Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kristin's Elk Hunt

Beautiful Scenery!

Kristin's 5 point!!!
Chad and Kristin
The Elk Posse!!!!
We had a bittersweet elk hunt this past week. Dustin started having some serious medical problems a few days before we left and ended up having to be taken to the hospital several times for blood tests. They were testing for everything from Von Willebrand, (the blood disease Oakley has) to Leukemia. Since there were several days in between the tests and the results, the nurse assured us we would be ok to leave for a few days.
Guilt riden, we left Tuesday afternoon and as soon as we got to camp, Chad and I hiked down to Skull Crack (a really good elk blind) and immediately started hearing the big boys screaming at each other. It was so cool to hear that! We knew they were in there and we just had to wait until morning to go after them.
Wednesday started at 5:30 am and we got on the bulls right away. We literally ran after some of them, but that day and night we just couldn't get a clear shot. I saw the biggest elk I have ever seen Wednesday night and he was about 60 yards away. The problem was he was on private property so we had to watch him walk away. The first day we easily hiked over 20 miles. It was exhausting, but hearing those ornery elk kept us going.
Thursday morning started bright and early again. Myself, Chad, his dad, Wade, brother Cory and our friend Roger headed out ready to get this done. Knowing we may have to head home that afternoon to be with Dustin, we felt the pressure to make this morning count. Again, right off we heard some big elk so we headed that way. Before the sun even came up we came upon a big herd bull, but it was too dark and far to shoot so as we let him head into the trees to bed down, we started after another bull in the distance.
Long story short, (too late), after calling back and forth with this 5 point, we heard him get real excited about thinking some cows were down in the river. We heard him barreling down the mountain toward us so we jumped a river and immediately got ready to shot. He came out of the trees about 23 steps away (Wade counted!) and I pulled the trigger. NOTHING HAPPENED! The primer didn't fire so I tried again and this time hit him and he went down. After I stopped shaking we went to find him and there he was 100 yards away.
He isnt the biggest elk we saw nor was he the biggest we could have killed, but for my 1st elk, I am not disappointed in the least. He is a real good 5 point who had a huge body. I can't wait to taste him!
I was so grateful for all the help I had on this hunt. I was nervous that I would disappoint Chad and that all those other hunters who would have loved to have this tag would be mad at me too, but I am pretty darn proud of myself and glad I had this opportunity. There is nothing compared to hearing those elk scream at each other and then to see them in their glory. I had a great time and was glad to be able to share that with Chad.
As for Dustin, he is doing a bit better. Whatever this is started manifesting by making him very tired, feverish and he had weird bruising all over his body. The Doc told us it could be anything from a virus to Leukemia. So far the test for the VW blood disease has come back negative. His white blood cell count is low so he is not out of the woods. We will be taking him again tomorrow (wednesday) for another blood test and we will see where he is. If his count is not up, he may have to be hospitalized for more testing and possibly a transfusion. We are keeping our fingers crossed for him and hope it is just a weird virus. We will update again when we know something.
Thanks to all our family who helped us with the kids so we could go on this hunt. I am glad I got to spend this time with Chad doing what he lives for. I love him so much and am grateful we got to do this together!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Engineer Ceremony

Yesterday, Chad was promoted to Engineer in a ceremony in Salt Lake City. He was sworn in and presented his new badge by SLCFD Chief Dennis Mckone. It was a really short, but cool ceremony. Chad will now swing to different stations. Basically, where ever a driver is needed, that is where he will work. I am very proud of him and hope he drives VERY carefully!
Way to go Chad!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So, it has been a very busy summer around our house. With all the hunting and camping it seems like fall has rushed up to our doorstep. The kids finally started school on the 2nd of September. They are going to a new charter school in our area called Providence Hall. So far, they love it. They are all learning Spanish and Kylie already would have you believe she is fluent. I am not so sure, but she knows quite a bit. Hopefully the rest of the school year will go as smooth as the first week.....
On Saturday, the 6th, my sisters, Julie and Megan and I as well as a couple of my friends (Michelle and Barbara) ran the 9/11 race for America. It is a race that I have run for the past 4 years as all the money donated goes to the families of fallen firefighters and police officers. It is a great course at Wheeler Farm and I did really well this year (if I do have to say so myself!!!) I ran the fasted 5k I have ever run, finishing in 26 minutes and 27 seconds. I finished 2nd in my age group... and, yes, there were more than 2 people in that group!! :) It sounds better to say that I finished 18th overall with more than 250 people registered for the race. I had a great time and loved being able to spend that time with my sisters. I just read Megan's blog and have to agree with her that us 3 girls think we are pretty darn funny and when we get together it all hits the fan. I love my sisters so much and to echo Meg, they are the best friends a girl could have!
We also just learned that Chad will finally be promoted to Engineer on the 15th of this month. They will hold the ceremony at Station 1 that morning so he will finally officially get his raise!
The only other major "happening" is I am preparing to go on my elk hunt in the next couple weeks. Chad has patiently taken me to shoot the muzzle loader several times and helped me get comfortable with it. I just hope I don't disappoint him and not get one! He told me I "need to show my swagger" and get a little cocky, so any words on encouragement from any of you would be great!!!! The Doyle family has had a lot of success so far in the hunts this year. My father in law, Wade, as well as Chad's sister, Tenille, both shot REALLY nice bucks on their archery hunt earlier in August and Cory, Chad's brother, as well as Kevin, our brother in law, both filled their elk tags. So here's hoping I don't mess up the streak. Stay tuned........