Wildcrafting is nothing more than harvesting and preserving wild edibles, so it seems reasonable that hunting fits nicely into this category. And hunting, along with our other wildcrafting endeavors, has proven to be a worthy occupation.
Deer and elk season is in full swing in our little neck of the woods, along with grouse, turkey and bear. Miss Serenity, being quite an accomplished huntress, has been combing our woods for game with which to stock our larder. She has harvested a number of grouse (which have mostly become appetizing luncheon dishes) and regularly sets up on her bear bait. Last week deer season began, with a buck-only hunt until the first of November. Serenity gained the permission of a corporate farming enterprise which operates directly to our west to hunt their vast holdings and commenced the hunt. Two evenings Serenity checked out the lay of the land, rifle in hand. She determined the travel pattern of the local deer and found the most likely location from which to take her shot. The third evening, Serenity set out for the hunt, rifle, pack and radio in hand. She took up residence in her previously scouted location, lay down prone with her rifle resting on a bipod and waited. Soon she saw movement. She tracked the migrating deer through her rifle scope, searching for the buck that she knew was with the group. Finally her buck appeared. Once he was within range (100 yards), Serenity whistled, aimed, set the first trigger, breathed out, squeezed the second trigger and sent her bullet downrange. Down the buck went, Serenity's one and only round hitting his heart.
|Miss Serenity and her buck|
After hanging for two days Sir Knight, Serenity and Hand Grenade began the butchering process. They set a table up outside (it was crisp and sunny) and went to work. While they were butchering, Princess Dragon Snack and I readied the kitchen. We washed canning jars, heated up the pressure canner and began cutting deer meat into stew meat and roasts. We filled those jars quickly as the outside crew made short work of the entire deer carcass. Within hours we had butchered and processed the entire deer.
|The butchering process begins|
|Hand Grenade the Butcher|
|Jars are ready and lined up awaiting venison|
|Princess Dragon Snack doing her part|
|She really is handy with a knife|
|The finished product - truly fast food|
|Slicing the backstrap|
|Creating butterfly steaks|
|See how they fillet?|
|And now you know why they are called Butterfly's!|
|Raw fried potatoes|
|And dinner is served|
|Boiling the skull|
|It takes awhile|
|Ready to be cleaned out|
|Hosing out the cavities|
|Getting every last little bit|
|Soaking in peroxide|
|Ready to be mounted!|