First let me warn you, if you are a vegetarian or you are sensitive to animal rights, some pictures on this page may not be suitable for you. We by no means are pochers and we dont hunt just for sport. Everything we bring home is treated humanely and processed for human consumption. We hunt and fish for some of our food because we enjoy it. Venison is very lean in fat and healthy for your body.
Be sure to check out the links and buttons at the bottom of page for some of your shopping needs.
We raised our own labrador retrievers and had them professionally field trial trained.
Susie was a daddy’s girl. In these pictures Susie had been tragically shot by someone in our neighborhood. We do not know the reasoning because she was a sweet girl and would never hurt anyone. Her leg was so full of pellets that it had gotten so infected and the vet literally thought she was going to loose her leg and have to amputate. After much time spent in the vets clinic and under heavy antibiotics through IV’s and alot of rehab she pulled through just fine. Amazingly enough to finish her training and went on to compete in field trials. I was so proud of her.
This is Susie at one of her field trials where she won a ribbon. This was after her tragic accident. She did so wonderful and I was so proud. We attended the banquet and were able to accept her ribbon. Fast forward a few years and one day I walked out to the kennels and found Susie had passed in the night for some reason we do not understand. This was a hard time for David because Susie was daddys girl and he wanted to be alone to bury her in peace. We miss her dearly.
She was another that want be still long enough to get a picture. She bounced like a kangaroo. She helped out alot with Missy, she was a good aunt.
They loved running around on the farm. Fast forward a few years on Dixie and we had to make a decision concerning her. Dixie was so gun shy which you don’t see often in labs. This cannot happen with a lab considering they are duck dogs. They are in close range of gun shots at all times. We do not know how she got this way. We found her a home of a man who works with labs and decided to let him have her. Come to find out she is doing quite well and we are pleased.
Dakota learned to work with them alot. David has pretty much turned Missy over to Dakota to see if he can work and continue to train her. He does a very good job. Dakota has however gotten so busy with a job and school activities that now Dallas takes care of Missy.
Susie had alot more training time than Dixie. Dixie was a little stubborn and hardheaded. Shes was more skittish and hiper too. It took alot of work with her.
We try to hit as many hunting seasons as we can. Dove, turkey, duck, and deer.
Dakotas absolute favorite is Duck Hunting. His eyes are always to the sky. He has been blowing a duck call since he was 7 mths old. See…. He absolutely drove my momma crazy. At least he traded in his pacifier for it. He became a natural learning how to blow it. He even tries to teach Dallas. In high school his SR project was to build his own duck call and he did a wonderful job. He made daddy one for Christmas one year. Daddy was very proud of this duck call.
No we are not a bunch of idiots with guns. We are respectable gun owners who have all had hunter safety courses and passed with flying colors. We keep our guns clean at all times. We keep them locked up in gun cabinets and hide keys to protect children.
David has even built me my own shooting house. Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis I have trouble in cold weather. He built it for me so I can have a propane heater in there with me. Also, it’s easier since I obviously can’t climb a tree stand. I also have ground blinds. I’m glad he thinks about me and my needs.
We teach our own children how to shoot, and they take hunter safety courses. I even took the course. Dear husband did not know I could shoot as well as I could. He said, “Remind me not to make you mad!” lol
David got the privilege to be with Dallas when he got his first deer also. It was a good 7 pt. David actually has the dad to Dallas’ buck on the wall. Yes you can tell by their genetics.
Ladies, I understand now why they enjoy hunting and fishing. A man hunts for alot of reasons. First, he provides for his family. This makes him feel manly and feel as though he has taken care of his family which makes him proud of himself. And we should be proud that he puts his family first. Next, it is relaxing. It is peaceful to sit and listen to nature and just slow down and have time to thin. He works all day and is around chaos all day and just wants to unwind and get away from all the noise. That doesn’t mean he wants to get away from you and the kids all day. A man who is under alot of stress from his job everyday just needs some time to think.Don’t we all need that? If he is getting away to get away from you and the kids, I would evaluate my home situation and see if there is any reason why he wouldn’t find serenity and peace there. But that is another subject. If it really becomes between the two of you, you really need to sit and talk.
