A Hunting Trip with My Dad-Part 2

9 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

In this particular year, the pastor who invited us to stay at his home for the “Special Deer Hunt”, raised his own goats and processed their milk into some of the most delicious cheeses.  It was a small family operation, so I was able to watch the many intriguing stages the milk went through to become cheese.  Of course, I had to try at least one sample (maybe more) of cheese at each stage, to know how it tasted.  I believe I may have acquired my love of all types of cheeses from that experience, which has stayed with me to this day.

As I remember it, the hunt that year went well, and the hunting area was close to where were staying.  My dad and I came across a small herd of white-tail doe on the third day out, and we each bagged our deer.  After we got our deer cleaned and transported back to the pastor’s house, we lashed them to the finders of our 1950 Buick, thanked the pastor for his hospitality, and headed home.

 (This was a very familiar scene during hunting season) 

Our problem started as we were making our way out of the mountains.  We had no idea that it had snowed so heavily on the south side of the mountains the night before, and our big 1950 Buick sedan got stuck.  Guess who got the job of putting the chains on, in all that snow and cold weather?  You guessed it.  It took both of us to get the job done, and when we finally got the chains in place, we were both muddy, soaked, and freezing.  With some very careful driving, we finally made it home, and the deer processing procedures began.

Photo Credit: Ages Lites

My dad had a special arrangement with the local butcher, at our neighborhood grocery store.  The butcher would cut our deer meat into every type of cut we wanted, then wrap, and mark each package.  For this service the butcher would receive a small percentage of the meat.  My dad also maintained a large walk-in freezer, at the meat packing plant downtown, where we kept all of our meat products.  As you might guess, we bought very little beef, and pretty much lived on venison during my growing up years at home.

My mom was an excellent cook, and could prepare the most delicious venison steaks, roast, meatloaf, chili, stew, and hamburgers.  I don’t know about the rest of the family, but I never got tired of venison in any form.  Growing up in the Southwest, deer, elk, antelope, and bear meat were pretty much the common item seen on the dining table for hunting families.  Nowadays, the only “wild” meat available in stores (at least in the south) is the occasional listing for Buffalo Burgers or Alligator Tail.

I never got the chance to go Antelope, Elk, or Wild Turkey hunting with my dad, but he went every chance he got.  I remember how pleased he was the year he went Elk hunting (I’m not sure where he went for that hunt). We were all happy for him, when he brought home that large 10-point Bull Elk for us to process.  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The thing was huge.  Along with a 10-point white-tail deer head, that elk head was one of only two trophy heads my dad ever had mounted.  The whole family took turns having our picture taken with that massive elk head in our back yard.  

Photo Credit: Judy Lites

All the guys I hung out with at the time came over to take a look at the elk and get their picture taken with that massive elk head.  And, my younger sister, Judy, not wanting to get left out, even got in on that photo shoot.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I Look back on those days now; what great memories.  I must admit that those were some of the best days of my teenage years.  Because of his traveling, I didn’t get to spend much time with my dad during those years, but the few experiences I had, fishing and hunting with him were great.  As I remember, it was a good thing that the hunting seasons were in the colder months of the year, since those hunting procedures took some time to complete, and the low temperatures preserved the deer, antelope, or elk until we could get them home, hung-up, skinned, processed, and over to the butcher.  And of course, I didn’t mind getting out of school for a week!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Did you happen to notice my 1955 Harley Davidson Sportster in the background in the picture above?  No, we didn’t take my motorcycle on hunting trips (TOO COLD!) and there was no place to carry the deer.  I just stored it, out of the weather, in our garage, which as you can see was used for other things as well.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

My Dad Loved To Hunt

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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