Keith’s Gibson has offered to share some of his memories and stories of growing up in McGill, and his adventures in the entire county of White Pine. Keith was born in McGill in 1935, attended Mcgill Grade School, White Pine High School, received his B.S. Degree at University of Utah in 1960 and served with the U.S. Amry-Ford Ord, California and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Keith’s stories will take you back in time of how things used to be, changes that have occurred, and stories that will make you laugh and admire the history that Keith has offered to share. Tom’s Dream Tag
It was a cool afternoon in the early fall of 1946 as a young, McGill man, Tom Dotson was anxiously looking over the list of lucky hunters that had drawn an Elk tag. The Elk were not native to the White Pine area, but a group of local sportsmen had pooled their resources and had some imported in from Yellowstone Park.
They arrived in boxcars, circa 1932, were unloaded at the stockyards and transported to Sagehen Canyon in Duck Creek Valley.
The Elk were released into the Success area and by 1946 had thrived and were scattered over a wide area. The Fish and Game Dept. held a public drawing for the first ever Nevada Elk tags. There were 990 applicants. Sixty names were drawn. Tom’s name was not one of them. His dream of getting a prize bull Elk seemed to vanish into thin air. The dream soon re-appeared as he noticed that the first alternate name drawn was one, Tom Dotson.
A few days later one of the sixty winners decided not to take her tag and Tom had his dream fulfilled.
The opening day of Elk season Tom along with his friend Pete Paris parked the big stock truck at the Kennecott Dam site. The plan was for Tom to cross the field, climb over the large pipeline, climb part way up the hill and angle toward the gap. Pete would have the truck with horses waiting on the McGill side of the gap.
Tom headed for the pipeline at first light. He made it over the pipe and just started up the hillside when the large bull Elk came crashing out of the trees. Tom fired quickly and had his trophy in an instant. Petre arrived with a horse and the Elk was soon at the truck. After skinning and wrapping the meat Tom mounted the head and horns on the top of the stock rack above the cab of the truck.
Pete drove them to Ely where Tom had the Fish and Game verify that it was the first legal Elk harvested in Nevada. Now it was time to show it off and so they proceeded to slowly drive down main street in Ely.
Tom cautioned Pete to stay to one side of the road as they neared the Hotel Nevada. There was a street light that hung from wires strung from the Hotel to the Bank Club. Pete didn’t get over far enough and the large Elk horns struck the light and pulled it down.
It, apparently, was the Elk’s last chance to strike back at the hunter.
Tom will be 91 this year and is still very spry and active. He and his beautiful wife, Joan, live on their ranch in Carson Valley.