I ain’t sure how I ain’t gotten around to sharin’ this yet, but then again, I been so damned busy all summer that I ain’t had much in the way of quality posts about anythin’.
But, I digress.
The ol’ man and my brothers are members of a huntin’ club down in Maryland. It’s not a land-ownin’ club, but they organize a few travel hunts every year, and because they already own the equipment and have the connections, it can usually be done on the cheap. We normally just go to the club meetin’s to socialize, eat and have a few beers, but when they started talkin’ about a Colorado elk hunt a few months ago, I saw Dad perk up a bit. A western hunt for the mighty wapiti has been at the top of both of our lists for a long, long time.
Apparently, there are four rifle seasons for elk in Colorado. The first season is bull elk only, with no other concurrent seasons, so it’s not as desirable as the others when you can hunt mulies and goats at the same time. The licenses for the first rifle season are plentiful, and it was almost a guaranteed draw. Dad and I talked about it on the way home that day, and a few weeks later, made the decision to put in for the draw and give it a shot.
A few weeks later, the draw results came back, and it was time to start plannin’. There were some leftover tags, and Dad decided that if Joe could get the time off from his new job, we would take him along for his college graduation present. The stars aligned for him as well, so we were set to go. The only thing that would have made it truly perfect is if Jesse could have swung it, but with three young'ns runnin' around, there was just no way he coulda swung it.
Needless to say, the last few months have been hectic as all get-out, with almost every free minute dedicated to gettin’ everythin’ ready for this trip. While I’ve been on a western hunt before, that was a fully-guided deal with all of our needs taken care of by someone else. This trip will be unlike anythin’ else we’ve ever done. We’ll be in guide-style canvas tents on public ground, at a much higher altitude than I’ve even been, to boot. I usually don’t stress about anythin' too terribly much, but I’ve been runnin’ my feeble brain ragged the last few weeks, makin’ the last minute preparations and hopin’ I ain’t forgotten anythin’.
So now, after months of plannin’, it’s just about time to head out for our dream hunt. Dad and six other fellas are drivin’ out early Tuesday mornin’. Joe and I don’t have as much vacation as them old bastards do, so we’re gonna let the TSA have their wicked way with us as we take a plane to Denver on Friday mornin’, where we’ll rent a ride and head to White River National Forest to meet with the rest of the fellas.
The tags and equipment have been purchased, guns have been shot in, boots have been broken in. I’ve spent the last few days packin’ everythin’ into the war room, and we loaded up the trailers this mornin’. Everythin’ is purty much taken care of aside from the gittin’ there. Now, I just gotta push through a few days of work, and then we’ll be on our way.