This past weekend was the deer hunting opener (for guns, anyhow - apparently if you want to shoot the deer with a bow & arrow you can do so a few weeks sooner). For those of you who don't know how this works, I'll summerize it for you: A bunch of guys wake up before dawn to sit up a tree - motionless - for several hours in hopes that a deer will walk by close enough to shoot. Sometimes it's raining, sometimes they have snow, but it's always freezing cold; no matter how warm the month of November may have been, Mother Nature always makes sure these men have the crappiest weather for the gun opener. Some men are brave enough to "drive" the deer towards those awaiting in the trees. For this great honor, they at least get to move around to gain some warmth...at the risk of getting shot. When not driving deer or freezing their asses off up in the trees, they drink, gamble, smoke, curse, and basically do all the things they normally wouldn't do in front of their wives. Sounds like SO much fun, right?
So why the hell would I want any part in that?
Except, they made one, big, mistake.
Instead of giving me the run down of what Deer Camp is all about, the men in Chad's family simply told me I was absolutely not welcome at the cabin during the deer opener because I'm a girl.
A girl? Excuse me?! Oh no you didn't!
That was 7 years ago and it still hits a nerve. My daddy raised me to believe that I could do anything a man can do (and do it better). There are few things that get my blood boiling more than gender classifications...especially when they involve other people attempting to keep me from doing things because I have boobs instead of balls. The rational part of me tells me to just leave it alone, but sometimes I want to be there anyway just to spite them. Though I didn't make any attempt to prevent him from going, Chad decided to stay home this weekend (which of course was good for me). He didn't need to stay home, but I appreciated it nonetheless.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should state that I'm fairly certain that if I had to kill my own meat, I'd probably become a vegetarian. I'm the sort of person who cries over road kill (pathetic, I know). Of course, that makes me a complete hypocrite, too, because I will happily eat the meat once somebody else kills it. And processes it.
Except for the last few years, I have, actually, helped process the meat. The only part that really bothers me is when they skin the deer. The first year I watched them do this, I had nightmares for a week. It's like taking off a tight piece of clothing...except it's skin. It reminded me a little bit too much of Silence of the Lambs. *shutters*
So anyway, my day started out by getting locked out of the house by Aidan while trying to load the car. Instead of unlocking the door, he decided to go back to watching TV while I froze my ass off, screaming at the door. I eventually got the key, but by then I was livid. And fasting, because I was having blood tests drawn at 10:30am. Ask Chad how cranky I get when I'm not eating. It's really not a pretty sight.
Why the guys decided to process the deer today is beyond me. Chad and Kathy were working, Laura is 38 weeks pregnant (and in charge of keeping the boys away from the deer), so that left me, Luke, and Tom. To be fair, the guys did most of the work. My job was to stand in the coldest corner of the garage and grind all the meat not fit for roasts or steaks into hamburger (twice over). I'm thankful they heated the garage a little bit, but for someone like me who is always cold, it really is never enough. Aside from being cold, though, it was mostly fine. I got it done, and even managed to eat venison steaks for dinner.
But I'll never look at play dough the same way again.
And I needed to shower twice to get the smell of death out of my skin.
And there are no pictures, mostly because I didn't want to bring my camera anywhere near all that raw meet.
And I thought my step mom might never forgive me if I posted a photo of one of her beloved God's creatures hanging upside down by his hoof being cut apart by two men brandishing sharp knives and saws :p.