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Hunting Camp – Day 4

14 Oct

The last day of Hunting camp (for those of us who had gotten our elk). Sunday is the day of the community breakfast, so Angela and I started preparing our dishes for the “potluck”.

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Her fruit salad.

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My Bacon (yes, that is a whole pound in the pan. She taught us that you can dump the whole pound in, and if you turn it evenly, it will cook evenly and faster. It will be curly though.)

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Just a random glimpse of the coolers that we had brought with to hunting camp. Part was food for us, part was food for the potluck style dinners, and part was room for elk meat!

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After breakfast and “camp church”, we started breaking things down and packing things up so that we could make the long trek home.

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Jordan and Jeremy ended up moving our tent out into the sun so that any leftover moisture would dry out and we wouldn’t have mold or mildew issues later on.

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Here is a lot of our stuff in containers and such, ready to go, but note the jeep in the background. Our neighbor took his girl and some of his nieces mudding. I would have to say, I think that they were very successful!

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This is the last of the kitchen stuff to be loaded up. It was a little sad to load up, but I needed a shower to wash my hair, and to do laundry. Needless to say, everything reeked of smoke afterwards, and all of the sleeping bags spent a few nights on the laundry line, just to air out.

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After loading everything up (and everything fit, just barely), we got in the car and headed the long drive to TUCSON…to where we begin the next step of the great Elk Hunting Experience…

 

The BUTCHERING!

oh dear! 😮

Hunting Camp – Day 3

13 Oct

I awoke to the most brilliant flash of light that I had ever heard, followed by dead silence, and then the most ground shaking, deafening roar of thunder that I had ever heard. Needless to say, my neighbors could probably hear me calling out “Oh Lord, have mercy on us!” As humorous as it sounds, I was serious! I was also starting to wonder. All of the day before was windy and raining, and at a few points I wondered if the tent was going to pick up and fly off, or surely collapse on me! Now the lightning and thunder? Oh my!

I had a second puddle that day as well, in which I sopped up with the towel. The tarp that we set the tent on apparently collected water underneath it, and leaked through.

Should I remind you that the water was probably 40 something degrees?

We had laid the towels out to dry on the camp chairs that we brought, and we awoke to this (okay, I awoke to that as Jordan had already left for hunting). Our chairs and the towels had frost on them.

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Fortunately, by the time that I had gotten out of the tent, Jeremy and Angela had already gotten up and were attempting (more successfully this time) to make another fire. I guess there is another perk to staying in bed as late as possible, regardless of how bad you have to use that rustic, thin fabric-ed, zip up the door, plywood base with a real toilet seat camp bathroom!

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Ahhh…the woods!

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Oh yeah, and the rest of the camp. Note the green tarp on top of the one tent. Yeah…it was because of the rain.

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We ended up inviting over for breakfast one of the guys who had come by himself. Noting how much he enjoyed the food, when Angela and I did a food experiment, we knew just who to look for! Brother Jared!

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It was supposed to be like a Banana S’mores kind of deal. You split a banana in half, put in graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate chips, wrapped it in foil, stick it over heat to let the marshmallows and chocolate chips melt, and then open, cover in whipped cream, and enjoy!

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It didn’t turn out as wonderful as I pictured, but it was still tasty.

Please note, for those with sensitive stomachs, I am about to post some gory pictures, as Jordan shot his elk that morning!

 

So…

 

…For people like my Mom…

 

…Or Anyone else…

 

…I am giving you the opportunity to hit “page down” Once or twice to be over and done with it. There are about 9 pictures, and I will try to provide something to let you know that you are past the pictures. I do apologize, but it WAS the whole reason why we went up there.

Besides, Mom, you don’t see this aspect of your meat, but it happens non-the-less.

Jordan came bouncing up in the truck that morning announcing that he had shot his elk. I was THRILLED! We were going home with meat. He and a few others went to pick it up later that morning.

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They attached the pulley to it (Which was rigged to a tree) and pulled it up out of the truck. Yes…I watched. LOL

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When they got it as high as they could, Zachary Wallace CLIMBED UP THE ELK…yes, you heard me right, he climbed up the elk, and sat on the bar between the legs of the elk and cranked himself AND the elk up higher.

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He decided that it was high enough…

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…and then he slid down the tree next to it.

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Seth and a few others promptly jumped right in and started skinning it. They had already gutted it in the field to get it to start cooling off.

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Uncle Russell was holding Lydia and trying to show her the elk, but she didn’t trust him all that much, and with her Daddy around, she knew who she wanted!

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Jordan was trying to get Lydia to touch the elk, but I didn’t want to have to clean her hands, and she was a little reluctant to touch it, much to my relief!

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Within a very short period of time, they had the elk mostly skinned.

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It was so very nice that everyone pitched in and helped like they did! It made work a lot easier!!!

Jordan had me help clean some of the innards (liver, heart, etc) for people who would enjoy them. We gave the (huge, enormous, massive, gigantic) liver to the Brother who had taken Jordan out hunting that day and who had helped bring the elk back in. We weren’t…okay…I wasn’t interested in cooking it up, and Jordan had already said that the Brother had wanted it, so as we were washing it up, the Brother was standing right there and asked us what we were going to do with the liver. With a serious face, I jokingly replied “Oh, we are just going to dump it somewhere in the woods.” His eyes got real big, and a look of shock and disbelief crossed his face as he asked “You aren’t REALLY going to do that, are you?” I then laughed and told him that we were planning on giving it to him and his family to have, as we knew how much enjoyed elk liver.

Jordan was having fun encouraging the kids and other spectators to help wash the liver, and to hold it and touch it. (Jordan is all about encouraging people to expand their horizons! LOL). Angela and Jeremy eventually held it, and of course I helped wash it up. That was heavy. It probably weighted 10-15 pounds, and was a weird rectangle/triangle shape.

We ended up taking the rest of the “innards” to Jordan’s parents.

Needless to say, I did learn a whole bunch of new things at camp this year.

 

okay!

 

The elk pictures are done

 

So you are safe now.

 

Until we get home. haha!

After that we got to sit around and enjoy the company and the warm sun, without having to stress about getting the elk!

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Some of our neighbors enjoying the fire and sun, but avoiding the smoke.

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Later that evening, while setting up for dinner, Jordan decided to help out and get the fire in the wall tent (the community tent with the chairs and tables) cleaned up and burning bright and cheerful, to warm things up. Like a trooper, he scraped out the ashes and loaded up the little stove. Within a short period of time, not only was the fire burning brightly, but the tent was filling with smoke! We realized that the ashes had all been scraped out, and now there was no insulation between the little stove and the piece of wood it was sitting on, so it was starting to burn the wood, and causing the tent to fill up. We helped clear the tent of smoke, but this picture doesn’t do it justice of how intense the smoke was.

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Next time…we will leave ashes!


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