I feel I am a lapsed-South Dakotan. It is pheasant hunting season, and I don’t care.
I’m not sure how old I was—but not very—when I decided I really did not like chicken. I still don’t.
I think part of it stemmed from seeing my dad cut off the chickens’ heads, and the subsequent boiling off of their feathers. Whatever it was, I have gone to great lengths to not eat chicken…or turkey…or duck…or goose…or pheasant.
So now that we are into pheasant season, I feel like I am a semi-traitor about the whole thing. This is pheasant country, for heaven’s sake.
This much is true: my dad wasn’t an avid hunter. He might shoot a random pheasant in the field next to our house, but “hunting” wasn’t in his genes.
Even after I married, pheasant season wasn’t that big a deal. My husband might join family members for a day, but not annually, and it wasn’t something he lived for. He much preferred fishing and deer hunting.
I like beef (all kinds but liver), as well as pork chops, ham, bacon. I like halibut, walleye and trout. So I a not a vegan. I even like hot dogs, whatever they are made of, and summer sausage. I’ve had goat sausage, deer sausage, moose steak, elk. I did draw the line at raccoon.
But I always feel a little “strange” when Thanksgiving comes, and I dish up the dressing and potatoes and gravy on my plate, but pass on the turkey.
When I was a kid, my Aunt Mart always made New Year’s goose. I hated those blasted geese; as a little girl they would chase me, wings extended. You’d think I’d want to devour them for spite. But I passed, though I surely always looked forward to her German bread pudding.
Trying to be a good wife and mother, I would dutifully fix chicken occasionally. I always made turkey for Thanksgiving when we were home. I enjoyed the dressing…and the hot dog.
From page 1-
I think I even fixed a duck or two, roasted in a paper bag (throw away the duck…eat the bag).
I have pheasant recipes, so I must have prepared some once in a while. I don’t recall it…it’s blocked from my memory.
Someone told me recently that a person said, “The opening of pheasant hunting is better than Christmas…everyone is home.”
I never experienced that. For my sister, it is almost a “religious occasion,” as all her kids, grandkids and out-of-staters gather. But her husband was bred into that tradition, and so it continues.
I understood deer hunting better (though I always cheered for the deer). It took dedication. And the end result was a lot of meat…I preferred the sausage.
I think my older son dutifully did a little hunting and fishing when he was younger, but not since he had a choice. Same with my younger son. He likes to fish, but the rest of it isn’t of interest.
So I guess I am not quite a “pure” South Dakotan. I certainly don’t begrudge the “thrill of the hunt” for others. It has just never been something that made much difference to me, one way or the other.
Everyone has his or her little quirks. Mine is, if it has feathers, I don’t want to eat it. But I’d love a good T-bone.
I’ll have a hot dog, please