|Watching the sun rise as I wait for deer last year.|
Hello friends. It was brought to my attention at Cheesecake Factory on Thursday that hunting season is just around the corner. I'm pretty sure Andy, one of my managers, didn't even say hello--just started in with hunting season questions. It made me really excited and nervous.
This year I am more determined than ever to get my first deer. Now that our meat is coming from Whole Foods, it's EXPENSIVE. If I got a decent-sized deer we could have burger and geotta and other things for quite some time for just the cost of my hunting license and deer tag! Plus, I know that the meat came from an animal that was able to have a good life. And more importantly for me--I know how it died and I will know exactly how it was processed, because I will be doing the butchering. I'll know water wasn't added to bring up the weight. I'll know that it wasn't just hacked up, but rather carefully trimmed of all the bitter fat and weird bits. I can't imagine the sense of ownership and pride sitting down to eat with your family and knowing YOU provided that for them with your own hands, and in my case with my own blood sweat and tears. (I always let my knives get too dull before having Uncle John sharpen them which means I get cuts; it's HOT lugging a shotgun around in the woods in 30 pounds of clothes and 20 pound boots; and if I actually kill a deer I'm pretty sure I'll be crying like crazy.)
Deer are beautiful, and they're living animals, and taking the life of one will be very, very hard. I'm hoping maybe adrenaline will kick in instead of sadness. I know it will, actually. The first time I saw a deer coming at me in the woods I was pretty sure I was having a heart attack. I have NEVER felt my heart beat so intensely. And I want to prove I can do it. After so many years of butchering other guys' deer, it's time to prove that I can get my own, AND butcher it, which many men can't claim. I'm not just a sitter and waiter in the woods. I'm a hunter. :)
Here's some funny photos of my first year of hunting. It's quite a process of layering to get ready to go out! I was my mom's date for her office Christmas party the night before my first day of hunting. Here's me at 6:00 pm on a Friday night:
And here's me at 6:00 am the next morning:
|I am smiling under there. Aren't all important photos in one's life taken in front of the fireplace?|
|It was almost noon I had seen one deer. In 4ish hours. As I was walking to my spot at 7am. Not amused.|
I am getting much better at sitting alone in the woods for hours. It's really hard. You have to sit still. And be quiet. Taking pictures is frowned upon for sure. Last year I sat on a stump and stared at the same place for an hour without moving. Ridiculous. But I've mostly been better at sitting still because I'm a hardcore daydreamer. I make up scenarios like this:
"If Bigfoot were to walk out of the woods over there what would I do? Would I shoot at him? I wouldn't want to kill him--what if he was the only one in the world? Maybe I could wound him. But what if he's so strong that my shell didn't stun him or slow him down? And my gun only has three slugs in it at a time! Should I risk having Bigfoot chase me down and possibly kill me in my attempts to wound him for the world of science?! Maybe I should run. But he's over 7 feet tall and could catch me really fast. Maybe I should call Tony on his cell phone. Or fire a warning shot in the air to try and scare him away..."
These types of conundrums have to be tackled, and I think the woods is the right place for it. Don't worry. I'm solving all the world's hypothetical disaster scenarios out there.