Monday, November 24, 2008

Our First Hunting Trip

Last week, our family went on its first hunting trip. We left Thursday evening and drove for about 5 hours to eastern Washington. We arrived about 11:30 pm, unpacked and then the guys that were there had a skeet shoot competition. I held the light so they could see the clay pigeons.
The next morning, we introduced the girls to shot guns. They got to try their hand at shooting clay pigeons. They didn't hit any, but got a feel for what it is like. I took my turn and hit about half of my clay pigeons. Much better than the first time I tried about 18 months ago (I only hit 2 of 30 that time). This time I hit about 12 of 25. We then went for a 3 mile hike up some very rugged terrain to get a lay of the land and also so Ralph could shoot some video. So there we were carrying rifles, shot guns and cameras. We must have been quite the sight.

We then headed to the farm house of one of the owners of the 10,000 acre ranch we were on. They have a pond behind their house that they keep stocked with trout. The girls got out there and were very successful in a short time. They caught 6 trout between the two of them in about 20 minutes. Alicia was especially happy since it was her first time to catch a fish.

We headed back to the farm house we were staying at so I could get the stew I had made a head of time heated up for the guys who had been out hunting that morning. After lunch, we took a "ride" with the other owner of the ranch (the owners are father and son). The girls said it was better than Disney World. I called it cow pasture moguls. We rode around for a couple of hours through cow pastures, up and down VERY steep hills. It was a lot of fun.

The next morning, we went out on a practice hunt with the girls. We each carried a shot gun and Hannah carried a rifle (just in case we saw a coyote). We walked for a couple of hours, then headed back to the house for lunch. After lunch we had to do a video shoot, then it was time for the pheasant hunt. But first we went to an old farm house that was full of pigeons and shot a couple of pigeons. We then had our bird dog take off and find the pheasant for us. She found one, but it was too far away from where we were to get it. So then we were off again. We went up and down very steep hills, covered with knee high grasses. I began wondering what a sedentary homemaker like myself was doing out tramping through the brush and up and down hills to find a bird to shoot. But I didn't give up. Ralph shot the first pheasant. It was a beauty. We were so in awe of the colors that God put on this bird. The variety was incredible. We then sent the dog off to find one for me. She tracked one and stayed on it until I was able to get there. Then they let her go and I took two shots. I nicked it but didn't get a good enough shot to get it down. We spent about 90 minutes trying to see if it went down over the hills, but never found it. I was really disappointed, but I am really glad that Ralph got his.

Ralph and his first pheasant

While we were there we also made friends with the younger couple on the ranch. They have 4 little boys and we found out we had a lot in common. Alicia had fun as she was able to spend some time with the baby, holding and rocking him. The girls were also able to feed the cows and chickens and help collect eggs.

We had a wonderful time on this trip and look forward to many more. It was great to spend the time together as a family.

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