_Shoestring Bull

Serves: 5



The mountain men and free trappers who explored the Intermountain West in the early 1800's referred to it as their "possibles" sack. A small leather poke sack with essentials they might 'possibly' need in the course of their travels. Such items as flint, steel, tinder, whetstone, needle and thread were staples along with other small items each individual deemed essential. Today's equivalent takes the shape of a fanny pack or day pack in which we carry things we might need during our trip outdoors be it a day hike or an extended stay. Today's "possibles" most likely include matches in a waterproof container, a map and compass, an extra shoelace, etc., and other important small items excluding of course cell phones and GPS Receivers!

What's included with one's "possibles" varies according to a person's wants and needs. Sometime when you're out in the woods with a bunch of folks, sit down after dinner and have everyone go through their "possibles" to see the variety of things that folks consider essential. For sure there will be things peculiar to each individual and include items which at first glance appear insignificant! But...there are those occasions when one of these seemingly insignificant items tucked away in the bottom of a day pack saves the day. Such a day occurred for my pard, Rich Rodgers, on a cold, snowy day in mid-November, 1983.

Rich, Tom and Bill Beck, and I were hunting deer and elk out of a horse camp on Indian Creek Airstrip on Middle Fork of Salmon River. A wall tent with smoke wisping from the stack and the glow from a lantern greeted Rich as he trudged in about an hour after dark on the third day. Before he said a word, we knew from the grin on his face and blood on his boots that he'd connected. His first elk, a six-point bull, needed packed out the next day. Starting out as a city kid from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, another dream came true for Rich that cold, snowy November day. Other dreams already realized by Rich included being a collegiate All-American football center at 5' 10" and 210 pounds, obtaining a MS in Range Management on a NCAA scholarship, becoming a farrier under the tutelage of Henry Ketchie, and marrying Sue.

Happy hour that evening extended until way past supper as Rich told and re-told the story with more detail each time. After describing where the bull was down, the trail, and the heavy snow conditions, we decided to walk in leading a packhorse, bone the elk, and backpack the meat up to a ridge top where we could get the packhorse with minimal difficulty. One of the details Rich had added the third or fourth time he told the story concerned the steepness of the hill where the bull lay. He told us he'd tied the bull to a short, scrubby tree to keep it from sliding down into the bottom of Mowitch Creek.

Rich, Tom, my Black Lab, 'Snoose,' and I left camp in the gray light of dawn leading Black Jack, one of my packhorses. Where Rich's tracks from the previous day hit the horse trail I loosened his cinch and tied him securely to a tree about forty feet off the trail. If recollection serves me correctly, we dropped about 500-600 vertical feet through a foot plus of snow on a mountain steeper than a cow's face to get to the bull.

It wasn't the fact that Rich had tied the bull up to keep it on the face of the 'earth' that struck me. It was how he tied it up which caused Tom and I to bust out laughing! The previous day Rich had quickly realized how precarious a position this bull was in if he expected the rest of us to help pack it out. Had the bull slipped into the bottom, it would have been easier to just pack in a frying pan and eat him on the spot! To stabilize the critter, he'd started with a piece of rope from his day pack and tied it to the antlers. This chunk of rope was way too short to reach the only scrubby Doug Fir tenacious enough to grow on such a steep slope. Scrambling up to this scrubby Doug Fir, he tied his remaining piece of rope and stretched it out towards the first line. Guess what? We've all been there! He was still short! Having once been a football player, Rich knew the importance of having an extra shoelace. Connecting the two lengths of rope was a shoelace from among his "possibles"!

Whenever campfire talk turns to elk hunting, this bull will forever be known as the "Shoestring Bull!" The last time I saw Rich before he passed away from cancer, the telling of this story again brought the smile from that cold, snowy November night in the wall tent back to his face.

Spiced with More Tall Tales - Dedications

This _Shoestring Bull recipe is from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook:
_A Lasting Gift
_About The Cooks!
_About the Author
_As Close To Heaven As One Can Get
_Barbeque Texas Style
_Bread And Horse Wrecks
_Brother-In-Law Duck
_Camp Creations
_Camp Crock Pot
_Camp Kitchens
_Camp Robbers
_Campfire Cash
_Chicken ala S*#T
_Chili, The Controversy And The Recipes
_Common Sense And Cards
_Cookin' With Kraut
_Cooking From Cans - Menu For Day 16
_Culinary Bombs
_Don't Critize The Cook...
_Dry Camps
_Fanny Pack Snacks
_Game Meat
_Game Warden Dog
_Game Warden Scramble
_Garlic & Her Poor Cousin "Onion"
_Getting Bread In Camp
_Good Cooks / Bad Cooks!
_Good Humored Cook
_Hank's Spaghetti Sauce
_Hank, Jack And Me
_How To Cook A Coot
_Hungry Ridge Chicken
_Jerky And Smoked Fish
_Las Piedras
_Making Do
_Middle Fork Spareribs
_Modern Day Pilgrims
_No Name Creek Baked Beans
_Pitch In And Pitch Out
_Potatoes aka Taters, Spuds
_Redhot Rhubarb Upside Down Cake - The Story
_Religious Bedroll
_Roast Coot
_Rubs For Meat, Not Backs
_Shoestring Bull
_Something Soft For Dinner
_Sugar And Spice And Other Things Nice
_The Adventures of 'Two-Story Tom'
_Things I Don't Care To Eat
_Twas The Week Before Elk Season
_Two Reluctant Cooks
_Veggies For Camp
_Warden Stew
_Where Do You Buy Scratch

"I must say this is the best recipe software I have ever owned."

"Your DVO cookbook software saves me time and money!"
-Mary Ann

"Call it nutrition software, meal planning software, cooking software, recipe manager, or whatever you want. It is the software I use to stay healthy!"

"Your software is the best recipe organizer and menu planner out there!"

"Thank you so very much for creating such a wonderful cooking recipe program. I think this is the best recipe program there is!"

"I saw lots of recipe software for PC computers but I was having a hard time finding really good mac recipe software. I'm so glad I discovered Cook'n! It's so nice to have all my recipes in a computer recipe organizer. Cook'n has saved me so much time with meal planning and the recipe nutrition calculator is amazing!!!

My favorite is the Cook'n Recipe App.