Thursday, November 2, 2017

Deer Hunting Time

Antique Enterprise Sausage Stuffer
This weekend is the start of the Minnesota Deer Hunting season.  It seems like just yesterday I was going deer hunting with my uncle Dewey on Gordon Sather's land, just south of Eleva.  Deer hunting in Minnesota starts 2 weeks earlier than in Wisconsin, I suspect because half the state is farther north.  In my earlier years living in Minnesota I would hunt "Up North" near Roseau Mn with my friends the Taylors, Tim Guzek, Mark Mayerich, the late Ron Edberg, and the Ullom boys.  Today it just remains Jack and his son Ben Taylor and myself hunting near his cabin on Platte Lake, 12 miles west of Mille Lacs Lake.  We used to hunt a Rich's land, basically 120 acres of swamp with a few choice islands where the deer are thick.  This year was extremely wet with over 7 inches of rain in October.  Admittedly I am getting older and the thought of trekking through the swamp before the sun shows itself has little appeal to me.  I used to wear hip boots, walk the seemingly 5 miles (actually about 1/4 mile) carrying my clothes with on my back, changing in the woods then repeat on the way out.  That was fun but today it seems like a lot of work simply to shoot a deer.  And the shooting is the easy part, it would need to be dragged out of the swamp, gutted, and hung up.  Today we hunt on of Jack's lake neighbors land, he has 80 acres of mixed woods, field and swamp that is pretty nice.  We can drive right to it, there are plenty of sign around and it is a lot easier on the body! Friday night will always be our steak feed at Brett's (Rich's place) and we will hunt hard for the weekend, with a little luck, we'll end up with something. I have rallied the neighborhood guys into pooling our resources after deer hunting to make my late Brother-in-law's homemade venison ring bologna.  He made the greatest bologna I have ever had and it was great to have on a cold winter day. 
Ring Bologn
I used to help him out where we would make a couple hundred rings at a time with the guys back home.  So inspired, I began to acquire the equipment needed to do this in Minnesota, the first thing was to get a sausage stuffer.  I remember about 35 years ago he brought me to a house in Winona, MN where we opened a door in the floor and went down into the cellar.  There he had an Enterprise 4 quart stuffer in pretty good shape and only $35, quite a bargain as these now sell for over $300.  Since I've had a friend sand blast it and electrostatically coat with a black, food grade teflon coating.  I looks like it's brand new and does a fabulous job of stuffing meat into casings.  With a pool of neighbors, we should get some venison and because the recipe calls for 50% Pork, we would only need about 25 pounds of trimmings to make 50 or so rings.  Tim and Lory have the heated sheds, Tim and I have a smoker, I have the recipe, hopefully we will be able to make something.  It would be a great for treat for ice fishing this year, nothing is better than what those guys in Independence would make.  I am looking forward to bagging a deer but especially getting the guys together and making sausage.  When we lived in Brooklyn Park back in the 80's we made about 100 rings of bologna with my neighbors.  For a smokehouse I simply bought some cheap paneling, made a big box, then put a crude wood stove inside.  The house backed up to a main highway, 85th Ave.  The meat needs about 4 hours of smoke so we sat around drinking beer till it was done.  A drive along 85th seen the smoke coming out of our homemade smoker, drove around the block to get to the house and came to the door.  I went to answer the door and upon opening it he told me that my shed was on fire!  We showed him the bologna in the box, he went away somewhat embarrassed however it was still nice that he took the time.  I still laugh!

Gouge on the bottom of the Ranger
There are a few issues that I would like to get done with my boat before winter sets in hard.  I had an appointment for last week however the dealer doesn't have the parts yet and I feel my boat is better in my garage than in their fenced in area.  There are 3 main things that need attention, first the back Ranger Logo that I damaged during opener needs to get put on.  Secondly, the Rod locker lid had delaminated and it has not come in yet.  The third issue is getting the bottom of my boat fixed.  While in Canada, someone in the boat (he knows who he is) had some important business to do on shore.  We looked for a sandy beach area near by and found one with a few boulders to be careful around.  This was at the same time that the steering went out on the big motor so unfortunately we backed right over one of those boulders and there was not much we could do about it because we had no steering.  Although the gouge is under the boat and impossible to see, it still bothers me so it's going to get fixed.  Hopefully I can get in after deer hunting and get this stuff taken care of before it get's too cold!  Speaking of cold, there is already a nice snow cover in the northern part of the state.  Forecasts for Waskish, on Red Lake show that after this weekend lows will be in the lower teens with single digit lows towards Thanksgiving.  I won't be long now before Red Lake freezes over and maybe by the first of December we'll be fishing on the ice!  Lot's to do before then but the Ice Cabin is pretty much ready to go.

1 comment:

Jeff King said...

If any of my customers looked at the bottom of my boat they might not get in it...Hope ya get a big buck