Tis the Hunting Season

Well ladies, it’s that time of year again. Your man starts wearing more camo, showering less, growing a mountain man beard, and his neck swells in preparation for his manly adventures into the woods.  Yep, it’s hunting season. And at the rate I clean the toilet bowl in my house, I’m hoping that his aim is better when a bull elk is in his sights.  And at some point, we always end up out there with them. Here’s a little story of hunting and marital bonding for ya…

I decided to spend some quality time with my outdoorsy man and joined him hunting.  Outfitted in his wool pants, 14 layers of polypropylene, wool, cotton, polyester, slick bottom boots, hat, mittens, and hunter’s orange and rifle, I felt more ready for a plus size Cabela’s photo shoot than a day of hunting horseback.

We met up with our friend, Jon, at the barn, loaded our horses in the trailer and were on our way. Adding another male to the picture assured me of a very long day in the woods. There was a fresh layer of wet snow on the ground as we headed for the high country. We unloaded the horses in the dark, tightened cinches, and mounted up. Well, the boys mounted up. Somehow, I ended up with the tallest horse, too many clothes, and short legs which inhibited my swinging up into the saddle.  Four tries later at stabbing the stirrup, I found a stump to assist me in the mounting process.

It started out as a very crisp morning.  The sun glinted off the snow laden trees and hillsides. It was beautiful, and I let my senses take in my surroundings to keep my mind off frozen fingers and toes. This wasn’t so bad after all…

Hunting started out slow showing little sign of the elusive wapiti, and later, the weather turned, and snow was piling up heavy, wet flakes as we rode along steep side hills and ridges. I was feeling soggy, cold, and ready to head toward the truck when the guys cut fresh elk tracks. Men lose their mind over fresh elk tracks, and my gut told me my fun meter was about to be pegged. Time to buck up.  After two hours of chasing, the he-men decided to split up. Little did I know splitting up meant, “Here Heather. Hold our horses. We’ll be back in 4 hours.”

The guys later reappeared elk-less, it was still snowing, and dark was fast approaching. All the previous chasing left us on top of a steep beargrass ridge. My husband stated he knew a shortcut and my heart sunk.  I knew what “I know a shortcut meant.” I ‘ve been on these adventures with him when his testosterone kicks in overdrive. I look at him eyeballing his shortcut, which was straight down the mountain.  I felt the urge to deliver a swift kick to his groin. We dismount, because it’s too steep to ride.  Trying to lead my horse down the mountain with soggy hunting clothes and slick rubber boots on, I found myself more on my backside than my feet. With every step I took, the further the guys were out of sight with their horses, leaving me with a frantic, snot blowing idiot. I finally reached the bottom and there were no men in sight. My Irish tongue and temper kicked in to overdrive, and I cussed my way down the mountain calling my horse and husband every name in the book.  To top it off, I need a pit stop. Now I get to hold my idiot horse, pull down fourteen layers of clothes, and avoid the inevitable.  I tried getting back on my horse, whom by now is a nervous wreck at being left behind, and tries to run away as I get on. I lost it completely and punched my horse in the face, jerked him down into a ditch to get on to catch up with the guys.  Jon looks back at me, and knows just by one glance, that I hate both of them.  My husband, however, knows as he silently rides along, that my eyes are boring holes through his head.  Jon finally manned up enough to state, “I asked him if we were going to stop and wait for you at the bottom, but he said, ‘He** no! Can’t you here how mad she is? Do you want to wait for that?”

At this particular moment, I did not possess enough middle fingers to express my love…

The day left us with no elk, no patience, and definitely no marital bonding…

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