Another instance of where I had lens envy… 😉
Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park
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At age 19, Sawyer is all about hunting. Very serious about hunting! He has been hunting with my father 3-4 times per week since hunting season started. With the weather perfect weather the perfect weather coming up on Friday and all the sheep sorting and farm chores caught up (mostly), we decided to go hunting. This was my first outing for the year, so I was more than excited to head up to the ranch for a little peace and quite and just soaking in all the natural beauty around us.
Normally, Sawyer, my husband and I are up here at least every weekend, cutting wood/hunting. This year though my father purchased a logging truck full of logs and had it delivered to our place, so going and getting wood has been knocked down a notch on the priority list and we haven’t been hunting this year, yet. That and my husbands new job has had him gone quite a bit too.
We did see lots of does and one little spike a gazillion yards away. So we were unsuccessful in our hunt but had a wonderful day together. Our first son/mother hunt. Lots of laughs and talking ~ maybe that’s why we didn’t see much! 😉
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We had a wonderful weekend hunting, gathering wood and enjoying some time off! The kids generally go over to my folks’s place and stay with them while we are hunting but Teigen decided he wanted to stay home and go hunting with us. The next morning we got a late start to the ranch due to Teigen having the stomach flu, so we spent the morning sorting sheep into breeding groups. Around noon Teigen asked if we could still go hunting. He was too cute and pathetic, but had kept food down all day so Mark figured why not?
Later in the day Sawyer and I spotted a little forky buck and Teigen was so excited and kept telling Sawyer to get it. Sawyer kind of looked at me and then decided he would just do it. He remembers my brother taking him hunting when he was about Teigen’s age and helping my brother shoot a little spike and how excited he was to be hunting. Sawyer took his time and made an excellent shot and dropped the little buck. Had Teigen not been there he would have passed on the little buck but he decided that letting his little brother in on the experience of hunting would be more fun than shooting a bigger buck. I am so proud of Sawyer! Teigen even helped hold the legs while Sawyer and Mark gutted the deer~getting the full experience!
The next morning we awoke early and headed back up. About half way there the snow started coming down…
We multitask while hunting and also get a load of wood and have lunch around a warm fire…
Somehow we managed to misplace one of Em’s gloves so she wore a smart wool sock for a glove.
We had a nice little Thanksgiving this year, just my folks, my brother with his kids and us. We spent the day eating too much and playing games, it was very nice just to hang out for a day. It was even more nice to have Mark home for 5 days! Wednesday we slept in, ran some errands in town and ate Chinese at my parents house while we made homemade eggrolls~a Thanksgiving tradition here. Friday we went up to the ranch and fed cows while my father-in-law was away for Thanksgiving.
We were able to get in quite a bit of hunting/wood hauling in over the weekend. Deer up at the ranch have been very scarce this year and we ended up only getting a couple of quick glances at them. It seems to be that way throughout the region. Fish Wildlife and Parks say it is from the couple of hard winters we’ve had which probably account for some of it but we also have a lot of wolves running throughout the area. In the five years we have hunted up there it used to be that if you did not see 50 does something was wrong. This hunting season there were days where we would not even catch the flicker of a tail. Same thing for little spikes and little forkies, normally they are always grazing in the meadows, this year we did not see a single spike and only one lone forky. So whatever it is, deer numbers are definitely down. This year out of seven tags we filled two of those and one was here at the house.
Normally the guys have no problem filling their tags and I just sort of go along for the ride and enjoy being out with Mark, Sawyer and who ever else is along with us, but this year things were a bit different. I was the only one (with the exception of Sawyer who shot his here at the house) to fill my tag.
I feel a bit bad as Mark had spotted the two deer in trees and when he went to shoot he lost them as they went behind some other trees, but they were in full view for me so I shot. The deer that I shot at reared up on its hind legs and jumped and then…took off running through the trees. We caught another little glimpse of him as we ran over to the edge of a hill but then lost him as he went through the thick timber. We went back to try to find some blood but never found a drop, so I thought I had missed. :0( Later the guys went hunting back through there hoping to spot him again….well they did when Jason seen something laying in the creek, my deer very dead. He ran ~1/3 of a mile and dropped dead in the middle of the creek. If he would have made it another couple of yards and made it through the creek we would have never found him in the tall grass and bushes on the other side. We never did find any blood, even where he went into the creek. I had hit him right through the windpipe missing the artery. That would probably explain why he reared back and the lack of blood.
