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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

We dine on a wide variety of foods in our household. As the focus of the main course, tofu makes an appearance on our table often, along with lots of veggies and fruit. Yet, we do enjoy and eat meat.

The current set of livestock on our farmette produces dairy items only. So, where do we get our meat? Mostly we get it from a grocery store, just like most people in the United States do. But, last year, a friend was happy to deer hunt on our land in exchange for 1/2 the venison acquired.

You can use venison just like any other meat. This piece has been cleaned and then soaked in salt and lemon juice.

You can use venison just like any other meat. This piece has been cleaned – then soaked in salt and lemon juice (our version of brine solution).

Wild grown meat tastes much better than that produced by factory farming. If cooked in a short and sweet manner, it is also melt-in-your-mouth tender. Our new experience with venison was like being taken to the Dark Side in Star Wars. Fresh deer meat has the potential of creating a Neanderthal out of a Vegetarian.

Filling up the freezer with clean, natural meat was enough to activate the somewhat dormant hunting instinct in me. I have felt it when fishing – quietly sitting and imagining a potential seafood meal. But pulling an animal up on a string to die out of water and using a gun to kill one are quite different. I thought about it for a while.

One year later, I am on my way out to the woods for my first try at the sport of hunting.

hunterM2w

I look like a terrorist. Yikes! Hopefully the deer won’t see me and be scared out of our county. PS: Don’t try this at home – without a hunter education class. It is required here in North Carolina and hopefully everywhere else.

While attending a class, it became clear to me why you can’t purchase a hunting license without having had the safety class. Hunting was a much more dangerous sport before this requirement. The accident stories are more than enough to keep me honest (following the rules).

The classes are designed to produce a responsible, knowledgeable and involved hunter. There are not only safety, but ethical guidelines to follow too – from not offending the anti-hunting advocates to conserving wildlife for future generations.

FYI: Many conservation efforts are financed by a special hunting gear tax. This, along with hunting limits, has brought back wild turkey in North Carolina, along with many species of wildlife across the country. 

Class also = Free Cool Patch

Class also = Free Patch = Super Cool

Although some are super-focused with their eye on the trophy prize, most hunters enjoy feeding themselves and their family with a successful kill. Both are accepted as long as species are not depleted and meat not wasted (many food banks have hunter/processor donors).

I cannot deny that it would be exciting to get a giant set of antlers as an added bonus. But, for me, it is a good way to live off the land without eating the livestock (I often think of them as pets).

If I actually bag a deer, I’ll be bringing home the bacon. And you’ll be the first to know when I am successful (well, maybe second)!

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