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The First Feast Project, Part 9: Pulling it All Together

| 12/8/2015 11:01:00 AM

Roasted duck

With only a few days to go before Thanksgiving, I still needed to get a duck, turkey, and the seafood items. I knew all along I would not be going hunting for a turkey. As I mentioned in Part 2, it’s too expensive in Florida to go on a guided hunt, and I’m not experienced enough as a hunter to go into the woods of Florida on my own.

The turkeys for dinner were bought at Lake Meadows Naturals, a local farm that raises turkeys, chickens, and ducks. Bribery is the operative word for how I convinced the friend in charge of cooking the turkey to leave Butterball alone. I promised to pick up the difference in price between a grocery store-bought turkey and a farm-raised one. The difference in price was about three dollars more a pound than at a mass-market grocer.

With the turkey handled, it was time to get the duck. Hunting season for waterfowl starts late if you want it in time for Thanksgiving. The season opens on November 21st.  My hunting guide was already booked for the first day, so on day two I was up at 3am to drive an hour to go hunting on the St. Johns River.

The hunting went exactly that way it did for my first three hunts for deer and wild hog. I, nor the dozen or so hunters I knew were in the area, saw much of anything. From 5am through 11am, I heard the sound of a shotgun blast only ten times. I did, however, donate quite a few pints of blood to the local mosquito blood bank.

The annoyance I felt was quite high. I wanted to place the meat items on the table with my own two hands, but I must admit I felt quite the failure. It felt more like the universe throwing me a bone with the deer and hog, than a real hunt. The message, at least to me, was clear: Stop pushing your luck. I cut my losses, and drove back to Lake Meadows to buy a duck from the farm.

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