I have been home for two weeks! I know, crazy, but I have been keeping busy with scheduled photos sessions and the usual ranch work. The irrigation has come on finally here in Colorado which means we are in busy season. The water has torn down banks, over flowed ditches and best of all, watered our planted grass.
I haven’t broken my camera out yet to document any of this crazy ranch life but I had to share one of the coolest finds I’ve had on our ranch. My parents gifted me a metal detector for Christmas this past year and I have finally been able to break it out. Our ranch was homesteaded in 1902 so as you can imagine there are plenty of things to be found.
As we finished our chores for the morning I decided it would be a good day to bring out the detector and see what we could find. Of course I didn’t read the instructions on how it worked I just went straight to using it. There were a lot of false alarms that were a little discouraging. We found a lot of chunks of metal and wire that we pulled up and I was beginning to reconsider our endeavor. We were going to move to try somewhere else when the beeping began to get serious. This one was going to be exciting I thought to myself.
We began to dig, testing each pile that came up with the shovel. I checked the hole we dug and it didn’t beep. We then started breaking the dirt chunks apart when something emerged from the dirt. It was the end of a shotgun shell. Now, you may know, my family and I hunt and we have hunted doves here many times before so I wasn’t overwhelmed.
I began to scrape the dirt off when it read, “Winchester Ranger No. 12”. This peaked my interest as I know we don’t use that type of ammo to hunt birds with. I quickly headed inside to the computer to do some virtual digging.
Winchester Ranger ammunition still exists today, but they are slugs. It made me wonder who was shooting slugs around here. I called my dad and questioned him about it which came with little answers, so I continued my search.
Below the current day ammunition was an eBay ad for Winchester Ranger ammunition from the 1940’s. Now I was hooked. Many of these ads were just for the boxes of ammo. The boxes were titled, “Winchester Ranger Pointing Dog”. So the logical next step was to search for those shells.
My heart jumped, as I held my finding I compared the words and the key characteristic that gave it away was the extra ridge on the side of it. I couldn’t believe it, my first trip out with the detector I found a piece of history. Our theory is they were also hunting doves or maybe since I found it behind the original chicken coop they were keeping the raccoons away.
Here are some fun facts about this shell:
- Made in the USA
- Smokeless powder
- Stainless steel
- Paper hull
- The Ranger series was produced from 1925-1972
- For more information: http://www.cartridge-corner.com/winch.htm
So here is your reminder to maybe read the instructions before heading out with a new toy, but to also head out and enjoy a day on the ranch because you never know what you may find!