Although in my defense, I have been busy. We had the entire family (well, my side anyhow) down here for an early Thanksgiving. Paul's family is coming down in a few days. Rhiannon has been sick. Butchered Creepy Meats. Wrestled with Pan (yes, he's still alive.....for now). And I shot my first deer.
Yes dear readers, I'm thirty-eight years old and this was my first deer. I can't recall how many animals I've slaughtered, skinned, plucked, eviscerated, butchered and cooked, but I've never actually shot a deer. It didn't even occur to me until about a year or so ago. It just seems like I've always been involved in the deer processing so I didn't give it a second thought. And honestly, I don't get all crazy excited about hunting anyhow. The "thrill" of the hunt isn't really all that thrilling to me. It usually just means having to bundle up to the 'nth degree, sitting on your butt until it's numb or having ticks crawl all over you. I vividly recall my ex-boyfriend and his brother going duck & goose hunting. All the calls, specialty (i.e. expensive) clothing, boots, hats, gloves, "dirt" smelling soap, blinds and what seemed like a million decoys. I think he even had one of those huge goose decoys that you could lay down in.
|I don't care how serious a hunter you are, if I saw you in one of those things|
I wouldn't be able to keep myself from breaking out in hysterical laughter.
Anyways, back to me and my deer. When Paul bought his hunting/fishing license this year, I went ahead and got one too. Between all the different seasons (archery, muzzle loader, modern gun) we have eight deer tags between us. Paul got a buck on the first day of muzzle loader season and I figured it was now my turn to put some wild game (other than squirrel) on the table. Just before dusk, I shot a doe. And I won't make up some exciting story of how my first deer hunting experience was. As a matter of fact, here's pretty much how it went......
Paul: Hey honey, you want to shoot a deer?
Me: Hugh? (I think I was at the computer and not really listening to him)
Paul: The deer are going through. (Just before dark they go through our back yard to where the larger oaks/acorns are in the woods)
Me: Uh, sure.
I got up, grabbed the rifle off the gun rack, opened the back door, sighted one in and shot it. No camouflage clothing, no dirt-smelling soaps. I think I had a Chicago Bears sweatshirt and sweatpants on. I apologize to those that think hunting should be more of a challenge. But I just want good, healthy meat in my pantry and freezer. I'm not one to wait for that monster buck. I could care less if it had twenty points. Actually, I think I'd be more apt to let a 20-pointer live just because. Trophies don't really do it for me. I personally think it would be more of a challenge to get some really good photographs of wildlife than it would be to put a bullet through their internal organs. If it makes you feel any better, both Paul and I did go out and do some "real" hunting a few weeks ago. And saw nothing. Actually, we saw squirrels and blue jays and it was nice to be out in the woods early enough to see and hear the wilderness waking up. But we didn't see any deer. And we were back in the house within two hours. Because my butt was numb.
Anyhow. After I shot the doe, she naturally bolted into the woods, but didn't make it far. Paul asked me if I wanted to go after her or if I wanted him to. Heck. Since he offered who was I to say no?
I told Paul to take Moonshine out with him just in case he needed help tracking the doe and then I asked Joe (my BIL) to go out after both of them since he was here anyhow. I made a good shot and she didn't run far. The boys claim that while they were dragging the deer up out of the woods they looked back and moonshine was on top of the deer, riding it like a surfboard! I would have paid good money to have seen that! But seeing as she's a fifty pound sack of flabby beagle, they put an end to her free ride it in order to lighten the load.
They strung up the carcass in the garage and I got to work on butchering and they got to work on a buzz.
|First Blood, part One. |
(This one's for you, Donna)
The next morning I finished cutting everything up, put the ribs and shoulders in the oven to slow cook, ground up meat for us, ground up meat for the critters, then canned the ground and stew meat. I got five quarts of stew meat and one quart of ground processed. I've never canned ground meat so I'm anxious to find out how it tastes. My goal was to can almost everything from this deer. The shoulders were picked apart and I'm now in the process of looking up a recipe to see if I'm able to can the pulled meat together with a BBQ sauce for a really quick meal. The back straps are still in the fridge and if we don't finish them in the next few days I'll chunk them up and can them as well.
So that's my first deer hunting story. Not very exciting, hugh? Well, except for Moonshine hanging ten off the carcass of a deer.