Monday, November 26, 2012

Deer Harvest 2012

Two deer gave their lives for us this past week and we will honor their lives by using as much as possible of them to nourish us and give their hides to Lions International.  I married into a hunting family.  When I was growing up in Chicago and Milwaukee, I didn't know what venison was and I never ate any wild game.  Bing's mother and father's families were hunters and fishermen and rabbits, pheasant and venison were common foodstuffs with them.  Bing introduced hunting to our three sons and schooled them in the ways of the hunt.  Each of them participated from about the age of twelve or thirteen.  Back then, with the busyness of raising the three sons and working part time, I really didn't pay too much attention to the maturation process that obviously occurred with the awesome responsibilities involving life and death, the handling of weapons and the learning the rules and regulations and customs of the hunting shack men.  Now that life is so much less hectic and there is time to observe, it is incredible to watch as our grandson, Jamie, has joined the hunting traditions.  Jamie is 14 now and he and his dad, Bernie, and Bing, went out opening day, together but each in their own territory and on their own, silently scouting and hoping for a sighting.  Jamie was the one to whom a deer destined upon him.  All these years of living up here in deer territory, around hunting season, any socialization brings myriad stories about the monster deer slain or the mighty ones that got away, but to hear Jamie's personal story of his exploit, was so much more interesting and charming.  He proudly told of the magnificent eight point buck in his sights and how, even though trembling, he managed to pull himself together, aim and shoot and down the animal humanely and without wasting too much meat.  He called his dad on the cell phone and Bernie showed how to gut the animal.  Jamie then dragged the beast to the road by himself to wait to go register it.  That afternoon, Bing and Bernie and Jamie skinned, quartered and boned it and my part of the work is to trim it and package it.  Back to DePere went Jamie and Bernie but back up here for the second weekend of the hunt this past weekend.  This time Jamie's 17 year old sister, kayla, came along so we could celebrate Thanksgiving and her birthday.  The hunting trio went out again Saturday. No luck.  Then Sunday morn they tried again and Bing got a nice big doe.  They skinned, quartered and boned again and our venison supply is plentiful.  So many lessons learned - cooperation, confidence in oneself, biology, butchering, nature's bounty.  Thanks deer.