The connection between deer hunting and the table
I’ve just returned from a tough public-land hunt in Oklahoma. While the bucks didn’t hit the ground the way we hoped, four does did. And that’s nothing to scoff at for a five-day hunt on Uncle Sam’s ground. Better yet, we had a few pounds of bacon and a charcoal grill with us.
Each night after I shot the first doe, we feasted on bacon-wrapped, grilled venison. Now, I eat venison a lot. It’s my favorite meat, and my family can consume several deer in a year’s time. But there is something about fresh venison that has never been frozen. Add in the fact that you’re bone-tired and in a hunting camp, and the meat takes on a different taste altogether.
It’s often argued that no one really hunts solely for meat any longer, at least not any of us involved in modern society. To some extent I suppose that’s true, but it also sells much of the process short. I want venison to eat, and it’s a motivator for me to try to figure out deer movements and put myself in a position to arrow a few. It’s not the only reason I hunt, but it’s one of the main reasons.
That becomes ever more poignant every time I spend a few days in hunting camp and I, or one of my hunting partners, fills a tag. We feast on the no-apologies meat, and it’s good. It’s better than good, at least to us – it’s the best. If you’ve never taken a backstrap from a deer you’ve recently shot and put it on the grill, do it. You might find that the reason you hunt changes ever so slightly to put more emphasis on the procurement of fresh protein.
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