Is hunting wildcrafting?
I would like to say that the reason for me not blogging last week was in respect of the election, but the truth is I had lost inspiration. (The same day my phone screen shatters...still need to replace it. All of these pictures were taken on my husband's phone.) Oh, things have been happening that's for sure! There is never a dull moment in my life. I wake up at 6:30 am rushing into the day, shove an egg in my face and head off to go about my work as a daycare teacher. Around 2:00 in the afternoon (if I don't work later) I leave work and the rest of the day is messaging with people, making products, cleaning, editing - creating. Once the food is cooked and ate, the house is a tad bit cleaner (some days you win, some days you lose), and goals have been worked on, I go to bed around 11:00 (if not later) with my head spinning 'round and 'round with ideas and concerns. Oh, and when my new semester of school starts, I'll also be doing school work.
And I'm not even a mom yet.
I'm not meaning to sound like a "woe-is-me" individual, I just don't think you guys want blog posts about what my daily life has been like here lately. I try to find adventure in every day and I have a little "pleather" bound book titled "My Thoughts" in gold print on the front that I write in daily that focuses in on what I found to be my adventure for the day. It keeps things positive and interesting. Not everyone finds those simple adventures to be as entertaining, so I lost some inspiration for a while...
But I found some this week.
One foggy morning last week Ryan and I were on our way to the daycare when he noticed a car pulled over with a woman standing over a hit deer. Ryan told me he was going back for them after he'd drop me off at work, and I thought he was going to check on the woman and offer her a ride if her car was damaged. "Well that's sweet of you", I said. Nope, he went back for the deer.
I arrived home that afternoon to find Ryan working on his first deer skin. I'm not going to lie, I was sick to my stomach when he asked me to help him move it. After a few days of treating the skin, we huddled around a fire at night smoking the skin and watching it cure.
It was cozy snuggling up in front of the fire while a stray kitty we named Abi came to also share the warmth. The skin began to give off the aroma of smoked venison and I was then able to touch it and not feel weird about it. It's natural, it's a part of life we have to accept: all things come to an end and with a purpose.
We talked about the many uses of the different parts of the deer. Ryan is a firm believer in not wasting one part, if possible, of what you kill when hunting. With deer he wants to one day be able to not only using the hides, but also be able to make canvas out of the sinew and things like needles or knives or beads from the bones. For now, though, we're learning.
Bentley was not as accepting as us, though! I don't think our sweet puppy has ever seen his dad take apart an animal and do what he did with it. I began to worry if we scarred him. Once the skin was finished, we laid it on the floor for Bentley to check it out. Oh no, Bentley was not sure of what to make of it! He was not touching it. He walked around it, not on it. We put it on top of him when he was lying down and he slowly got up to get away from it. We put it in front of the entrance of the room, and he was trapped in the room.
Nope, he was not cool with the skin.
Sunday, a neighbor and his wife gave my dad four deer they had killed while out hunting. With my sister, her husband, and Ryan and I there my dad and mom put us all to work right away. I had mixed feelings at first. Ryan and I try to observe the sabbath, so that means we don't do "work" on Sundays and we try to keep it a day of rest. However. there are clauses where the Law does say that if it pertains to our survival we can do it - only if we have to! These are emergency cases only, and you cannot let four deer wait a day to be cleaned and processed. So we worked.
There was so much meat! As we rinsed and cut and sorted, I realized that I wasn't sickened by the meat anymore. It was my sister and I's first time participating in this. Our parents were always the ones who did it. It was time we learned as well.
My dad and the guys were out skinning and gutting and burning. You could tell dad was enjoying it, smiling with a cigar hanging out his mouth as he worked and taught. The guys did so well, finishing their part in only a few hours.
We women were busy on our end as well while the men were busy. We cut and bagged up into the evening. While I was outside getting more meat to cut, I saw Bentley and Klitschko (Mom's equivalent to my Bentley), watching the guys work. As Bentley walked around, sniffed the dead deer, and watched the guys I think something clicked in his mind about what the skin meant.
He and the skin are now inseparable. He doesn't want to share it and when he's inside he's on the skin. No getting him off of it. Sunday night, we had Bentley sleep in the room with us while the skin was downstairs. He sat at the closed door crying off and on. This is not like him! This morning when we opened the door, he shot straight downstairs and onto the skin. He loves it.
So as Ryan works on the four gifted deer skins and I look forward to making some delicious venison chili, I answer the question that was placed at the beginning of this post. Is hunting wildcrafting? My answer is it can go either way. It all depends on the needs of the hunter. Just as if you wildcraft herbs, basically you gather only the amount needed and leave room (or seeds or roots) for more of the species to grow. If you forage, you gather as much as you want. In this case, I do believe it was wildcrafting because the hunters gave the meat to people who would need them and use every part of the deer possible.
I wish you all good health to you and yours this hunting season. Thank the Lord for the fact that He looks out for his creation, both animals and humans alike.
I hope no vegans or vegetarians were mortified at this post. Sorry if so. The antler should've given you warning.
Also, this Saturday I'll be at the Wurtland Middle School for the craft fair from 10 am -3 pm. Come out and visit my table as you check out the others, also! We'll have some great products at every booth!
And don't forget my products at the Walking on Sunshine spa at 140 S.Carol Malone, Grayson, KY !
See y'all soon!
Author: Tina Potter
Master Herbalist, I've graduated as an American Healthcare College Alumnus, I've become a member of American Herbalist Guild and author of survivalist series Survival Ember co-authored by professional survivalist Kenny Dietrich of Ashland, KY. I've been beyond blessed with the constant desire to learn and teach.
COMMON SENSE NOTICE: I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease. What you do with the information I post is up to you, but it is advised to consult with a doctor before acting on alternative methods of medicine. I wish you all the best!