Now that it’s December, my normal workday ends at 4 p.m. Not because it’s dark. It stays light until nearly 5:30. But everyday at four now I stop work to go deer hunting.
But to be fair, I don’t think that means I’m working less. I consider deer hunting part of my farming/homesteading work. I don’t hunt for trophies and I don’t particularly enjoy it. It’s not a hobby and I don’t do it for fun. I hunt deer for food and to help manage the deer population here (which is far above what nature can reasonably handle). Hunting is a natural and normal part of homesteading and a sustainable country lifestyle.
We haven’t bought any meat for over 10 years. The only red meat I’ve eaten during that time has been venison, which is delicious and healthful. It’s the ultimate in free-range naturally-raised meat, and I hunt in a way that doesn’t needlessly stress or pain the deer. With a few deer, fish from our pond, the extra roosters we have to cull and some of our pork, I have all the meat I could possibly eat–and all from right here on the farm.
On really cold days I don’t look forward to sitting still for an hour or two, shivering and waiting for deer that usually don’t show up. But I like being responsible for feeding myself, and it’s good to know that the animals I eat live natural lives and haven’t been tortured in some factory before ending up on my plate.