Cooking high-quality wild game meals is more involved than simply throwing a piece of meat on the grill. Unless you have a prime cut like a backstrap or tenderloin, or you just enjoy eating dry, gamey meat, then it’s going to require a little more TLC to make a noteworthy meal. But let’s face it, not all the wild game meat in your freezer are prime cuts.
I will never forget the last time I saw my great- grandmother Connie, my granddad’s mom. She was in a nursing home, her body and mind destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease while my grandpa cried and my grandmother tried to convince her that we were her family and that she really did know us. I was only 12 years old, and it’s a memory forever seared in my brain. Flash-forward 26 years and I’m in the one room assisted living facility that my grandparents shared due to the ravages of neurological disease. Alzheimer’s Disease was now my grandfather's life, like his mother’s. Most days it was the same heartbreaking conversation “ Where do you live? How old are you? What’s your name? That was until he couldn’t talk anymore.
In my near 3 decades of hunting and backcountry experiences, I've hit a point in life where I actually prefer to hunt alone. The solitude I enjoy in the wild creates an intense appreciation for all things nature offers. Loneliness gives way to clarity, which allows me to fully appreciate and understand the meaning of why I'm there. It’s also true that I’m a born introvert. I feel energized by time alone with just my thoughts. NIn my near 3 decades of hunting and backcountry experiences, I've hit a point in life where I actually prefer to hunt alone. The solitude I enjoy in the wild creates an intense appreciation for all things nature offers. Loneliness gives way to clarity, which allows me to fully appreciate and understand the meaning of why I'm there. It’s also true that I’m a born introvert. I feel energized by time alone with just my thoughts. No outside voices or influence, other than the sometimes deafening sound of creeks, storms or wildlife.o outside voices or influence, other than the sometimes deafening sound of creeks, storms or wildlife.
Today is my 20th wedding anniversary. I didn’t wake up to flowers, breakfast in bed, or on a beach in Costa Rica. My morning consisted of doing dishes, folding laundry, cooking breakfast, feeding the chickens, hanging with my girls, and writing this blog. Ryan didn’t get a day off, a good morning kiss, or breakfast at all- he had to wake at 3 am to go to work because it’s Wednesday, a sturgeon opener, and he has a lot of people at work counting on him. We didn’t get each other gifts, we didn’t have an elaborate plan, or a plan at all. This is called life, and it’s not an Instagram dream.
If you are a male hunter, or are in a relationship with one, it’s obvious that biochemistry takes control over one’s mind and body when it’s time to go into the backcountry. For many thousands of years, man was raised to be part of nature and it’s cycles, and with the changes of the seasons, the male’s hormonal system adapted to the ways of living that demanded fitness, focus, and fortitude.
This is a long blog. Really, it’s a story. One that has taken me nearly 20 years to write. If you don’t have a relationship in your life, then this story may not interest you, but if you love, are, or know anyone who has a passion greater than most, you may get something from it. It wasn’t an easy story to live or write about. It’s not easy to share our flaws, our secrets, our fears.
Ever get that question “Dude why do you hunt?” It’s an unavoidable reality in today’s world where so many have become completely disconnected with what’s actually getting crammed down their piehole. It’s fashionable today to go with the easiest answer “I hunt for the meat.” Yes, it’s true, I myself do hunt to feed my family.