A vest full of food

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His golden brown hunting vest was worn and spotted with stain. Some of the pockets bulged. There were so many little pockets. I had never seen anyone wear anything like this. I was (maybe) just school age, but I remember Dad opening a pocket so I could see the fluffy brown fur inside – a rabbit. I touched the soft fur, and I don’t think it bothered me that it was dead since I hadn’t watched it happen.

Dad made it clear that if you killed it – you ate it, but the big job of cleaning your kill comes in between. It sounds like work even for an experienced hunter but for Dad, who didn’t do much hunting, it was a big project – not to mention the cooking. Mom was not one to experiment much with our normal foods, so what about this rabbit thing that came for dinner wearing its coat? What does she do with it?

I think this is one reason we didn’t enjoy wild game when we had it. The way it’s packaged if you have to freeze it and the way it’s prepared for the table make every difference. Now, I look forward to a freezer full of venison each winter. One of my husband’s friends from work tries to get as many deer as he is allowed and because of this he is willing to share. We have ours mostly ground – put up in shrink wrapped one-pound packages, and it is wonderful to use for chili, tacos, and anything that you’d use hamburger for – but so lean!

For the beginning of hunting season, we are bringing you some suggestions and tips for using your meat from the woods. Safe and happy hunting!

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