Sunday, January 2, 2011
Who can forget their first elk hunt? Certainly not me.
I've never been interested in hunting; in fact, the thought of shooting an animal for sport made my stomach turn. Lump me with animal rights activists, PETA, or something. I love Yellowstone because of the LIVE animals, not dead ones.
I went with my brother-in-law, two of his sons, B-I-L's brother, and a small group of "city folk" who had elk tags. I laughed when I compared my family dressed in carharts, old flannels, old hats, worn out boots, and the people they took on the hunt donning snow-camouflage, top of the line gear, the works. Add to that, my 14 year-old nephew shot the first elk with his first shot while the other guys complained about "bad rounds," and a few other excuses for their poor performance, "Didn't I hit one? Look for a blood trail. I'm sure I got one." Call me harsh, I know, but it was pretty comical. It doesn't matter how good you look--If you can't shoot, you can't shoot. I love life's little contradictions. The clothes certainly don't make the man, right? Let me just say my brother-in-law is a smart hunter and I respect him. I loved watching him teach his boys how to do it right: tracking, shooting, cleaning [nicer term for gutting], hauling out. It was like a rite of passage into manhood or something.
MY greatest thrill was that the day was spent on horseback. I was in heaven. Give me a horse, give me some mountains, and I'm in paradise. I soaked up every minute [all the while mentally-thanking Ben for watching the kids ALL DAY]. And it was dream-ee! Nothing was expected of me, I was just along for the ride [insert Lanette yelling, "FREE-DOM," in all my Braveheart-ness. Wait, the more I think about that line, isn't that when Mel Gibson is being "gutted," too, like our little elk? How appropriate, considering the circumstances. Okay, gross, I know].
You better believe I'd do it again. Any day.
at 8:56 PM