Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh, Deer

It has been said there were more hunters in the woods of Pennsylvania today, the first day of deer season, than were in Vietnam at the height of the war.

Here’s how it works, at least locally (and, for all I know, across the state): The Monday after Thanksgiving Day, when the season opens, the schools are closed. There is no reason to be open when a great percentage of your students will not be there. They’re all out in the woods trying to reduce our bulging deer population.

We have plenty, too. There are 60,000 roadkill a year in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The surviving deer spouse sees the accident, turns to one of the opposite gender and says, “This is awful; what are you doing tonight?” A few months later, out comes the little potential windshield-breaker.

You see, in its last moments on earth, the deer often get some measure of revenge. At the least, the car gets some pretty good dents; sometimes it takes out the windshield and smashes up the hood. There are times it totals the car, by itself, or causes the driver to run off the road into a healthy tree.

In the woods, you wouldn’t believe how many hunters mistake a guy wearing hunters’ red for a deer. Bambi looks out from behind a bush and shakes her head in wonderment. Maybe they think the deer is wearing camouflage for the occasion and you really don’t want to miss a good shot, even at six feet away.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey honey, you and I are hunting Saturday, wanna bring your mom?

It might be a bit chilly, tell her to wear her fur coat.


December 01, 2009 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The worst ones are the bow and arrow hunters. I have seen deer standing in line along the Rt. 2 on the U.P. ( Upper Peninsula, Michigan)waiting their turn for passing vehicles so that they could dash out rather than have to spend the rest of their lives with an arrow head in their butt.

Those Massachussets hunters spend 11 months preparing and reminiscing and two weeks in the woods, drunk. You go up to New Hampshire or Maine and you see a car with Mass. tags, don't even stop! Deer are safer than humans with them. Take f'instance the two Mass. hunters who were on their way to Jackman for bear and as they drove along they'd see signs ''Deer Crossing' or ''Moose Crossing'' (Easy to spot as Ct. hunters are sitting their, their rifles across their laps). Then the pair pulled into Skowhegan and after crossing the bridge, the #203 turns sharply and there is a sign ''Bear Left'' so they turned around and went home.

Us county boys who don't hunt anymore, we sit on a scanner and pick up the police calls, and try to beat them to the spot of the roadkill. If it's a head hit, and under 150 lbs, it takes about 4 minutes to get it into the back your pickup. There is nothing like Roadside Red Chili mmmmmm, man dat is goooood!

Exit 318

December 01, 2009 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You two are sick!

Ms. Victoria Lawn

December 01, 2009 12:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

No law against being sick.

December 01, 2009 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've said this before, and I still like it. "It tastes great when it's scraped from the interstate."

December 01, 2009 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know many hunters who describe what they do as "taking their rifles for a walk in the woods." They don't shoot anything, but they do like the adventure. While I'm not a hunter, I'm not adverse to sharing in the bounty of those who are. If God wanted us to be vegetarians he wouldn't have made animals out of meat.

With this said, I just don't understand what people see as the challenge of hunting. Unless you are actually tracking, you go to a spot and wait for the animal to find you. Then you pick up your scoped rifle, take careful aim, and blow the thing away. Once upon a time, it was a challenge. Technology has taken all that away.

Now that I've gotten all that off my chest, does anyone have extra venison?

December 01, 2009 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in the woods normally 4-5 times a week. I am not a hunter but have nothing against hunters, lots of my friends live for it.

A thing about roadkills.A percentage, somewhat feeble, but there anyway is caused by humans who bring their dogs into the woods, leashed or not. A deer will smell a dog, it is gone. If you have a problem with them ,go to thelocal vets and pick up a bag of hair and spread the hair around now and then, problem is settled Up here dogs are illegal in the woods. If you like the deer, sliced apples are the best. By slicing, the scent is stronger and deer do have big mouths. Another reason is urban development, terrible. Deer and moose will remain relatively calm and hang out in fairly small areas until chased out, be it by humans, coyotes, bobcats whatever.


December 01, 2009 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Taste of Jim's Roadside Red

In this one, you need fresh roadkill.....well as fresh as possible, as long as the crows ain't peckin' out the eyes and it ain't too bloated. It has to have been bled too. However most of them who are hit and dragged by an 18-wheeler are pretty well bled out.

In this recipe I need three pounds of chili ground meat. I use three pounds for several reasons. Naturally you make a bigger batch, but you can freeze it. But even more important, with three pounds of meat you can be sure that the roadkill is not a dog, a fox, an armadillo or whatever.

I set up my kitchen outside and do it in a big old Dutch oven on my a propane-fired burner, however I prepare it inside. we go....

3 lbs. chili ground meat.
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsps cooking oil
"Pantry Peppers" ( That's what I have handy in the pantry.....)
My own ground cumin
2 tbsps of my own chili powder
2 big cans of tomatoes. mebbe 3 cans, just in case.
Beans (optional)
1 case of beer, iced down in a cold box.
...and I'll add on as I go along.......

Brown the meat, the onions and garlic together using the cooking oil to keep from sticking. Once browned, add a couple of cans of tomatoes, the chili powder, cumin and the peppers.

A word here about the peppers. I like chipoltes (Is that spelled right?) and I'll also throw in a few jalapenos and occasionally a regular bell pepper, which will be browned with the meat, onions and garlic. Rule of the thumb, the thinner the shoulders of the perpper, the hotter they are. Anchos give a good taste also. It's all about what you've got hanging around in the pantry.

OK. the tomatoes, if you think it is not liquid enough, put in another can of tomatoes, you can always thicken the brew with masa farina (Well, you know what I mean). Use salt to taste. This is the basic chili.

Now I bring it outside and fire up my burner. This is where the TLC comes in. Bringing it to a boil, I let it simmer on a very low fire, uncovered. The secret here is the music. I put on a bit of Delta Blues, Robert Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, something those lines, as the potion is in its early stages and I want something a bit laid back so as not to make it too agressive too early. Crack a beer. Pour half a bottle in the brew, to let it know that it is welcomed in your home. creating an ambience which will blend the taste and the love together, making this one a culturally acceptable pot of gold.

The neighbors will stop by, they will probably not refuse a beer, and will gladly listen to your chili anecdotes. After the first half hour, you may begin the tasting process, but keep in mind, even with roadkill, the taste will develop over a period of time so when adjusting your additives, keep this in mind. From an hour on, you may commence to "personalize" your batch, a bit of cayenne pepper mebbe, or even add something you have found in the fridge which is about to go bad anyway, as you'll be working this for three hours.

Exit 318

December 01, 2009 3:51 PM  

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