Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Elk Hunt

So, this was what I was so excited about yesterday.  My dad and I were given the opportunity to hunt some Elk on a property near here.  My dad has always wanted a nice Elk bull and I really wanted to get my hands on some good Elk meat, so I wanted to shoot a cow.  Well, this turned into quite the hunt.  Unfortunately, the bulls were having none of it.  We were able to locate a small group and I got a very nice cow out of that one.  My dad ended up spending the night on the ranch and will try again in the morning.  I really hope it is successful.  Here are some pics from today:

It was a truly beautiful animal.  Very healthy and very LARGE.  Handling this size animal is an entirely different experience.  In my past I've been involved in hunts with a lot of large game, but never really the processing all that much.  I've handled literally hundreds of Whitetail and Axis deer, so I have that size game down pat.  It's somewhat the same, but then not really.  From there, we went here:

Now it is quartered from here and hanging in a cooler getting some age on it.  We're still trying to plan out how we're going to tackle this one.  We take pride in processing all of our own game, so we're trying to figure out some facilities and get some time lined up to do it.  I really cannot wait to get some of these steaks into the kitchen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sausage, Phase 2: The Drying

So, of the 145 rings, 50 went into the drying phase.  This is nothing more than our regular smoked ring hung to dry in a refrigerator.  It takes around a week or so, sometimes more.  It is all done by feel and rings become ready throughout the process depending on size and thickness.  If you're going to try it, here is a tip: wear gloves when handling the rings from this point or it will develop a white layer of mildew.  It's not the end of the world, just slightly unsightly.  A vinegar and water wash will cure it, but that's just extra time that can be avoided by handling them properly during this phase.

Exciting Day Tomorrow

Stay tuned.  I know it's a tease, but it's going to be pretty cool.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Charcuterie

It's getting to be that time of the year.  Hunting season and, for us, sausage making season.  We did the whole process this morning and ended up with a whole bunch of rings. 145, to be exact on the first run of the season.  Here it is, pre-smoke.

I can't wait for it to be done.  A good portion, probably around 50 will go straight from smoke into a cooler to dry for about a week.  Nothing beats good dry ring sausage.  Yum.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Beer Tasting or Drinking contest?

Our big shooting/eating/guy's weekend was a few weeks ago.  I know, I haven't posted anything.  I'm am ashamed.  Each night the guns are put away and the food and drink are prepared.  This group of friends happens to be a very beerphilic group.  We each decided to bring a few bottles of great beer for everyone to try.  Of course, since none of us know what moderation even means, it turned into this:

The only one missing was the one in the refrigerator which happens to be the beer with a perfect score on Beer Advocate, Deschutes, The Abyss.  There was a total of 33 beers to try and we had to break it up over 3 nights.  Before you say, "oh, that's nothing" there was, of course, other drinks and the average ABV on this group of beers was close to 9%.  There weren't any in this group that were poor representations.  Most were fantastic, some were just really good.  We had a great time experiencing a whole bunch of great beer.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Problem solved with application of high speed lead

Seems a jerk in New Mexico thought he'd tail a woman home and do who-knows-what to some poor, defenseless woman.  Wait, did I say defenseless?

Not quite...  < ---  Clicky, clicky

...the woman says Sandoval grabbed a knife, put the knife to her chin and told her to take off her clothes.  The woman told deputies she then reached under her pillow, grabbed a loaded gun and shot him.

 I have not really been a fan of the idea of keeping your loaded gun under your pillow.  There are more secure ways to have it quickly accessible.  However, I am not going to fault someone for at least having something somewhere.  It worked for her.  The great news is that she will hopefully just need to talk to someone to help her through some of the issues from the invasion, but not anything else.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Some things need killin'

This guy is one of them.

First weekend of hunting season was this last weekend.  I culled an older buck with just forks.  He needed to go, too.  Unfortunately, the nasty bugger above isn't the only one coming to the blind.  I'd love nothing more than to get hold of a night vision scope, but those aren't cheap.  I guess we're going to have to go old fashioned and use lights.  Otherwise, this will be lurking out there tearing stuff up...

...and we can't have that, now can we?

As you can tell by the time stamp, it also means staying up all night to shoot some nasty pigs.  That doesn't send the thrill through me like it used to in my youth.