Dad is a South Dakota native, and he is back in his element. He went out this morning around 7:00, to “look for that buck.” Half an hour later, we got a call saying he had gotten a buck, in a meadow about a half mile from our front door. Talk about efficient. And he’s a dead shot, let me tell you. We’re not positive it was that buck, but we still have another tag left, so maybe we’ll get that buck after all.
Field dressing is something of a nasty business – The carcass is slit from the rib cage down and the entrails are essentially lifted out. They are all contained within a membrane sac and, provided you don’t cut the sac, they come out pretty cleanly. Nevertheless, it is a bloody process. Liver and heart are saved for cooking later, the inside of the carcass is washed out and the entire carcass is hung up to age.
In Illinois, with all the liberal bureaucracy and socialist gun control, being a legal hunter and firearm owner is challenging, and the hunting part isn’t nearly as simple as a hike from the front door. And you can’t just string the carcass up in your yard when you live in town, at least not in Illinois. I don’t think that is considered particularly socially acceptable.
Hunting is a misunderstood endeavor, by a significant portion of today’s population. When children are taught in schools the evolutionary idea that people are nothing more than a somewhat higher level of animal, why wouldn’t hunting be misunderstood?
But one only has to look as far as the book of Genesis to see that God gave mankind the job of stewardship of the earth (chapter 1), the command to fill the earth and subdue it (chapters 1 and 9), and permission to eat animals for food (chapter 9) which, I believe, was given with the condition of stewardship. God’s design for “stewardship” doesn’t mean leaving the environment alone, but treating it carefully, responsibly, and as a blessing from God. This includes responsible harvesting of wildlife and fostering healthy wildlife populations.
We aren’t exactly set up for processing the deer ourselves this year, and we need to get our freezer up and running, but we’re all already looking forward to having venison for a change.
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Mary, thanks so much for continuing to read. I’m so glad you do!
Illinois is the only state in the Union to have FOID (Firearm Owner Identification) cards, which is something awfully close to gun registration. You must have a FOID card to possess firearms, to purchase firearms, to purchase ammunition, to hunt…Open carry and concealed carry are both heavily regulated and tangled up in yards of red tape. In spite of the gun laws, gun violence in Chicago particularly is rampant – And no, I don’t believe for a minute that they are law-abiding gun owners committing the majority of crimes!
And there isn’t necessary a prejudice against hunting, per se, but I would say it is misunderstood. I would hazard a guess that the more urban the state, the less understanding there is of the value of sportsmanship in hunting and self-sufficiency – there isn’t a “need” for it and, honestly, there isn’t the opportunity. Likewise, I would also hazard a guess that the larger the state, the more urban the state, the more common it is to feel that there is something morally wrong about hunting and eating animals. I have yet to meet someone in South Dakota who thinks gun ownership or hunting or eating meat, wild or otherwise, is anything other than as it should be. An interesting shift from Illinois.
I think some of this must go back to the heavily-regulated firearm ownership and use. Out here, shooting is a sport that even young people become interested in – It has been successfully passed to the next generations. In Illinois, there’s so much red tape, I think it would be hard to really get kids interested in a meaningful and law-abiding way. Not to mention, so many kids these days just play video games. The end.
Congratulations to your dad!! You probably have a cheerful family in your home today. Imagine your dad will be training you to do the gutting, if he hasn’t already. I hadn’t realized there was so much prejudice against hunting in Illinois..thank goodness you are in SD! Laura, enjoyed your well written, descriptive story. Please continue your writing.
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