- Wyoming Wife
- I was raised in California, where my family ranched along with my parents raising us 5 kids, sometimes a few extra with them involved in foster care. I remember as a little girl how I loved watching my Dad ride...especially the gritty horses. He has a special way with horses. I knew from a kid that I wanted to marry a Cowboy...so I did. Although I haven't been a Wyoming Wife for long, my husband and I live an exciting life together. Not only are we partners but were the best of friends. These are going to be stories which include my emotions (which as a female they seem to be on the fritz sometimes!), days gone bad, and days that ended absolutely perfect. All in all...this is just a journal of my crazy, beautiful life as a Wyoming Wife.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
It seems to me that we are always up before the sun is…well most days! Married to a houndsman lion hunting has been one of my favorite things to do in the last 3 years. As you already know, I was the blind girl that didn’t know what “hounds” were for.
My favorite mornings are cool and crisp with a fresh blanket of snow. There is nothing like your tire tracks being the first ones up a well used Mountain road stirring up the untouched snow. When I first started going on these adventures, I would have to stop and look at every track, anything from Coon to Elk, I wanted to prove myself worthy and never overlook a track. I guess you could say compared to other women I had already earned my badge by waking up and trudging through knee deep snow and doing so with a grin on my face.
Some people would call me crazy (well actually people do). Chasing lions into some of the most dangerous country this beautiful state has to offer. Like I’ve said in posts before, just think who stood in those same tracks 150 years ago.
This particular morning we were loading our dogs to head for the hills after a cat. My phone rang…yes at 4:30 in the morning. It was a rancher he had said, “ You guys huntin’ today? Just stop where you see skid marks in the road.”
If your wondering what happened he almost ran a lion over with his pickup! What are the odds of that? All I have to say is that guy better not going outside when there is lightning! That week we had a lion hunter from Pennsylvania, he was 65 years old, 2 full knee replacements and a brand new hip. Needless to say he earned his badge. He also had said, “ You guys do this for fun?!”
We head up the road, and stop where the tire tracks were. Kody turns the dogs out. There is absolutely no track to be seen, it was a sheet of ice. I follow the dogs while Kody grabs leashes and water. I was interested to see the track, so I’m rummaging around by a creek bottom some of the dogs already blew through and found a pretty nice dead head (a deer that is dead). I head out of the creek bottom, Kody still at the truck, I see the track….nothing special to me. I put Copper Dog on the track, he is not as cold nosed as the other dogs (A track has to be FRESH for him to run it hard). He opens and heads after this Tom Cat. (Opening means the track is FRESH).
We climb a giant hill, with small rock slides on it. I was careful to maintain my balance. Thinking to myself, the dogs have got to be treed in this next canyon. Well they weren’t. So we walk some more…next canyon…no dogs. Kody gets the tracker out and they are the furthest away that it can read. They were far away and we had to get there. Long story short, we went on a nice hike that day.
4 hours later we can finally hear the dogs at the top of a big draw. I cant explain my anticipation to get there. We get to the top of this draw and Copper Dog came back to us. Kody and I got a little irritated that he would come back. Little did we know, how much a dog knows. It brings tears to my eyes writing it. We had heard our other Dog Roscoe at the tree and he is not there. My mind goes to wondering. Human instincts say something bad happened.
We had to catch our breath, we were dragging. We sat on a big rock pile about 10 feet away from Harley (our blue tick female). We couldn’t see her, but we could hear her. There was no lion in a tree, the hunter was loosing faith. Kody and I were feeling the same, upset and a little confused.
This is where trusting in your dogs come into play. Out of the corner of my eye the biggest Mountain Lion I have ever seen comes out of the rock pile not even 10 feet behind me. Kody had the gun, carrying it for the hunter. The hunter yells out, “SHOOT HIM KODY!”
That just makes me giggle every time. Thank goodness Kody has a lot of composure, I’m slowly learning what that is. He jacks a round in the rifle, and the hunter shoots and misses. Now all of this happened so fast the dogs hadn’t made it down to the lion.
I tell the hunter to calm down, the dogs are going to do their job and get that lion in a tree…and they did. I get my pictures of the lion and he was successfully harvested and well deserved. The dogs did wonderful.
It seems that every lion hunt I learn something. This time I learned no matter how tired you are make sure your dogs are alright. They aren’t going to sit and bark at nothing in a big rock pile. This hunt turned out very well, which it could have been much worse. As for Copper coming back to us, he was coming for help. A lot of big lions don’t like to tree, they usually back up in a big rock pile and are dog fighters. As for Roscoe, he was doing the same- coming for some help and missed us on his search. Goodness…I love these dogs. I wish I could have seen what they did for the 4 hours they had that lion. Roscoe was back at the truck licking his wounds. That is another memorable lion hunt, we got a lion and all our dogs are still breathing.