The Hunter’s Moon
Tonight’s full moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon.
When the settlers arrived in this country, they found that the New England Indians had names for all of the full moons-this months moon is also known as the Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon or the Blood Moon. The blood either signifying the blood from the slain animals or the red color of the turning leaves.
The Hunter’s Moon is first recorded in 1710 in the Oxford Dictionary, and is an apt name for the moon. The leaves are falling and giving a more clear view through the woods. The fields have been harvested. The deer are feasting on the fallen grain and are fattened. They can be easily seen by the hunters. It was time to hunt and harvest meat in preparation for the long winter ahead.
The name Hunter’s Moon is an apt name in our household. The hunters begin their hunting. The men (and some of the women!) in our family have been long time hunters.
I know that I have readers who may be offended by the killing of deer, so if this is you, you may want to stop reading right here. I well remember the blog post I did years ago about the trapping and killing of the raccoons that were raiding my hen house and killing my laying hens, and the hate comments that I received. (This post is now long lost in internet eternity!) If you have a different aesthetic than we do, that is fine. But, we hunt here, and will continue to hunt.
In the latter part of October, 3 days are designated as a special hunting season for youth and seniors. And my husband is now a senior-65! So, out hunting he went, on a balmy sunny fall day. So different from the late November hunting season-think thermal underwear, heavy jackets, wool socks and caps. There have been some brutally cold hunting seasons in the past. And when ever hunters go out, they always come back with hunting stories. Here is his.
In deciding where to hunt, Dan was directed to go a dairy farm that is overrun with deer. He was told what field to sit in and wait for the deer to come out to feed on the farmers fields. So he laid down between the hay rolls, and fell sound asleep. He reported that he had a very happy dream while sleeping! When he awoke, he lifted his head, and there were 3 deer standing looking at him. They were probably wondering what this strange thing was laying in the field! He kind of rolled over to get in position, got his gun ready and decided that these deer were too small to shoot. So he waited a short while till bigger deer came out of the woods. Now, he only had 3 shells with him-he had taken some wrong ammunition with him and only 3 bullets were the right caliber. He better not miss! Bang! The shot dropped the first deer immediately. He reloaded…and bang! the second deer dropped. Two deer in just minutes. I would say it was the easiest hunt he has ever done. And he got a nap in the bargain!
Getting the deer out of the field was not so easy. He had forgotten tie down straps, so he took off his belt to tie one of the deer down but the other deer was not tied down and it fell off the 4 wheeler and he had to go back for it. He lost his phone in the process, but was able to track it later with the 360 app-in the dark. This new technology is amazing stuff. The deer were taken intermediately to the deer processor, and we will be picking up our packaged deer meat in just a little while. (I am so glad the days are over of us cutting up our own meat-I found it a miserable job!)
So now we have meat for the long winter ahead! If you are wondering how we use this deer meat-a lot of it is ground and is used just like ground beef. Venison is extremely lean meat and it is well to mix it with some suet-so it doesn’t so easily burn. I like to mix the ground venison with ground beef in most of my cooking, but sometimes I just use it straight-it kind of depends on the deer, whether it is an old deer or not. Some of the older bucks are pretty ‘gamey’ tasting. Young does are the best and most tender. It also depends of what the deer have been eating-many deer are ‘corn fed’! We also get deer roasts cut, and the most favorite cut is the deer tenderloin-the back strap of meat from the top of the deer that is cut into little steaks-so delicious. The meat that is not made into cuts, I can. Canned venison is just the best. It makes such a quick, delicious meal. Canning makes even the toughest meat very tender.
My blog post on canning deer meat, now also lost to the internet infinity, was one of my most looked at posts-I’ve even had people call me and ask how to can deer meat as they could not find the post. So, I promise that I will re-post ‘Canning Deer Meat’ in the near future!
Now, I have told you all about the senior deer hunt…here are the photos from the junior deer hunt-
A sweet grand daughter with her deer….
a sweet grandson with his deer…
and the sweet granddaughter with her second deer of the day!
This early hunting season was quite a success for the family. And there are still more deer tags to fill.
Happy hunting all you hunters!
Genesis 27:3 and 4
(Isaac speaking to his son Esau)
Now therefore take, I pray thee,
thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow,
and go out into the field,
and take me some venison;
(4) And make me savoury meat,
such as I love, and bring it to me,
that I may eat;
that my soul may bless thee before I die.
If you have not read this story in the Bible book of Genesis,
you should…it is a very interesting story!