NOTE!: If you can't handle the gore that comes with butchering deer, than these pictures aren't for you!
Every fall for as long as I can remember, our family has gone hunting for deer. The excitement of the season approaching was contagious, even as a little girl. The guys would dust off all their hunting gear and hang them in the frosty outdoors to get rid of any human smell. Then they would carefully inspect and clean the rifles and sight them in. Safety was always a HUGE thing, which I really appreciate now that I'm a "big girl" but at the time I didn't really get why they would nearly flip out if we even thought about touching the rifles! Eventually, I was allowed to hold my dad's rifle, with supervision, and feel the cold, heavy metal of the barrel and the intricate carving of the stock (that my Grandpa Berge had done...beautiful!). And now I have my very own rifle and 6 deer 'under my belt'. So to be missing out on this yearly ritual the past 3 years has been a bit sad.
BUT....this year was different. Our surprise visit just happened to catch the very last weekend of deer hunting and we were able to get in on the butchering party. As horrible as that sounds, I was happy about it! I just love the atmosphere of the gathering together to harvest the meat into the freezers and the feeling of provision that is brings for the winter.
Mariah LOVED the poor little deer heads...I was a bit freaked out when I found her hugging one.
The babies got to hang out up at the house while everyone was cutting up down in the shop. Micah loves his great-grandma!
Then there was a welcomed midway pizza break. (I have to confess, that I was strictly on baby duty and never once soiled my fingers. Felt a bit guilty but then again, I don't get to eat any of that lovely meat so I don't feel too bad). I did eat pizza though!
Back to work! Many hands make light work!
And Dad, getting down to business.
In the end I believe they butchered 8 deer and split it up between 6 or 7 families. So there should be some happy freezers and yummy, healthy suppers in the very near future. Good stuff and happy times!