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Back to Nature

Versailles, Ind.’s Gilpin launches outdoors venture

Shaded Timber Outfitters puts you
in the wilderness action

VERSAILLES, Ind. (December 2015) – Many people have dreams of a wilderness experience, of being in the untamed mountains on horseback miles from civilization, face to face with Mother Nature. A Versailles, Ind., man has started a company that can help make that dream come true.
Jerry Gilpin offers guided hunting trips and family getaways to the Colorado wilderness through his company, Shaded Timber Outfitters. The camp is in a secluded area, miles from the nearest road or trail, and contains numerous streams and trout abundant lakes.

Photo provided

Shaded Timber Outfitters offers guided hunting trips and family getaways in Colorado.

“We have a lease with the United States Forest Service for a fifty square mile area in the Colorado wilderness,” said Gilpin. “If you count going up and down the hills, it is about twice that area.”
Gilpin and his partners, Grover and Brian Miller, set up camp and excursions in an area about three hours west of Denver near Rifle, Colo. They have the only United States Forest Service license for that area.
There are some areas in the lower part of the property with a lake that can be reached by car and is good for foot traffic. However, to reach the main camp requires a five-mile trek on horseback that takes 21/2 hours.
“This is not a trip for the light hearted,” said Gilpin. “We gain an elevation of 3,000 feet. It’s something you don’t forget. One unique thing about camp is that a spring comes out of the ground, and that is the water we drink”
Gilpin gets his equipment and supplies from local outfitters and the horses from nearby ranchers.
“We use very good horses that have been on the trail for years,” Gilpin said. “They are very good for mountain trails and make trips all the time. Safety is always our first issue.”
The week-long family camping experience is a new venture for Gilpin. Shaded Timber Outfitters was originally designed for hunters, but family camping experiences offered a way to use the property during the offseason.

Photo provided

Outdoors activities are available for families at Shaded Timber Outfitters in Colorado.

“The hunt starts in September near one of the most beautiful lakes you will see,” said Gilpin. “It is at 9,000 feet elevation. One of the hunters was a father who brought his son and son-in-law. He had hunted near that area in 1953 and wanted the son-in-law to have the same experience.”
The area is home to the largest elk herd in Colorado, and that is the game of choice for most hunters.
“There are lots of deer, but more people want elk,” said Gilpin. “Some hunters will have a deer and an elk tag. If you get an elk, you can have 500 pounds or more meat, and it extremely good eating. I relate it to beef. I don’t care much for deer meat, but I love elk.”
The area is rich with wildlife, including bear. Gilpin and the other hunters have no fear of camping near bears and have a great admiration for the wild creatures.
“We have no problem with bear in camp,” said Gilpin. “There is an abundance of bear up there, but I did not see one bear in camp this year. They are beautiful and have many colors – black, cinnamon and brown.”   
Nature has provided lots of food for the animals, so the bear have populated very well, he said. Gilpin makes sure all the extra meat from the hunt is carried out, so no scavengers are attracted to the camp.
“I am a very hands-on business person,” he said. “I want to know every aspect about the business because I want the customers to be very satisfied and safe.”
Gilpin is always on the lookout for ways to expand the wilderness experience for his customers. He offers individualized hunts to meet the needs of both amateur and experienced hunters. They provide one guide per two hunters during the specified seasons.
Shaded Timber guides will also take anglers to a serene mountain lake or bubbling stream where they can cast for rainbow, brown or cutthroat trout.
Camera buffs can also enjoy the wilderness experience at the secluded base camp or capture the beauty of the mountains from horseback.
“Hunting, fishing and camping is as much about the experience as the hunt,” said Gilpin. “I encourage families to put those cell phones away and create memories. Plunge into the natural surroundings and escape modern conveniences. They are sure to grow closer and return home refreshed.”
For his next wilderness project, Gilpin is working on getting the Forestry Service to allow gold panning trips. It is anyone’s guess what comes after that.

• For more information about Colorado wilderness hunting, fishing or family camping excursions, call Jerry Gilpin at (812) 621-0735 or visit his website for background at the website: shadedtimberoutfitters.com.

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