After five years of hanging out with this guy, I finally found out what makes my husband giddy-happy, hit-the-ceiling excited, and break out the biggest ear-to-ear grin you ever did see.
It’s not a special meal. It’s not a trip to Disneyland (thank goodness). It’s not even (*censored*). All it takes is six little words.
“Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation just called…”
RMEF is a well-respected conservation organization, but around here, they may be best known for their annual raffle ticket prizes, which every ND hunter lusts after: once-in-a-lifetime hunting tags for elk and moose.
In North Dakota, hunting tags for “The Big Three” (elk, moose, and bighorn sheep) are rare. You can’t just buy a tag to hunt these animals here – you need to win the lottery. If you get lucky and snag one from the annual state drawing, you can never get a tag for that particular animal again – hence why it’s once-in-a-lifetime.
However, RMEF raffles off an elk tag and a moose tag each year as a fundraiser. And thanks to a lucky draw, guess who is going elk hunting in the Badlands this year? Mr. Tag-and-Brag himself.
That's him mixing up some brats during last season's sausage-making party. Remember that? Hard core.
And for the first time ever, I’m thinking about tagging along on a hunting trip.
I have always played the hunter’s widow, working on my little domestic projects while he chases deer and birds in the field. I’m ok with it when this all starts up in September, but by the time November rolls around, I get that feeling like I haven’t seen him in ages, wondering why he’d rather spend every weekend sitting outside in the cold looking for animals than hanging out with Yours Truly.
So maybe it’s time for me to go and see what all the fuss is about. It would take a minor miracle to get babysitting and work schedules aligned, but it might be fun to go out in the wilderness for a few days, get some fresh air, snap some pictures, try my hand at camp cooking. After all, it’s once in a lifetime. I mean, look at what I missed out on last season. C'mon, doesn't this look fun?
"No, Beth. It just looks cold. Really cold."
You have to understand that this is a huge shift in attitude. Really. Ten years ago, I would never - NEVER - have even thought this could be a possibility. Me and guns and animal slaughter just did not mix. But I get it now. If I'm going to eat animals, isn't it better to know where they come from? It is the ultimate in organic meat, ya know.
Maybe this is the first step in reenacting my Annie Oakley moment?
To be continued.