM   #50
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Made it in time to get to the tripod.




Saw a couple axis on my walk in... close! New horn growth.





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