Several weeks ago Matt arrived with the deer stand he wanted to put up here at HomePlace.
We aren't talking about a one man blind or mini tree house.
Oh no! You must remember this is Matt's deer stand.
Some assembly was required.
I told him that was no problem. I was going to use it for guest quarters in the off season.
O' Dark early the first day of deer season Matt and his six year old son, Spud, made their way out to the Bambi Hilton. By sun up Spud was board and preparing to perform Sponge Bob's greatest hits. In interest of sanity (his) and survival (Spud's) Matt brought him to us at the house...bless his heart!
While walking back to the Bambi Hilton he spotted an eight point buck staring at the thing trying to figure out what it was. He droppeed the distracted beast from less than 50 yards.
Matt dragged the beastie back to the house and he was showing me where he had first seen it. A moment later I realized he was handing me his rifle and whispering "This one is yours." Halfway between us and The Bambi Hilton a second smaller buck had wandered to the edge of the electricity right of way. He was quartering us facing away and never knew what happened.
This one was not as large as the first, but still respectable. It just barely made seven points. We had taken two in less than 30 minutes. Of course that's when the real work started. We had to hurry because the marauders were gathering. Don't laugh; these thugs haven't let me keep a single squirrel I've shot for the last two years.
I would be all day trying to list the things we have learned from my best friend, Hangman, over the years but key for the moment was to bleed the deer (or anything else) and have the meat on ice as soon as possible. It was my job to hoist the deer to be skinned, bled and dressed.
If you have a Dodge M-37 with an 8,000 Lb. winch it would be foolish not to use it. Matt got started on the first deer while Helene and I went to town for salt, baggies and ice.
In about three hours both animals were in Matt's big cooler with lots of ice and salt water to help draw out the blood. About seven last night I dumped the water, rinsed the meat and repacked it in ice for the rest of the night.
This afternoon Matt, Helene, Matt's wife Stacy and our Grand Daughter Ali processed the meat and packed it for freezing. I thought when hauling it around last night there must have been 100 Lbs. worth of meat. Matt estimated after boning there was closer to 125 Lbs. Either way it's a lot. With the way beef prices are soaring that will go a long way toward feeding our extended family in the coming months.
As the Mackenzie say in S. M. Sterling's Change novels, "We take in need and not in wantonness." That's a thought even a Presbyterian can get behind.