Friday, October 21, 2011

It's 2008

 Well, It's 2008. We made it through the winter,
We found a beautiful home in Salmon.  And we gathered all the gear that came with the outfitting business and got it in one place..Finally! We soon realized we would have to find Pasture for the outfit horses. 12 Head of Half draft horses. 
We also in the mean time developed our web site (first one was Corny as heck and our logo looked like we were selling pumpkins),  and Got our brochure's done. (That chore was tough, Considering Pictures of Dead animals). And proceeded to go to our First Sports Show. It was in Grand Rapids MI. And Basically, It blew all budgets. But, for the First year...We booked 11 hunters. Yahoo...So we thought and we were up and running. 
In the meantime, I needed a Job! I figured after a year or two I could quit the job since our Dream business would take off in leaps and bounds...Boy, I was sure naive then.... Something to keep me busy. I lasted 1 day at the local bar. Decided my Ass wasn't a slapping board. But, I found something else, Secretary for an Elk ranch in Elk bend Idaho. Went for my interview, and I was hired immediately. 
Now this place deserves it's own book. The history there, and the owner, Wow! The Ranch I soon found out is Not really a Working Elk ranch but more of a Sanctuary for Animals. Not to mention the Owner supports this place by Phone counseling or Tarot readings. But, I figured, It was better then the Drunks. So, I stayed. Every day was an interesting day for sure.
Elk Ranch
Summer came and went. And Fall was fast approaching. We had a Small problem. When they Wrote our Permit, We didn't have Camps. So we were told we could "Pick" where we want to camp.  Then, we didn't have any guides except us. When I say Us, In 2008, I didn't have a Nanny yet either. So it was just Terry. We didn't know anyone either. So, Next step. Family...Syd Polk from NM. and Cody Masingale from NM..Cody was perfect for a guide considering he and his family had the 1,3,5,7 P&Y bull elk in NM.
Next came the small problem of shoeing horses. Most shoer's Don't like to mess with horses that have feet bigger then a pie plate. And when they do, It costs an Arm and a leg. Sticker shock for sure! Something that we didn't count on in our budget to say the least. But, We got all the horses done. Now, We are finally at the trail head. And I'm there thinking ok. As soon as we figure out how to Pack this stuff, We should be on our way. Our first experience was with Roany. Well, Lets just say, Hard rattle boxes filled with propane cans sure scatter a bunch of cowboys when he goes to bucking.  What we Soon found out over the years with Roany is that he has to wear a saddle for a week in the round corral BEFORE you pack hay on him for a month. Then Maybe a guide can ride him, But Watch out for those Horse eating chipmunks....Defiantly, Not the one to put rattly boxes with things that rattle in them either. We even got the packer book out and decided on some knots. And Thank God, Cody helped us out as well. The point is, We wanted to have a Very nice camp for our clients. Hot showers and everything. So, I do believe it came to 54 pack loads of gear. (We accidentally packed in my bowling ball as well). By the Time 2008 was done, Terry was an Expert Packer. He really didn't have a choice in the matter. Especially, Since we dropped him off 12 head of horses, and a horse trailer full of gear and said, Here it is, Now figure it out. Yes, There was Plenty of wrecks, Packs under horses and the hole nine yards. But, What is that saying...What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger...LOL
Our first year we had our Camp at Trail Creek. Bad mistake...Beautiful area, but we are in the National Forest that allows cattle grazing. First off, there is nothing for our horses to graze on and second, Nothing like coming back to your camp that you have worked hard on setting up to find the Cows have stampeded through your tents and they are laying flat on the ground with globs of big Cow shit on. We decided IF we made it through this year, We would be moving our Base camp Past the wooden gate were there was NO cattle to contend with.
going to base camp
If I remember correctly. We had 2 camps running that year. We had the High camp as well. That was peaceful, but Oh so cold. And the elk as we found, were actually high rather then in the low lands. I say low. Camp was at 7600 ft. 
The bottom line. It took the month of August to pack Everything in, and to set up camp. But the crew did it. I was Very proud of all of them. Season opened up Aug. 30th for Archery elk hunting and we were finally ready. Everything we thought would be smooth or so we thought. 

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