Moosesghetti: spaghetti with moose meat

Posted in recipe on December 30th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

As heard on twitter from alizasherman:

Just finished a plateful of Moosesghetti. Yes, spaghetti with moose meat. Hey, we live in Alaska.

Elk to get birth control

Posted in hunting on December 30th, 2007 by stormy – 1 Comment

If you follow Frank’s blog you know how he feels about their current plans to pay wildlife officials to slaughter elk in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Well, they’ve decided to add a new strategy.  They are going to implant some of the female elk with birth control.  I think that’s a good, if long term solution, to some of the elk problems that Estes Park has.  It won’t make as much money for the state as allowing hunters to harvest some of them, but it might be more palatable to more people, if a lot more expensive for Colorado.  (Letting hunters hunt would be more palatable than paying wild life officials to slaughter them and would bring in lots of revenue.)

Do you know why beavers are nocturnal?

Posted in hunting on December 28th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Maybe you know beavers are nocturnal, but did you know that they
haven’t always been nocturnal? Until they were extensively hunted and
trapped, beavers were mostly active during the day.  They switched to
the night time to stay alive and even now that they are not hunted so
extensively, they remain nocturnal animals.  But beavers really see
better during the day.

I think that’s absolutely amazing.  We changed the way an entire
species lives.  Even now that they don’t have to be nocturnal, they
remain changed.

I learned this at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature today.  I actually learned a few other things as well.  It was an interesting day.  Caleb learned that it’s really fun to run around a museum and stare at people. 

Best present: windshield wiper blades

Posted in supplies on December 9th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Believe me, windshield wiper blades make a great present!  After a tough time driving in the snow yesterday, Frank went out and bought some Bosch ICON wiper blades.  Every time we used them today (which was about 36 times more than we needed to) he would grin and look over at me and go "yeah!" 

I just wish I’d gotten them for his birthday.  He loves them!

Game meat. I’m not trying to talk you into it. Really.

Posted in Food and Drink on December 5th, 2007 by stormy – 6 Comments

I was wondering today why more people don’t eat game meat.   For background:

  • We eat a lot of game meat: antelope, deer, elk, and pheasant.  I don’t think I’ve left anything out.  Oh, we traded for some wild hog too.  And we had some moose.  And dove.  The duck and geese always go to somebody else.  And we always have freshly caught fish in the summer. (Fish tacos, yumm.)
  • I’m not a picky eater and I’ve never had any issues with eating game meat.  I didn’t realize what a big deal it was that Frank cooked moose steaks the first time I came over for dinner until much later.  (One exception: I think it’s really sad how little food you get out of a dove.  Maybe a dove isn’t as big or as smart as a deer but I guess I’m a little hung up on a life is a life and it’s kind of sad that 2-3 doves give their lives so you can have an appetizer.  So I tried to enjoy it as much as possible!)
  • I would never try to talk anyone into eating game meat.  Why?  Why bother?
  • I would vehemently argue that eating game meat is not bad.
    • Not bad for the environment. The Division of Wildlife carefully controls animal population numbers and doles out hunting licenses accordingly.  Anyone who has ever been to Estes Park knows we have too many elk! Plus hunting license fees go to pay for all sorts of good wildlife and nature type things.
    • Not bad for you.  Game meat is very low in fat and free of hormones.  (I have to admit that after reading Fast Food Nation, I’m more than a little afraid of the hormones in my beef, chicken and pork.  They really do put them in.  You can ask my dad.)
    • Not bad for your tastebuds.  Just cook it right.  Ask Frank for advice or follow this blog.  Our favorite cookbook is Amazing Venison Recipes.

I think the main reasons people don’t eat game meat are these but let me know if I’ve missed yours!

  • "It doesn’t taste good."  Then it wasn’t cooked right or it was a bad piece of meat.  In the past five years I’ve only had one or two meals that I didn’t like because of the game meat.  I’d invite you over to dinner but I’d have to ask Frank first … People at work keep oohing and aahing over my leftovers for lunch and Frank says there are fights over his leftovers if he decides to go out to lunch.  I’ve been trying to talk him into going into the hot lunch catering business … In the meantime, you can get a copy of our favorite cookbook, Amazing Venison Recipes.
  • "It’s bambi!"  Have you ever seen a baby calf?  Or piglet?  Or chick?  They are pretty darn cute too! (If you’re a vegetarian, I understand.  Otherwise, I don’t get it.)
  • "It was free."  Let’s see – you are ok with keeping a calf in a small crowded space for a year and then killing it but not with letting a deer roam free for a couple of years and then killing it?
  • "It’s expensive."  If you don’t hunt, it’s definitely expensive.

One reason often given to eat game meat that is not really true is "it’s cheaper."  If we added up all of Frank’s hunting costs and the cost of processing meat, it’s not cheaper for us.  Maybe if we processed it ourselves it would be but then you’d have to figure in the time and days off work to process it.

So why don’t you eat game meat?  Or if you do, what’s the most common reason you hear from those that don’t?

