It is November and in Maine this was the month of florescent orange.  It was sold in all the stores in hats, gloves, vests, gloves – anything you wanted could be and I am sure still is found in this lovely not subtle color.  It was worn everywhere.  Our children did not go out to play without orange hats.  They were not allowed to play in the woods in November.  It was hunting season.  It IS hunting season.

Hunting season is different in all areas of our country.  Hunting season may mean different animals in these areas as well.  I am talking about hunting season in

Maine.  It is the time to kill deer.  The season begins the first of October when one can hunt with a bow only.  The first of November you are allowed to go shoot those beautiful animals with a gun.  The season ends on Thanksgiving Day.

I had a neighbor in Maine who hunted with both weapons and usually got a deer each year.  She – yep it was a woman – would go out in the early morning and sit and wait for a deer.  She did not like deer stands.  These are constructions that are built in tress above to shoot down as deer pass below.  She would walk and sit and walk and sit in this horrid faded blue snowmobile suit with her orange vest.  I could not ever understand how she did not make noise in that suit.  Must have been very quiet as each year there was usually a carcass hanging and dripping the blood in their barn.  Isn’t that a pleasant thought?   Maybe not.  It is reality if you are a hunter.  You have to hang it and skin it and cut it up.  Most people these days I believe take their kill to a local butcher.

The eating, and venison is good eating, can be in many forms as any other animal.  It can be roasts, steaks and whatever cut you want.  I used to get the deer neck from my neighbor’s kill.  I would cook it on the woodstove for a couple of days to get it good and done.  I used the wood stove as it was too large a pot to stay on the regular stove.  I would have everyone who came to the house stir the pot as I believed it would add goodness and love to the result which was real mincemeat for pies!  I had jars of it on occasion and boy was it good!

There are many in our world today who believe that hunting should be outlawed.  Then we will have to deal with herds of deer.  On the island on which I grew up hunting was allowed and not allowed depending on the size of the deer herd in any year.  Not sure it stopped some as poaching does happen.  I am certain I have ingested some poached (I am not talking about cooking in water) venison in my life!

One of my favorite items is deerskin gloves and we had them.  When Dad would get a deer he would trade the hide for gloves.  My 2nd mother Marie, as a nurse, wore white leather shoes made of deerskin and she said they were the most comfortable shoes she had ever owned.  We used the whole animal and I think most hunters I knew and know do the same.

I did not like hunting season as a child.  It seemed there was usually an accidental shooting each year.  Dad would leave our house with his gun and walk to the woods and end up at my Grandfather’s house 5-6 miles away and call for us to come get him.  I remember waiting anxiously some Saturdays for that phone call.  I also knew that the meat helped feed us some times as while he was not ever out of work the extra helped.  I really like venison.

So while I am not in Maine I know the orange is out again.  You may see people walking on the side of the road with guns.  There will be the odd truck in a weird place and no one in it beside the woods.  Hopefully there will be no accidental shootings of any sort.

As I said hunting season means different things in different areas.  I got on a plane one time to sit by a group of men who had obviously been hunting.  They were chatting over the seats about hunting while not actually saying what was the object of the expedition.  It was after 9/11 so I asked the gentleman sitting next to me how they could get their guns on the plane.  He said it was quite a lengthy process and worth it.  I asked what they were hunting and he said Wild Turkey to which I responded, “The two legged kind or the liquid kind?”  The answer was both!

Another hunting story is from Arkansas.  We have some very dear friends over there living in the woods in a log cabin.  It is one of the most welcoming places I know.  We chided them about hunting for squirrel which they did.  I have eaten squirrel and it is not bad.  We teased that they must be down on their luck to eat squirrel and perhaps we should send them some money.  No they were fine was the reply.  They followed this up quickly by saying, “If you call and we are eating possum send cash!”

It is deer hunting season in Maine. Your call as to whether hunting is a good thing.  For me I am………….



  1. This reminds me of a hunting joke- Two guys go out hunting and they decided that they are going to split up and Frank is going to go to one side and Joe will take the other side. Frank sees movement in the trees and fires, and then runs over and sees that he shot his friend Joe. He then loads Joe into the pickup and rushes to the nearest hospital. ” Doc, you gotta save was an accident and he is my best friend.” Three hours later, the Doc came out and said ” Joe, your buddy died, but we might have had a chance if you had not gutted him.”

    Ah, the thrill of the kill.

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