Monday, May 12, 2014
My Bug, The Huntress
(WARNING: This photo on the left, showing The Bug how she looks on a daily basis, is the only non-graphic photo on today's post. If you don't want to see the rest, leave now. I won't mind. The upcoming photos are from cell phones, so the quality isn't the best.)
When I was living the frolicking life of a single girl in the Rockies, I was a vegetarian. It wasn't political, necessarily. It was more because I didn't cook and I wasn't fond of the taste of meat. It was just easier for me to be a vegetarian. Back in the day, none of my friends were hunters. The thought of it never crossed my mind, except the one time my companion and I were backpacking and we ran into hunters. And then, my only thought was that my clothes were brown and tan and that was probably not good. My pack was colorful, so I hoped that was enough. We survived the hunters, but the cattle that tore through our campsite caused quite a bit of damage. Fast-forward to when I met the Bird Man on a trip back East. The first thing he told me was that he is a hunter. I realized then that I did have an opinion about hunting, and it was not a positive one. He took a lot of time and patience to talk with me about why it is necessary for the environment, that he eats the animals he hunts, that his dad was a retired game warden and he and his friends are always safe and legal in their approach to hunting. I returned to the Rockies with lots to ponder. I was hot for this guy, but he hunted. And he lived back East. Two huge strikes against him. Well, here I am...been with him for nearly 21 years now. And the first meat I ate after several years without it was a quail/woodcock/duck/goose/turkey medley. And holy crap was it good! One of the last things I gave up when I stopped eating meat was elk. So I could not wait for him to cook venison for me. And when he did, that was probably when I decided to stick with him for the duration. But all these years later, I still tuck that part of him aside and don't acknowledge it much to people I don't know very well. Not fair to him, I know.
She always makes sure her nails are painted and she has earrings in before she goes hunting. Always a lady. She skinned the bear, cut off the fat, cut up the meat and wrapped it. She is not squeamish in the least.
Then she got a deer in 2012. She processed the whole thing with the Bird Man again. He does the cooking but she is hands on in everything else. She is the only female who hunts with The Bird Man's friends. They all have a tremendous amount of respect for her. A lot of them are older than we are and they tell the Bird Man how she breathes new life into the group. Her personality and her sweetness are comforting and infectious to all who know her. She is truly golden.
I thought maybe the bear was given to her by the divine intervention of her late game warden grandfather.
I thought maybe the deer was a lucky shot too. But then when this happened, I had to admit that The Bug is probably a good hunter. But I still had my doubts.
Deer 2013. Impossible to deny the strength of her skills now. This deer provided a lot of meals, most recently last night for Mother's Day dinner.
Sitting down to meals that came from the garden and from the healthy woods around us...it is hard to think of a better way to eat. Not all meals are that quality, but we sure savor the ones that come along. At some point in the meal, one of the hunters asks "Who eats better than us?!" In unison the rest of us say, "No One!"
(our other motto, coined by Sunshine Girl : We clink before we drink)
The Bug is so much more than a hunter and I think I take the easy way out and focus on those other sides of her and tuck away the hunting, which isn't right. She is a runner, a violin player, the most gracious sister/daughter/granddaughter/niece/friend, a helper, a near perfect student, a care giver, a good listener, a loyal person, and a very accurate hunter. Should she ever abandon the finer things she likes and live off the land, no doubt she and her family will never starve.
Like a lot of people, due to conflicting thoughts, I enjoy the benefit of the meat without fully acknowledging how it got on my plate. I need to stop being hypocritical and embrace what my family does. I never thought I would give birth to a hunter, but...ya just never know what life hands you!
I love my Bug and Huntress she has become.