Today was a rare day for me. My son and I went grouse hunting. Regular readers will know that finding and getting the grouse is the smallest part of days like this. It's the excuse to leave the house and head for the National Forest.
The joy is in a beautiful Autumn day, valuable time with my oldest son, and the chance to step away from my paycheck job and writing.
The grouse were almost absent. We saw one, and my son harvested him for his supper. This was at the very end of the day. (He has to clean his shotgun, I don't. Joke's on him.)
The morning arrived cold and crisp, as it should. We saw a few deer at the lower elevations. Then we spotted a herd of about 40 elk. I keep a small pair of binoculars in my truck, so we checked them out. The old herd bull gathered quite a harem, and he was working awfully hard to keep them happy. You know he was a big one when you can see antlers from three quarters of a mile in the pre-dawn.
Four small satellite bulls stalked the outer fringes of his harem. Whenever the herd bull chose a particular cow to get amorous with, the satellite bulls slipped in and tried to romance the remaining cows. This pissed the old boy off and he ran them into the sagebrush, circled the cows, and it all started over again.
We watched them for a long time. Idaho has a lot of elk, but you don't see a display like that every day. We eventually pulled up to the hunting area and parked. Old What's her Face made us a baggie of Scotch Eggs for breakfast. Our forest is a pine forest, but the underbrush was a riot of Fall colors.
There were elk at every bend in the road. We saw cow/calf pairs, groups of three and four, almost all day long. Grouse were completely absent. Turkeys were everywhere though. We only saw one other guy, and his tent was completely surrounded by turkeys. We laughed at the idea of some Fall turkey hunter, deep in the woods and hunting hard, while the turkeys invaded his camp.
There were more deer too, and one was a small buck. He would normally draw attention, but the elk outclassed him.
Our mule deer will usually stand for a picture. Elk don't. I'd love to post a picture for you, but they were either too far, or disappeared into the forest too fast.
We had some great father/son time too. He's looking forward to the next job site, but today we were both available. We visited my favorite apple tree, but they were all too far to reach. This usually means the deer and bears ate all the ones I could reach. I decided I'm too old and fat to go climbing in trees.
I have a post up over at Story Empire today. I wrote it a week ago and used the scheduler. This one is about working your blog tour. It's aimed toward authors, and some of you may want to check it out.
In a way, this day was provided to me because the scheduler lets me keep fresh content out there. That's a scary thought.
Anyway, today is my grandson's eighth birthday. We're all getting together tonight for some cake and ice cream. Hope all of you had a wonderful day too.