Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hunting memories worth reliving

After the hunt is over what's left are the memories, experiencing the sites, sounds smells and emotions of a hunt bring me back to those times and serves as a reminder that the next hunt is just a memory away......

The ultimate hunt for a lot of North American Hunters is for the Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep. My hunt for this magnificent animal met all my requirements for adventure: remote back country, extreme physical challenge and memories to last a life time.  I waited 11 years for this challenge and was fortunate to share it with my husband Bryan and our hunting buddy Matt.

Everyday of the  remote wilderness 10 day hunt started out with a heart pounding  hike up steep mountain terrain to where we could see the Alpine mountain slopes where the Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep spends its day. We’d catch our breath as we scoped the side of the cliffs looking for sheep. We saw groups of Nannies and kids sunning them selves or grazing but rams were not to be seen until the third day.  We say a group of Rams that warranted a closer look but getting to them would require an hour and a half hike down and up the valley that lay between us and the sheep. We made the long difficult hike and it proved to be worth the effort because in the group of Rams were two rams of the quality I was looking for. The sheep were still not in gun shot range. We had to sneak around the back side of the cliff where the sheep were grazing and hope to get close enough for me to get a shot. The cliff we circled was very steep and covered with course volcanic gravel that made walking very difficult and very dangerous – one slip would mean sliding thousands of feet to the floor of the valley below. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other until we reached a saddle in the cliff. Just as we reached the saddle we spotted a young Ram. We froze until he disappeared around the curve of the hill. With my heart jumping we continued around the hill. I knew that the young ram was not by himself – his bigger brothers had to be very near. We continued our stalk staying low and looking ahead of us until we spotted the rest of the rams just grazing 300 yards in front of us. We used the rocks and brush for cover as we inched closer to my quarry. I tried to catch my breath in that thin mountain air as I zeroed in on my chosen ram and squeezed off a shot. The rams went careening back down the precipitous cliffs and when the smoked cleared from my shot there were no Rams anywhere. I had missed!  I can still feel the despair I felt that day, I still relive all my movements,  my breathing, the image I saw in my scope, but none of that would put a ram on the ground.
This hunt has impress permanent memories in my mind:

The days spent at the top of the world listening to God whisper to me;

The tops of mountains stretching to the horizon;

The myriad colors of blues and greens that cover the lower mountain sides,

Fierce winds I only saw in the afternoon parade of thunderclouds moving always east.

Alpine flowers

 A  mountain lake so clear and beautiful it took my breath away.

I will regret to the end of my days that my shot was poor….and I look forward to the day when I can do this kind of hunt again – The next time I will not miss.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Weight - Update

Reached the halfway point on 2/5/2010 Here are the results.......................

10 pounds .... Total weight lost
One size ...... Dropped one dress size - What a joy to go shopping now!
100%........... More energy
100%............More flexible
5 .................Weeks left for the LOOK GOOD NAKED class

Thank you Jay from Anytime Fitness for being such a motivating trainer!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time Well Spent

Not hunting leaves me time to reflect, time to catch up on chores etc.,  and time to hone my hunting skills.
Being sidelined from the hunt  because of weather, no hunting season or what ever gives me lots of opportunities to either get fat and lazy or improve my hunting and shooting skills.. I have chosen the later.

Last weekend I was at the NRA Whittington Center for the MidWest Region Workshop for the Friends of NRA. Saturday was taken up by presentations from  regional representatives aimed at making annual FNRA banquets more effective and raise more money. But Sunday I was lucky to be able to take a class from Don Busse of Martial Arms. This man is a master of his craft and approaches firearms and firearms safety in a very practical manner. He began first by telling us the proper name for everything. For instance the difference between a jam and a malfunction on any firearm is that a malfunction can be instantly fixed , but a jam probably requires taking your firearm apart and ends your shooting for the moment.

I loved getting instruction from this mild mannered, often  funny man. He gave me confidence in my ability to handle the  Ruger Mini 14 I was shooting, but never talked down to me or intimidated me. As he went over the 4 range rules and the procedures for the day I was really looking forward to learning everything he had to offer. I got three hours to absorb everything Don had to say about the art of Practical Rifle shooting.

