It's 7:00 am, and my husband is out hunting deer. He didn't go far. He didn't load up the truck on Friday and drive out to a deer blind on some remote land. Nope, he rolled out of bed about an hour ago, and walked to the back of our property. He's taken quite an interest in hunting lately, but since we both come from families who don't, and friends who mostly don't, he had no idea how to even go about it. Turns out that all we had to do was pay a visit to our neighbor. A hunter himself, he quickly informed us that we have deer passing along the creek on our property regularly. Since we haven't had much cause yet to visit the far reaches of our place, we had no idea.
Back in my younger and more naive days, I was staunchly anti-hunting. I've never been against eating meat, but modern hunting is quite sophisticated, and it seemed unfair to me to essentially trick animals into coming close enough that you can shoot them from your blind. "They don't really have a fighting chance" I'd argue. Needless to say, I've learned more about hunting since then, and A LOT more about meat eating. Once I decided to raise livestock, I could no longer ignore the similarity between what I was doing and what hunters do. If anything, my animals are even less likely to escape their fate than the deer in these woods. In any case, either method is far better than buying feedlot meat.
I do hope we're able to do some measure of hunting on our land. Adding venison, rabbit, fish and wild duck to our freezer would add variety, increase economy and be quite a boon to our little homestead. It's somewhat comforting to know that no matter what happens, there is food right outside our door - it feels like money in the bank. And the fact that we can take advantage of it right here, without leasing land or setting up camp someplace far away...well that's just gravy.