Mason County News
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Fall Hunting Guide Approaches - Preparation
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 • Posted October 21, 2009

On November 4th, our largest publication of the year will be released, the Fall Hunters' & Visitors' Guide.

This is the publication that takes, literally, months to put together. There have to be story ideas bandied about, there need to be photos, we have to start talking to advertisers... every member of the staff gets involved in some way.

This year's Guide promises to be as large, if not larger, than those in the past. I'm especially proud of this when one looks at the fluctuations in the economy, and considers that Mason has lost a good deal of the "leisure income" that would normally be spent in our area. But, our contributors and our advertisers are a loyal and supportive group, and they know that the Fall Guide is an opportunity to let visitors know that we have a great deal to offer here in Mason County, and we know how to package it so that our hunters and visitors get the most from their experience.

I usually don't tip my hand too much about what's going to be in the Guide; but, I've been having too much fun putting together this year's feature to not share a few tidbits.

Our feature story is all about the Schmidt Hereford Ranch. They are celebrating their 50th anniversary of their special Registered Breeder's Sale, so an article about their history was logical. But, add into that story the background on the ranch, how it was developed and improved, and you now have a Mason County historical article to appeal to our history buffs. And, add into that the hunting opportunities they've offered for almost half a century, and you've got your hunters covered.

And, there's the other aspect that makes the story even more fascinating.

It is a generational tale of the Schmidt family. It begins with Henry C. and Katie Keller Schmidt, taming the wilds of northwest Mason County alongside his brothers. It continues with Kelly, the youngest of three sons, returning from World War II, falling in love with Minnie Gandy, and her joining him to turn the hardscrabble land south of the San Saba River into a productive and profitable venture.

Kelly and Minnie raised their three children on the ranch, and the story is continuing as James Kelly and Mona Lois enter the picture to continue the traditions established by his ancestors. And, with four children of their own, JK and ML offer the promise of the Schmidt family continuing to have a presence in Mason County in the next generation.

It has been a pleasure to work with Kelly and Minnie, Shane, James Kelly and Mona Lois, and to learn more about all of them. I've enjoyed seeing the photos and hearing the stories, and know our readers are in for a treat when they get their chance to enjoy the story as well.

So, we will continue our final work on the photos, articles, ads and information. On November 4th, we'll finally share it all with our readers. We hope you'll be as excited to have it in hand as we've been to pull it all together.

It’s all just my opinion.

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