Let the hunting begin…

by Katie on September 23, 2009

Brandon heads off for his highly anticipated elk hunt today. Actually, he was already supposed to be gone, but we all know how that goes on the farm.
I’m sending him off for three to eight days, depending on how soon he finds an elk to kill. The hunt starts Friday, and doesn’t end until October 1st. Since I get to be head irrigator and hay salesman while he’s gone, I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later.
I’m sending him off with:
  • Two roasts
  • Two giant pots of beans
  • One large pot of black-eye peas
  • One pot of chili
  • One pot of green chili
  • 24 hamburger patties
  • A little dirty rice
  • Two loaves of banana bread
  • Four batches of brownies with butterscotch chips
  • …And roughly five dozen oatmeal toffee cookies
We prepared all this in advance to ease the cooking duties at elk camp, and in attempt to buckle down on the hunting grocery bill. But, since Brandon is still in charge of the grocery shopping and plans to stop on his way to camp today, I’m fairly certain our preparations are not going to make much difference in the bill.
So Brandon secured a coveted bull elk tag this year. Like, he’s waited 14 years to get this particular tag. And his hunt is known for providing trophy bulls. As in, the kind you hang on the wall to display.
Which brings up an interesting point in our house. As it stands now, all the dead animals hanging in our house are confined to one room: the office. I’ve just never really been a fan of displaying dead creatures all over the house. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind killing them a bit. I just don’t want them staring at me from every room in the house.
Right before we got married, we sort of made a deal. I say sort of because there’s a bit of discrepancy on whether or not the deal was actually made. Brandon says it was. I remember him making the proposal, but I don’t recall ever actually agreeing to it.
Anyway, the deal was this: all the dead things would stay in the office, with one exception. A, quote, “monster bull elk.” In the event a so-called “monster bull elk” was killed, it must be displayed front and center — showcased for all who enter our home to see.
At the time, I didn’t think much of it. He said he had already been waiting 13 years to draw the tag he wanted, and it could easily be several more. Well, 14 was Brandon’s lucky year.
The day the draw results came out for elk hunts, Brandon tried calling in all day to check his, but could never get through. So, he set his alarm for 2:30am for the sole purpose of getting up to call in when he thought the line would be available. Seriously. As if we don’t have to get up in the middle of the night often enough anyway.
Around 2:45, he ran into our room hollering, and pounced on me to tell me the good news. Apparently my reaction was significantly less than all his craziness at the time, because he sighed, and said, “You’re not even excited.”
No. I was not. Excited is not an emotion I have before 3am. Especially when my wake-up call is 180 pounds of farmer leaping on top of me.
Around 5am, when I was coherent and could comprehend the morning’s events, I had a bit of a doppelganger issue. Part of me was very excited for him. He had waited a long time, and it was something very important to him. But on the other hand, there was now a very real possibility of a giant elk head greeting my guests.
And that’s where we stand today.
I do want him to kill a “monster bull elk,” and be happy. But I also want the taxidermist to take a really long time.
Maybe we could get a discount if I told him he could spread his work out over, I don’t know, …the next decade?

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