Overcoming the odds: A life of hunting in the Coeur d'Alene's

From the time I was twelve years old, the fall would find me in the woods hunting. That is, until the last two years. In October of 2017, I suffered a severe stroke leaving me paralyzed on my left side. That’s when things changed for my entire family.

Even though life suddenly became very hard, God has still done many amazing things to continue to provide for my family. One example is the elk my daughter-in-law shot this fall. I guess we just had to start thinking differently. If we were going to keep the freezers full, it would take a plan.

Every year the elk seem to show up on our property, just east of Coeur d’Alene. I thought to myself, “we better put the girls in for the cow elk permits from now on.”  It had been productive in the past--my wife Marilee killed her first elk about four years ago behind our shop. A couple years before that, my niece shot a nice cow off the hillside at 420 yards. And I was even fortunate enough to get a cow last year with the help of my nephew.

But this year takes the cake!! My daughter-in-law Bekah and I each drew the special cow permits. And Bekah’s dad, Doug, had just refinished the .243 his grandpa had given him. Doug sent the gun to Bekah to see if she could get the job done with Old Buford, as he had named it.

We watched and waited for the elk. They showed up a couple times but it wasn’t the right time.Then one day Bekah had a chance but didn’t feel like she could make a “clean kill” so she did the right thing and did not shoot. Wise choice.  We set up the bench rest so she would have a solid rest. And we, or rather I started watching and waiting. I sat on the couch for seven days until dark, hoping they would come back. At 4:30 pm on the seventh day, a spike bull showed up in the fresh logging. I phoned Bekah next door.  I said, “there is a spike bull out there, go look for a cow!” Then I saw a cow. I called her again…. “There’s a cow, make sure you don’t shoot the spike! Make certain it has no horns.

I sat back and listened.

I later learned that Bekah was in the kitchen making dinner. Kevin was on his way home. Baby Josie was in the high chair.  Bekah pulled the baby close to the window where they would be able to see each other, then she grabbed her rifle and slipped out the back door. She made her way to the back bumper of her suburban for a solid rest.

It was only moments from when I hung up the phone until “Ka-Boom!!”  Bekah went up the hill to make sure the elk was down. l heard another “Ka-boom!”  My other son, Clay showed up just in time to help.

God’s Word says, ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time.’ Eccl.3:11

With the elk Clay got during bow season and Bekah’s cow elk, we will be eating well again this winter. Who knows, maybe God will even bless me by allowing me to fill my tag. There is certainly nothing wrong with an abundance to share with the ones who were less fortunate.

All I can say is “Thank-you, LORD, from the bottom of my heart!!” The fact that Bekah got the elk that I spied from my living room couch makes my hunting season complete! It may have been different than I am used to, but I still got to hunt for elk this year and I am truly grateful.

And I am especially thankful for the amazing family and friends God has given me…. .and how they have come together to help meet our needs these past two years.

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