Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Another deer season is over...

Well, 2009 is over and along with ended the archery deer season for us. I was skunked again. It was looking like such a good year - we had less people tearing around through the woods, we put up treestands which let us see further and get our scent off the ground. But, the deer just weren't there.

I've heard from others that saw less deer this year. We've had several longer, snowier winters in a row which means higher mortality rates, especially for fawns. Corn crops were up late as well so deer could live in the crops and never be seen.

We're not without venison in the freezer though... A couple of friends who had success earlier in the season dropped off some meat and sausages. Then in November, Tim went up to Huntsville with a few friends for a the last weekend of rifle hunting and came home with a BIG buck.

The guys didn't have a single doe tag for the area up in Huntsville (you have to apply for them by lottery), and they saw plenty of does. Tim shot the only buck he saw... and it just might be the buck of a lifetime. 11 point rack (the 12th point didn't quite come to 1" so it doesn't officially count), HUGE browtines, and that grizzled roman nose of an old buck.

I know it might seem a bit morbid for some of you, but this is one of my favorite photos of the buck - taken where it fell. I love the way it is surrounded but it's woods, and leaves, and sky....

One of Tim's friends had an ATV along, but it got bogged down in the mud hauling this big boy out, so our new neighbour came to the rescue with his bulldozer!

A photo of Tim and his buck once he got it home:

With it being an old buck we decided to make a pile of sausage - our first attempt at homemade. We had a friend (Kevin) help out and guide us through the first batch. Here is Kevin working the sausage press - filling the casings:

Here is another friend Mary-Lou who also helped with the butchering and sausage making. That huge bowl in the foreground has 17 packages of sausage in it - about 1/3 of all the sausage we made that night.

We couldn't afford to get a full mount done of this gorgeous deer, but Tim picked a really nice kit to mount the rack with. Here is the finished work:

Tim placed it in near his chair in the living room, right over his reading lamp... we were surprised by the cool effects of the shadows cast on the wall and ceiling!

So, we celebrate the circle of life. It's an honour to be able to bring home good, clean, organic, free-range meat. It doesn't get any healthier than that! It's also an honour to be able to take the meat from the woods, through each necessary step, and to the table. It sure beats paying someone to present hormone-injected, colour-treated meat on a styrofoam tray wrapped in cellophane.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
~Ambrose Bierce

1 comment:

  1. Judy Voisin8:37 PM

    Excellent write up Monica. Way to go Tim. it looks beautiful on the wall also Judy