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We’ve bagged a Deer-graphic content


Even though we’ve had lots of weary nights chasing the deer away from our hay, we passed on the temptation to cut one down. They were Flagtails anyway and they don’t have much meat on their bones to boot. Hubby got a tag for a female Mule Deer, but it isn’t for our area. We haven’t seen a ‘Muley’ around here for a year.

This morning we got ready to go. That means early, because you can shoot after it’s daylight. The Deer sense the activity that happens after daylight and usually flee to the bush. They do most of their sneaky business at night – like raiding the feed yards. I let Hubby get the tools together and I grab water and lunches to sustain us. I noticed that he had his hunting knife, the meat saw, his licence, and the all important gun. I forgot to bring a pail for the heart and liver. That made me think a little harder. We were already a goodly way from home when it hit me…”Did you bring any ropes?” I asked him. Whoops – he’d forgotten that. We must be getting lazy in the brain or as I’ve heard it said…”Our heads are full of swiss cheese and there are a few holes in there with it”. Without ropes we would be looking forward to a tough ordeal to drag the potential animal up into the pick-up bed from off of the ground. He thought he could figure out some way when it came down to it, so we continued on. Time was wasting.

We drove to two places that we thought we might have success, but that didn’t pan out. Everything looked quiet. Just tracks. I’d been thinking that there would be something out since it was supposed to snow later in the day. These animals like to feed before a storm.

bird-feeder

Bird feeder amid deer hoof and foot prints

 

We visited Ruth who was having trouble to feed her wild birds. The Deer moved in each time she put out a bucket full of birdseed. They were walking right past her door, and it was getting to be a dangerous situation to my way of thinking. They were testing out her dugout for a drinking source as well. We stayed for maybe an hour and waited to see if any Deer got brave enough. All I saw were Blue Jays, a Woodpecker, a hundred Chick-a-dees and one brave Squirrel that were all in competition for the grub she’d left.

As we were about to start for home we thought of one more place we could try, and yes there were three ‘Muleys’ up on a sharp hillside just off of a clearing. Once we were sure we had sufficient permission, we crept around to a good vantage point. It was Hubby’s tag so he took the aim. Just as I covered my ears in expectation of the blast I thought about the camera. Too late – before I could recover my camera, Hubby had layed one on the ground.

At this point the adrenaline smooths out and reality kicks in. I estimated the distance we were going to have to drag this thing…with no rope. There was an awful hill to climb to get there as well! We debated the best approach: Go for rope at Ruth’s; Take our time dragging her; Roll her down the hill; Walk a double path and back down it with the pick-up to the bank; We decided on this plan: Gut her out to lighten the load, Walk the double path, Roll and drag her down the hill straight into the pick-up bed….if we didn’t get stuck in the process. The snow was up to my knees in places and worse near the hill.

The hill was worse than I

deer-tag

Deer tag

thought. The snow was crystal-like and every step I climbed, I slid down to the beginning. This was going nowhere. I was already tuckered from the trudge across the flats to get to this point. I guess it’s been too long since I was getting enough physical exercise (gardening, etc.). We grabbed at grass and dug and clawed and reefed on each other until we made the top. There wasn’t even a twig or tree to grab. She was right at the tip-top…of course. What a drag.

slitting-the-carcass-up-the-middle

Slitting the carcass up the middle from the butt-hole to the neck

deer-heart-removed

 

pulling-the-esophagus-and-guts-out

Pulling the esophagus and guts out

The best was yet to come though.  She was tagged, and gutted with the heart and liver saved. Then I went back for the truck – plowing the second path. Resting. Panting. Plowing some more with my knees. When I got in and had it stuck in 4X4, I drew a few slow breathes while I begged the creator for help. I readied my approach to the runway in reverse and smoked it for all I could. It was laughable. The snow was light and it went much easier than I had pictured. When I hit the first bank, the back end swung easily off to the side of the path. I tried to steer it back to the track because I was worried about the deeper areas and didn’t want to get left out there shoveling the rest of the way. I was off the track a good half of the time, but ended up in the general direction I intended to go. I didn’t want to know what Hubby was thinking as he watched my terrible driving. He’d better not be thinking. He’d already said enough about all my picture taking: “You and your pictures – grab a leg and help out!”

the-downhill-slide-to-the-truck

The downhill slide to the truck

 

Hubby got the Deer to the last and steepest downward slope before I arrived. I went up to take it the last bit. It started faster than I was willing to be pushed. I considered jumping on for a ride, but didn’t want to get blood all over me and eventually the truck seat. Instead I just held it back so it didn’t get going like a toboggan – taking me with it or gliding over the truck instead of into it.

One last technical part to go. At the bank there was no backing up. I was worried that the truck seemed like it was going to want to spin at first instead of making progress, but the worry was for nothing. Away we went like a charm!

YAY !!    Meat.  :)

loaded-deer

 

 

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5 Responses to “We’ve bagged a Deer-graphic content”

  1. Wendy says:

    I’ve never had the opportunity to go hunting. I would think it would be enjoyable if the elements were more cooperative. Now, what’s the plan for the meat? Will you hang it for some time? Do you plan to make any into ‘mennonite sausage’? Could you make that work? Will you grind any for yourself to make deer burgers? I have tasted deer meat prepared by a nephew that would make you think you were eating top quality beef, but without all the greasiness, yet tender and flavorful, with no gaminess at all. I can send you that information if you are interested though I suspect you already know. :)

    • sherry says:

      Are you saying you have a preparation method…like a recipe? We’re always Game for that :) The weather was cold and miserable. This is a matter of survival so I just have to suck-up and do it. I have to wait to see how tender or tasty it is before I make the next plan. One time the meat stunk so bad that I made it into pepperoni but ended up TRYING to feed it to the dog. He didn’t want it either. :((

    • Naomi says:

      You can certainly send me that info, if you’d like. I don’t know squat about it, but I would like to!

  2. Naomi says:

    Thank goodness you didn’t have to drag it uphill to the truck!
    I’m glad your day was full of happy little miracles.

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