The flying Elk
The flying elk
Some of you know I teach Hunter Safety for Colorado. One thing that you learn being a teacher is all the game laws. When the Road Kill bill was passed, we of course were notified.
Another thing that is nice about being an instructor is your students are so appreciative of your excellent teaching that they frequently invite you to go hunting with them.
So this elk season I got an invite to go elk hunting with a student that had just moved to Colorado from Florida and bought a ranch up in the mountains.
My son (Private Trent) and I were headed west on Interstate 70 through the mountains and up ahead we saw a flying elk. I shouted,"Look ,Trent, at that flying elk." I figured ain't many times a young man gets to see a flying elk. And Trent was open mouthed and wide-eyed, so was I.
The full-grown and big cow elk was in the air for a good minute or two and then came down on the trunk of the Nissen that hit it. The Nissen went out of control and hit the guard rail and the elk came down in the middle of I-70 on its head. Cars were dodging right and left and it looked like a real good chance for a 100 car pile up.
I hit the shoulder and yelled at Trent to follow me!
Right away I saw that the guy in the car was not going to need me cause I could see he had California plates. So the elk was my focus of attention. We grabbed a leg apiece and pulled. It didn't help that the elk was not completely dead and was jerking it's legs and both of us like puppets on a string. And the wind from the cars that were narrowly missing us in the front and back wasn't a lark either. Then a truck pulled over and out jumped a big burly truck driver. Together the three of us managed to drag the elk to the shoulder.
Because we were on our way to hunt I had my hunting knife on and I whipped it out. Told Trent to hold this flashlight and one leg. The truck driver looked at me and exclaimed, "What are you doing?" I said "This is my elk now, I am cleaning it." "Said he, "You can't do that, it is against the law!"
"You don't know the law fellow, so either grab a leg or get out of my way," I replied.
So here we were at 10:30 at night trying to clean a elk on the shoulder of the road. Just the two of us. Then we heard sirens and saw flashing lights. Some fool must have called the police.
When the ambulance slid to a stop the EMTs jumped out with their little bags and ran over to where we were crouched over a dark shape. The first one asked, as he slid to stop, "Is he going to make it?" I replied,"Nope"
Getting his flashlight into play he jumped when he saw what I was doing with my knife. Then realizing what it was, he laughed. "Well it would have made it if you hadn't gutted it out. Did they call us out for a elk?" he asked.
"Probably wanted you for that guy from California over there in that Nissen. I ain't heard a peep out of him since I got here." I replied. He went running over to the Nissen and in a short while the ambulance carried the guy off.
In the mean time we were steady field dressing the elk while a cop stood and watched us. Finally he cleared his throat and asked, "Do you know what you are doing?" I replied, "Yes do you have the new road kill certificates in your car?" "OK," he said, "You know what you are doing," (tried to run a bluff on me haha) So he filled out a certificate and then left.
By the time we finished the elk we were all alone. So now we had to get the 500 lbs of elk into our Ford Van. We tried to lift it. No luck, we tried to roll it. No luck. I tied a rope around it and threw the rope over the top of the van and tied a loop in the end and stood in the loop jumping up and down while Trent tried to push it in the open door. No luck. Then I got into the van and ran the rope around me and put my feet against the door way and pulled while Trent tried to slip a cooler under the elk. No luck. Finally I told Trent, "Hand me the ax"
So we took the elk apart until we could lift the pieces and got it in the van. And we were covered with blood from the waist and elbows down.
So we stopped at the Vail pass rest area. We figured no one would be around at midnight. But wouldn't you know it just as we got out of the van here came a big bus full of elderly tourists from Iowa. And we were caught by the headlights and the light from their open door. We were covered with blood and carrying an ax. (I was going to clean it, too) I must have looked like the original ax murderer. And had the bloody ax to prove it. There was a whole lot of commotion going on. The people that were the first out the door started screaming and trying to get back on the bus and the ones in back not knowing what was going on were pushing them back. One little old lady was hitting her husband with her walker. It was real exciting for a while until the bus driver finally closed the door on a couple of arms and peeled rubber getting out of the parking lot. (I didn't know those busses could get rubber) There was the poor ladies walker laying on the blacktop. I looked at Trent and asked,"I wonder what the heck was the matter with them?"
He shrugged and replied "Beats me." We washed up in the empty rest room and changed clothes.
When we finally got to my friends house he was, of course, asleep at 1 am in the morning. We woke him up and he came to the door. "Hey man, I gave up on you and went to bed, I thought you wasn't coming," he mumbled.
"Yeh I know, we got detained. Where can I put this elk?"-------"Elk?" he said, fully awake now. "But, But, But, elk season doesn't start till tomorrow!" he exclaimed.
"Yeah I know but you said you had never seen a elk before so I brought one with me so you could see what they looked like, now where can I put this elk?" We finally put it on his screened back porch and the weather stayed around 30 deg. so we were ok. We failed to get a live elk that weekend but we still had our road kill.
We did have a fine three day hunt though and on the way back we were running down the highway and there on the shoulder was a freshly hit road kill. A nice sized buck mule deer. "Wow!" I exclaimed, "Look! A road kill!" And I started to turn off to the shoulder. But somehow the steering wheel wouldn't turn, I put some muscle into it and then I saw Private Trents hands on the steering wheel, and he was saying "NO NO NO No more road kills!"
Some times I am asked how road kill tastes. I usually reply it is great except for the pieces of chrome that get stuck in your teeth.
If a man strikes you on the cheek
Being a Christian the only thing you can do
Is to help him up off the ground.