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!

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