Kids Outdoor Outpost – March 2022
From Field To Table
As we close the book on another deer season, I’d like you to join me and reflect back for a moment.
How was your season? What made it good or not so much? As an older Georgia deer hunter, I have a different way of looking at it. I had the opportunity to once again, enjoy some quality time hunting with my sons. We bowhunted together as we have done for many years on a small, private tract of land. It brought great joy this year as younger eyes were able to join me and blood trail a nice doe I had shot right after sunset. We painstakingly followed the drops in the dark by flashlight, sometimes on hands and knees to pick up the trail. I took more delight as we found the deer and began the field-dressing, with my son’s headlamps brightening the process for me. They offered to drag it for me, but there was no way I was going to let them. It’s still important for me to “dress and drag” what I shot as I realize those days will be fewer.
I shared that harvest with some high-school friends from Virginia who do not hunt. Arranging for a weekend for them to visit, I invited my son Jared to prepare two favorite methods of ours. We have grown to love making “tomahawk backstraps” that we do on our pellet grill. Using a small axe, we chopped off the rib cage with the back strap attached and slice them into individual “handles” with the rib bones. Using care not to overcook, he put them on for just a few minutes and then slid them into a hot skillet of melted butter, a few sprigs of rosemary and some chopped cloves of garlic for an incredible main course. To snack on as an appetizer, he took some breakfast sausage and fried it crumbled up in the skillet. He then drained it and added cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese to the mix and then spooned it onto jalapeño halves that were wrapped with thick cut bacon, sprinkled with black pepper and grilled. What a fantastic taste treat for all of us and not one friend was disappointed. Yes, for me, it was a heartfelt moment to share this meal from field to table with my friends. That’s certainly among the memories of this past season.
The days of trophy hunting have moved more into enjoying the entire experience, relaxing and relishing the time spent with my sons and friends. Watching sunrises and sunsets, animals like raccoons and red-tailed hawks that dart through the woods as I sit quietly and watch. This bit of land will soon succumb to the rapid growth that is swallowing up our county. But it will never remove the memories that I have with my sons in it. Yes, it was quite a season.