Big game season ended yesterday, and the Mighty Hunter didn’t get his
elk this year. He got antelope and deer, so it’s not like any of us
will go hungry, but no elk, which is too bad. I like elk. This morning
I went over to check New West Network and found this terrific piece on the intertwined pleasures of hunting and providing for oneself and one’s family: “The Thrill and the Meat” by Greg Lemon. I realize that in most parts of the country that hunting is an anathema, but out here, a lot of people like Lemon rely on the fall hunting season to make it possible to live a little lower on the economic ladder. Montana has one of the lowest wage rates in the country, and most locals aren’t hunting for trophies — they’re after a winter’s worth of food. It’s been fascinating watching the MH butcher these past
weeks. I have to say, if you’re going to eat meat, then there’s really no better way to know what you’re eating than to go out and hunt it, kill it, drag it home, hang it in the garage, skin it and butcher it yourself. These are the antelope that the MH
and his son killed earlier this year, hanging in the garage waiting to
be cut into manageable sizes and wrapped for the freezer. Gross? Only in the eye of the beholder. I think they’re
really sort of beautiful.
And although I’m still a long way from my
goal of being able to live small enough to quit my Corporate Job and
freelance like Greg Lemon’s done this year, knowing that the MH can
provide meat (I tease him that I only date him for his freezers, but
really, the duck confit he whipped out from the back of the fridge on
our first date was very very sexy), and that I can grow and put up a
lot of vegetables makes it seem like more reasonable goal than it might be in a lot of other places in the country.