Also affectionately known as 'Buck Fever'.
You know you're starting to get it bad when it's still 5 months away and you're itching from the heat of it.
Sofya, over at The Girls' Guide to Guns and Butter, was talking about hunting yesterday. It ticked the fever to a whole other level.
(Shot at my Mom's house just before dark. Didn't get pictures until after dark though! Had to milk with headlamps that night...2008)
I haven't been able to hunt much in the last couple years. Raising a baby does that to you apparently. I was raised in a pro-hunting family. My Dad would be watching in our field during dinner for deer.
I vividly remember my Grandma and Poppa being over for dinner, us all at the dinner table, when either my Poppa or Dad spotted a deer at the end of the field. My Dad jumped in the truck and drove part of the way, then snuck up the rest of the way. Once we heard the shot, we jumped in my grandparents car to go see what he gotten! Other times Mom would tell us to go wait in the tractor. Dad would shoot the deer, slit it's throat, then walk back to the house. We'd be waiting in the tractor bucket and Dad would let us ride out to get it with him.
More than just deer were shot. Geese, grouse and ducks graced our table. My Dad said we would eat a mallard drake over most things. Apparently I ate 18 oz of moose at a young age as well. Yum. It was normal for ducks to be hanging on our porch, and in kindergarden I brought grouse feet in for show and tell. That didn't go over well with the other kids. Duck hunting trips were the best with Dad. Sunny D and Donuts sitting by a duck pond. All right!
It helped that my Mom knew how to cook it so well too. This is her recipe by the way.
Both of my parents were raised in the same way. My Mom's parents more than the others. They were in their mid-twenties with 5 little mouths to feed, deer were in abundance. Always had been. My Poppa had an amazing shot, able to skillfully kill a deer without modern things such as scopes. Eating Venison made sense.
And the price was right. What's to argue about that? It costs you a bullet (Maybe $1?) and a package of butcher paper. ($7). The deer here are smaller, getting maybe 60lbs off of a carcass. I'd say $8 for 60 lbs of meat is a darn good price. Of course there are hours of labour that go into it as well. I love butchering though. It's so gratifying.
Cowboy too, was raised in a hunting family. His Dad is majorly into it, and his Dad's Dad is a fanatic. Meticulously perfectly fanatic about hunting. Cowboy's paternal grandmother butchers moose on the kitchen table. "Oh I just bring it in a quarter at a time" she says. Love it.
I eagerly await this fall, hoping to bag a couple deer. Hunting grounds are rapidly shrinking on our island, but we make the most of it. We expanded our weaponry to a cross-bow. I can't cock it, but that's okay. I just have to be able to pull the trigger for now, right? I'm working on it though, it's just ridiculously hard.
I was always into hunting, but now being engaged to someone who has two seasons in his life "Deer Season" and "Not Deer Season", it makes me appreciate it more and yearn for the opportunity.
A mule deer like this only comes around once in a lifetime...
The backstraps alone from this deer fed 16 hungry people. My husband scored it at 186 in the Boone and Crockett books guide. I don't usually 'score' a rack, but since it was so nice, we had to try our hand at it. My husband quite enjoys scoring his racks for fun.
Happy Deer Season Dreaming!