I wanted to give a huge shout out the my wife Cathy, for battling through so much adversity this year, to not only get out on this hunt, but she also overcame all the emotions that come with hunting. Shortly after learning she drew an elk tag for a CWMU, she was injured while on vacation. She tore here MCL, PCL, and ACL, and also dislocated her knee cap. Following surgery to repair the damage, she was told the healing process would take 3-9 months, which would include 12 weeks of rehab.
She worked hard, and was released from rehab after only 5 weeks, and the Dr.ís were amazed at how fast she healed. She continued to work on her leg strength, riding her stationary bike, and topping the 1,000 mile mark. Most hunters know that bike shape, is not mountain shape, and she would learn this while testing her knee while hiking after these elk.
As man y of you know, Iím severely disabled, and Cathy is my caregiver, as well as a full time employee. I couldnít tell you the amount of pressure she endures during an easy week. To add to that pressure, I was dealing with a bad infection, for not only the duration of the hunt, but also the weeks leading up to it.
She had to do all the packing, loading, including me, and all other preparations. This gave me a huge admiration for those women who get out in the field on their own, and get their kids involved in hunting.
She hunted the 1st morning, then spent the afternoon with me in the hospital, trying to get a pic line/iv for my meds, and then hunted the evening. The CWMU operator, along with a local guide, helped her for 4 days, trying to get her on a bull. She had a lot of close calls, and some neat experiences, but after 4 days, we had to return home without notching her tag.
We were invited back if we could make the time, but it didnít look good. 3 more trips to the Dr. for me, trying to get the right meds to get me better, followed by a night in the hospital, an allergic reaction to a new med, and other side effects of the meds made for an unpleasant week.
During this time, we got a call from Doyle Moss, who offered to take Cathy out for a few days, if she could make it down. We threw caution to the wind, and made the trip in spite of my health issues.
We had 2 evenings, and a morning to make it happen, and although we had some cool experiences, like seeing a bear, screaming bulls on the wrong side of the fence, and young bulls tempting her to squeeze the trigger, she once again faced a long drive home without a bull.
Doyle talked her into trying one more morning before we departed, and it paid off, as she was finally able to put a bull on the ground, and notch her tag. Hunting, is so much more than just killing an animal. Its preparation, anticipation, frustration, depression, disappointment, excitement, 2nd guessing, hope, and then determination to get up and do it again the next day, with no guarantee of success in notching a tag. I am sure Cathy has more knowledge about herself, and her strengths, because of how she was pushed, and how she pushed herself, on this hunt.
Success came to her, regardless of whether she filled her tag.
Iíd like to give a special thanks to Doyle Moss, Jeff Nelson, Coby Christiansen, for all the time, and effort they gave, in helping Cathy experience all the aspects of hunting these elk. Also wanted to thank Mark and Mike for helping with the packout. And a big thanks to my brother Dave for going along and providing some muscle and great Company