Three years ago on Thanksgiving, A. and I butchered our very first deer ever. As the MiL ran around like a maniac trying to prepare for 25 people coming to our house to eat Thanksgiving dinner, A. and I stood ankle deep in freezing cold mud in the shed and cut up a deer. It took us forever and was an incredible pain in the ass.
The next year, I had a Thanksgiving blessedly free of deer remains. Last year, I had to clear up the decomposing innards the dogs thoughtfully dragged home for Thanksgiving. And this year? Well, this year A. went hunting (again) yesterday morning. With functioning shotgun shells this time.
He drove off at five in the morning in my old Nissan, because his truck was out of gas and the turn signals no longer work. So when he shot a four-point buck (that's a young one, for those of you not familiar with hunting terms), he had to stuff it into the trunk of the Nissan, like some kind of mob hitman or something. It was pretty amusing.
He got home just as the rest of the family was leaving for the family dinner at the MiL's sister's house. So while the rest of the family sat around at Aunt Barb's eating stuffed mushrooms and drinking wine, Cubby and I watched A. wash the deer out and hoist it into a tree with a Come-a-long. We also got to watch Mia chow down on the deer's windpipe.
It's a wonderful way to whet your appetite for a big meal, let me tell you.
So now we have a deer hanging right next to the driveway in front of the house, to be butchered in a few days. Since we did two of our own lambs this year, this deer will be the third animal we've butchered in the last month or so. And it will be the last, that I will insist on.
Maybe next year I'll get lucky and get to have a Thanksgiving that does not involve a dead deer. That'd be nice. But I'm not counting on it.