Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Opening Day

Stephen King said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
This week we asked you to write a memoir post inspired by that statement – in 300 words or less.

It happens every time. I plan. I worry. I walk to get ready.

I get out my backpack, my camouflage clothes and my 30.06 rifle.

Sleep eludes me that Thursday night, because opening day is Friday.

We rise early, Sweet Hubs and I. We want to be in our spot before sunrise.

My heart rises higher and higher in my chest until it feels like it beats at the back of my tongue, hard enough to make me gag.

The sky pinks up. The sun inches higher, at last showing its pop of yellow-orange above the horizon and turning the hills purple.

And there he is. A bull elk. The sun gleams on his pale coat. His antlers, polished brown with ivory tips, crown his magnificent head. 750 pounds of God's stunning handiwork. Several hundred pounds of potential meat for the freezer.

I lift my gun to my shoulder and look through the scope. I will my heart to slow. Deep breath. Find the "boiler room" and focus the crosshairs there. Calm down. Squeeze the trigger. (This is the part where I wince because my gun kicks like a mule and I just got knocked back into last week.)

I take a moment to thank God...and to thank the elk. Then the work begins.

My family is a hunting family. It's how we eat. We have raised our own chickens and beef, but we predominantly eat game meat. Arizona has Coues' Whitetailed deer, mule deer, elk, turkey, bison, Desert Bighorn and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, antelope, javelina and black bear. I figure I have cooked close to 6,000 meals out of game meat.
Just for fun, visit http://contemplatinghappiness.blogspot.com/2011/01/ground-meat-marathon.html 

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ


  1. Very well written, Trish! I don't hunt but my father did and I know how delicious elk steak is. This reminded me of him. Thank you.

  2. My father is a hunter, but this is so different and impressive. I am not a gun fan, but seeing them used in this way makes me understand their usefulness and the way their power can be used for something necessary and good. Your respect for the animal really came through in this. Nice job!

  3. So interesting! You captured a small moment that admittedly know nothing about. And you captured it well, I was right there with you!