Sunday, November 9, 2008

Taylor, Taylor.......Look, there's a bear!!!!!!

Well, it happened. Taylor finally took me hunting! Taylor has wanted me to actually experience shooting something. He invited me to go bear hunting about a week ago but seeing as if we have 4 children I thought for sure we could never make it work. I really wanted to go so I was determined to find someone to watch the kids. Our awesome and irreplaceable friends stepped up to the plate and offered to watch our kids for the weekend. All I needed now was a bear tag. We went to Walmart and got me a tag, so I was ready...nothing else holding me back! I was so excited!!!
We headed out Friday afternoon up to the Gila (Southwestern NM). After a long 3 hour drive of mostly bumpy dirt roads we arrived at our destination. We put our camo clothes on and hiked up a hill and started calling the bears in. The rabbit call that he was using was the most unnerving sound I have ever heard in my life. We sat for about 15 minutes and then the sun started to go down so we headed back to camp.
We arose at 6:30 the next morning to a freezing 12 degrees outside. We had the heater running in the trailer all night so we had no idea that it was that cold outside. We waited until about 7:30 and headed out to a water hole where Taylor had seen bears during prior deer hunting trips. It was about 3/4 of a mile hike through a canyon to the water hole. We came around a small hill and were walking towards the water hole when I turn to my left and out of the corner of my eye I spot a bear coming out of the ridge of pine trees. It took me a second to really grasp what I was seeing. Taylor was a head of me but hadn't seen the bear yet so I slap him across his arm and say, "Taylor, Taylor.....Look, there's a bear!!!!!" A couple other not so appropriate words came out but I don't have to repeat them! Taylor looks up and was completely shocked. The bear was straight across the little pond from us maybe about 200 yards. Well, what seemed like an eternity later, I raise my gun and fire a shot. Hoping that in some small chance I would hit the bear. Of course I don't hit the bear because my eyes are clinched shut and not even looking through the scope. Taylor had his gun raised and ready to shoot just in case I missed. He fired immediately after I did and hit the bear. It rolled into the water and splashed around a bit then started running back up the mountain. Taylor fired again and we watch the bear tumble around a bit and then take off. We waited a couple minutes and then hiked over to the side of the pond where the bear was. There was blood all over the ground but no bear!! We thought for sure he would have died immediately. We start tracking the blood and quickly we realize the he made it quite a ways up the mountain. We tracked his trail of blood about a mile up a very steep mountain. We went extremely slow hoping that he would have time to bleed out and die before we found him. I did not even know what to think at this point. I was sick to my stomach (probably nerves), shaking all over, and repeatedly stating, "Taylor, I am not very comfortable with this". I was scared out of my mind tracking this bear not knowing whether he was dead or injured or worse, just ticked off at us and ready to attack us at any moment! I was terrified to say the least! After 2 hours of following his blood we loose the trail. We looked around the same spot for a good 10 minutes but couldn't find the direction that the bear traveled. All of a sudden Taylor says in a calm voice, "Bear down!" The bear was lying on the ground, about 10 yards from where we were standing, under a pinon tree struggling to stay alive. His head was moving side to side and he was rolling around. Taylor raised his gun and shot him again. We waited a few minutes until we knew he was dead and then we approached him. Seeing the bear still alive and so close to us was very scary for me. I was an emotional wreck! I was shaking like crazy and SOOOOOOOOO ready to just get the heck out of there! Taylor wanted to gut it out right there but I convinced him to drag it back to the truck. I don't like the feeling of being in bear country with a dead bear. I was very uncomfortable and Taylor knew that. Taylor was such a stud! He drug that 180 pound bear down the mountain and all the way to the truck.
So, that is my bear hunting story. It was a great experience and I am glad that I got to share it with my best friend in the whole world. I will never forget the image of that bear walking towards the water. It is embedded in my mind forever!! I will leave the bear hunting to those who have a higher level of testosterone!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I absolutely love this boy!!!

This is all about my love affair for Eli. Pathetic, I know! Even as difficult as he has been the ENTIRE 12 months of his life, I totally adore this boy. I am completely smitten by him! Everything he does makes me smile. And every new milestone he passes is such a big deal to me. You would think he was my first child. I really can't imagine our family without him. He is growing up way too fast and although he is still extremely attached to me, I feel like I am slowly losing him to his toddler years. It makes me sad!

I love each and every one of my kids. I am so grateful for their unique personalities. Sometimes their energy level is unbearable but I am grateful that they are healthy. If I could keep them as young kids forever, I would, but at the same time I can't wait to watch them grow up.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

Trunk-or-treat night

Our halloween festivities started on Tuesday night. It was our ward's annual Trunk-or-treat/dance. I took the kids alone because Taylor was still out of town hunting. We had a really great night.
Cody, Morgan and Eli, April, Michael, Sydney, Natalie and Cooper
Then on Halloween Taylor and I took our kids and 4 other kids trick or treating with us. The kids had such a fun time with their friends and came home buckets over-flowing with candy. I love celebrating holidays with my kids, it is so much fun!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cooper's First Deer Hunt

Taylor and Cooper decked out in camo

Taylor and his friend Jay had a deer hunt this last weekend. They decided that it would be really fun to take Cooper and April (Jay's daughter) along with them. They woke up early Friday morning and headed out. I was hoping that Taylor would shoot something while Cooper was with him. Well, they arrived back home Saturday night with a deer! I was so excited that Cooper got to experience a hunting trip with Taylor. They hiked about 10 miles on Saturday and Taylor said Cooper never complained once!!
When they got home I asked Cooper what his favorite part was and he said watching the deer fall to the ground. He also said that he was about to puke while Taylor was cutting out the deer's guts. I am so proud of both Taylor and Cooper and I can't wait for some homemade deer jerky!
April (Jay's daughter) Taylor and Cooper

Taylor's deer!!