My First Deer
I've had plenty of experience slaughtering chickens, ducks, geese, and the like, but I've never actually killed and dressed a larger mammal. Deer season in Michigan lasts two weeks, and this is the second year in a row I've gone up to try and shoot a deer. After two days of sitting in a cold tree blind by myself, I succeeded.
My best friend's father-in-law showed me how to field dress the deer, carefully removing its digestive tract without splitting it. Both deer went down with a single clean shot—I miraculously managed to nip both of them in the heart, dropping them painlessly in their tracks within seconds.
If actually pulling the trigger is the most uncomfortable part of hunting for your food, gutting it comes in a close second. I quickly resigned myself (and my camera) to the fact that if you're taking the internal organs out of a recently deceased animal, you will get blood all over everything.
Sliced and ready to cook
We ate one heart within hours of death while I saved the second for a week for Chichi to sample. Here, it's sliced into steaks, ready for the pan.
I simply seared them in browned butter along with a few sprigs of thyme, which go really well with the mildly gamey flavor of wild venison.