It started snowing last Friday around dusk and snowed all night and into the next day. By the time it was over we had about 8 inches on the ground.
Monday morning we woke up to -2 degrees, a record low. A couple of days later it was nearly 70. Winter in Virginia.
Saturday, the day after the snow, was the last day of deer season. But the heavy snow, and the fact that it was still coming down, meant that it effectively ended on Friday.
I put three in the freezer this year, and I’m grateful for that. It’s now been over ten years since I quit eating meat that didn’t come off this farm. For over a decade, venison has been the only red meat I’ve eaten.
The sun was setting Friday evening when I took the last deer of the season, a large buck. The snow was falling hard and beginning to accumulate as I was field-dressing him in the edge of the woods. Nature becomes eerily quiet during snowfall. It’s hard to describe how beautiful it was. I gave thanks to Nature. I apologized to the deer, and thanked him for the sacrifice. I felt deeply humbled by it all. And deeply grateful for the opportunity to live this life.