Well he did it! After 7 hard years of hunting, The Archer finally brought down a bull elk, a hard thing to do up here. Here's the story :
A few nights ago, well after dark, my husband went out looking for our Archer, who had been gone all day. Being gone all day isn't unusual for our avid 19 year old hunter, but not coming home after dark falls is. Around 11pm neither of them had returned and I was beginning to wonder what had happened to them. Super Catman and I took communion in my kitchen and we prayed for their wisdom, safety and protection. Some time around midnight the 4-wheeler and the truck drove in much to my and the kids relief. Both of them had packs full of meat and a digital camera to tell the story. Archer was walking on air. He scarfed up some food and headed to bed, knowing he would need sleep for the big pack out the next day. Every time I woke up, I prayed angels around our meat - that it would be protected from predators and spoiling.
Before dawn I was up making breakfast for the hungry men. Sock Fashion Expert wasn't feeling very good, so I left her home with Moonbeam. I wasn't so sure about the whole pack out job thing, but I figured I was needed. I also didn't want to miss the special thing that meant so much to our Archer. After hiking a few miles through forest, over slippery downed trees, up mountainous country and into dense brush, we came upon the elk.
Much to all our relief, it remained untouched. After a few pictures, the men took out knives to begin butchering. I was shocked and horrified when my husband handed me a knife - "you've got to be kidding" I was thinking. He instructed me on how to cut meat from the ribs and assigned me the job. Ugh!! Well, I guess I can try. Okay, well it wasn't that bad. I imagined that we must have been a little like the Indians of Early America. "Many hands make light work" right? So I took the straps from the ribs as Art Dog, My husband, and Archer worked on other parts. It went pretty fast. Nothing was wasted. We loaded the meat into garbage bags and then into our back packs.
They were all amazed that we were able to pack it out in just one trip that day (besides what they hauled out the night before). My husband hauled over 80 lbs, Archer hauled close to 90 lbs, I'm not sure what Super Catman had, but I hauled a little under 60 lbs and Art Dog had a little over 50 lbs. It was quite a deal. We worked hard but felt a feeling of accomplishment when it was over. As for me, I was content to see my hot tub registered within its chemical limits and I spent a good long time relaxing in there!! Now for the processing!!