Hunters get a bad rap on CSI

Posted in hunting on November 3rd, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

Hunters get a bad rap on TV and in the movies. Often they are portrayed as drunk red necks that like to kill things and often accidentally shoot themselves and others.  In real life hunters are usually very conscientious and to most people’s surprise, they really love and respect the wildlife they hunt. 

So hunters were pretty upset when this week’s CSI NY assumed that a murderer was a hunter because a tick was found at the crime scene.  Personally, I thought it was very poor detective work to immediately leap to the conclusion that only hunters got ticks. 

You know you are a hunter when …

Posted in hunting, kids on November 2nd, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

You know you are a hunter (or you know your significant other is a hunter) when you can plan multiple hunting trips in a row, cook group meals, apply for hunting licenses, pack, prepare, etc and yet you bring the kids home from school without their shoes or coats …

… and the kids ask "what did you get?"

93 year old friends are more important than hunting

Posted in hunting on November 1st, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

If you go hunting with your significant other, understand that your priorities may be very, very different and you may not know it! 

When we got to South Dakota, pheasant hunting started at noon, so I made plans to visit my grandmother’s best friend (who is 93 years old) one morning before we started hunting.  Unfortunately for me, that was the day that hunting started at 10am instead of 12!  I thought, no problem, it doesn’t matter that the season opens at 10, we can just start hunting at 12.  But my avid hunter said no way, the season starts at 10, you hunt at 10.  That was a problem since we only had one vehicle and the hunting spot and the friend were 60 miles apart.  So I lost it (it being my temper, my reasoning, my understanding of hunting, my patience, everything.)  I swore never to hunt again and I spent the day visiting non-hunting family. 

I did relent and go out hunting again the next day and I had a good time.  Then the day after that my avid hunter and I (having gotten our limit of pheasants) both spent the day with my grandmother and her 93 year old friend.  So it all worked out in the end.

Why I dreaded hunting this year …

Posted in hunting on October 26th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

"Have you ever taken your other half hunting?"  The Hunter’s Wife question really struck home with me this year.  My hunter has been taking me pheasant hunting every year for the past five years and I’ve always enjoyed it.  But this year I wasn’t just not looking forward to it, I was actually kind of dreading it.  First I told myself it was because we had to find a babysitter and I hate finding a babysitter at home much less from 800 miles away.  Then I told myself it was because our parents weren’t going.  Then I told myself it was because last year I was two months post-partum and didn’t get the easy paths.  (Note to hunters: Frank always makes sure I get the easy walking and I love him for it, especially at the end of the day when I’d rather be drinking a beer.  Note to non-hunters: pheasant hunting is hard work.)  Then I just gave up reasoning and decided I’d go because Frank was looking forward to it.  But yesterday, when a rooster pheasant flew up in front of me and I shot at it once (and missed) and twice (and missed) and then grinned and shouted "my gun works!"  I had actually shot twice in a row!  I realized why I’d really been dreading hunting this year.  Last year my gun jammed every time I shot it.  It was disappointing – it was my grandfather’s gun and I really wanted to use it.  It was embarrassing –  I missed at least 20 birds.  It was frustrating – it worked fine for Frank.  I was disappointed, embarrassed and frustrated and I took it out on Frank – who took all my yelling like a trooper and even tried trading guns with me.  Unknown to me, he researched the problem, figured it out, "fixed" my gun and now I’m a happy hunter again!

Hunting in Wyoming from the non-hunter viewpoint

Posted in hunting, kids on October 24th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

We took the kids hunting in Wyoming and we had a good time.  It a was a much anticipated trip with our 7 year old repeatedly saying "I have to keep my grades up so I can go hunting!"  (He’s in first grade – I’m not sure they even get grades yet!)  We got off to a late start so we ended up feeding the kids Arby’s in the truck on the way up (instead of hamburgers and hotdogs around a campfire.)  Our 14 month old insists on eating when he’s hungry which is pretty much all the time.  In retrospect, I should have stayed home Friday night with the little one, gotten him a good night’s sleep in his own crib and then joined Frank and Jacob after their morning hunt … next time.

My main job seemed to be changing diapers and making sure the kids had enough clothes and food as well as being a general pack mule for our 25 pound "little" one!  But it was worth it.  We camped right along the Platte River with a gorgeous view of the river, trees and rolling hills.  Although it was a bit chilly the sun was shining and the antelope were out in mass.  (Just not the ones that Frank was supposed to shoot!) 

The main challenge with camping with the baby has been sleeping.  This trip was no exception.  We ended up with him sleeping between the two of us – an interesting experience as he thinks mom and dad make good pillows but they should not move.  (Our seven year old actually slept in the truck and I think he had the best bed of all!)  The second night it was so cold, windy and rainy that Frank actually drove our truck and camper into the quonset hut.  That was fun!  It was kind of like camping in a big warehouse.

I got in a couple of nice hikes along the river, sat and enjoyed the view and read a few pages of my book.  Frank and Jacob did a lot of scouting around and Caleb played with rocks.  A good time by all!  Probably to be repeated next year!