Dear hubby loves that I have developed a love for hunting. First, we can all be together and we’d have it no other way. He hated leaving me behind but I wouldn’t ask him to stop for nothing. I had other hobbies too and he never would have dreamed of asking me to give them up, however that was my choice. There has to be a healthy balance with the hobbies in the home.
Dallas and I finally have deer on the wall. We get any more and we could pull Santas sleigh. My first deer was a doe. My next was a nice 7 pt like Dallas. Thing is, Dallas and I killed ours on the same day. Yea Dallas sleeps in the deer blind too…
Dakota loved hunting at a very early age, around 3 I think. Daddy took him as soon as he was potty trained and off the sippy cup. Dakota has killed alot of deer. One day he killed two does within 20 minutes apart.
He will be a good provider for his home one day. lol
We like to educate others about hunting and take them hunting too. David has taken a boy hunting that has never hunted or even shot a gun, and he brought back one.
He was a little nervous about holding it though, he really didn’t know what to do next, but David was so proud.
The turkeys use to follow me around all in a single file. They loved pecking at my hair and rings. They were able to jump the fence though and wandered off. Luckily I think they joined up with some other turkeys that were across the road that always came into our neighbors yard. He always fed them. I told David if he went hunting and he saw one and it said, “DaDa!” don’t shoot, its one of yours. lol
Next comes fishing. Oh my goodness. Dakota and daddy can fish all day if you let them. Dakota sits and watches fishing videos alot. He can tell you what kind of bait it use in what weather and what color water. He tries to teach Dallas. They love to watch their hunting and fishing shows. Ill just leave you with some pictures.
Dallas has caught a big fish it is mounted and hanging on his wall. I don’t know if you can see it or not, I wasn’t there and David took a picture of it with his camera phone, so I took a pic of it off his phone with a regular camera. Ok and maybe he sleeps while we fish too, he doesn’t do early mornings lol
Dakota has even taught other kids how to skin out their own fish.
We also try to help with wildlife conservation. We feed the deer that comes around our home. We don’t like to hunt on our property cause we like to see them come around in our front yard. I have even sacrificed some peas in my garden just so a momma doe can feed her twins she brought to my garden to help herself. They even clean out my bird feeder too. lol David takes great care in planting food plots and things that they will have to eat when hard weather comes.
Spending time with your kids is great, but in the great outdoors, it doesn’t get any better than that.
We have all our deer processed and packaged for us. We love venison but you have to know how to cook it and believe me it takes a while to learn. One secret, there is no fat in deer, so your cooking time will be a lot less because it will dry out quickly. Venison can be cut into steaks, roasts, cubed meat for stews, ribs, ground, even make summer sausage or jerky. Any way you have it, it is delicious. If you’d like some recipes or some hints, just send me an email or comment.
Here is a quick tutorial for my Duck Gumbo:
How to Tan a Hide
Remove all flesh and fat from the hide before salting it. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO/VICTOR MAFFE
After hunting or processing livestock for the table, it’s a shame to have to toss out a nice pelt. Here is a method of tanning hides that is low cost and low labor compared to other methods of “custom tanning.” I’ve personally used this system to tan sheepskins, deerskins, groundhog pelts, rabbit hides and goat skins. The procedure can be used for all kinds of mammal pelts when you want the fur to remain on the skin. It results in a soft, workable hide, which can be used as is or cut up for sewing projects.
Salting Fresh Skins
Fresh hides right off the animal should be cooled immediately. Trim off any flesh and scrape visible fat from the hide. Place the skin in the shade, laying it completely flat with the fur side down, preferably on a cold concrete or rock surface. When the skin feels cool to the touch, immediately cover the fleshy side completely with plain, uniodized salt.
Use three to five pounds for a sheep or deer skin. Don’t skimp.
If skins aren’t salted within a few hours of removal of the flesh, you might as well forget it. They will have begun to decompose and will probably lose their hair during processing.
Transport the skin flat. We’ve had problems with predators gnawing the edges of skins, so put the hide somewhere out of reach. You don’t need to stretch the skin; just make sure it is perfectly flat, with no curled edges. If you’ve lost a lot of salt while moving the pelt, add more. The salt will draw moisture from the skin and liquid may pool in low spots. Just add more salt. Let the skin dry until it is crispy. This may take a few days to a couple of weeks. When completely dry, the skin is very stable and won’t change or deteriorate appreciably.
