My husband went hunting this weekend and…
He got us a beautiful mature buck. This old guy (notice the gray on his nose) provided us with 50 lbs of meat! We cut the backstraps (similar to steaks) and the roasts, and took the rest to our local butcher to make some jerky, venison sticks with cheddar (yum!), and some ground venison for us. On top of the cow we have coming for Christmas from my Dad (raised on our family farm) and a hog coming in Spring from a friend’s farm…our family will be set with meat for quite a while.
I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about hunting, and believe me I sometimes struggle with it too. I value life and think it is all precious. However, there is so much reassurance knowing that my husband has the ability to feed our family by hunting, fishing, and trapping and we could sustain ourselves if for some reason our food chain were to be interrupted. Let’s face it, every part of our society is so intertwined that it would only take the smallest hiccup in one line of commerce to throw off everything else.
It is not so much a sport for us as we use every part of the animal we can: the meat for our family to eat, the hide is being made into a blanket, his gorgeous head and rack will be mounted by the taxidermist, and the rest of his body is being used by my Dad to bait some coyotes that have killed off some of his calves this Fall. And while hunting and buying whole/half livestock from local farms may not be the cheapest – I firmly believe it is one of the best ways to assure your family is eating healthy and morally raised food. I would much rather go to my local butcher shop and pay $4 per lb. of ground beef before I go to my brick & mortar store to pay $3 for the unnaturally vibrant red meat with fillers. While it’s all 100% approved by the FDA, I’d rather eat 100% meat, wouldn’t you?
One of the things on my “to do research on” list is a FoodSaver or something equivalent. We’ve always just wrapped the meat tightly in plastic wrap, placed it in a freezer bag, and removed as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. This has always worked well for us. We use to meat up so quickly that we don’t really need to store it for 1 year+.
So, I guess my research should be on whether I really need a FoodSaver or if our method works well as it is. In a SHTF scenario, our freezer would be useless…so maybe a dehydrator, smoker, and jerky-making process is what I should be looking into. What do you think?