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I Eat Meat. Why Was Killing MY VERY OWN Food SO DIFFICULT?

Occur a peaceful meadow, the practice range is, Ill just say it, fun. Exhilarating. Team-building, like trust falls. Out here, in nature and benevolent hands, guns appear to me more sporty than evil.

But shooting, accurately or elsewhere, isnt coming naturally. Was Sexy Spruce too large? Was my cheek weld too low? Shoulder pressure too weak? Rihana adjusts my stool. Amanda elevates my chin. Jen plants my foot firmly on the floor. Just how many women does it take to obtain a nice Jewish girl settled into proper eye relief? (Answer: six). Peering dizzily through the scope, I make an effort to fall into line my crosshairs with the bulls-eye. It feels as though Im failing a watch exam, like Ive shown up drunk to the ophthalmologist.

Youll obtain it, patient Dom promises. Eventually, hours later, because the hills burn gold, I really do.

Day among the hunt starts as hunts do: early. Legal shooting light begins a half hour before dawn and lasts precisely 30 minutes after sunset. Honestly, Id never realized hunting had rules. I naively thought it had been what the films have long managed to get out to be: a trigger-happy, beer-guzzling, lets-get-em free-for-all. Hunting isn’t like this.

Aly, Jen, and I pile right into a Toyota Tundra. With 150,000 acresor a Zion National Parksize parcelto ourselves, I drop Dick Cheney accident from my set of worries and leave my playing-it-extra-safe neon orange hat behind. But I clutch my multicolored Cotopaxi puffy coat such as a security blanket.

Because the inky sky streaks yellow, Jen turns if you ask me, riding shotgun: Its time, she laughs. Reluctantly, I wriggle into my new Sitka Optifade Subalpine outfit. Save my khaki Lululemon pants, Im head-to-toe camo. Extreme Makeover: Hunter Edition.

Scanning for the flick of a lady ear, we see only bulls. And a band of wild horses, flocks of turkeys, a lone bobcat, countless bison. Like elk, New Mexicos bison population was decimated by commercial hunters by the late 1800s, but Vermejos conservation efforts in the last 26 years took its herd from zero to at least one 1,200 strong.

Pulling in to the lodge after dusk, empty-handed, Personally i think relieved.

Dawn, another morning, Jen and Aly spot a little herd of females bedded by way of a beaver pond 400 yards away. A skilled hunter mightve gone for this. Not me. We let sleeping elk lie and press on. More bulls. More bison. 100 pronghorn sprinting through the trees such as a cross-country team removing at the starting line.

Sunlight is sinking. The clock is ticking. Tomorrows forecast demands snow and 100 mph winds. Hunting for the reason that doesnt sound fun. Im still not certain hunting itself is fun. Then almost karmicallylast light, last chancethere they’re: at the very least 60 cow elk, scattered across a little valley backed by way of a steep hillside even probably the most agile animal could have trouble climbing. Slinging my rifle over my shoulder like its a new laptop bag, I march silently back toward the herd.

Ducking in to the grass, Aly and I creep in slo-mo behind Jen, preventing the crunch of pine cones, the snap of twigs, stopping mid-step when she does, like mimes playing freeze tag. They surely smell us. And likely see us, those elk eyes with 280-degree vision. Okay, camo will come in handy. We appear to be the trees: unthreatening. Inching ever closer. Peering through Sexy Spruces scope, its elk in HD. Some are head down, eating. Others mill aimlessly, elegantly, like theyre bored at a garden party.

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