Jason had a rope and was able to fish him out, we were wondering if we should have a fishing licence too! I was very glad to have 3 strong guys there to pull him up the steep bank and then gut him. This pregnancy stuff makes all that so much worse…yuck! Then they were kind enough to drag him back to the pickup.
The rest of the weekend we only seen a couple more does, but had a great time and had fun with family. Sunday we left with a beautiful sunset reflecting off the creek and some more great memories.
Well Sawyer is a happy camper this morning, he was able to shoot his deer right at the house! Can’t get any easier than that.
Sort of… We all survived H1N1 with only Mark and Tori getting sick and Maddie only having a bit of a cough and fever while the rest of us took our Tamiflu and never suffered. I am still feeling very yucky and am hoping the next couple of weeks pass by rather quickly. I generally start to feel better around the 13 week mark and get back to my usually self. Right now I feel as if I can’t get enough sleep and am very nauseated…but life does not slow down with a household of seven monkeys. It is very helpful though to have young adults in the house this time around as they help out tremendously.
Last Saturday we were able to get up to the ranch and do a bit of hunting and bring home a load of firewood. We only seen a handful of does, which is really unusual for up there. I guess on Friday though two wolves were spotted passing through, so we kept our eyes open for them too since both Sawyer and Mark have wolf tags. I spent most the day in the pickup napping! ;0) The day was a mix of rain and sun and even a mixture of the two. The larch right now are absolutely beautiful, I wish I would have taken some more pictures but somehow even that right now doesn’t even sound like fun. I did take this one though…
On Monday I met with one of my new OB’s and listened to baby’s heartbeat…a nice 170 bpm (maybe this one will be a girl). We also discussed the possibility of a VBA3C, which she sounded open to. She is going to get my other records and we will discuss it more in detail at my next appointment. At 16 weeks I will start my weekly round of progesterone shots to help stop PROM which I had with Hayden, this practice will let me bring the progesterone home where Mark or my mom can give me the shots! That ought to be exciting! Everything else seemed to look good.
Now we are just trying to make it through the week. Hope yours is good.
Good luck to all the hunters today on opening day. Sawyer has not been struck down by the flu yet so he, Papa and Uncle Beau went out hunting today. They hiked about 17 miles and did see a quick glimpse of a bull elk, but were unable to fire off a shot. They had a good day though and will have good memories of hunting together. Here’s a picture that Uncle Jason sent us. We have no idea if it is photoshopped or not but he still looks impressive and helps the hunters in our house to think big! (Like they need any help! LOL)
“No, I’m not a good shot, but I shoot often.” author Teddy Roosevelt
I thought this was a funny quote and pertained somewhat to my post today. As a family we truly enjoy getting out of doors and spending time together. As our children have grown, we finally hit a point were our oldest started showing signs in being interested in hunting. After taking the appropriate hunters safety class, we started out on a new family adventure and after a successful 4 years of hunting this is something we truly look forward to doing each fall. And with four more boys behind our oldest, it is probably a good thing! We spend a lot of time shooting and all of us here could probably relate to Mr. Roosevelt!
This year Sawyer, our 15 year old son had decided he was not going to get anything smaller than he did last year. Every year he has gradually built up bigger and bigger. His first year hunting he shot a nice 2×2, then a 3×3 the next year, followed by a 3×4, but would he be able to wait until the right deer came along? Early in the season we seen many spikes and forkies and he held out with the same resolute determination. As the season wore on we started to see fewer deer and it was to the point where we finally were not seeing any deer, not even does and you could tell he was thinking that maybe I should have just shot one of those smaller deer! With none of our tags filled we finally decided that if we still had not shot something by the last week of hunting season, that if it had antlers, no matter how small we would attempt to shoot it. So Saturday, a week before hunting season ended, we seen a little err big bodied spike that Mark shot… just so we would have some meat this year. So with one tag filled, we cut a pickup load of wood and as evening drew closer we went to sit in the north meadow to wait for another deer. We had not been waiting very long when a doe popped up out of the timber, followed by a nice buck! Sawyer did not even hesitate, but pulled up his rifle (a .243 Winchester Revelation) and fired once from over 200 yards away, standing up, blind folded! (OK not blind folded, but can you tell he’s standing behind me, retelling the story?) 😉 Anyway, this was the end result…
After this of course, he was pretty hard to live with! You see dad has always shot the bigger deer and now well… I guess you could say his patience and determination paid in full this year.
Here’s a picture of the sunset that day!
NWMNP Photography Club
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