One of my favorite days of the year

This year I was unable to get out with my normal group of hunting buddies and get up to northern Minnesota for my usual deer hunt.  I did however get a day off to go butcher the deer  the boys brought home.  For Most people this would be viewed as an undesirable job, but for me it is one of the highlights of my year.  Plus this year, as an added bonus, I got a couple of people who had never butchered a deer to come along and learn how.  Joe is a guy I work with and handled himself very well, and Audrey is my new favorite soon to be 11 year old who dove right into it and help cut and grind all of the ground venison.  She also learned how to cut a chop from the loin and grill it to perfection for lunch.  Nice job Audrey!  

As for Joe he got to skin a couple of deer and cut the primal cuts off the bone and quarter the animal out.  I hope he enjoyed his experience as well.  I Know he enjoyed the Venison Carpaccio we had as a late afternoon snack.

It is always a lot of fun to hear the stories from deer camp and this year the boys had a new experience that none of us had ever had.  While walking a strip of woods by a river my younger brother was charged by a black bear.  Everyone was very impressed at how he stood his ground and the bear backed off and ran into the woods.  Kevin is a very quiet, calm man but I think the bear made the right choice because he is freakishly strong and it probably would have been a close fight.  I am actually quite surprised he didn't drop his gun pull a knife and chase the bear.

They saw a few big bucks but didn't get any good shots, but they did get five does and they fill the freezer just as good as the bucks do.  I now have thirty some pounds of ground venison to make into sausage and salami so I look forward to that.  I also have five deer tongues that I am pickling and am excited to try them as well.  Opening day of the deer season I did get a phone call from another friend of mine just wondering if I wanted the heart, liver and kidneys from her deer.    So I will have those to play with as well.

I still have the rest of the bow season so I might get a deer yet this year and I will also be trying the muzzleloader season this year so I still have a few shots at getting a deer.  I made it out bow hunting last week for an afternoon and had picked the perfect area that I have seen some deer in and a lot of sign but when I got there, there was a dead deer carcass there.  Someone had the same idea I did,  whoever shot the deer only cut the backstraps and the rear hams out and left the rest there.  So to whoever that was I would like to say, get a soul and do what's right not what's easiest.

This is my favorite time of year and I am glad that I have gotten to share it with the people I have.  Good luck to the rest of you who are still getting out there and enjoy it while you can.

Venison Carpaccio

 6 oz piece of well trimmed backstrap
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp of thyme
olive oil

Place the venison in the freezer for about a half hour.  then slice it about 1/4 inch thick and arrange in a circle on a piece of siran wrap and put another piece of siran wrap over the top and pound flat with a mallet or a heavy bottom pan.  Remove top piece of wrap and lightly salt a plate and flip the venison onto the plate.  sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme and drizzle a little olive oil on top.  just before serving squeeze a little lemon juice onto it.  Make sure you keep it cold and serve immediately.