Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nothing Like It...

So, over this past weekend I took the hog I harvested*, trimmed the fat and fascia off, and split it into portions for cooking. A rather large section of rump roast was split into two portions for making into pulled pork, while the tenderloins and backstrap were liberally seasoned. One helping of pulled pork was cooked up Sunday.

Four days from roaming the MS woods to sitting on my plate - now THAT is fresh!

This was the first time in my life that I'd supplied the meat for our dinner in a manner other than "go to store, purchase a styrofoam tray with meat on it". Sure, when I was younger we might have eaten a fish I caught when fishing with my dad on Cape Cod, but it was never the prime ingredient (not to mention, the fish I tended to catch were very small to begin with...)

There's something about being more invested in where your dinner comes from to fully appreciate how great we have it these days. It took me three nights in two states to bring home a rather small (100 pound) sow that yielded meat for five meals, with about twice as much left in MS (to be donated). Hunting as a way of providing meat on a regular basis would be quite trying.

I think I'm hooked, though. There's something absolutely primal in pitting your wits, skills and abilities against a wild animal. Even more so when you sit down to a delicious meal of pulled pork that is the end result of that confrontation. I'd like to try my hand at deer this coming fall, and maybe even take Ambulance Driver up on his generous offer to hunt pigs down his way.

In any case, I have a pretty good feeling this isn't going to be the last meal I put on the table...

That is all.

*Apparently, there is a real 1911-vs.-Glock style pissing contest in the hunting world over the use of "harvest" vs. the use of "kill" when talking about a successful hunt in which an animal's life is taken. Honestly, I don't see much of a difference; I think it's similar to the use of "firearm" vs. "weapon" - it's for the few on the fence that might bristle at "kill" but understand "harvest" better.

9 comments:

abnormalist said...

So I will say, that two large Michigan deer will supply a family of five for almost the entire year in red meat. We use ground venison 1:1 replacement for beef or turkey for everything from tacos, to chili, to box meals (zatarans diry rice mix is awesome with ground venison). Breakfast sausage made 2:1 venison to pork is another major staple. Venison brats are often found on the grill around the abnormal house as well.

Kabobs on the grill are a crowd favorite, and roasts in the crock pot are a common sight at larger dinners...

When I say large michigan deer I do mean the 150-160lb range, deer that yield 60-70lb or so pounds of usable meat. Big bodied bucks.

I wish I had a good place to get into some free range pork, but the closest I will find a decent population of wild is several states away. Considering the damage they do though, I'm ok with that.

Angus McThag said...

My farmer grampa would say you can't harvest unless you sow; so shooting wildlife is killing.

He was all for killing wildlife because it ate the crops he was trying to grow.

Dave H said...

I just took the NY Hunter's Ed course a couple of weeks ago and they mentioned that the preferred term is "harvested." Yes, it's PC, but it's less likely to raise the hackles of anti-hunters. The study guide we used spent a surprising number of words on how to avoid drawing the attention of anti-hunters. (But I wonder if the vocal "never say kill" crowd is the same bunch that complains "you didn't safety check that gun!" in Youtube comments.)

Hunting for meat as a regular part of life isn't as trying when you have to do it regularly. (Or when your alternative is eating porridge for three meals a day through the winter.) You get good at it, both in taking an animal and processing it. You also won't be hauling your take across three states to get it home. Where I grew up a lot of families relied on deer season to provide meat, and they were pretty good at harvesting it.

Stretch said...

If you take AD up on his hunt offer and need a long gun both my Winchester 94 in .45LC and Winchester 95 in .30-06 are at your disposal.

Anonymous said...

I kill coyotes and woodchucks, I harvest deer, ducks, doves, quail, hogs and anything I eat.

Welcome to the Clan of Carnivore!

Gerry

Stingray said...

Just don't take Kelly up on deer hunting. The 318 Dakota is some damn spendy ammo.

abnormalist said...

@anon

Eat the woodchucks. Just like big squirrels, they make AWESOME chili

ProudHillbilly said...

And you help with an exploding feral pig problem. Now if you could just remove some of the also exploding deer population from around me...

ProudHillbilly said...

And you help with an exploding feral pig problem. Now if you could just remove some of the also exploding deer population from around me...