Farm and Ranch Hand to Outdoor Excursions

I grew up in a time when a dollar was a dollar and as a farm and ranch hand, there wasn’t a whole lot of them around. I learned a great deal from my Father Richard Noeller, who taught me how to stretch one and how to fix things around the farm without running to town to buy new. Dads favorite saying is “we ain’t made of money”. Dad and Great Grandpa Walt Miltner taught me how to weld, use a cutting torch, drive a tractor, run a combine, ride a horse and rope a calf. Welding was kind of my thing, so much that I placed second in state during a FFA competition. One day Dad and I was running cows through the shoot, when this momma cow reared up and with both hind legs, gracefully placed each hoof on my matching shoulders, missing my head by inches. The bitch did manage to let the air out of me with only hoof prints on my chest and a little damaged ego, but I was lucky. We nicknamed her Hellbitch after that day. she was the only Herford Cow that I had ever seen with black strips all over.

Hellbitch, Black Bear, International Harvester vs Kelly Noeller

Metal Detecting was kind of put by the wayside, for the next Ten years, give or take. The next dealings I had with Hellbitch would turn out to be her ticket to the sale barn.  Dad and I was getting the combine ready for Wheat Harvest, when Mom said “there is a leg hanging out of Hellbitch and ALL the cows are out”. Dad sent me to the other side of the county to get a guy that was a real good cowboy. You have to remember this was before four wheelers (actually a 3 wheeler) was made, so someone that can really ride a horse and herd cattle is pretty handy to have around. So our hired hand and I loaded up in my pickup and when we got there, we learned he had a Black Bear. Well we were both intrigued and wanted to have a look. When we got down to where the Bear was, the dogs this cowboy had were barking and tormenting this Bear and apparently had him plumb upset. Well this little feller that was with me was no match and had gotten to close, so now the Bear took off after him. I then broke out in a sprint, figured id lay a shoulder in the Bear and knock him off course, giving me just enough time for a great escape. Man I’ve never been so wrong in my life. That Bear whirled around, slapped my legs out from underneath me and now I was flat on my back with 350 pounds of pissed off, right on top of me. I remember hearing the most sensitive part on a animal was there nose. I reared back with all that I was and hit that Bear right in the nose. The Bear actually staggered backwards to my amazement, shook his head and then bite down on my right leg just above the knee. I have never felt so much power in my life. Well apparently the Bear had enough and took off after the dogs again and I was able to hobble away to a safe distance. The only other time I ever felt that kind of power was when we was working on a tractor and some how a mouse had chewed the safety wire that prevented the tractor from starting in gear. This time it did start in gear and pinned me to the concrete floor with its front tire of an International 806, right on top of my foot. For whatever reason, the tractor died before going over my heal bone, lucky again i guess. The other distractions in my life at that time was high school. Football was the best part, well that and chasing girls because when your at that age that’s kind of always on your brain anyways. My Senior Year was when I decided to become a Law Enforcement Officer. So my major was Criminal Justice and with a minor in welding, great combo College was more of the same but way more complicated and less free time for anything but the books. Once I got married and having kids and work, what little free time I did have I spent it on fishing and hunting excursions.

Wild Bill Harvey

My fishing, hunting, metal detecting and outdoor passion definitely was all Wild Bill Harvey, Grand Father. He was a Freemason, several years later I to followed suit. History was huge on both sides of the family, just from different angles. Wild Bill and I went on so many camping, hunting and fishing excursion and the fish and game we would bring home, absolutely phenomenal  As a kid I remember finding a pamphlet with Wild Bill and his buddies on the front of it with hundreds of crappie. Fish and Game had taken the picture and made a pamphlet promoting the fishing at Fall River Lake. That was pretty kool as a kid. In Loving Memory of, Ted and Vera Arnold “E”, Walt and Mary Miltner, Ellis and Mary Noeller, Bill and Janey Harvey. I love and miss you all dearly. Thank you for creating the Treasure Hunter in me.


By Kelly Noeller

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