Just when you thought that you'd seen everything. Does anyone else wonder sometimes how things just appear in your house, that probably shouldn't be there? As I came home from work tonight I was thinking to myself. Awh, I'm going to make myself a nice cup of tea and get to relax on the couch for awhile before having to make supper. Instead I walk into the house to be greeted by a funny, dead smell. As I approach the entrance to our kitchen I find that my husband had to do some hide stretching, drying something to a bobcat he had caught so he could sell it. So here's a side note if you don't know anything about trapping. So preparing a pelt for a fur buyer to buy later does take a lot of work and it may vary depending on really how they want it. The short version is you've got to first skin the animal, flesh the hide and then put it on a stretcher like this, you'd comb it and make it all soft and pretty, then sell it. Out of curiosity I did some research and found this link that was pretty interesting. It's a Pelt Handling Manual, I really did learn some stuff from looking through it! But back to my kitchen. Does it really have to happen right here? Really, you've gotta be kidding me! So I think of myself as a pretty patient person...BUT there has got to be somewhere else he can do this! I part of me thinks, that he thought he could get whatever it was he was doing with it done before I got home. I understand what he was trying to do, I just don't think he needed to do it in the kitchen. Needless to say by the end of the night the smell had dissipated I did have my tea, and I did NOT cook supper! :)
After heading off to work yesterday morning, I get a text message: we’ve had a wreck, need your help, shorthanded. So from work I head home again to see what in the world is going on. As I pull off the highway to go up the lane I noticed the mailboxes are sitting a little different, and that can't be a good start. Come to find out one of the semi couldn't make the corner to go up the lane he took out the mailboxes on his way. It was kind of an awful day to try to load the calves because it has been so icy; literally it was slipperier than shit, because there's ice underneath the cow crap in the corral. Calves slipping, people slipping, trucks spinning out, it was a long morning. So we finally get done around lunchtime I go back to the house change my clothes, grab a bite to eat, and head back into work. Well after a rough start to the morning and the calves not cooperating, we finally got these guys loaded on the semi... move 'em on, head 'em up, head 'em up, move 'em on...Nebraska bound.
If the definition of “hanging out” with your husband is spending quality time while hunting, then yes welcome to the club! It was coyote derby weekend! My husband doesn’t understand why I don't think it's awesome to be able to hang out waiting for coyotes to come in to a screeching, headache triggering, rabbit call. Have you heard that screech? Wow, it kind of makes me think I must be dying! This thing isn’t just for a few minutes either it's for hours...at different speeds and tones, waiting and waiting, sitting out in the freezing cold, wishing I was in my warm bed! I'd rather be able to go to bed at night wake up the next day and have the daylight to see the coyotes. Daylight brings a whole new way to hunt coyotes. I'm not sure if I want to get into all the details of how you catch a coyote in a wide open field, but it is sure exciting! (Note: it’s not a good idea to take your wife’s new truck and run down a coyote in a field, forget about the homestead, jump the truck to clear it, and then pretend nothing happened. Eventually, she will find out! In a way though I’m glad he cleared the homestead it wouldn’t have never ended well if he didn’t!) Now that's my kind of coyote hunting! Heith and Lon have partnered up on coyote derbies for a few years now. It’s been nice and they have a lot of fun. So during the coyote derbies I have three main jobs. They are all super important and hinge on the success of the hunt! Number 1- make sure I know where all bullets are located and have them ready in case they run out! Number 2- have food readily available for at any point in the day they may show up, even midnight snacks! Number 3 is two part-check-ins, as in, make sure they haven’t gotten stuck somewhere and you have to go pull them out, and check-ins, as in, to make sure when he put your name down for the raffle drawing of the gun you are present to win! It is fun, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not an everyday thing. Usually when I shoot at coyotes they’re right by the house trying to get into the lambs, the cows, or snooping around the house stirring up the dogs. They are nasty little creatures! They stink! At any rate it was a good weekend, even if we didn't get to “hang out” too much! We know, and that’s all that matters, they’ll be some other time that we can hang out like a normal married couple...right?
Boy, that was harder than I thought! Hitting "publish" on my first blog. Talk about nervous. I think the best way to start this out would be to answer, who am I? Seems simple enough, but really it's pretty complex. Yes, I am an outfitter's wife. I’m also just an average, middle-class, women that lives on a ranch in rural Montana with her family, who just happens to like hunting and the outdoors. We just happen to like it enough we started a business out of it. My husband guided on a ranch across the valley from us for nine years before we went out on our own. We've been in business going on for 10 years now. When our family ranch split we had an opportunity and we took it. Why not? That’s what they teach in business school right, start a business out of something you love to do. We knew going in, it wasn’t going to be easy, especially if you add raising two boys among the chaos, but hopefully you can relate to that!
I must admit right away, I’m not much of a writer! I know some stuff about some stuff, live a busy life, I hope you find it interesting or perhaps relate, and maybe I can answer a question or two. I find it easier to have pictures to go along with, then you really get the full story. I find when I look at pictures I can actually get into more detail of what happened or remember that authentic moment, than to just type it to you. So that’s the game plan! “The Photo Story Through the Eyes of an Outfitter’s Wife” (and other stories of her life). Hopefully I can convince some of my other friends that are outfitter's wives to share a few of their stories too.
I hope Robin Moore was right when he said, “inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.” –author of The Green Berets. When I hear that I immediately think of sitting around the table at hunting camp, oh… “that bull, you should have seen him, he would at least score 400”, when really, he would only score like 250.
I really don’t want any political correctness, nor anti-hunting junk, keep it to yourself that is not my intent. I hope everyone enjoys this blog, we are all here to have fun, enjoy life, and see through my eyes (it can get a little crazy), just try to keep up!
Speaking of keeping up…that reminds me, I get busy, my goal is to post a couple times a week. I’m new to this so I will do the best I can, bare with me as I learn these new ropes!
Welcome and I hope you stick around to see!
P.S. You will rarely see photos of me, cause I'm usually behind the camera!
Julie Hanson married Lon in 1996. She is a Montana native, grew up on a ranch, lives and works on a ranch,and is a partner in Anchor P Outfitters. See more on the About Us page.