A Trip into the Deer Woods

Deer season is like a religious experience, every year men take a journey to better connect with themselves and reconnect with nature.  In the days and weeks leading up to the hunt there is an air of excitement, it’s always hard for me to get sleep leading up to opening day. I eagerly go over my rifle, making sure that every inch of it is clean and well oiled. I set my alarm and get up feeling groggy, but excited, a couple cups of coffee keeps me awake enough to make the trek into the woods. It’s simply beautiful out there, listening to the woods awake. I always get excited when I hear squirrels running through the dead leaves on the ground. It’s a primal feeling sitting there, hoping for that perfect deer to walk by. It’s only after a while that the cold November morning starts to creep inside. For years I never had a tree stand, and had to sit in on the ground, stealing away any thoughts of warmth.  The hours go by as i think about the past year and all of the things I’ve done with it, it’s like meditation, entranced, scanning my view for any sign of deer. The longer I wait, the more those squirrels start to sound like herds of deer all around me.  Like a mirage appearing in the desert, the image of a doe walks into my view. I carefully get my rifle ready, checking to see if there’s anything obstructing my shot, then i hold on target, waiting for the best possible shot. I say a quick prayer to god as i gently squeeze the trigger, aiming for a quick death. The shot pulls me out of my trance, the deer is down. I get up and make my way to the deer, I always say a prayer and thank the deer for the gift of sustenance that she has given me. After i clean Her up and get all the guts out, I hang her in the barn for a while and savor my victory. A quick breakfast of biscuits and gravy help me regain my energy for the task of processing the doe into all of the choice cuts. This time  I decide to experiment by cutting part of the backstrap with the ribs in, and leaving the other side boneless. I can’t wait to take some steaks, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper; and toss them into a sizzling cast iron skillet, tossing in some garlic and sprigs of rosemary for company. Once they are almost perfect it’s time to toss in a pat of butter and baste them to glorious perfection. A quick sauce of red wine and cherries clean all of the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan, drizzling sweet sauce over beautiful steaks, nestled on the plate next to a pile of new potatoes, and with that, another deer season success and plenty of meals fit for a king await me in my wait for next years high holy day.

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