I didn't grow up in a household that 'hunts'.
Nor did I grow up in a house that ate deer meat (aka venison) unless it was we call ring bologna. So, when I started dating my guy, it was a bit of a shock to my delicate city girl sensibilities.
Haha, yeah, I'm about as delicate as an anvil you think.
But one of our first 'dates' was a hunting excursion in a picked bean field that ended with my husband harvesting one of the biggest antlered deer of his life. I vaguely remember helping Kenny load up that deer - because I wanted to be cool - and about hurfing into my elbow, but I did 'er. Although, if you ask Kenny today, he might tell you I was a very pretty particular shade of green.
It took me years to get the hang of hunting, and I even took a spin behind the gun - albeit after I passed a hunter's safety course - and it just wasn't for me.
And to keep it real, I've rarely shared any of this during my online life of over eight years. Why? Because in a lot of places, this isn't socially acceptable.
It's like talking religion and politics (I believe in God for the record and it's my business the way I vote).
But, this is part of my yearly life. Whether it be bowhunting, muzzleloader, or plain old-fashioned shotgun, this is a part of my life.
Every year, we grind up deer meet and stock up the freezer and/or drag out the canning jars and spend a couple days in the kitchen with a pressure canner, stocking up our pantry with ball jars full of deer meat.
These days feel a bit like the olden-times, I admit. A lot of times, we've spent those days with other folks in our kitchen, children running in and out of the rooms in our small home, and people talking over each other, men sharing stories, and women catching up with their daily lives and trials that go along with being the Momma or the wife or little Suzie or Jimmy not passing algebra this year.
There's a community in those hunters.
They often drag boats out in the middle of the winter, freezing and cold, tramping up and down sandbars.
Do I think they're crazy for this?
You bet your ass, I do. But, it's their thing.
It's a family thing, too.
I've watched three out of four of my children go out in the mornings and evenings in South-Central Iowa to sit with my hubby in a deer blind and wait for them to come home in the bleary darkness with a harvest or not.
I have deer heads mounted on my living room wall. Why? Because it's important to my hubby. I mean the little buggers are hard as hell to decorate around, no lie, but it's important to him ergo it's important to me.
Do I love sinks full of deer meat? Sure. It's all about the bottom line for me. It stocks our freezer, it cuts down on people hitting deer, and it thins out an overpopulated herd.
We have many a lively discussion in our house about hunting and trapping because obviously not everyone agrees with this way of life. But, it's our life. This is my life.
So, for the next few months until Christmas, this will be my life: Pressure canners, ball jars, meat grinders, and camo and safety orange.