Noah’s First Elk (Picture Story)

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For today, here’s the pictorial story:

This was the first time we hunted 4th season. It was cold, but little compares to snow in the mountains. This is our camp set up.

We were up at 3:00 or 4:00 am every morning. This was a typical breakfast: oatmeal with trail mix. As the tent warmed up from the wood-burning stove, the kids enjoyed breakfast in bed.

I hunted with Noah and Tabitha (14 and 12), the rest of the hunters (Lydia, Isaiah, Micah and their friend, Ryan) were of age and experienced enough to hunt alone.

This year, we hunted where no one else was hunting. We had to dig our way in at points to make it through the logging road. At times like this, it’s nice to have a truck full of teenagers!

Ah, the sunrise. We’re usually pretty cold by the time it pops over the horizon. The warmth on the face is an experience that I love to return to every year.

The two newest hunters and I, ready and willing for the elk.

I took out the phone and captured the first thoughts of Noah right after he shot the cow.

Noah’s elk walked out of the woods at 8:00 am on the second morning of hunting. Noah was positioned perfectly to take a 300 yard shot with a .243 rifle. What a thrill for a 14 year old…and his dad!

After the elk drops, the real work begins. It took us seven hours to get the elk back to the truck. I asked my Facebook friends for a caption for this photo. My friend Ken Gray posted, “Who got whom?”

No, this is not photoshopped. You see these scenes all the time when out hunting. What a spectacular year this was.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ruth Nolastname

    How long did the cow suffer after the first shot? What do you do in that circumstance? Do you end it’s suffering with a kill shot or just wait for it to die?
    I don’t ask this to stir up drama. I ask because I’m curious about the process. Did you field dress it before lugging it back to the truck? How did Noah do with that?

    • Most game shots do call for a “kill shot.” All hunters attempt to hit the big game animal in the “vitals” (heart or lung). In Noah’s case, he hit high and broke the elk’s spine. He walked up about 20 yards from it and put it down with a bullet to the head. You can kind of tell it was hit in the head.

      I know this may sound gruesome, but do consider a few points. First, hunting has been done for millennia; it is a recent (and I think uneducated) phenomena to think it immoral. Second, overpopulation of animals is a significant problem in states that don’t have liberal hunting laws; conservationism is a thorough science that helps the habitat and hunting is one of its major sources of control. Third, restriction of hunting would, in fact, lead to much more suffering, road kill, disease and habitat imbalance.

      • Jim

        Maybe so, but I get no pleasure from killing things.

      • Ruth Nolastname

        Oh! Please don’t misunderstand. I think people hunting for food is fine. I was just curious about the logistics.

  • JDK

    I hate to watch things die. Most children hate to hurt creatures. How does Noah feel about the elk’s death?

  • Nina

    Congratulations to Noah- what a memory for a lifetime. Elk are huge compared to deer- how many pounds of meat do you get off of one once it is dressed?

    • Thanks Nina. It was a medium-sized cow, and when it was all processed, we counted 73 pounds of meat. We still have to grind the burger, which will add about 10 pounds of pork.