Here is the end, as promised, of the two plus weeks I’ve bombarded your feed and e-mail with elk camp pictures and stories. After today, there will only be cute chipmunk pictures and everything shall go back to normal for awhile.
Wyoming Barn. Any of you who would like purchase this as a gift for my birthday, that would be awesome and I’d love you forever and ever, amen.
My birthday is tomorrow, I’ll be 33 thus my youth is fading fast.
While I’m waiting on the property title…….some more pictures.
While you’re at it, you can buy this place too. Then we can be neighbors and invite each other over for coffee, borrow sugar from one another (a cup at a time, of course!).
Have a weekly game of gin rummy. Yup.
Rob is totally in. As a matter of fact, I think he is already packed.
Meanwhile, back at camp, it was gearing up to be a great day for hunting!
And Tuesday, turned out to be the perfect hunting day.
Here is how the whole thing went down (WARNING, slightly graphic pictures and detail to follow. Not super gross or anything but if you have a super-sensitive aversion to guts, skip to the end with your eyes closed. Thank you and you’re welcome).
So, it was Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. We tie up the horses, Rita and I go left, Rob and Gus go right. Rita and I are talking quietly, working our way along the edge of a ridge. We see some tracks, nothing special. After 15 minutes, maybe less, of walking Rita says “This is where we are gonna be sitting this afternoon, we might as well go back to the horses”. “Let’s go a little farther” We walk a few more feet. “I need a snack” Rita declares, and plops down beside a tree. “I’m gonna go peek over this little ridge” I tell her. I’m pretty sure she grunted at me. I walked over to the edge, not really taking care to conceal myself. I’m wearing full-body camo coveralls, the kind that covers everything from ankles to wrists and neck in a single piece of cloth. I peer over the edge. Elk!
“Rita” I whisper. “Rita” a bit louder. “Rita, ELK” I rasp out. She is looking thru her scope at the mountaintops, contemplating which snack she wants. “Rita, ELK” I screech thru my teeth at her, at this point frantically snatching off my bino’s and camera so I can lie down for my shot. This gets her attention and she sees the herd below, crossing the creek just underneath us. 5 or 6 cows out front and a good-size bull pushing them. I plop, belly down, on the hillside. I try to get my gun to my shoulder. I can’t. I strain, wiggle, grunt and shove but my coveralls, just a tad to small while riding, are like a straight-jacket when trying to stretch into a shooting position. What should have been a half-dollar sized sight thru my scope, grew no larger than a dime. I simply could stretch far enough. The elk are beginning to climb the steep ridge opposite us. I get the bull in my dime sized scope, hold, squeeze, BOOM. He doesn’t move. I jack another round in my gun, and BOOM. Rita got a perfect shot, thru the lungs and he never went another step. As I watched him drop then roll half way down the ravine I knew my sister had gotten her first elk. It was awesome.
Snacks completely forgotten, we located him, wedged between a dead pine tree and the ravine wall. We left her orange toboggan on the hillside, we when we went after him, he might be difficult to find and we wanted a clear marker. The brush was thick and everything looks different from the bottom. Elated, walking on clouds, we found the boys, wound our way with the horses into the ravine and up the creek, crossing back and forth as needed as the ravine narrowed.
And there he was. After an hour getting the guts out, we tied a rope around his horns in order to slowly lower him into the ravine bottom where we finished the job.
Elk have a LOT of guts. And considering he was in a rather tight spot……..that’s why it took so long.
My sister is a really good sport.
Meat harvested and chilling in the creek left a few minutes of breathing room. And silly, only-at-elk-camp pictures.
She looked exactly like Atlas, her German Shepard.
Meat on the pack horse and headed back to camp, Rita proved her toughness by packing the head out on her shoulders. Normally the horse does that for us but the ravine walls were so steep we barely made it up with the meat, the head would have been a disaster. I felt like Indiana Jones, only less cool. But, we made it. We always do! And we put that carcass pole, the one I told you about last week, we put it to good use.
And that monster bull I went chasing after when I got lost? I saw him again, from a distance. Here is a picture of him, haha! Can you find him?
One more sunset………..
And it was time to pack up and head home.
Thanks for sticking with me through my little elk hunting series, I’ll be looking for my property title in the mail but until then, have a great day y’all!