Friday, September 26, 2008

Closed Season for me

I am little sad tonight. I have realized that this year will not be a deer hunting season for me. In PA, as I am sure is the same for many other states, I need to go through a hunter safety course before being licensed. I have been to the game commission's website numerous times to check the calendar of available classes, the ones I can take are full and the ones that are not full do not fit with my schedule. Thus I can not get licensed for deer season.

On top of that I am severely lacking in the knowledge of how to appropriately field dress a deer and have no idea how to learn. My dad used to hunt but he does not anymore, and I am not sure he knows how to field dress a deer as his father always took care of it. I thought about just going out there and hoping to find some old hunters who were willing to teach me, but that is a big gamble. I am not sure that is a gamble I am willing to take considering I am stubborn and I will sit in the woods all day waiting to shoot a deer, I may not come out until I did get one, but without the knowledge of how to field dress what the hell would I do once I did shoot it?

I am not worried about a butcher, we have farmer's markets around here and some Mennonite and and Amish who would gladly butcher it for a fee and a small share of the meat. I may ask one of them this weekend or next.

Honestly, I am almost certain that I am lost as to what to do after the kill. I have to field dress it and then what? Do I need to skin it before I take it to the butcher? How long before I have to get that meat on ice? Do I skin it before putting it on ice? And where the hell am I going to put a full size deer if I have to wait a day or two before I can get it to the butcher? If I can find a big enough freezer do I just throw the whole thing in there in plastic? Or do I have to do some disassembly before that?

I regret that man has moved so far from our hunting roots. It seems a lot of humans today rely to much on the grocery store and not enough on our own abilities; somewhere we have strayed. Our ancestors knew where that meat on the table came from, they hunted it, stalked it, killed it, took it apart, and cooked it before eating it. They knew what they needed to know about that animal, they could appreciate the meat on the table. Today I open the cellophane that is covering the steak, steak that is usually sitting on top of a pink styrofoam tray in the meat section. Some hunter we are, it is as simple as following the signs to the meat section and "hunting" for a good price of pre-packaged meat.

This is depressing. My advice to anyone who has children, teach them to hunt young or it will forever be lost. Do not put it off or wait "until they are old enough". Keep waiting and they too will be sitting here writing about the realizations of their own inabilities.

I have some learning to do, but first I need to find a teacher.


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