11/15/2016 0 Comments
Hunting Season - Hug a Hunter
Sunday evening at sunset, third season rifle elk hunting ended. Thirty minutes before sundown, we finally saw elk - a cow and a calf. We had bull licenses. Score another season for the elk! My husband was disappointed, but I'll admit I still had fun!
As you may guess from the photo, the mornings and evenings were cold. The middle of the day was pleasant. We started out bundled up, and peeled off layers as it warmed up. Then we put those layers back on as the sun set.
Our son-in-law went hunting with us, for the first time in his life. He was amazed by the complicated rules and regulations involved. Our first outing, we saw a young buck. Right sex, wrong species.
The secret about hunting is that you have an excuse to roam about the wilderness, doing fun things like climbing mountains and tracking animals. I'm not sure I could even pull the trigger if I had a chance to take down an elk.
This year, we found some isolated spots where we didn't see another human. No elk, either, but they left evidence of their presence. Our son-in-law became adept at tracking deer and elk. Our last morning, my husband came across large tracks. We had most likely startled the big bull. We followed his trail through the dense pine forest, but never saw him.
I guess the question is, do I like hunting, or do I just like hiking? That's tough. I would have to conclude that hunting and extreme hiking - like climbing 14ers - have a lot in common. Both participants rise hours before dawn to get to either a trailhead or a choice game area. Both tote heavy backpacks crammed with water, food, and survival gear. Both push themselves to the physical and mental limit. My days of climbing 14,000 foot mountains may be over, but I can still handle the smaller mountains we encountered in our search for elk.
Yes, I realize hunting is controversial. Before you judge, check out the Hug a Hunter campaign.
Will hunting make it into my future fiction stories? I hope so. I would love to share the experience!
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