Tag Archives: Elk

Taylor’s Tale… and it’s all BULL!

18 Sep

Here at “RenaissanceRonin” a while back ( a few years ago, in fact) , we started highlighting people who lived inspiring lives.

“The Life and Times…” isn’t just about steel and stone structures. It’s also about the families, made of steel and stone, that built this great nation. It’s about preserving that and our heritage as we look to our family’s safety and future.

These people remind us that we’re bigger than the sum of our parts. Their lives are literally lived “bigger than their bodies”. Their hearts, their deeds remind us that life is meant for living. They live their lives, pushing their boundaries, in a self-imposed journey of discovery. They know that life isn’t about arriving at the destination, it’s about the journey and what happens along the way.

While I was contemplating the design of a new “Corten Cordwood Bunker” for my young son Joshua on a ranch project that we are developing (inspired by a cool cabin we saw a pair of photographs of)…



If you thought this was a “hunting blind”… you’d be wrong. LOL! Joshua wants a bunker to play MINECRAFT in. I’m guessing the sound levels emerging from this box as he gets blown up by Creepers and Withers would frighten away even the boldest of “God’s Creatures”.

WARNING: While safe for “workplace review”…  the following content and images included in this post may make it unsuitable for small children.

I thought about the people who are curious about my personal path. People often ask me why I moved to (gasp!) Montana. It’s lost on some folks. They imagine places like Montana and all they see in their heads is a barren wasteland devoid of fast food, sub-divisions and shopping centers. They can’t imagine living in a place where they suck the sidewalks in after dark. They can’t imagine a place where they are forced to survive without 24/7 entertainment spots to keep them occupied…

I mean, most of the people making the inquiries live in “civilized places” like SoCal and NY.

Here in Montana, a life lived includes understanding life itself. We’re sustainable, self-reliant and self-responsible. We understand “the dance”… that life is lived in a balance that sometimes seems precarious. We understand that there is no river of “milk and honey” except in the fairy tales we tell our children before bedtime. We understand conservation and stewardship. We understand commitment and hard work. We understand that success at any level means that you “never give up”. We understand that you eat what you kill… or you use a camera.

Or else… You do not waste the gifts that the “Big Guy Upstairs” has given you…

I’m very fortunate that I can live in a place that is still relatively unspoiled and wild. Sure, we still have Hybrid Prius and “Hillary” bumper sticker sightings from time to time, but our days are usually filled with the glory of Mother Nature surrounded by those of our kind who love where we live despite the challenges it brings.

By the way… we HAVE 24/7 entertainment venues. It’s called “the mountains and the rivers”. You don’t stand in line waiting your turn, you don’t have to buy tickets far in advance. All you have  to do is put fuel in your 4 wheeler or saddle up a horse.

You see… living in Montana has taught me many things. We don’t languish on the sofa. We live our lives in the outdoors. We don’t drive exotic cars. Our trucks and horses are our transportation to the places where we hunt, we fish and we work in one of the most beautiful and challenging environments in the United States. We’re tool users. We set an example for our children and our kids aren’t like “other” kids.

Our kids are raised to live, learn and love in a land that is beautiful, wild and free.

It’s not just “me”, either. We’re surrounded by friends and neighbors who harbor the same love for this land.

Take 19 year old Taylor. I mean, don’t really “take” her, as we kinda want to keep her.


She looks like any other college girl in America, right? You can picture her headed off to the mall to do some serious shopping, I bet.

Um… Sure, she may enjoy the pursuit of that perfect dress or that incredible pair of jeans…

And when she’s doing that, the drive to those urban areas that support such activities allows you sights like this;

2016-03-06-16-58-07And that’s when Taylor goes into “I’m from Montana, dammit…” mode.

This weekend Taylor and her dad Sean headed out to see what bow season would bring. Apparently, they went to Elk Heaven.


taylors-bullTaylor says:

“After hard work, dedication and determination I finally got my first Bull Elk with my bow. I hit him straight through the lungs as my arrow passed through him without hitting any ribs. Ran about 50 yards and dropped, very satisfied with my first kill being so humane!”

As you can see… Taylor isn’t a “camp follower”. Taylor is an Alpha Predator. Taylor is the kind of young lady this nation was founded by. Her actions, her spirit define America and what we stand for. We take the bull, by the horns… antlers.

taylors-bull3Taylor got her bull. She got an incredible bull.

PS. Her dad, a pretty accomplished hunter in his own right… didn’t. LOL!

It’s girls like this that remind us just how lucky we are to live here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It’s young  ladies like this that remind us that there are still parents among us who understand “the nature of nature” and they live it to the fullest, as they prepare their children for life’s journeys. And while they do that, they feast on Elk.

We’re very proud of you, Taylor! You’re inspiring!

