I married a hunter. I knew what I was getting myself into-or so I thought. Usually, it meant for a couple of weeks in November, I had the place to myself, and with luck, at the end of the season he would come home with these neat little packages of meat wrapped up in butchers paper.
Yep, I was blissfully not involved until dinner time-that is until we bought a house with land, huntable land. Next thing I knew I was in my kitchen with a 4 month old in a jolly jumper, cutting up a deer with my husband. I must say, gave me a new appreciation for those neat little packages of meat.
A few days before the end of the last season, Shawn successfully took a deer with his bow. The only drawback was we had just finally got some snow. It was so fresh and abundant that he couldn't get the 4-wheeler through the snow. So, instead of putting the boys to bed (it was now 8pm) we bundled them up, strapped on our snowshoes, grabbed the wood hauling sled and head out by the light of the full moon to retrieve our venison.
When we arrived, Fintan wanted to share a prayer (one he had read in kindergarten)
"Oh sacred deer , you gave your life to me.
For that I give you Thanks
And I set your spirit free."
We then dragged out venison home. I then got another moment of blissful ignorance; Shawn does all the "dirty work"
Next time I see anything, it is hunks of meat hanging in our barn. I get a call at work the next day-the kids are asking me to bring home crackers, for the pate they had made with Dad. Yep, my boys LOVE pate (and oysters) but they don't like Nutella!
8 days later, the "project" continues in the kitchen. Shawn has decided on no waste. Meat is being processed into chops, steaks and ground meat. Bones are first being boiled for stock, then picked clean for the bird suet he will make. The bones are then being dried in the oven, he will try to pulverise them into bonemeal for the garden in the spring. Fat is being melted into tallow, for candles and to make the bird suet. I believe there are plans for fishing lures with the tail. I have no idea how one tans a hide (not referring to idle threats from my mom when I was younger), but I'm sure he's already looked into it.
I am proud to be married to a hunter. There is a sense of pride when we hunt, gather and or grow our own food, even more so when our kids are involved; they understand where our food comes from.