My First Elk

The entire family hiked to get the elk.

The entire family hiked to get the elk.

This is something that no one in my family thought would ever happen.  Like never in 1,000 years would this ever happen.  Kristie hunting.  Say, what?!?!?!?  I’ve always been a city girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been happy to eat venison or elk or fresh caught fish, but I’ve always been very happy to let someone else get it.

As we are learning, things change at 8,000 feet.

My sister-in-law started hunting a few years ago [she too had never hunted before, or even thought about hunting]. And she would talk about how fun it was.  And, Nate – who also never wanted to take a woman hunting in the woods – started to see that hunting could be fun even when a woman was involved.

So, when Nate and I got married one thing he wanted me to do was to come along on the hunts.  I, only somewhat reluctantly, agreed.  But, I didn’t want to go empty handed so last winter I went thru hunters safety courses.  And, thought, well it can’t hurt to get a tag.

This fall Nate and I walked all over the woods and barely saw an elk.  Everyone kept saying it was a crazy fall, unlike any other hunting season they have ever experienced.  It was very warm with very few elk.

But, when my parents came to town for Christmas the warm left, the cold entered, and the snow dropped… by the feet.  Which brought the elk down to the private land we can hunt on.  There were so many!!!

Nate was pretty proud of me.

Nate was pretty proud of me.

On Christmas eve we walked the few hundred yards across the street and I took my very first shot at a cow elk.  450 yard shot with a 308.  She took a couple of very wobbly steps and within 5 seconds she dropped.  I was very thankful that I was able to help provide meat this year, it was an interesting feeling to know that I could help in this way.

Just copying my brother when he gets his animals!

Just copying my brother’s hunting stance.


Now, I know there are people out there who are against hunting but still go to the grocery store to get their meat.  That is all fine and dandy, I’ve gone to the grocery for years.  But, now that I have been able to go out hunting there is a lot more to hunting than non-hunters think.  I was shocked actually, since I’ve spent most of my life as a non-hunter.  Basically, the next hunting season starts as soon as the previous one began.

Dad was pretty proud of me too.  And glad to have a picture with his huntresses!

Dad was pretty proud of me too. And glad to have a picture with his huntresses!

Nate and my brother are constantly on the lookout for elk.

In the summer we walk to game cameras that they put up to see if the elk are frequenting the area.  They clean their guns, fix any issues, and re-site their guns.  I repair any problems with hunting clothes.

As fall approaches, camp is gone thru to make sure we have everything we need.

Fall we are spending hours on the mountain.  I get up earlier to hunt than to work… and that’s saying something!  But its great going up the mountains with my husband.  The beauty of the mountains are unbelievable.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Luckily, I still had a private land tag [which goes until January 15].  And Christmas eve seemed like as good of a day as any to get my first elk.

Me helping my brother and sister-in-law carry an elk off the mountain.

Me helping my brother and sister-in-law carry an elk off the mountain.

In the end, its amazing to think that the meat we eat every day lived a free life [can’t get more free range than that], was never given hormones or antibiotics [can’t get more organic than that] and, as in a few cases this winter, we carried out 40+ pounds of elk meat on our backs [can get much better of a workout than that].  I know exactly where my meat came from, can you say the same thing?  If so, I raise my whiskey knock bottle to you too!


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