October through December,
A Big Family Christmas
This was another 3-elk year.
Friend Ken killed a bull and a cow early in the season,
while we were away in California.
The bull had been severely injured in a fight and would not have lasted
through the winter.
He also got a deer on the last day of the season.
Toward the end of the season cousin Francis came from Kansas to try his
hand at elk hunting and Ken agreed to help him out.
A week of sunrise forays produced a few sightings of lone elk but no
legal or safe shots.
over 200 elk appeared below the Main House
It was too late in the day to shoot
(we did not want to be dealing with a dead elk in the dark at 0°F).
the elk herd was no longer below the house but Francis got his choice of
200 elk one hundred yards above the house.
He picked a nice,
fat cow and killed her with one well-placed shot.
We got a small share of each elk;
we have not finished all the meat from last year,
so our freezer is full!
The seeds for this hunt were planted by Gary's cousin Wanda Jo
(Gary's mother's namesake).
She applied for a permit on husband Francis's behalf after she saw how
herds of elk liked to hang around our property.
Wanda Jo died unexpectedly before the permit was granted;
we all said a word of thanks over the elk in her memory.
This Christmas we will be hosting 4 of the 5 children plus their
spouses or girlfriends and the two grandchildren.
That calls for a
Big Christmas Tree.
We hiked out the front door with our pruning saw and found a nice tree
about one hundred yards uphill to the northeast
(near where Francis got his elk).
In a moment of genius,
it occurred to us we could employ the game sled used to retrieve Francis's
elk to transport the tree back home.
the tree did not fit in the sled,
but it did help with the heavy end.
This tree appears to be the tallest we have cut since moving into the
Main House in 2007 –
the steel rods connecting the ends of the arched timbers are exactly 10
feet from the floor and the top of the timbers above the fireplace is 12
We had to cut about 6 inches from the top of the tree to accomodate the
but it is still over 11 feet top to bottom.
Even with our 10-foot ladder,
decorating the top was a challenge because the lower branches prevented
us from placing the ladder close to the tree.
Dinner on Christmas Day
From the left:
Missing are Dan and Kristina,
who spent Christmas with family in Wisconsin.
They plan to visit us later this Winter.
⇐ Last Quarter
Next Quarter ⇒