02 December 2005

Becoming a Wyoming Wife - Step 4 Part 1

What an exciting journey this has been so far! I've learned a lot and had some experiences that, well, to be honest, were less than spectacular! But, like the saying goes, "Whatever doesn't kill you, will make you stronger!" I firmly believe in that phrase, it helped me make it through 7 years of my ex-husband's pancakes! Let me just tell you that definitely made me stronger! LOL! So, I bet you are wondering what could be next? We've already covered fishing, gutting a fish, and christmas tree hunting, what's left? Well, let me just tell you... There are two types of people that live in Wyoming, those that hunt and those that do not. Well, my loving spouse is part of the former group, as opposed to the later. So, therefore, I must continue my education and learn the intricacies of hunting. Now, I am a person that up until 3 years ago hadn't fished much and considered a cow, pig, or chicken, one of the major food groups, besides chocolate, of course! Then I married survival bear, as he loves to be called! LOL! Anyways, survival guy needs to have a wife that is willing to go along with pretty much whatever he comes up with for fun, right? So, I must learn to stalk and hunt the elusive wild game found in the flat lands and mountains of Big, Wonderful Wyoming!

Now, most of you are thinking that a little knowledge of firearms are a good thing, and I am inclined to agree. After all, guns don't kill people, people do! So, what do you think the right way to go about teaching someone about guns, rifles and such?? Okay, here goes... First, you show the person a variety of equipment used for shooting. You go over all of the basics, like handling, fire arm safety, the use of ear muffs, proper handling and such... Then, being a person over the age of 12, at least my driver's license says that I am ... Okay, being a person over the age of 12, you have to take a hunter safety class. It lasts like 4 days and is like 4-5 hours each day. You learn quite a bit of stuff, like all that was mentioned above and more... Like how to distinguish between different types of bears, don't drink the water unless it's boiled or purified, and be careful that you don't do your business on poison oak or ivy... Ehhh... And then the guy tells you that if he doesn't see you with proper hunter orange (yes, this IS a color here in Big, Wonderful!) on, he will call the game warden on you personally! That means no orange hat bands or single sleeves or such... After all this learning you take a test, if you pass you get this cool patch with an Antelope on it and a card to carry in your wallet, just in case your friendly warden wants to check you for proper documents... According to a friend of ours, it's just a bit less than a full body search... LOL! So now you are ready to go, right?

Well, almost... They teach you the book stuff, but someone has to teach you the field stuff! Enter dear loving spouse, who wants to see you succeed... So, when I first moved to Wyoming he took me out once to go learn to shoot his .22 rifle. Now, I know that most of you are thinking that isn't really big, and you're right! My son, who is a lot younger, than me can fire it! But that's not the point!!!! It gives you an idea of what to do without bruising your shoulder first off... Once again, enter dear, loving, survival skilled husband...

Okay, first thing you do is put in for tags. Now, you look to someone with experience to get you an area that isn't too big or too rough for your first time! And baby, I had it!! Right off the road I lived, north of town, in the county... I could put a glass on these little guys from the road, pull over and get into position... No two track roads to make you sick!! or get lost on!! Anyways, here is my experience the first time hunting... Tell me if this sounds normal to you....

I've got my tag for an Antelope, a doe, in fact. But I haven't had much luck finding one in BFE, so here I am antelopeless... But, always looking for an opportunity to give the little wifey some pointers, my loving spouse has me take a rifle when I have to go for alfalfa to feed the horses. Yeah, it's like a 40 mile drive from where I live to where I buy my hay, so lots of opportunity... So I have my truck, hooked up to a twenty foot car hauler, heading down the highway... All of a sudden, he shouts to pull into the next area I can turn into... Has to be an emergency right? Nope! He found a herd of doe antelopes about 200 yards off the highway... So I pull in and drive over some sage brush, and try to get a little closer... But there is NO WAY that you can sneek up on anything when you are driving a diesel truck!!! So now we have to hurry, they've spotted us... Big shocker, right?! So he yells to jump out of the truck, put my orange on, sling my rifle across the hood of my truck, take aim and fire... Easy enough... Yeah, well it would have been a little easier if I had actually tried to fire his Remington 7mm Magnum before, but hey, I should have already known how to do this, right? So, having never fired this rifle, or aimed at a moving target, I was getting nervous, as well as a sore arm... Hey that thing was heavy, I only way 125lbs and am 5'4", the hood of my truck is almost taller than I am... Anyways, I got off track... So with his ever so patient guidance, I squeeze off a shot... According to him, I shaved her chin... According to me, I couldn't feel my shoulder very well and couldn't hear a thing he was saying for a few seconds... Well, I guess what he was saying was to try again... Yup, aim the rifle right in front of her nose and follow her, then squeeze off another shot. Well, needless to say, we came home empty handed, except for the hay... And well, I wasn't much help loading it... Had a sore shoulder...

Guess, I need just a little bit more practice... Wait til part 2... You'll see...

2 comments:

Barbara said...

I hope you'll still like me if I admit that I'm cheering for the antelope...

Nona said...

I still like you even though... :) Hunting is a way of life out here, most of the people that you meet either bow or rifle hunt, it's very different from when I lived in CA, and even WA, now that it is made up of transplant Californian's...