Dennis and I hunted last week for five days. Elk hunting, gun or bow is like summer practice for a fall sport; two-a-days. You awake at 4:00 am so you can have coffee before you set out at 5:00 am. For me I splash on a little make-up, this could be the morning of the kill and I will have pictures taken 🙂 You stalk, look through binoculars, walk and not talk. The first morning we were so excited. Hopped up got dressed and off we went. It was a beautiful morning and as we pulled the Jeep to park in a field we were going to hunt the field was filled with mule deer and four elk.
We didn’t know this was the closest we would ever get all 5 days. We walked, looked until about 9:30 am then off to the house (usually a cabin or lodge) for breakfast. Eat, chat about everyones’ adventures of the morning then nap, shower and off to the mountains for more hunting about 3:30 pm. Return from hunt about 8:00 pm, eat, talk about your evening adventure and then off to bed to start again in the morning.
Day two was not beautiful. It rained, it was cold, we saw no elk in the morning. We walked, climbed, walked, climbed. Here is where the difference comes in. I am thinking to myself, “There is warm coffee and breakfast on the other side of this hunt, lets just call it a morning.”
Ryan, our guide says, “So do you want to walk to the Jeep and drive to the other side of this valley to go look over there?” “NO!” goes off in my mind. “Sure.” comes out of D’s mouth. “What? Why did he say that? Ugh!” It’s all about the hunt, we won’t be out here long. But see, they are men. It’s cold, rainy and they haven’t seen elk. They won’t stop until they do! Women (like me for instance) figure, we haven’t seen any elk, we have all week, lets go drink COFFEE! We hunted, I smiled.
All of day two was YUCK. Day three we set out fresh it was a damp fragrant morning, the air was filled with the scent of pine. We walked a bit then Ryan stopped and whispered his strategy to us. He spent quite a bit of time telling us how the elk will move from this watering hole to high in the forest, etc. While he’s speaking, I thought, “The habitat of these amazing creatures is so intricate; they move with the sun, they are bothered by high barometric pressure, it is mating season so they loose their senses.”
Ryan finished speaking and he and Dennis both thought, “Ok the goal of this plan is the KILL.”
We walked and stalked and sat and waited, all the while I am in awe of what a privilege it is to be in these beautiful surroundings. So I snapped pictures 🙂
As we were walking to the Jeep ready to call it a morning Dennis walks up, slides his arm around me and said, “While Ryan was explaining his strategy you were thinking, ‘This is so lovely! I love being a part of their habitat!’ weren’t you?” Haha, he knows me well. We giggled at how we can be doing the exact same thing and yet come away with a completely different story.
Hunting, like summer camp is social, hard work and oh what a fun adventure! It’s just an added bonus that someone else does all the cooking and cleaning!
Awed by God and His creation ~ Susie