Practical rifle shooting is different from hunting or target practice. It's purpose is completely defensive, to project you and yours from those who would do you harm. Don thoroughly explained the whys and hows of practical rifle shooting from the proper prone position to the number of shots to be fired. He covered who to shoot first when two gunmen are coming your way and how many times to shoot each aggressor. My knowledge of proper self defense with a gun grew ten fold. I never had any desire for this kind of range experience thinking it was just for the Rambo type men but to tell you the truth I had a whole lot of fun and now have more practical confidence in defensive shooting. It's something I hope I will never have to use but it is something I think every red blooded American  woman needs to know!

Thanks for reading this blog...
See you at the Range!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Weight Week 2

I have completed my second full week of my Look Good Naked class. I still hide from myself in the mirror but I am feeling a lot of positive changes

#1 My jeans are much easier to zip!
#2 My thighs are beginning to lose the cottage cheese texture!
#3 A lot of the tiny aches and pains of sore feet, leg cramps a back aches have disappeared.
#4 My husband gave me roses!
#5 All of my clothes are fitting looser
#6 I have lost a total of  5 POUNDS!
#7 I am not feeling my age - I think I am 29 again!!
#8 My husband gave me roses!

I highly recommend everyone RUN don't walk to your nearest gym and get them to hold a Look Good Naked Class.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter Weight Weigh-In

Today was the big day!. A weigh-in to see if all my hard work,  pain, sacrafice and skinny eating would pay off. I stopped weighing myself at home because the scale was stuck on the same number it was on the first day. When I got to the gym other ladies in the class were being weighed. Every single one lost at least three pounds all the way up to an amazing 10 pounds. I waited anxiously for my turn on the scale, then promptly at 5:30 AM the instructor told us to get on our equipment. I would have to wait until the end of class to get weighed. Holy Excercise! I want to know now !#*#%! 

But I burned through the road block and got into the days routine of leg work.

Forward Lunges, backward lunges, knee bends, knee extensions, high running steps, repeat, repeat repeat!

Finally after 45 minutes of working my legs to rubbery stubs it was time for the weigh in

Tada!  3 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twice as much as I had set for my goal  3xs more than I thought I had lost! 

Great motivation for the next nine weeks, this is actually working!



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Wight -One Week Down!

Just finished week one (nine more to go !*#!). Today was Cardio.

60 minutes of heart pounding, sweat producing activity. First we used elliptical, bicycles, treadmills and skipping. Move on to a round of jumping jacks, hill climbing, side crunches and high kicks and then just because the trainer did not see enough motivation, we did a ZILLION sit ups alternately with bicycling in the air crunches. All the while the he kept asking if we were sweating yet? OMG ! I did not know I had that much sweat in me!

Weigh in is Friday. I have stopped weighing myslef at home because the scale in my house has been stuck on the same number since I started. I think I'm going to have to replace can't be true that I have not lost ANY weight, I had to have lost at least a pound of sweat today!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Weight the next day

I unmercifully punished myself with 2 Look Good Naked sessions yesterday.

Here are the Good the Bad and  the Ugly results:

Good    I slept like a hibernating bear from 9:00pm until my man woke me up at 7:13 the first time I can ever remember not hearing the alarm. I actually in feel better and  I impressed myself with  living through  2 extremely strenuous workout sessions.
After all I am not 20 ...........or 30 .......................or even 40 anymore!

Bad  I slept so hard on the same shoulder all night long that today I have a kink in my shoulder that hurts!!!! Tomorrow's session should take care of that.

Ugly Still no weight loss! I'm not going to weigh my self anymore until the mandatory weigh-in on Friday.

Suzanne Cooper

Suzanne Cooper

My First Deer

My First Deer
Taken with Black powder

South African Greater Kudu

South African Greater Kudu
30th Anniversary Trip to Africa with husband Bryan

On top of the World!

On top of the World!
Me and my favorite hunting buddies

Valentine Present

Valentine Present