Monday, November 09, 2009

Deer Season

Deer hunting season is upon us - bowhunting now, shotgun next month. Normally deer season comes and goes with me remaining oblivious to its passing, aside from the occasional gift of deer meat from friends. This year is different.

My son, all of his life, rejected his dad's offers to go hunting together. Refused to eat fresh-caught fish and said he'd sooner eat dirt than a rabbit. He told me in no uncertain terms that he could never hunt, could never even support hunting, because it was stupid to kill a wild animal when there were animals raised specifically for food. And come to think of it, he wasn't so sure he was okay with that either. I was bracing myself for a declaration of vegetarianism. I even went as far as researching vegetarian diets, variations on meals we already eat.. the whole deal.

Then something strange happened. Suddenly he was eating all the beef he could get his hands on, and a few deer burgers convinced him deer was the Best Meat Ever. He thought maybe he'd like to try hunting for NON-food animals, so my country friend took him prairie dog hunting in SD for a few days. You could almost smell the change on him when he came home. It happened one step at a time, but it felt like a flash to me. Now he's gun-crazy, scanning guns & ammo magazines, visiting the local Bass Pro and drooling over the rifles. He can't stop talking about how much meat we can get "for free" (ha! hasn't bought a hunting license lately, I see).

Then there was this crazy thing I did. I went and bought a book on brain tanning, hoping to try making buckskins. Call it a homeschool project. I bought the book before my son's drastic transformation from border-veggie to hunter-killer, and had asked several of my hunting friends, "Hey, when you get a deer, save me the hide and brains, k? And it has to be fresh, so call me right away. Cuz I'm doin this thing.." They shook their heads, because they know how weird adventurous I am, but they all promised me the hide.

Well, without me even noticing, it's Deer Season. The day of reckoning approaches. I, one who can barely handle boiling a chicken, will very likely have a large - and freshly killed by my firstborn child - animal in my back yard being cleaned (why is such a bloody messy job called "cleaning"?) I will, regardless of my son's success, have someone's deer hide with bits of .. you can imagine what.. on it, waiting for me to soak and scrape, stretch and oil. And brains?!?! What the hell was I thinking??

Please keep me in your thoughts. I have made my bed, so to speak. It would harm my pride be wrong not to lie in it. I'm just hoping I can do this with a smile.

**sniff** that's my baby


Gail said...

I almost got sucked into the world of tanning a couple of years ago when the kids thought it would be totally cool. Thank god no one actually handed us a hide. And these days the kids act totally blank, like they have no memory of insisting that they wanted to do this.

Ami said...

I love venison.Hubby no longer hunts, because for him to do so costs more than it would cost to buy half a beef.

And of course there's the fact that no one in our home will eat venison except for me.

I'm interested to hear how your attempts at tanning hides goes.

Will you wear them plain or have them made into something?


Christine said...

Brain Tanning? Um, ewww. The book looks neat, but I can't imagine me actually doing something like that. Of course I never imagined doing some of the things I've done as a nurse, either (that was MY hand in that infected chest wound? eww).

It is nice to see you blogging again! I haven't done so in a long, long time and can't seem to find anything to blog about. My life is sooo exciting! You'll have to put plenty of pictures when you blog about your tanning experience.

MOM #1 said...

That really is a turn of events in your son. Isn't it funny how we think they'll head in one direction and they totally go the opposite way? Motherhood, I guess.

I don't like hunting, but my father in law's living room looks like some sort of pet cemetery, so I guess I'm used to it.

Sort of.

Happy tanning! Post photos.