Are You Ready for Hunting Season?

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During this time of year when the temperatures have been hovering over the 100 degree mark in South Texas for as many days as I can remember, we do whatever we can to stay cool.  Sometimes, it means that we just stay inside.  It’s difficult to imagine that we will ever have an opportunity to wear the fall clothes that are now on the racks at all the stores.  Buying school clothes is difficult to say the least.  How can we justify buying sweaters and jackets.  Sadly, if we wait until the two or three days that we’ll need these items in South Texas, they’ll be sold out.

I love to have “Cook All Day” venison and pork in the freezer so that I have on hand just what I need for family favorites like carne guisada, venison and Guinness stew, pot pies and the like.  However, the thought of having the oven on all day during the summer months is hellish.deer in velvet, chicken enchiladas, picadillo, sorghum 070
Mental Note:  Prepare large quantities of “Cook All Day” venison and pork during the cooler days of winter, spring, and autumn.  Package it up in one-pound packages and freeze for future use (during the hellishly hot days of July and August).

However, as hot as it is,  I relish the opportunity to start gearing up for Hunting Season and the cooler temperatures that accompany it.

The signs are everywhere!  Hunting season is just around the corner.  It’s time to get ready.  It’s time to service the ATVs.  Buy ammo (Good luck!).  Fill feeders.  Start planning!  I love to plan!

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It was on a recent visit to San Antonio that we got our first indication that hunting season is right around the corner. My mom lives on a couple of acres in a wooded neighborhood.There have been deer in the area since the family moved there 40 years ago. The deer of many generations are like members of the family.  They sleep in the yard and no longer run away when we cross paths.

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It’s understood that these are not “eating” deer, not for harvesting.  These are decorative deer.  They are here for us to enjoy in their majesty, beauty, and sometimes playfulness.  The bucks are in velvet now.  The speckled fawns are running and jumping.  My junior deerslayers understood early on the difference between Gran and Grandpa’s deer and those with which we fill the freezers.

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 This time last year, for the first time since my married life to the Deerslayer, I had a bare freezer!  I actually purchased meat from a grocer a couple of times.  I was lost; completely out of my element.  This year, the freezers are comfortably stocked. Not full, but not empty, either.  Each year,  I set aside several large muscle cuts of venison or elk until the end of the season.  If our provisions get too low, I can use them for meals, usually Venison or Elk Parmesan or  Marsala, Pecan-Crusted Steaks, or, of course Chicken Fried Steaks.

If the meat holds out until the first harvest of the season, I use the large muscles for a Deerslayer favorite; jerky!  The large muscles lend themselves nicely to long, flavorful strips of jerky.  I haven’t found anyone yet who doesn’t think that the venison or elk jerky is some of the best they’ve ever eaten.  The instructions and recipe will be available in about a month if the meat lasts!

So, for those of you who are part of the Deerslayer brotherhood, enjoy the planning and the anticipation! The journey is part of the fun.  I’ll be back soon to share some great jerky instructions.

Don’t forget, whitewing season is also coming up!

2 Comments on “Are You Ready for Hunting Season?

  1. Whew. In a way, I’m glad our would-have-been vacation down to Texas got cancelled. I knew it would be nasty hot. We had our little two-week heat wave and we’re back to having temps in the 50s at night. I’ve already noticed a couple leaves starting to turn. It makes me sad because Wisconsin winter is coming, and it will suck. The first frost is just over a month away, maybe. Buying long sleeves up here isn’t as stomach turning- a few nights we’ve already needed sweatshirts. They’ve had overnight lows in the low 40s up north where Matt’s from. I’m even in the market for some actual matching, functioning wool baselayers for cold weather hunting up here. I used cotton last year- ill advised, and that day out hunting in deep snow and 15 degrees was the worst I’ve ever had. Beyond that, all we’re doing is scouting out public land. No land of our own to prep yet.

    • You have no idea how much I envy your temps! Our low temp last night was 82! Yuck! I’m pretty sure I could never tolerate your winters, though! My wimpy side would definitely come out! Brrrr.

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