The phone rang the other day and on the line was my breathless niece, “I got my first deer, Aunt Kelly!” After screaming a bit and congratulating her, I asked if she had been nervous, “Oh yeah.” It was Youth Hunt weekend and she got one on the first day! “Here’s a picture of me and Frazier. Yeah, I named it.”
By the way, Maddie became a teenager yesterday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MADDIE!
I asked what her favorite venison recipe was: “Grandma’s canned venison on bread and butter.” (She’s a smart girl – no nasty margarine junk or fake butter spreads for her. 🙂 See the recipe below.)
Here’s her Dad, Kraig’s version of the story:
“After watching 6 different bucks without anything close enough
to shoot, this fella stepped out at 65 yds. Madelyn grabbed Grandpa Cornell’s .32 Win Spl and put the crosshairs on the vitals. She then zipped the first shot over his back. He milled around and gave her another shot at the same distance. She was pretty hyped up and I kept telling her to breathe in thru the nose and out thru the mouth. After a half minute or so, she calmed down. I told her to let him have it as soon as he left an open shot on the pump house. It no more than got out of my mouth and BANG! Down goes Frazier! Her first deer ever. She has christened the new blind. Promptly, she grabbed the marker and scrawled her name on the wall. After 10 minutes of hugging and high fiving and burning up the cell phone lines, I gave her a class in Field Dressing 101. We now have a new member to the hunting community. She guts the next one.”
Later, Kraig told me more…
“She has been hunting with me before. Both bow and rifle, but this is the first time she’s ever been able to squeeze the trigger. She got her hunters safety certificate last year, but her birthday fell 10 days after the youth season, so she wasn’t able to go. It was a long year waiting but we made it. Saturday was the first day of a 2 day youth hunt where a 12 or 13 year old can hunt with a licensed adult. We watched 5 other bucks that morning before the one she shot. They were all out of range for the gun she was using, but there were 2 that were absolutely beautiful big bucks! 8 pt. and a 9 pt. I have pics of both from my trail camera. I’m trying to teach her the ethical way to hunt. It's not fair to the animal to take marginal shots, so with great reluctance, she was forced to wait. Mads is quite an animal lover, I wasn't sure if she would be able to pull the trigger when it came down to it, but she soon showed me. She was so excited!! She can’t wait to go again come November 15. This year will be the first year in my 28 years of hunting that I have had someone sit with me on opening day at first light. We make exceptions for our kids right? I tell ya Kel, to me, that was better than any animal I have ever harvested. I think I see many more days of Mads and Dad in the woods.
Okay, I gotta stop now. I finally have been able to tell the story without crying and telling you this is making my eyes water again. Can't do that at work.”
What a rare and special gift for a Dad and teenage daughter to have something like this to enjoy together. Thanks Maddie & Kraig for letting me share your story!
Here’s Mary Ellen’s recipe:
- Cubed venison
- Salt (see instructions below for amounts)
Pack cubed venison in sterilized jars. Add 1 tsp of salt per quart or .5 tsp per pint. Pour boiling water into jars. Run knife around the inside of all the jars to eliminate air bubbles. Put on the lids and rings (the water should go to the neck of the jar).
Now place the cans in a pressure canner, use the recommended amount of water in the bottom of the canner. Put the lid on the pressure canner (you can do it in a regular water bath canner, but it takes a lot longer). Cook 1 hour for pints or 90 minutes for quarts (10 pounds of pressure).