Merriam-Webster defines unpredictable as: “not able to be known or declared in advance,” and wild as: “not subject to restraint or regulation,” and altitude as: “the vertical elevation of an object above a surface (such as sea level or land) of a planet or natural satellite.” Now, when we combine all of these definitions with elk season, it is somewhat easier to understand why we sometimes come back from hunting in the mountains with no elk.
True to form for the elk, they are not subject to regulations and as we packed our things down the trail, loaded them in the pick-up, and drove out through the valley some thousands of feet lower, there was a herd of eighty or so elk grazing contentedly in a lush pasture. Up on top, we did see three moose and two beautiful bucks, a boat-load of mountain blue birds, and vistas that would bless anyone’s vision.
Still, no elk in the freezer is a disappointment as it is my favorite of all the wild game we hunt and I was looking forward to some sour dough pancakes with elk breakfast sausage, and chokecherry syrup. Time up there is never wasted though because you get so away from the day-to-day worries and cares and distractions. The stars seem so much closer, and at the top of the various peaks, the world is drawn out before you in an endless blue sky all the way to forever. You know, “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.”