Dinner Guests

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I’m getting ready to leave the high country to go and rake in the shekels to keep the machine fueled and oiled. I can only sit in my chair and talk on the phone so much.

I sat in my dining room eating chicken, ranch beans, a couple biscuits and potato salad (eating with LL) and the team showed up.

I couldn’t get all of them framed in one cell phone shot and I was too lazy to do more than raise my cell phone up and snap a picture of the elk. So there you have it. There were eleven elk in this particular mini-herd.
There are more elk than deer in the area of the White Wolf Mine. The one in the forefront is a yearling, and I couldn’t tell whether it was a bull or a cow. The rest are juvenile females or adult cows. Not a bull in the bunch. They’re a subset of a herd of about forty that gather and break up, and gather that roam the immediate area. Elk are insolent any time except during elk season (when they’re humble). Sometimes I have to honk the horn to get them to move. Bulls in rut can be a problem. At other times, they grudgingly move.
No, I didn’t think to share my bounty with the elk in their shaggy winter coats. They can find their own supper.

33 thoughts on “Dinner Guests

  1. When I read that I wanted to burst out into song, "Eleven Elks a Eating" Hmm. Maybe it's the alliteration in me, or, maybe the sillage of Christmas cheer lingers.
    It's all very beautiful, Larry. However, it begs for carnage. It's like the beginning of a thriller: hard and brutal ex Navy Seal retires to his mountain lodge for a life of tranquility, nature and craft until something very sinister comes his way and he is forced to take matters into his own hands. The White Wolf is born. Yep. I can see you being the next Marvel hero. This is just the lull before the storm.

  2. You're making way too much of a humble (well, sometimes) mountain dweller. I certainly hope that nothing sinister comes my way.

  3. I enjoy Steven Hunter's books but never see myself like his heroic characters. Like today, it's 9 degrees outside as I type. Am I out there setting traps for beaver? Am I planning to scale a cliff covered with ice? Will I train for some sort of endurance expedition? No. In half an hour or so, I'll start a fire in the fireplace and will consider what I want for breakfast.

  4. Elk are bullies and will try to run other graziers off their territory. Once saw an elk herding a bunch of Pronghorns into a fence corner. Pronghorns won't jump a fence and the bunch were struggling to crawl under and escape.

    Deer browse on vegetation elk ignore but elk will still chase them.

    Elk will occasionally mess with cattle until some momma cow decides to protect her calf.

    Nice you have a show to watch with your morning coffee.

  5. That's kind of what I was thinking. Definitely invite them to dinner.

    They probably wouldn't have appreciated the meal, so just as well not to share.

  6. Nice to see the neighbors stopping by to say "Hi".

    Venison was available in high-end restaurants in Lost Angeleez, but I never saw elk.

    I haven't seen elk on the menus here, but then our relatives have freezers full of elk from last year's hunt.

  7. They look nice. Today here in the Texas Hill Country we had a herd of Axis Deer roaming around the house. There were 5 bucks ranging from a yearling to one having a nice size rack. They chased off some whitetails that were in the yard. They may be an "alien" species but they are well suited to the local environment.

    I once had an elk burger at the Cabela's in north Fort Worth. Not bad but not all that exciting. I guess I can say I ate elk.

  8. Indeed you do. I don't feed them. There is an area of about thirty square miles that is perfect elk habitat and there are a few thousand elk that inhabit it. I'm on the edge of that. There are other specific elk areas up here with a total of possibly half a million elk in the Coconino National Forrest, but the one near me is one where the elk don't migrate, even in a significant snow. They just like it here.

  9. You're spot on.

    They've even tried to bully me driving my 4×4. I laugh. It's not a contact sport in my case or I'll get medieval on their shaggy bodies. They have a territory and they feel that their rights exceed mine. But I am the apex predator, not the elk.

  10. Elk is delicious. Lower in fat than beef, and flavorful. If you take a spike bull, and treat the meat properly, you have a year's worth of fine meat.

  11. Elk are greedy. If I put a trail of apples into my garage, the elk would follow the trail inside. That's how they roll.

  12. They breeze through as if they own the joint.

    I don't know whether I will pull a tag for an elk next fall or not. Possibly not this year.

  13. Don't tell LSP (Hillsboro, TX) about the Axis Deer. He'll be making special loads and will roll out to bag a trophy buck.

  14. I think that if I dropped one behind the house, nobody would either know or care. You need a tag if you're going to take it to one of the elk processors (trailers) parked here and there in the area during elk season. There are a LOT of elk taken in this area. They skin and butcher up the meat, wrap it and freeze it for you, and tan the hide. I could do it, but they'd do a much better job. I may be a 'butcher', but I'm not that kind.

  15. Management, management. Racecar numbers on their sides in UV ink. Ear tags with RFIDs. GPS collars reporting over cell phones.

  16. Yes, it's good eating, the tag is a simple thing and during elk season they tend to congregate near my place because people don't hunt there. So you pick out the one you want and shoot it from the deck. Not sporting.

    And if I was a lesser man, I'd just empty a bushel of apples behind the house to get a better selection of elk. Trophy (not so good eating) or a two year old bull (very good eating)?

  17. They can sure be pesky, but are good eat'n.
    especially if you got a duh neighbor that feeds them high grade alfalfa…

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