We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's the end of hunting season, and I have not killed enough stuff this year to satisfy the hunter in me. I have a doe in the freezer, countless pheasants and chukars, a few Canada Geese and a bunch of ducks of several species. A couple of grouse, but we have eaten most of them and all of the woodcock. (Ask me how to make woodcock ravioli with jus de gibier and black truffle - I will tell you.)
There is a feeling of regret. How many hunting seasons does a man have in one lifetime? And work, family, and obligations intrude, as they should and must. Carpe diem, if you can. It's been a terrible winter for ducks - weather too pleasant.
The only consolation is that it is now time to really get cooking all of the good game in the freezer. For starters, we're doing a large-scale venison bourguignon for a get-together next weekend. The following week, will do the venison filets for some lucky guests. With the Canada geese, I will have a small party and sautee the breasts rare with some mushrooms and celery root puree, with gibier sauce, etc. For the ducks - oh, man. Very special recipes for those precious wild spirits, which I may write about sometime. For the Snow Geese, a nice cassoulet with some other mixed game. For all the bones, wings, carcasses, etc., including the carcass of the Thanksgiving turkey and the bone of the Christmas ham, we'll make a gallon or two of Uncle Bill's jus de gibier, to use with everything, saving some of it for a special, once a year consomme de gibier for Valentine's Day.
Despite all of these delights, I'd rather be in the woods and swamps with the dogs and a gun.
Spring turkey season opens next month in Alabama, and I plan to participate. The following month it opens here in South Dakota, then in May, off to a spring bear hunt in Manitoba. Hopefully, more food in the freezer. And after a 3 month lag, archery deer season opens again. I am retired and life is good. Cheers.
Interesting that you write "the woods and swamps".
My hunting is Western Canada and my built in mental vision is "the prairies and the coulees, the mountains and foothills". We don't have much forest or swamp.
I was able this year to spend a lot of time hunting the upper, upper, upper Mississippi (the Milk River), in southern Alberta hunting both Mule and White Tail, and my dreams are of big sky, wide open land and dry air with very light snow cover over desert-like badlands.
But it's all the same, ain't it?
How about you guys post a few Google Earth references for where you hunt. Here's mine.
Agree, the transition from hunting takes its toll, especially since ice fishing doesn’t help me. If the Big Manistee River is open I’ll fish for steelhead – that helps. If there’s too much ice in the river I clean weapons, review gear, plot & plan, hand-load, and make ready for the turkey season. I also enjoy cooking, and trying new game recipes. Occasionally I take a trip south to hunt, Texas and Mexico. They are lovely from January to April. After that, can resume my local atavistic pursuits.
Down here in the Mississippi Delta game is plentiful and varied. From cottontails to trophy whitetail and all in between. Mallards galore at times and I've even hunted snipe, a young mans sport. Don't get me started on bedding bluegill with a fly rod. There is no finer fighter pound to pound than bream in May. I've hunted pheasant in South Dakota and dove in Argitenia, but the MS Delta matches all