Dave and the cougar, or how I got a deer without shooting it

So I brought home a deer the other day, and it was a monumental occasion. I have never shot any big game animal, so I have never had to field dress an animal either. I have talked about hunting for many many years, I have even been a few brief times with my okanagan cousins. I have hunted quite a bit since we got here, but almost always only see animals that are out of season, or that I scare away before I can take a shot. Anyways, my skill and knowledge is increasing slowly, but in the meantime, I managed to get some meat.

Saturday morning, I was hunting near Grasmere, in the south country. Lots of deer around this area usually. I happened to be in a blind on the edge of an alfalfa field which belongs to a colleague who generously let me hunt there. They usually have elk and deer on the field, even if they aren't the right ones (the game in season) The fellow who owns the property got a 6x6 bull elk a few yards from his house this season.
So I watched the sun rise, was watching the field and didn't see anything for a few hours. I was going to go home so I dropped by the house to say goodbye. They said to be careful because there had been a couple of cougars spotted nearby last night, and that there was a fresh doe kill on the other side of the field. I thought this must be why there were no deer around, and they said that the doe hadn't even been eaten very much. I asked if a) it would be weird if I took it and b) if they would mind. I had talked to the Conservation Officer and knew that it would be legal to take home as long as I had the right paperwork done up, and they said that it sounded like a good idea.

So I went and gutted the deer. It had a small area from one hind quarter that had been bitten and eaten, but otherwise we didn't see any sign of the cougars, thankfully.

But gutting a deer was quite the experience. I was glad to practice on an animal I had found, but what reassured me was that the deer was so recently killed that it was still warm inside. I was pretty clumsy at gutting it because I had never done it before, and watching it on youtube isn't the same as doing it. It is quite the messy experience.

We kept a wary eye for cougars but didn't see any, so I didn't actually have to fight any for the meat, but I like to tell my friends back home that I stole a deer from a cougar, because it sounds better than taking a deer that I found. But the whole point is for our family to have wild meat, and I am very excited to get it back from the butcher. So yesterday I BBQ'd the tenderloins after wrapping them in bacon, and it was quite epic. They were small but it was a big moment.

Yes, in the words of my cousin, I am getting into the rural lifestyle. One of these days it will be a deer that I shoot, perhaps.

Also looking forward to the snow returning, as it melted.

and my job is amazing. But we miss our church in langley. a lot.


elizabeth said...

nice! blessing wished on you all; it is hard to miss Langley, I can only imagine...

Alanna said...

You are hysterical. Way to bring home the proverbial bacon.

RW said...

good gracious.
what a life you are leading.
we miss you.
but, I am thrilled for the adventure you are on.