Elk Hunting

Some of you may remember a post from earlier this year about antler shed hunting.  Winter is a very boring and slow time of year for ranchers and farmers alike, and my cowboy had taken up searching for antler and horn sheds from all the deer and elk in our neck of the woods…er sagebrush covered hills.  This fall, Mr. Rancher decided to try hunting for a live elk instead.  By decided I mean: Tanner spotted some huge elk, he noticed they were huge, he called Ty to describe how huge they were, a couple hours later Ty had a hunting license, an elk tag, and a borrowed gun from his cousin Keith (he had to borrow a gun, that’s how much of a non-hunter he is!) and the guys were sneaking up on the unsuspecting elk. Boom!  Ty shoots the elk and the guys pack it out.  End of story.

One of our friends from church is a very serious hunter, in fact Ty and Tanner helped him and his buddy pack an elk out of the very steep country along the Snake River just before Hells Canyon.  Our friend, Anthony, doesn’t mess around when it comes to hunting.  He works out year round, mainly to be fit for the hiking involved during hunting season.  He scouts game for several days before the actual hunt.  He videos the hunts and later makes podcasts describing the trip.  He’s very committed to hunting.  You can imagine his reaction when Ty–the non-hunting-rancher-who whimsically decides to go hunting for and afternoon– called him to share the good news of his two-maybe-three-hour hunting trip in which he shot a massive bull elk.  Anthony was nice enough to give us a rough measurement of the elk’s horns and an approximate score of 361 3/8 on it.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with elk scoring (like me up until yesterday!) an elk’s score is calculated by measuring the length, width, circumference, and span of the horns.  Additional tines equal additional points since they add inches into the overall score.  There are hunting clubs that keep scores of various big game and these clubs have a minimum score before the animal can be considered “special” or “record-setting.”  Boone and Crockett is one of these clubs and they require and 375 elk score to meet their minimum requirements.  If Ty’s elk hadn’t lost one of his brow tines, at some point, he would’ve made it!  Apparently it’s a big deal among hunters to have a “Boone and Crockett bull.”

And to think that two years ago my primary research and writing interests related to autism and family dynamics under external stress factors.  Now I’m googling terms like Boone and Crockett and tallying elk scores.  Sigh.


Okay, academic nostalgia aside, I’m going to try to explain a brow tine to you.  Look at the above picture.  If you start counting points or tines of the horns, beginning at the skull you can see that either side is the same for the first point.  The second points, however, are uneven.  I’m assuming the the first and second points both count as brow tines since they are both tines that sit somewhat on brow level.  How’s that for inductive reasoning?  I’ll stop with the school-speak now.  Anyways…back to brow tines.   The second tine on the right side of elk horn–left side of the picture–is significantly shorter than the right side.  Sometimes these points are broken off in a fight with another bull or caught on something.  This particular point doesn’t appear to have been broken, it looks like it grew that way or was possibly broken when it first grew and has since been worn smooth.  Mr. Rancher so wishes it had grown!  image1

Either way, this is an impressive elk.  Especially considering this was Ty’s second time elk hunting.  It really isn’t fair that a guy who won’t even try elk meat and doesn’t really care one way or the other about hunting and doesn’t even have a gun to hunt with shot this bull.  I’m sure there are much more hard-core, avid hunters out there that have worked much harder for such a trophy.  But, I gotta say, I’m proud of Mr. Rancher, even if he is too stubborn to just try the meat!


And I should add that although I’m very happy my husband had fun and has a trophy to show for his efforts, I don’t know how I feel about the actual trophy.  On principle, I’ve always been opposed to dead animals inside the house.  Mr. Rancher has informed me that such an awesome trophy simply must be displayed, and, well I guess I agree with him.  We really may have to build or buy a new house though.  There is no way those horns are going to fit inside our tiny house!


Mouse in the House

There’s a mouse in my house!  Lot’s of mice actually.  So far, I’ve caught two of the little nasty buggers.  It has been tricky finding places for all the traps what with the little Miss crawling and toddling all over the place.  I’m desperate to catch the creatures as they’ve found their way into my kitchen, my pantry, my towels, and I’m sure many other places yet to be discovered.  Mr. Rancher washed out our cattle trailer while I scrubbed down the pantry shelves yesterday.  Who do you think had the nastier job?