When you’re ready to tan the skins, assemble the following:
7 gallons water
2 pounds (16 cups) bran flakes
16 cups plain or pickling salt (not iodized)
2 large plastic trash cans (30 gallon) and one lid
4 foot wooden stirring stick
3½ cups battery acid (from auto parts store)
2 boxes baking soda
wood rack or stretcher
wire bristle brush
This recipe makes enough tanning solution to tan four large animal skins; or ten rabbit skins; or about six medium-sized pelts such as groundhog. (Cut the recipe in half for fewer skins).
Mixing the Solution
A couple of hours before you plan to tan, soak the dried skins in clear, fresh water until flexible. Boil three gallons of water and pour over the bran flakes. Let this sit for an hour, then strain the bran flakes out, saving the brownish water solution. Next, bring the remaining four gallons of water to a boil. Put the 16 cups of salt in a plastic trash can. Pour the water over the salt and use the stirring stick to mix until the salt dissolves. Add the brown bran liquid. Stir.
When this solution is lukewarm, you are ready to add the battery acid. Read the warning label and first aid advice on the battery acid container. While wearing gloves and an old, long-sleeved shirt, very carefully pour the battery acid down the inside of the trash can into the solution — don’t let it splash. Stir the battery acid in thoroughly.
At this point, you can peel off the hide’s dried inner skin. If you have fresh skins, use as is. Add the skins to the solution and stir, pressing the skins down carefully under the liquid with the stirring stick until the skins are fully saturated. Leave them to soak for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure all parts of the hides are exposed to the solution. During the soak, fill your other trash can with clear, lukewarm water. After 40 minutes, soaking is complete. Use the stirring stick to carefully move the skins one by one into the other trash can. This is the rinsing process, which removes the excess salt from the skins. Stir and slosh the skins for about five minutes, changing the water when it looks dirty.
At this point, some people add a box of baking soda to the rinse water. Adding baking soda will neutralize some of the acid in the skin – this is good because there will be less possibility of residual acid in the fur to affect sensitive people. However, this also may cause the preserving effects of the acid to be neutralized. You need to make the choice to use baking soda based on your own end use of the skin. If skin or fur will spend a lot of time in contact with human skin, I’d use the baking soda. If the pelt will be used as a rug or wall hanging, I probably wouldn’t.
Remove the hides from rinse water; they will be very heavy. Let them hang over a board or the back of a chair or other firm surface to drain. Now, using a sponge, rag or paint brush, swab the still-damp skin side of the hide with an ounce of neat’s-foot oil. It should be absorbed quickly, leaving only a slight oily residue. Tack the hide to your “stretcher.” We use salvaged wood pallets. Gently pull the hide as you tack it so there’s some tension in the skin. No need to exert excess pressure or overstretch. Set the hide in a shady place to dry.
Your acidic tanning solution can be neutralized for disposal by adding a couple boxes of baking soda. It will froth and bubble vigorously and release a potentially toxic gas, so give it plenty of ventilation and get away from the bucket while this is happening. We have a small farm and generally pour the used solution on dirt driveways to keep them clear of weeds. Do not pour it down your drain.
Check the hide every day. When the skin side feels dry to the touch in the center, but still flexible and somewhat soft, take it down from the rack. Lay the fur side down and go over the skin with a wire bristle brush. This softens the skin and lightens the color. Don’t brush heavily or excessively in one spot, just enough to give a suedelike appearance. After this, set the skin where it can fully dry for a day or so longer.
Once your friends know you can tan hides, be prepared for them to bring around their hunting trophies and livestock skins for treatment. If you decide to do this, take my advice: Don’t do it for free. Commercial tanners get $25 to $45 to tan a hide, and you should price your work accordingly, even if your return is just a case of beer. Otherwise you’ll find yourself swamped with every little skin in your region and left with no time for anything else. In exchange, your friends can expect to get a professional, quality job, with an upfront understanding about what might go wrong and what compensation you will get. People get very sensitive about their skins and this precaution will prevent potential misunderstandings and help you keep your friends.
Follow this chart to make sure you are using the right caliber: