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October through December, 2013

Europe Beckoned, We Answered

We were absent most of September and all of October while attending Kendal's wedding and travelling to Russia, Italy, England and Wales. The first week home was spent getting ready for Winter: markers on the drive, snow plow on the truck, chains on the truck, winterizing the RV, and snow tires for the new Highlander.

Friend Ken had great luck this year. He got two white-tail deer in the first few days of the season and a cow elk on November 6, all taken from our property. Dan wants to try his hand at hunting this season and has just over 3 weeks to fill his tag.

The November 6 elk hunt did not start well. Ken and Dan gave up scouting along the creek and returned to the Carriage House. At the Carriage House they spotted a small herd in the wide gully above. Ken took a 150 yard shot using the Carriage House to steady himself and got a quick, clean kill. Getting the gut pile and carcass down to the road was largely a case of making sure the sled did not run over someone. With the pickup backed into the slope, the carcass slid right in. The gut pile was disposed of near the bottom of the property where the dogs won't find it and the coyotes will make short work of it.

This is the third year that Ken has killed an elk in this gully. Perhaps he should just sit in the Carriage House drinking coffee and keeping an eye on the gully.

UPDATE: Dan got his chance 2 days later but was not used to the hair trigger on Ken's gun so missed a great shot. Soon after, he had to get foot surgery for an ongoing problem and may not be able to hunt for the rest of the season.

In late August Neko was diagnosed with liver cancer. She was in such bad condition we were afraid she was going to die while we were away in Europe. The vet put her on a special diet that does not stress her liver and she quickly found life worth living again. However, we know her time is limited.

Since we plan to stay home until mid-April and wanted to make sure Pumpkin has a companion, we decided the time was right to get a new puppy. Rosie is another rescue dog; like Pumpkin, she is from a local reservation and is thought to be part German Shepard and part Border Collie. Pumpkin and Neko had their doubts about this addition at first, but Pumpkin has adopted Rosie as her annoying little sister and Rosie thinks Pumpkin is the best big sister in the world. There are more pictures of Rosie here.

UPDATE 2: Dan felt recovered enough from his foot surgery on November 27 that the appearance of several elk around the Carriage House prompted a call to Ken. They drove a short distance up the old road before spotting the elk across the creek. Dan was able to take the shot from inside the truck*, killing a 2nd year cow elk. He cannot get around without crutches and was not able to help in recovering the kill, so Ken and Gary hiked over to get it. The carcass was located here (zoom in to see the detail around the markers on the map). Because of the steep terrain on either side of the creek, they had to haul the kill north on a game trail to get out of the brush, down through the trees to the west trail then south to the driveway, a total of over ½ mile. Near the driveway they could load it into Ken's truck. Ken and Gary agree that they deserve a big share of the meat after the 2½ hour ordeal through brush and down steep slopes.

* In Montana it is legal to shoot game from a vehicle if and only if: (a) you are disabled, or (b) you are on private property.

Parting Shot
All is Calm Before the Storm

We are expecting 3 children, 2 spouses and 2 grandchildren
for Christmas, with an additional 2 joining us for New Year's.

Parting Shot, Take 2
Christmas Day

Friends and Family Gather for the White Elephant Gift Exchange
Family: Gary, Pauline, Marcus, Samantha, Lauren, Allison, Kendal, Brandon and AV.
Friends: Dan, Jennie, Dennis, Terri, Phil and Joan


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