Tag Archives: hunting

Wordless Wednesday: Women Hunters

20131106-200838.jpg

2 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, food, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

Deer Hunting: Cutting and Wrapping

WARNING! This might be considered by some to be gross, inappropriate, or tragic, but I think it is extremely important share the how’s, what’s and why’s of our food. If you have any questions about anything you see please ask – I love to share about the ranch.

When you hunt, I think the easy part is the actual hunt. After you kill your buck you then must skin it, hang it and cut and wrap it. I can safely say from experience, I could not do these things by myself, yet.

I’m very lucky that I have a wonderful group of people that are there to teach me and support me. This year I felt like I learned more than ever before. I’m ready to do it again!

The first step after you kill a buck is to skin it and remove the organs. My Dad and Uncle lectured us for days about this process, they feel like you can really screw up good buck meat if you do this process wrong.

You start skinning on the back leg.

You start skinning on the back leg being careful to avoid the scent glad at the knee.

The scent glad on a deer is on the back inside leg, the bucks will pee on themselves there, and it stinks. My Dad and Uncle explain to us every time we kill a buck to remove those, very carefully.

You work down from the legs until you can hang the deer on a gamble  and continue skinning.

You work down from the back legs until you can hang the deer on a gamble and continue skinning.

Deer on the gamble.

Deer on the gamble. Your goal here is to keep the deer as clean as you can as you dress him.

Once the deer is on the gamble you can start skinning. My Dad uses the "punch" method - where you kinda use your fist to remove the hide.

Once the deer is on the gamble you can start skinning. My Dad uses the “punch” method – where you kinda use your fist to remove the hide.

The exit wound from my shot. I basically shot his heart, so his death was very fast.

The exit wound from my shot. I basically shot his heart, so his death was very fast.

See how the hide came off nicely? No hunks of meat attached? That is some expert skinning work right there, I have a lot to learn.

See how the hide came off nicely? No hunks of meat attached? That is some expert skinning work right there, I have a lot to learn.

Once he is skinned, it's time to remove the organs.

Once he is skinned, it’s time to remove the organs.

Removing the bladder can be a scary job. If you puncture it, buck pee will get on your meat, and trust me, you don't want that.

Removing the bladder can be a scary job. If you puncture it, buck pee will get on your meat, and trust me, you don’t want that.

After you remove the bladder you can safely remove the rest of the organs. My Dad is holding the heart here.

After you remove the bladder you can safely remove the rest of the organs. My Dad is holding the heart here.

After the deer is skinned and gutted he is placed in a “buck bag” and transported to our neighbor Pete’s walk-in box to hang for a few days. Pete was kind enough to offer to cut my buck up for me. I was really excited because that meant I could watch, learn and help! Pete has a great space to cut and wrap meat and he is amazing at it. This whole process probably took less than 30 minutes.

Pete started with the backstrap. Arguably the best cut.

Pete started with the backstrap. Arguably the best cut.

Pretty.

Pretty.

He made steaks, roasts and stew meat for me.

He made steaks, roasts and stew meat for me.

I wrapped.

I wrapped.

Daniel labeled. I told him this was a special package for our harvest party, he labeled it as such.

Daniel labeled. I told him this was a special package for our harvest party, he labeled it as such.

Before and after.

Before and after.

I didn’t kill the biggest of bucks this year, but as they say ‘you can’t eat the horns’. I find that these little bucks taste much better than the old bucks anyway. I was thrilled with myself and had an amazing time learning and doing. Next year I plan on being almost able to do this all myself. This is a skill that is important to me and I feel like it is becoming more rare, not ok!

Dad, Uncle Steven and Pete thank you so much for included me and letting me have this incredible experience.  It means a lot to me that you made a big deal over this for me. I can’t wait to eat this guy and share him with my urban friends that don’t get to eat yummy venison ever.

4 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, food, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

Deer Hunting 2013

As most of you know I drew a deer tag this year. It’s been a long time since I have had the urge to hunt, around 6 years. After years and years of having the local dear population gorge themselves on my garden, I’ve had enough. I figured, it’s time they fed me for a change!

For the record hunting isn’t a huge passion of mine. It’s generally early, cold, I have to pee outside and there is no where to wash my hands, a little too much like camping. This year was different, I had a really, really good time. It was cold and stuff, but it was worth it!

I wanted to share some pictures from the few days I spent hunting. When I thought about it, many people in the general population never gets to see this. So, I’m sharing.

Opening day it raining, it was freezing because I did not dress for that, but I powered through and took some neat pictures.

Opening day and it’s raining, I’m freezing because I did not dress for that, but I powered through and took some neat pictures.

My Dad (pictured), loves to hunt. It's his happy place. I started to hunt because it was a way for me to bond with him.

My Dad (pictured), loves to hunt. It’s his happy place. I started to hunt because it was a way for me to bond with him.

Watching dawn break over the hills above Chico was stunning. And cold.

