Please don't scroll down if you don't want to see a picture of a dead deer!! There are a few live deer in the picture below...
of all, thank you so much for all of the comments and ideas you gave me
about my blog yesterday!! Through these, and my own digging around, I
figured out that it's my "Picasa" photo limit that's been reached, and
that my old blog pictures are indeed on it, as well as the new blog, and
some others... 3-4 years' worth! I deleted some to buy me some time,
and others have suggested that I can copy and paste URL codes from photo
sites, such as Flickr and Photobucket as well. Yea!! You bloggers
really are amazing!! I'm still having difficulty posting pictures
though, even after deleting several posts. It'll let me shrink my
pictures way down, and post them, but only after giving me the warning
screen repeatedly.... hmmm
Second, I thought Debbie's
"Tuesday at the Table" link up would be a great way to share another big
event in our family... my oldest son's first deer! It's actually the
first animal he's ever shot, although he's been hunting very hard with
my husband most week-ends this fall, and has had several shots. If
you're at all squeamish about dead animals, please don't scroll down,
but we're all pretty proud of him right now, and I just had to share.
spare you the pictures of the hanging hind quarters, and hide. My
husband and son partially butcher their game in the woods, removing the
"insides", and any other inedible parts (hoofs, skin, some of the
bones...). They also use a hand meat saw to cut it into quarters to
make it easier to carry out of the woods. Since this was my son's first
deer, he chose to haul the hide a mile and a half out himself, in
addition to carrying half of the deer. He's going to try to tan it
himself (!). Wildlife officials also require that you keep part of the
head to prove that you shot a legal animal. In this case, he had a
"doe" tag. It's also put into cloth "deer bags" to keep it clean. Once
we get it home, the meat is cleaned further and hung up to "bleed".
Sorry, no other way to put it. It also is better (IMO) to let it age
some. We've butchered animals right away, and the meat is very tough.
Aging allows it to "tenderize", but it must be kept cold (not freezing).
we're ready to butcher, we clear off our big kitchen counter and get
the knives out. We will be putting out hand grinder into action, as
well as our vacuum food sealer, and I've been busy using up as much as I
can from our freezer this week for meals to make room for all of the
meat. The ground meat can be used for chili, tacos, just about anything
BUT hamburgers, as it's super lean. The steaks we love to cut up, wrap
in bacon and throw on the grill, and the roasts must be cooked in a
"wet" fashion (slow cooker, pressure cooker), as the meat becomes much
too tough if over done with a traditional roast (learned that the hard
way). Again, this is because it's so lean. I'm always eager to hear
about new deer and elk recipes though!!
think it's important that my kids learn this as well. Butchering
animals is a skill that is becoming lost in our society (kind of like
sewing). My husband and I have had to learn it from friends and through
trial and error. Ironically my grandpa was a butcher. His saw is the
saw my husband still uses in the woods. But I never learned this skill
from him. It's really incredible how much time and work went into my
son's first deer... many mornings up an hour before dawn for this
teen-ager. All of us will help butcher it very soon, which also takes a
lot of time and effort. My kids both have some good knife skills now
though! Growing our garden and hunting makes us all appreciate the real
value of the food that we eat...