Yep, I did it. Went and posted one of those "icky" pictures of a dead deer with it's tongue hanging out. At least it isn't on our Christmas card (sorry, Jaimie, couldn't help myself...hehe :)
I'm so grateful for my husband, Jeremy, who is a wonderful provider for our family. He works so very hard managing our farm. This year, we were blessed with FANTASTIC weather during harvest, so we're done early. What a blessing compared to the challenges of the last two harvests. In 2008, we finished corn harvest in late December (and I delivered our youngest daughter two days later).
Last year, well, last year's harvest never did end until THIS year in April. So needless to say, Jeremy and our crew needed a break.
So for the first time in a few years, Jeremy got a chance to go hunting. The alarm went off long before dawn yesterday and he was out the door to meet our good friend, Casey, who doesn't know this, but I call him "The Deer Whisperer". Oh well, I guess he knows now :)
Here Casey is showing C.W. (in the puppy hat) the deer Jeremy got.
Casey is an excellent hunter and we are so glad to have a good friendship and working relationship with him. When things go right, farmers and hunters can have respectful, symbiotic relationships. The hunter benefits from enjoying a little R&R on our land and taking some venison home and we enjoy a slightly smaller deer population, which helps decrease damage to our crops and decreases the chances of me hitting one of them with my pick-up.
To tell you the truth, I really like deer. Their behavior truly intrigues me. They are ruminants, so they consume roughage and digest it through a four-compartment stomach, just like domesticated sheep, cattle and goats, but they are wild, so I often run comparisons of domesticated vs. wild ruminant behaviors through my head. When I am sitting in the doctor's office or salon (rarely...ha!), I read Field & Stream instead of People Magazine and at home I find myself gravitating toward hunting shows when I get a few minutes to watch TV.
I know, I'm an animal science geek like that.
However, what I like MOST about deer is that we farmers support and care for their habitat all year and eventually they give us a little payback, in the form of venison....YUM...
These steaks are marinating in a mixture of vinegar, vegetable oil, and a McCormick's Garlic Peppercorn seasoning packet.
First, to God for giving my family the priviledge of caring for His creation, our land and all the wildlife it holds.
Second, for my husband, the provider, for bringing meat home to our family.
Third, for the great hunt he had. He's a little bummed that his hunting this year is over so quickly because he was only out a few hours, but from what I heard of it, it was a nearly perfect hunt. Jeremy dropped this beautiful buck with one shot, straight through both lungs and the heart. He died instantly and simply fell over.
Fourth, I am thankful for the opportunity to explain to my daughter the "circle of life". No, not the Lion King song, but one of the real life lessons that farm kids understand from a young age.
C.W. wanted to touch the deer, so we let her. She wasn't sad, just curious to see what "his fur" felt like. Then we explained that God made all of us, even the deer, and that everything that lives eventually dies, but God has a special purpose for each of our lives. The purpose He gave that deer was to feed our family and we are to be very thankful for that.
Have a safe and bountiful hunting season everyone!