Hunting and Thanksgiving

We had Thanksgiving dinner a day early so that my son, who is home from college, could be there. He had to work Thanksgiving day.

So yesterday was Thanksgiving day and my neighbor (not the new neighbor but an older man I had known since I moved here – I’ve written about him before) called me about an hour before dark. He had shot an elk on his property and was wondering if I was going to keep my promise to help him with it!

I had all kinds of stuff going on but I dropped everything, put on my insulated bib overalls and heavy coat, started the tractor to warm it up, found my father’s hunting knife and tested the edge (it was pretty darn sharp), and then I rode the old tractor down to his place.

I had only gutted a big animal once before, under supervision, but my neighbor had never done it, and I was just hoping that together we could work our way through it.

I found him and his wife outside. They were very excited. It was Thursday and hunting season ended on the following Sunday, and the fact that they had got a bull on Thanksgiving was just awesome to them. It was the first big game my friend had ever killed and he was happy about the meat he was going to get and very proud of what he had done.

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It was a young bull, a couple years old, not a big rack but he was bigger than any deer. I was pretty excited too, and I was proud of my friend. It was very cold as we worked and my hands didn’t seem to feel it; I told him I thought it was the adrenaline.

Before dark we had done a pretty good job at removing the insides. We tied the bull to the tractor and I dragged it to the barn.

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Soon we had the bull hanging in the barn. I think we both felt a great sense of accomplishment at working together, doing it ourselves and treating that magnificent animal in the proper way.

After a few days of hanging, I’m going to go over and help him butcher it, and he’s said that he want’s me to take half the meat! I am thankful to have such a great neighbor and friend.

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