Bison Hunt 2017: The Prep

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My 7 year old daughter drew this for me, in hopes it brings me a successful harvest.

Dread. Fear. Excitement. Hope…I feel all these things as I lay in bed 5:00am this morning.

One week. One more week until the trucks and trailers are loaded to head North for seven days.

Yep.

I can feel the pressure. I can feel the sweat along my hairline start to creep in. I shed a few tears here and there; I miss my children already (oh are they great kids!).  I wander aimlessly around the house wondering what I should pack and prepare next. My list grows longer and not to mention, I still have to take care of all the “motherly and wifely” duties that my life demands (in which I’m happy to oblige).

No…I didn’t leave it all to the last 7 days to pack for a week long WINTER Hunting trip, but some of you don’t understand what it takes to prepare for a week long hunting trip that takes place in winter where it can reach -40 degrees Celsius.  Everything is freezing…all the time!

Close your eyes…imagine you are in your warm cozy bed, in your warm and cozy house. Perhaps you are watching Netflix, sipping a hot coco…mmm…nice…When suddenly a giant hand reaches out and plucks you from that nice cozy place and plops you in the middle of the Canadian North where it is -30 degrees Celsius during the day and -40 degrees Celcius or colder at night! A voice from above tells you, you have to survive for 7 days out here.

What.do.you.need?

A lot. Not only to survive, but to get a 1000-1600 pound animal out of the bush and bring the animal home if we are so blessed to harvest one.

But yes…I knew the hunt was coming. I do have time to prepare.

Past hunters have done it, future hunters will do it. So why am I fussing? I have help – my husband is with me on this hunt, along with our friend Matt and my brother Cory (who has little hunting experience and is only with us for 4 days).

Perhaps it’s because it has been a super—–long—–year. It has been full of ups and downs. This year had doors close on me and others opened. Lost good people in my life and rediscovered lost connections. Lost my sense of self and finding that sense again. I was part of many significant life changes: spiritual…emotional…financial…list goes on.  It’s been quite the journey to say the least and this Bison hunt just adds to it.  I’m still waiting for the year to end. I want to start fresh.  I need to face the reality though…I still have a few weeks left of this year; I need to make it count. I can’t wait for change to happen; I must be the change.

I have given many of my trials and tribulations to God however. So many things are beyond me and beyond my control. I can’t fix it all by myself. I leave it to Him. I leave myself open for the opportunities, blessings, and guidance that he may present me. I hope I hear Him!

As exhausting as this year has been, I must remain ever vigilant and ever ready for the opportunities that come my way. I’m a sap for hope. I’m a sap for Faith. I’m a sap for Hunting.

I shouldn’t be writing this right now. I should be prepping. My husband is prepping.

However, I need to write this down. I haven’t written in…forever. Something always takes my time. Something always will.

It almost seems though, that life is pivoting around this single hunt. Time, money, and resources have been funneled slowly into this hunt ever since we got the draw saying “Congratulations of your upcoming Bison Hunt!”  Perhaps there is so much focus on it because 1) winter camping and winter hunting is different. We haven’t experienced it much much before, almost not at all. We need to be prepared. 2) Bison LEH draws are pretty much a once in a life time draw – we may never get this draw again. 3) We haven’t filled our freezer. No moose, no deer for us this year! Extremely blessed last year…this year, not so much.  Ugh..I see many more pork, chicken and meatless Mondays in our near future (but maybe not!?) 4) We know when we get up there, we have to be ready as we may be competing with 20 other hunting groups for the same herd of Bison we are after. We have to be prepared to go that extra mile in that cold, in the small space we are in.  5) The last thing why life pivots around this hunt is because of: connection. Connection to my husband, my brother, a new friend in my life, and me – myself. Valuable life connections. Hunting is not so much about the meat or the kill…it’s about the connections you can make with family and friends, and perhaps, yourself…a re-kindling of spirit, so-to-speak.

I’m looking forward to this adventure.

Right?

Right…..?

I’ll be honest…I am and I’m not. I can admit that. If this hunt was last year, or next year…YES! Bring it on! This is a different year. I have to accept that. That’s ok.  I hope we are able to harvest a Bison. If we don’t, I will still take something away from the experience. What will it be? Only time will tell…If I’m wise enough to learn from it. If I’m open enough to see it.

We leave Nov 28th in the middle of the afternoon to head 653km to our destination. Next day, we hunt! Last day of hunting is Dec 5th, and then the Bison season closes.  If we do not get anything, we return home on the Dec 6th.

I don’t expect anything but memories, connections and a learning lesson. The meat will be a bonus! Wish us luck.  Thanks!

I’ll let you know how the hunt turns out.

Keep Calm and Hunt On

 

 

 

 

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