(And before some of you get all “You @&#^$%!! You killed Bambi!”… unless you’re  eating tofu and salad greens, you realize that the Big Guy put animals here for us to eat. Living life also includes death and the honoring of those animals that nourish our families. Life is about honoring and respecting the balance of life. Get over it.)

— end of transmission —

It’s almost Spring… at least… HERE.

18 Mar

Many readers know I just spent a bunch of time time “down south”…

No! Not “the Dirty Dirty”, or Miami… but (gasp!) Colorado.

It’s “Horse Country”.  And, I own horses. As I drove around Colorado and Wyoming in “Places Equestrian”… it gave me pause to think my own “horse housing dilemma”…

Okay, admittedly, I have to deal with my “elk dilemma” first. I can’t turn around lately without having to chase them out of the yard. Some St Patty’s Day. No cold beer. No Corned Beef. Just “Elk Chasing” in the snow! Bah!




For all the elk on the property, you’d think we were raising the darn things. 🙂

I guess I’ll just have to buy another freezer…

You see, we’re building a “Sustainability Center”. No, not one of those “Vegan Retreats”, or “Castaway Communes”…. but a real “grass roots” place where we can try new techniques, teach new skills and live like most of our grandparents did… by using our hands and our backs. And every night, we’ll be feasting on grass fed beef, local venison or tasty elk chased with a good glass or two of RED!  Yum! 🙂

But I was talking about horses;

In Montana, you turn horses out to graze. Hey, I mean… HAY and grass are all over the place. While most of the country laments hard times, we’re usually hip deep in hay and grass for our livestock to graze on. But in winter, the “graze” is covered in several feet of snow. So, you pull horses in to feed them. That means “feeding stalls” so that you can control your hay.

So, I gotta build something.

What do you get when you take a pair of 40 or 48” ISBUs, a quartet of 20′ ISBUs, a pair of truck doors and enough SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) to build a proverbial battleship?

20 horse Barn Elevation Concept

You get a “double sided” “H-Shaped” Barn big enough to feed 20-24 horses. You also get several tons of hay storage and a tack room large enough to make a Cavalry Officer giddy…

Better still, it’s all on one level with no ladders or lofts to navigate. When you’re a “Senior Citizen”, that’s important. 🙂

Yep, it’s official. I got my AARP membership card in the mail. Oy. I’m doomed! LOL!

And, because this new set of barns will be made of “Steel and SIPs”, they aren’t not gonna get their butts kicked by most Montana Storms…

In fact, we’ll use that roof plane to harvest rainwater and snow melt.

You can relax, though. I won’t be wearing any “White Hats” or riding any “White Chargers” any time soon… Black hats and big black horses suit me just fine! LOL!

Stay tuned. This should be fun.

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Just another day in Paradise…?

30 Apr

Life isn’t without it’s obstacles, eh?

Most of my readers know that my family is currently in the Pacific Northwest, establishing the required network of ISBU Conversion Facilities for the production of Oil/Gas Housing and Remote laboratories, State Government Remote Testing facilities, Commercial Real Estate buildings (think “Company Towns”) and (gasp!) Family Residences while the likes of Yahoo and CNBC sing our praises like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!!

As we do that, we’re struggling with acclimating to strange digs, establishing the necessary services and trying to remember to stay healthy.

It’d probably go to our heads, if we weren’t spending most of our time worshiping the porcelain throne…

Okay, so we’re not doing great in the “healthy” department…

Our systems, used to the balmy South, weren’t prepared for biting cold, snow, sleet and change in humidity. As a result, we’re a bit under the weather right now. Like a gallstone… it’ll pass… LOL!

While we’re taking our meds and doing our “frontier work”…

.. we’re watching the rivers (you can’t drive more than a few miles in any direction without crossing one) overflow their banks due to the bizarre fluctuations in temperature that we’re seeing here.

Today was gloomy and cold. Yesterday it snowed (okay, just a wee bit). The day before that it rained. The day before that… it was 80 degrees.  What the heck?

Can you say “run-off”?

The rivers are indeed overflowing their banks.

Even with acres of graze covered in inches of water, it’s a beautiful,  amazing site. Wildlife is EVERYWHERE you look. I have never felt so at peace… when my head isn’t swimming.

The mountains look like oil paintings.

Wild Deer and Elk herds stretch as far as you can see…

I’m not kidding. You have to chase them out of your gardens.

You find wild turkeys and rabbits in every organic hue imaginable your front yard – right out of a Disney movie. Pheasant are constantly  standing around posing like portraits in an old “latenite TV”  Men’s Club Lounge…

You get the idea.

This is a land filled with hearty, grass roots people, living with the land and getting it’s measure in exchange for toil and sweat. People who take a careful measure of time and materials and then they use both to fulfill their needs and dreams…

This is a land filled with barns… hundreds of them, built by families to house man, beast and machinery.

You’d be amazed at what you can find if you just jump in your truck and drive along the river in any direction, for a few miles…

Next time, we’ll talk about barns…

I like barns.