Uncle Darrel gave me a call Friday night, and told me he had just shot a dear. I’ve been hunting w/Uncle Darrel a few times this season, but wasn’t fortunate enough to bring anything home, so he was excited to give me the opportunity to help with the dressing and skinning. He called back a little later and said he was on the way to the house, so I could meet him there.

Now, Tyler had asked if he could get a youth hunting license this year, but I told him he must complete a hunter’s safety course first, so next year might be more likely. Tyler went with us a few times, and practiced his stealth like hunting skills with us, and really seems to enjoy it. I think Minnie felt like she was missing out and asked if she could go, and I told her next year (figuring it was easier to teach them to be super quiet, one at a time)

I figured this was a good opportunity to gauge the kids’ interest in hunting next year by bringing them with me to learn how to skin a dear. Rachel has some less than ideal memories when it comes to this task, so she was rather concerned about how Minnie would fair, but after some talking, decided that if she went and visited indoors with Aunt Rosie, both the kids would have an easy out if it was difficult for them.

Before leaving, I explained to the kids that I believe God has given us everything in Nature to benefit, but that also requires responsibility to care for what we’ve been trusted with. This means we only kill what we eat, and if you are to hunt or fish, you need to know how to clean, prepare and cook your prey, and to that end they need to be prepared to learn if they want to hunt.

Minnie expressed some hesitation on whether she was ready to go through all this, but finally decided that she would at least try. She and Tyler both spent an hour out in the cold in Darrel’s yard as we skinned and gutted Darrel’s doe. Tyler helped with the skinning, and Minnie was our videographer.

Now, I have to tell you, this seemed a lot more gross as I played back the video than it did in person. If you can’t handle walking by the meat counter at the grocery store, then you should not play this video.

I trimmed the video down from about an hour to just the parts where the kids were making comments. Its fun to hear what they thought of this process.

You’ll notice that Minnie was completely OK with this process, and in fact said “I don’t care, I’m tough!” Just as I suspected. 🙂 These kids always impress me.

Once done, Darrel explained to me where to make cuts to quarter and finish butchering, which he planned to do the following morning.