COWBOY POETRY: Elk Hunt

Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life. Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

My friends were city dwellers. They were hunter wannabees. So, they drew a
late fall elk hunt. Here’s the story they told me.

The morning snow was on the ground. We gulped down our last bite. Our bellies
full of scrambled eggs and coffee black as night.

We’d drawn our tags six months ago, the elk hunt of our dreams. Our guide was
checking all our gear, so surreal, it seemed.

I heard the guide make mention, “Let’s go easy on these guys. They both look like
they’re nervous. I can see it in their eyes.”

How could we fail this outdoor guide? He seemed to know so much. But we
were fragile city boys, and hunters out of touch.

Our guide had surely pegged us. We were not tough hunter men. We both were
soft as Twinkies ‘cuz each day we pushed the pen.

We started at a slower pace but sweat fogged up our glasses. The camp cook
called us overweight and slower than molasses.

The days flew by with nothing but the blisters we’d been branded. We were
running out of time and prob’ly leaving empty handed.

We wondered what our wives and kids would say to no elk rack. Hopefully they’d
all agree it’s good to have us back.

But then our guide stood pointing at two bulls just up ahead. He whispered,
“Better hurry boys it’s time to fire some lead.”

We might be city boys, but we were practiced, deadly shots. We’d both go home
successful. No more stomachs tied in knots.

Our guide was there for skinning and said, “Please don’t waste the meat. Enjoy
what we’ve been given. This will make your hunt complete.

“And realize, before our time, men would hunt to stay alive. So, count your many
blessings while you’re working nine to five.”

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