Saturday, September 13, 2008

The life of a hunter-gatherer family

Today we took a little trip to Shelton to say hi to Papa and to go mushroom picking. When we got to Daddy's secret mushroom spot, he was sad to see it had been picked over by someone else who was not as kind to the area as he is. They had pulled out all of the mushrooms by the roots and then afterward cut off all the roots. This prevents more mushrooms from growing, unfortunately. We did manage to find many despite that, though not as many as we would have liked! We probably got a couple pounds of mushrooms, enough for a few meals.

We wandered through the woods for a while and ran into Papa and Uncle Chris, who were hunting grouse and bear. We decided to make a stop at a gravel pit and shoot a few rounds. Dave let Lacy try shooting for the first time. He taught her how to use the scope and to aim. After shooting a couple times (Dave was helping her hold the .22 rifle but Lacy was doing all the aiming and trigger pulling), she actually shot the target! We were quite impressed/surprised that she was able to manage that at just four years old. Of course, she is her father's daughter, so it isn't that surprising. Of course, Rose didn't get a turn, but she'll probably get one when she's four years old as well.

We decided to go to another area and see if we could find some grouse for Dave to shoot. We didn't find any so we went home and feasted on venison tenderloin, chantrelle mushrooms, oinons, home made oven fries, and patty pan squash from our garden. It was delicious!

Dave's dad called during dinner to let him know he was staring at a 5 point elk. In an area where it is legal for Dave to hunt right now for elk. Dave was quite bummed he wasn't there, because had he been, that elk would have been named dinner, for the next year! Elk are huge and getting one would be a huge blessing to our family. We love the taste of wild game, and we also love that the animals have a wonderful life being in the wild, have no hormones or antibiotics in their systems, and their diet is essentially organic. Nothing better than that! Personally, I want to get out of eating store-bought meat as much as I can so I can rely upon myself and the land for what I eat. That is the ultimate goal in our family. Hopefully Dave will still get an elk this year-- we have about 10 more days of elk season left, and hopefully he can get back down to the unit he was hunting in earlier. Dave is working a new job on Monday and we have no idea how long it will last. We are grateful for the opportunity to work, but we hope he'll still have a bit of time to get an elk this year!

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