By ROBIN CAUDELL
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Ralph Jarvis started hunting as a lad.
“I used to hunt chipmunk and squirrel with a BB gun,” the 95-year-old Meadowbrook Healthcare resident said at Monday’s Hunters’ Paradise.
“My father wasn’t a hunter. I picked it up by myself. We lived on a 350-acre farm on the Arthur Road between Peru and Keeseville.”
The event gave Jarvis a chance to display vintage photographs of his wild bounty. He almost always got his moose.
In 1963, he and his hunting buddies pose around a bull moose.
“We used to call them with a female call,” Jarvis said. “The moose would come.”
A table with a sign that read “When Nature Calls” had calls for deer, duck, owl, elk, goose and turkey.
Residents could test the calls or pick up moose and deer antlers scattered about the room.
“Our job here is to not only work here but also enhance their lives,” said Laurie Marvin, Meadowbrook’s community-relations coordinator.
“I wanted to be able to bring the hunting experience to them. Most of these men used to hunt when they were younger. They can’t hunt now, so we brought the hunting experience to them.”
The lodge atmosphere was enhanced by beasts — wolf, boar, bear and coyote — frozen in fierce poses by White Wolf Taxidermy and Wildlife Studio.
Gander Mountain supplied hunting videos, hats, cozies and pop-up duck blinds.
Meadowbrook staffers wore Hunters’ Paradise T-shirts designed by Loreman’s Embroidery, Engraving & Screenprinting.
Victuals were beef stew served in a bread bowl.
“We have a very strong male population here,” Marvin said. “They’re excited about it. They read the paper, and they know it is hunting season. Their kids come in and say, ‘I got one.’”
The video “Monster Buck XX Vol. 12” played on a screen as residents and their guests milled about.
Residents posed for photographs beside a pair of mounted cubs.
With orange gun steadied, Emerson James was sighting deer on a Valley Vending machine, “Deer Hunting, U.S.A.”
“Now, I’m 74 so I’ve been hunting a long time,” said James, who starting hunting at age 14.
A coyote pelt of his was on exhibit.
“I shot it in Peru,” James said. “It killed one of our calves one morning and killed another calf the next morning.”
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