HUNTING -- Outdoors blog posts were downscaled the past 10 days while I focused on filling my elk tag with hunting partner Jim Kujala.
After eight days in our Blue Mountains camp and on the sixth day of the season, I finally dialed in on the elusive elk and scored.
Lot's of work after that shot: 10 hours to get the meat boned-out and packed up and out of a canyon to a closed road and carted back to camp.
Next was 6 hours of meat trimming on the tailgate of the pickup while Jim continued to hunt.
Then another 4 hours of cutting, wrapping and freezing at home. Yum, maybe that's why elk tastes so good to me.
The clean, hairless scraps from all the boning and trimming sessions went into bags bound for the butcher to be ground into smoked German sausage and the best hamburger money can't buy.
Lesson relearned: Always have a weather-band radio in camp, especially when you're hunting for more than a week in high areas of the Blue Mountains and Yakima region where a sudden big storm -- like the one forecast for last night -- could make getting out of the mountains hazardous. The area-specific weather reports were very helpful in our day-to-day hunting strategies, and prompted our sensible departure a day earlier than planned.