Sunday, November 18, 2012

My First

I think MamaPea and MamaTea may have jinxed me by talking about the apparent blogging apathy that has seemed to spread around the online community lately.  I had to practically force myself to start writing again even though I had at least two rants brewing and several mentionable things have happened around the homestead.

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.
I couldn't get over how much stuff one needed to go hunting.  And just to bring back a swampy-smelling duck or a goose that was tougher than leather.

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)
It was in the thirties that night so after cutting out the tenderloins and back straps, I let the rest of it hang.  We all (except for Christine, of course) had tenderloin medallions sauteed in butter with garlic and onions that night.

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.


  1. You are real survivalist! I could dress out a deer without instructions...not sure I could even shoot one these days.

    You will be so glad to have all that healthy meat in the freezer and canned.

    I would be ready for a buzz after that bloody mess.

  2. I am with you on the hunting numb-butt part. Why do deer have to get up so dang early anyhow? My story is similar to yours this year. Got my 3 point (a 6 pt to you) in my mom's backyard (right next to my farm), still in my work clothes. No excitement or numb butt. Excitement isn't all its cracked up to be. Congrats!

  3. THAT's the way it should be done. In a sweatshirt and sleepy pants hanging out the backdoor. The one and only time I ever went hunting was exactly as you described it. Cold, numb and wet. And bored. Out of my head bored. Get me outta here bored.

    Congrats on the fresh meat. I'd have loved to see the dog hanging on.

  4. Congratulations Carolyn Renee on shooting your first deer.
    I love the picture your posted, will it freak out Donna?
    Let us know how the canning goes with the ground meat.
    I'm happy for you. My husband didn't get to go hunting. Work has him traveling all of the U.S. right now and he missed out on his hunt. There's always next time. I think I'm going to go next time he goes out.

  5. Who cares how you got it. You GOT IT!!!! Yummmmmm! You sound just like me though. I've gutted, skinned, processed and cooked deer all my life. I've never shot one. I, like you, don't really care. hehehehe. Although, if I could get a good picture with deer blood on my hands, it might be worth me killing one. LOL. Good job!

  6. Woot! Congrats! And even though you look like the Bloody Butcher (pun intended) it is good to finally know what you look like!

    Oooohhhh and medallions in garlic and butter sound so dang good right now....

  7. You look entirely too happy to be gruesome in your picture!

    Will you move next door to me if we all ever have to survive off the land? Heck, right here on the property would be better.

    I can hardly imagine the amount of work you do in a days time. How did you get all that done so fast? And with a husband and small child (not to mention company) to take care of. You are indeed Wonder Woman!

  8. Yeah, I'm not into the hunting either. The movie Bambi was sad :( I prefer to admire the animals than eat them. For those who do not know me, I'm not a vegetarian or anything, I just get teased by my family (CAROLYN especially) that my diet consists of processed and packaged foods. I don't want to see where it "really" comes from. I purchase it at my local Jewel or Aldi's and I just want to eat it and have it taste good :) I am the total opposite of my sister!!! But I still love her.

  9. Congratulations Carolyn! My husband got his first deer yesterday too! It was a bloody mess around here! We got tons of meat! I need recipes if you have any to share ☺

  10. Congratulations! I'm always so impressed by those of you who can do it all!! :)

  11. gld, I wish I were more of a survivalist.....if I don't get my fix of Diet Pepsi, I get cranky! Wonder how I'll make Diet Pepsi after the collapse?

    Ruth Dixon, Why IS it that deer like to get up so danged early?! Well, besides to avoid late-sleepers like me.

    tami, "real" hunting is very overrated. Very. Give me sweatpants and a deer right outside the front door and I'm happy with that!

    Sandy, sorry to hear that your DH didn't get to go hunting. The ground meat went well....I think. I'll let everyone know when I open it up.

    Mary Ann, uhm, that's a compliment, right?! :)

    SFG, I'm more of an "Eater" than a "Hunter". Just give me the meat and I'm fine....better yet if it's someone OTHER than me that has to sit out there and freezer their bum off.

    Tiny, butter, garlic, onions and ANYTHING tastes good!!

    MamaPea, quit trying to flatter me. Wonder Woman I am not. More like Sloth Woman. You wouldn't believe the amount of "nothing" I manage to do each day. But I wouldn't mind living next door to you.....that is if YOU moved down HERE. Sorry, I can't handle the snow anymore.

    Christine, want me to buy you some of those freeze-dried shrimps??? Will that make you feel better?

    Donna, if it weren't for your pleading, I probably wouldn't have included that picture, so everyone can thank YOU for the very "flattering" image of me :)

    Kelly, tell your DH congrats! If you email me I'll tell you what we do with ours....carolynrenee at centurytel dot net.

    Candy, Thanks! Actually, I didn't do it all. Now I kind'a wished that I went out in the woods to drag it out and hang it in the garage myself. THEN I could have bragged that I did it ALL.

  12. Well, that was good timing! I just want to go catch some trout, but can't find a fishing partner.... sigh...

  13. What a gal! I so agree about having good meet for table and freezer. Love the bit about Moonshine!

  14. that is a GREAT deer hunting story because that's exactly what all homesteaders dream of - barring all kinds of laws, seasons, etc all we really want is to be able to take only enough to feed our families right on our own land, hooray for you! I admit I LOVE the idea of doing dishes, looking up out the window and seeing a nice one, check the freezer, wipe your soapy dish hands off on your apron and grab the gun and get it LOL... I can dream!

  15. I am just visiting your blog for the first time and noticed that we look kind of alike. I showed my boys the picture of you and asked if it looked like someone they know. They said,"It looks like you, Mom!" I wonder if it was the knife or the blood? LOL