Wild Food Kept Us Healthy and Fit


| 10/10/2013 8:26:00 AM


Tags: wild game, hunting, Missouri, Linda Holliday,
With only a second-grade education, my mother knows more about the woods, hunting and cleaning wild game than anyone I know. She practically raised us in the woods.

When my sister and I were young, Mom pulled us in our toy wagon to the woods so she could hunt. What a workout she got tugging us over plowed cornfields and through waist-high grass. She’d be on the lookout for a springy tree curved like a fly rod hauling in a catfish.

Mom and kids with deer.

Then Mom set down her 20-gauge shotgun, the one with the modified stock to fit her short arms, and she’d climb the tree to demonstrate the fun of bouncing on the limb or swinging upside down. As soon as we got the hang of it, she’d grab her gun, call to her beagles and head as far away from us noisy kids as possible.

Sometimes Mom left us with instructions to pick hickory nuts, apples, mulberries or blackberries while she hunted. Or, we caught frogs and crayfish for supper. Mom always silently reappeared from the wilderness with her daily limit of rabbits and squirrels stashed in her canvas vest pockets.

Dad favored hunting pheasant, ruff grouse, duck, geese and partridge. Game bird meat of any kind tasted great, but spitting out tiny BBs as we ate bugged me.

We also had at least one deer every year, sometimes two. We didn’t process venison ourselves, but took it to town to be made into sausage, steaks, roasts and burger. One monstrous Wisconsin whitetail buck lasted us all winter.


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