Watching dawn break over the hills above Chico was stunning. And cold.

Clouds over a canyon. panoramic

Clouds over a canyon. panoramic

My Uncle had to sit in between my cousin and I because apparently "we were talking too much".

My Uncle had to sit in between my cousin and I because apparently “we were talking too much”. Also: notice the RAIN?

The first day ended with no luck. Mainly just doe's and a few fawns. Can you see them?

The first day ended with no luck. Mainly just doe’s and a few fawns. Can you see them?

The second day I went was just my Dad and I. My Dad and I haven’t had a Daddy/Daughter hunt in years. I think I can only remember once, actually. So it was a lot of fun, to spend a day together on the ranch. Now this particular ranch I don’t know that well. I didn’t grow up on it, I didn’t spend much time on it because of my Dad’s insane interesting family. Things have calmed down so I now feel safe to be there. The day quickly turned into sight seeing and story telling, as we realized the deer population was just not there. My Dad mentioned several times to “put that in the blog”, referring to some picture or story.

My Dad told me a story about how he missed a week of high school to build this fence (it's in pure rock and very steep). His PE teacher was gonna flunk him - my dad's shop teacher saved his butt. My Dad pointed out to the PE teacher that he was being physical by building this fence. The PE teacher is wasn't just about being physical, it was about "getting along with your fellow man". The shop teacher reminded the PE teacher about my Dad's infamous older brothers. Dad passed.

My Dad told me a story about how he missed a week of high school to build this fence (it’s in pure rock and very steep). His PE teacher was gonna flunk him – my Dad’s shop teacher saved his butt. My Dad pointed out to the PE teacher that he was being physical by building this fence. The PE teacher said it wasn’t just about being physical, it was about “getting along with your fellow man”. The shop teacher reminded the PE teacher about my Dad’s infamous older brothers. Dad passed.

It's like a cairn, but natural! Isn't it neat!?

It’s like a cairn, but natural! Isn’t it neat!?

One of my favorite places on the ranch is here. It's Indian grinding bowls built into the creek bed.

One of my favorite places on the ranch is here. It’s Indian grinding bowls built into the creek bed.

My Dad and Uncle (the one that is featured in this blog) took all of my cousins and I here when we were little. It was a glorious day of my childhood I remember well.

My Dad and Uncle (the one that is featured in this blog) took all of my cousins and I here when we were little. It was a glorious day of my childhood I remember well.

Part of the ranch has these beautiful rock walls built on it. They are impressive. I cannot imagine how hard and heavy it would have been to build.

Part of the ranch has these beautiful rock walls built on it. They are impressive. I cannot imagine how hard and heavy it would have been to build.

This was my favorite part of the rock walls, it's a little tunnel for a creek!

This was my favorite part of the rock walls, it’s a little tunnel for a creek!

Seriously, you guys, look at this!

Seriously, you guys, look at this!

A super neat tree. My Dad happens to mention it would be a great place for bridal pictures. Subtle, Dad, subtle.

A super neat tree. My Dad happened to mention it would be a great place for bridal pictures. Subtle, Dad, subtle.

Again, we saw no legal bucks. Just doe's, see?

Again, we saw no legal bucks. Just doe’s, see?

This is a spring where the Native American's carved  a drinking basin (sorry for the crappy picture).

This is a spring where the Native American’s carved a drinking basin (sorry for the crappy picture).

The Sutter Butte from the ranch.

The Sutter Butte from the ranch.

The other side of the fence is Upper Bidwell Park and directly ahead, the City of Chico.

The other side of the fence is Upper Bidwell Park and directly ahead, the City of Chico.

Finally at 7:00 AM on Saturday morning (the THIRD morning), I spotted a little buck, and by 7:01, I had shot him through the chest. My Dad and Uncle said I almost missed. I say I planned it like that so I wouldn’t waste any meat because I never would have heard the end of it. I maintain that a childhood filled with duck hunter on Nintendo prepared me to be a very, very good shot. Plus part of hunting is stick poking. If you screw up, or miss you hear about it FOR YEARS. I make an effort to screw up as little as possible.

YAY! After years of supplying the local deer population with tomatoes and other fresh veggies, they are supply me with meat! Plus it was a lot of fun to spend time with my family, learn about the ranch and take some neat pictures share.

YAY! After years of supplying the local deer population with tomatoes and other fresh veggies, they are supplying me with meat! Plus it was a lot of fun to spend time with my family, learn about the ranch and take some neat pictures to share.

I’m going to up to cut and wrap by buck tomorrow. I plan on showing that and the field dressing of my buck in the next blog. Stayed tuned and leave me questions if there is anything you want to know. Thank you for looking!

5 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, family, Field Trip, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: This Year’s Buck

20130730-211227.jpg

Leave a Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Ranchie and Her Buck

IMAGE0001

IMAGE0002

1 Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, family, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: The Survivor

20121017-111323.jpg

Leave a Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday