New Content Coming Soon

Just let­ting you all know.

 I think it's a sign my family's get­ting old­er and old­er, or just not hunt­ing, or some­thing. No one got a deer on the first or sec­ond day, or at all that I've heard of. And I know the PA deer pop­u­la­tion is explod­ing and has been for some time. I nev­er got one. I had a chance a cou­ple times. My broth­er and I were right down behind the house at join­ing of our feed­er crick with See­ley Creek. I didn't have my mind in the hunt–I often didn't–so my broth­er tapped me on the shoul­der and point­ed across the water to the steep side­hill cov­ered in pine. A buck was skit­ter­ing his way down among the pine nee­dles and rocks, a cou­ple doe close behind. I can't remem­ber what I was hunt­ing with–probably my brother's 12-gauge– but I remem­ber draw­ing the bead down behind the front leg and wait­ing for the buck to stop at the bot­tom before he took off again. I wait­ed and wait­ed, in the way time turns like molasses before the shot, and real­ized I couldn't do it. I didn't want to do it. I liked veni­son, a great deal, but not enough to shoot and kill to get it. So I didn't shoot. My broth­er winked at me when I brought the bar­rel down, but didn't say any­thing. He didn't shoot either, but he has his own rea­sons for that. I don't know them.

As penance of a sort, I haven't eat­en veni­son much since then. Though I do love the mem­o­ry of see­ing the deer hang from the apple tree overnight, and then butcher­ing the cold car­cass on the met­al din­ing room table, see­ing my dad or my moth­er slide the knife into the meat on either side of the spine, and how the back­strap would go straight into the fry­ing pan with some but­ter, maybe some flour–I don't remem­ber exactly–and then out on a com­mu­nal plate, even while our hands were still bloody, and even though the car­cass wasn't near­ly done.

I have bad mem­o­ries too, like try­ing to force the shot-meat and the gris­tle into some­thing iden­ti­fi­able as ham­burg­er, which meant through the hand-grinder attached tem­porar­i­ly to the kitchen counter,and often com­ing close to break­ing the thing. That was my job, to grind.And grind. And grind some more.

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5 Responses to New Content Coming Soon

  1. Randy Lowens says:

    I can't believe nobody's called you a sis­sy yet, Rusty.The only deer I ever killed was with a Chevy Luv pick­up, right head­light applied to left ear. I left it in the ditch and con­tin­ued to work. A hunter friend said we should sal­vage the meat, so we punched out, fetched and gut­ted it. Every break we shoved a fresh bag of ice inside the car­cass. After work we fin­ished the butch­ery. The fun­ny part came when my big shot bud­dy was teach­ing me how the gut­ting was done. “Got­ta be real care­ful pass­ing this part here,” he instruct­ed as he sliced a por­tion of the abdomen… just when a blob of feces squirt­ed out across his hand. I had to fin­ish the gut­ting on his direc­tion, while he bent over beside the truck, retch­ing. Of course, the guys around the machine shop nev­er teased him about it. We just called him Mighty Bawana for the next five years until he changed jobs. Blue col­lar South­ern­ers are gen­tle sorts.

  2. Susan at Stony River says:

    OMG, I was the fam­i­ly Grinder too: what mem­o­ries that brings back. I was youngest, so my mother's and grandmother's old grinders would be set up in the kitchen and oh Lord, it went on for­ev­er! My moth­er would tell me I left too much fat in, then Grand­mom told me it wasn't enough. Pffft. And Mom left both grinders to me when she died. *sigh* Great. Hap­py hol­i­days to you meanwhile!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Broke my foot the night before open­ing day this year–sad times. But we already had a freez­er full of meat, as a farmer friend of mine had some nui­sance tags that I filled this sum­mer. So per­haps things turned out as they were sup­posed to. One thing I have noticed recent­ly is the num­ber of urban hip­ster type peo­ple who have expressed inter­est in going hunt­ing (at least in con­ver­sa­tion). Five years ago, admit­ting you hunt­ed in pub­lic, at least in places like New York City or Boston, would get you dirty looks. Now it seems to be fine. I don'thave a sci­en­tif­ic sam­ple size or any­thing, but it's some­thing I've def­i­nite­ly noticed. Won­der if that's an off­shoot of the local foods move­ment, which seems to be gain­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty… ‑P.Meyer

  4. Rusty says:

    I knew some­body would make me jeal­ous after this post. I just knew it. 😉

  5. Fred Haag says:

    You write a good pic­ture here. But I will say that we are eat­ing some veni­son tonight (off the fork between a spit of oak woods and the neighbor's for­got­ten pasture.)

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