Nieces and Nephews

My lovely sister Ruth spent two weeks at my parents’ house the beginning of this month.  We all love when she and her darling family come for a visit!  Her two daughters are absolutely precious and it’s a great excuse to get all the grandkids together to play as much as possible.

While Ruth and her girls were here, we decided to get an updated photo of all my parents’ grandchildren, and we managed to get a picture without anyone crying!  Pretty impressive when you consider the number of toddlers and babies in the group.IMG_3056

We managed to snap pictures of most of the littles on their own as well.  This is Trey.  Believe it or not, he is the biggest teaser ever!  He knows just how to push his siblings’ buttons and drive them crazy which drives his mama crazy.  And he does NOT smile for pictures.


Here’s my beautiful, camera-loving baby.  Miss Henley loved taking pictures with her cousins.  She loves the older kids.  She loves the camera.  She loves watching adults act silly to get the kiddos to smile.  That’s a win-win-win situation for her!


Livy was a little nervous to take pictures, but after watching her big sisters she relaxed enough to give me a hidden grin.IMG_3100

Her hair is amazing.  Bright red and ringlet curls.  It doesn’t get cuter than that!

Miss Natalie Blazzard.  Where to begin with this little beauty?  She just recently became a big sister.  She loves princesses.  She’s a ham for the camera too!IMG_3085

Here she is with her beautiful mama and baby sister.IMG_3084

Oh and these little monkeys!  See Trey not smiling in this picture too?  No matter how funny we adults thought we were he wouldn’t give it up.  Still love this picture though.  These cuties belong to my sister Annie.IMG_3073

Stylin’ Miss Cambree with her leggings and booties.  Cambree is eight months older than Henley.  Whether it’s sharing chips, her sippy cup, or her baby dolls with Henley she is quite the helper!  I have a strong feeling those two are going to share in a lot of trouble-making too.IMG_3045

Miss Afton!  She is just two months younger than Henley but she is taller and chubbier!  I’m sure as the two of them get older they will be best buddies, but for now they both like the older, more entertaining kids around.

Doesn’t Mark look exactly like a farmer with a brand new–or at least new to him–truck on his hands?  I think this describes his personality perfectly.  Mark loves to farm and ranch and he is proud of it.IMG_3023

Here’s Miss Millie, poor girl had just woken up from a nap.  That’s exactly how I look when I first wake up.  Except not that cute.  And my hair doesn’t have a pretty flower in it.  She and Livy are quite the pair of inquisitive little girls, and they keep their mom on her toes!IMG_3018

This beautiful young woman is my niece Aliza.  She was a wonderful baby-holder during the group photo!  She’s a regular bookworm and is always happy to help with the littler kids.IMG_3016

Here’s my nephew John.  He’s quite the mover as could be seen in most of the group photos.  He is in a different spot in each one!IMG_3015

This is my niece Addie.  She has so much spunk and fire running through her probably due to being born between three rowdy boys.  She was my most willing model all night, asking repeatedly if she could take another picture.

This little cutie is my nephew Reed.  He was so sweet about taking pictures!  I asked him to sit on the steps and smile for me.  Then I asked him to squint a little less.  He said “what?”

“Open your eyes a little more, bud!”

And that’s how we got this darling picture!IMG_3004

Miss Anna is the oldest out of all the grandbabies (20) of my parents.  She is turning into such a beautiful young lady.IMG_2995

I love how fun this picture is!  And I love that Anna was nice enough to wrangle Miss Henley during the group photo.

And last but certainly not least is my nephew Harold.  He is so so tall.  It makes me feel really old.  He’s supposed to be an ornery toddler not an ornery almost teenager!  He only let me take this posed picture after I agreed to take one of him on the very top of the sprayer later on.IMG_3012

There are a few more grandbabies but I didn’t get individual shots of them this time around.  It’s tricky to get everyone when there are so many.  They’re a such fun lil’ sweeties though.