“I’m looking forward to shooting something and bringing home some meat,” my husband pronounced as he plunked down his new hunting rifle on the kitchen counter.
“That’s not how hunting works. You don’t just buy a gun and go out and shoot something. There’s skill involved,” I replied.
“Not if I have a good scope for the gun! And I bought nice bullets. That’ll make up for my lack of experience. And this is my second time hunting. I know what I’m doing now.”
“I’ll say it again. I really don’t think that’s how it works. You don’t just point and shoot. If that’s how it’s done, then why in the world do people make such a big deal about shooting a buck?!”
We’re city-slickers. Or maybe suburb-slickers? Neither one of us grew up in hunting families. The only thing my dad shot were the squirrels digging holes into our attic, and he missed most of the time. My husband had an over-protective mom and severe outdoor allergies.
But we moved to south Mississippi and became friends with people who hunted. Actually, I haven’t met anyone in our town that doesn’t hunt. Once someone offered Asa pineapple deer sausage, he was hooked. He tried to recreate it with regular, store bought sausage but couldn’t get the right texture or taste.
So when he showed me the new hunting gear he bought for his weekend hunting trip, I thought it would be a nice getaway weekend and he’d get to avoid bathing, cook over a campfire, and watch his friends shoot stuff. He’d bum some pineapple deer sausage off one of the guys from the buck they killed that weekend and he’d be content.
Saturday evening of his guys weekend, I’m inducted into hunting widows club with the blessing, “Order a fancy drink, order a steak, and order desert. He’s hunting!” The only husband who had cell phone reception, sent a text message to his wife mid-way through the meal. She picked up the phone and glanced at the screen.
“Oh wow! Sarah… Asa shot something. They’re sending a picture…”
“It’s probably a cow,” I said between bites of my steak.
“Umm, no….not a cow… he shot a buck. An eight-point buck. And it looks like he hit it through the shoulder, too. Man, this is a huge deer.”
She passed the phone to me. On the screen is my husband, grinning from ear to ear, looking like he found a winning lottery ticket on the ground. The buck is gazing blankly at the camera, with a defeated, “I can’t believe THIS guy shot me” expression.
There are few things in life more bitter than being proven wrong by someone. But when that someone is your spouse… I’d rather be shot. Like the buck.
Asa had the humility to admit when he got home that it was pure luck that he saw the buck and hit it. But that lasted about ten seconds until he started rounding off the list of ways to use the 150 pounds of meat he had (insert manly voice) provided for his family.
“And I’m going to get the head mounted, since it’s my first one. The head is sitting in a black trash bag by the back door, so I need to get it to the taxidermist before it thaws out.”
“The head— wait what?! You mean that bag sitting next to my pansies contains a frozen, severed, deer head?! What is this, the Mississippi version of the Godfather?!”
The rest of the conversation was me asking Asa if the taxidermist could close one eye so it would look like the buck was winking (no) or if a wire could be placed in the neck so we could move it around at random (also no). I also suggested several names for the buck (Charlton Heston, Second Amendment, and Knotzo Lucky were my top three) that were vetoed as he walked out the back door.
Fast-forward three months.
Deer season is over, and the meat has been processed. I came home from visiting my parents for spring break to find over half of our full-size freezer stocked deer meat: ground meat, hamburger patties, and (you guessed it!) pineapple deer sausage. Friends, my husband got half of his 150-lb buck turned into pineapple deer sausage. We will be eating pineapple deer sausage at Gracie’s wedding.
Within days of stocking our freezer, the social distancing mandate was issued because of the coronavirus. And while there is a run on food staples in our town, the our family will be eating like kings for the next few months.
I will trade you some pineapple deer sausage for some toilet paper, though. Just don’t tell my husband.