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Successful Homesteading, Issue # 67, A Deer Horror Story
October 31, 2019

Issue #67, October 31, 2019

A Deer Horror Story

If you’re new to homesteading, you may feel your life is a bit like a horror story sometimes. It felt that way for me just recently, when my son burst into the house and shouted, “I shot a deer!”

My twelve-year-old son is an avid hunter. He collects pictures of deer, has an impressive collection of hunting gear and spends most of the year dreaming of deer season. My husband built a blind for him, and he’s been lurking there every day. So, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when he shot one with his compound bow.

Field Dressing Nightmare

I love fresh venison as much as the next person. I’m just not so crazy about the process of procuring fresh venison. First of all, you have to field dress the deer. Or at least I have to field dress a deer, since our son isn’t strong enough yet to do it himself. If you’re not familiar with field dressing, you can watch a video here, although I will warn you that field dressing – like butchering chickens – is not for the faint of heart. Then you have to cut up the meat.

For whatever reason, the two times my son has shot a deer on our property, it was near dusk, meaning that when we finally found the deer, it was dark. Gutting a deer by flashlight is an unforgettable experience. So is hauling a dead deer onto a wheelbarrow and wheeling it back to your house so you can hose it down and cut up the meat. By flashlight, of course.

Homesteading Scares

It always feels to me a bit like a horror movie, except of course, a deer is the one getting killed rather than a teenager.

Let’s face it. All kinds of things you learn homesteading can be a little scary. Pursuing self-reliant living means doing things you never thought you’d do. Like butchering chickens (Tales from the Killing Cone); running from bees (They Came, They Stung); or chasing a goat that got out of that fence again (Goats Escape!).

But it’s the scary things, and what you learn from them, that make life rich. Here’s hoping your Halloween is more adventure than scary, and my your homesteading be joyful.


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