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The Westmoreland Journal
King George, Virginia
November 16, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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November 16, 2016

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6 Wednesday, Nov. 16, MARK FIKE Each year when deer season comes in, I get comments from my non hunting acquain- tances relating to my pursuit of whitetail deer. qhey often ask, "What do you do with the deer?" I never cease to be amazed at that question. I eat it of course! Why hunt if you are not go- ing to eat what you get? When I reply, the facial expression in response tells the story. Most people that don't hunt have not tried venison and are making faces at what they perceive the meat must taste like. Those that have tasted it had a bad experience for the most part and pass judgement on venison for the rest of time. Admittedly, there are people out there that simply don't like venison and that does not bother me. If you factor in that I enjoy being in the woods getting my own organic food, and I enjoy hunting, then the meat I bring home is also saving me money. I don't have any other hobbies except fishing, gardening and maybe some woodworking; none of which are cost- ing me too much and most of which put food on the table. Some would say that venison is very ex- pensive meat. I would admit that if you spend a ton buying the latest rifles, shotguns and bows and you don't keep a good bud- get, you are going to spend money. I tend to buy gear that will last and I take care of it. My biggest expense each year includes the li- censes needed to hunt the game in our area and maybe the gas I spend traveling from my home to the property I hunt which is not far. I still wear the same hunting clothes I have had for a few years and I don't shoot that of- ten, so my ammo costs are relatively low. When we bring home a deer, it is all hands on deck to reduce that field dressed deer When I share the variety of meat choices we get from a deer, most people are surprised• Mark Fike to steaks, roasts, loins, burger and various sausages. When I share the variety of meat choices we get from a deer, most people are surprised. I don't really understand why, but I suppose that people do not realize how meat is cut and what can be done with it. Steaks and roasts are pretty simple to understand. I think most people understand you can grind up meat and get burger and most are willing to try deer burger if it is in chili. However, when I start talking about the scrumptious breakfast sausages we make or the Kielbasa sausage we prepare, they get a confused look. It is fun to just continue the conversation and start listing things like the jalapeno cheddar cheese infused summer sausage we enjoy, or maybe it is the hot pepper jack summer sau- sage we make. The looks turn to amazement when I tell folks that the Cajun sausage on the grill is just hot enough to taste really good next to some corn or cornbread for supper. This very morning I had the last package of Chorizo fried up and served up next to some VERY fresh organic eggs from the back yard flock. I was pretty excited to see that last bag of Chorizo hiding in the freezer as I was re- organizing it last night in preparation for the venison we would hopefully be adding this week and next. We have made hot Italian sau- sage to go in our homemade spaghetti sauce before and I think we may do that again this year. But, then again we may try the sweet Italian sausage this year. My favorite is the Prairie Sage sausage. I eat it for breakfast and I Chunk it in my Southern dishes to add some good zip. It is great browned and dropped in chunks in soup on a cold day too. Did I mention Andouille for those South- ern dishes? I also forget to tell folks how we have made up Polish Sausage a few times too. I have not tried the Bratwurst or the Bolo- gna yet, but I have made venison hotdogs. They were pretty good. So was the pepperoni which ended up being half eaten as a snack and half used up on homemade pizza. Ok, the possibilities are endless and that honestly is the problem. There is never enough meat and time to make all of the stuff we want even in a good year. So, we space it out and make a lot of a half dozen things and freeze it for treats all year long and then alter- nate to something different for the following year. Am I a professional chef? FAR from it. Reading between the lines that should tell you, the reader that making all of the above things is not difficult. The seasonings are readily available at or some lo- cal outdoor retailers. We have a meat grinder and that was our biggest expense. The sea- sonings are very reasonable and the prep is very easy. Most things take less than 6 steps to make. Cleanup is, well, cleanup. Not my favorite part but the eating makes up for it. We have some very good meals around our house and we have a great selection of things to eat or snack on too. Oh, did I mention ~'enison jerky? Shhhh... I just hid a roast to thaw out and make some jerky. I don't want my kids to know. Maybe this is a good time to encourage them to go hang out with a friend. They poach the pieces offthe dehydrator be- fore I can get any of it. Warm jerky is the best! Making your own sausage from Photos deer you hunt is easier than you think. by Mark like Outdoor Report Fishing appears to be quite good for those that get out. Hunting has been hit or miss. Some days the deer appear to be moving and others they are not moving at all. Rappahannock River lid well off the piers. Some really nice catfish and crappie were caught on the shallow end of the res- ervoir too. Motts is going to try staying open in November until it gets really cold on Fridays, Sat- urdays and Sundays from 7 AM until 6 PM. Lake Anna anglers were taking bass on swim- baits, jerkbaits, and some jigged shads. Watch for some hunters and the other days are downright slow. Be sure of your target. Firearms season starts Saturda Let's pOlice ourselves. If you see someone doing something illegal like trespassing, shooting more than their limit, dumping carcasses, dumping dogs on POSTED land or whatever, report it so we don't all look bad. Now is the time to take an afternoon and hit your fish finder and you might also haul in some structure in the mid to upper river for crappie. ~ striper and hybrid striped bass. UPCOMING SEASONS: Saltwater Firearms Deer season opens Nov. 19th 'Fake some minnows and dont forget your bass Capt. Ryan Rogers of the Midnight Sun is put- Duckseason .~Nov. 16,27 rod either. The fish should be hitting spinnerbaits a~_nd~5~r~nks on ledges~ walls and treet9ps, ting clients on a steady picking of nice striped bass. : Dec~ 17iJan, 29 Potomac River ........................... Some of the fish are up to 30 incheS now. OcCasion- ...... Go~se ~eas0n ............... ~N0v. 16227 Aqua Land Marina reported that rockfish areally they get into some trout too. Dec. 17-Jan: 29 running deeper but the catches are better and the In the lower bay the'striper action is good. Some Bag Limit: 2 per day, 6 in possession. fish are fatter this week. Soft plastic jerkbaits and specks are being caught as well as some puppy DoveNov. 19-27 shads are doing the job. Trollers are also catching drum. Swimbaits are the top bait it seems. Some (˝ hour before sunrise until sunset) some really nice fish. No report on bass. topwater action is being had for rockfish. Dec. 24-Jan. 15 Inland Hunting--The deer are still chasing but the rut (˝ hour before sunrise until sunset) Motts Run said crappie and sunfish are hitting will start to tail off soon. Some days the actidn is busy 4' Brooke Re t of King George School with her father she harvested with a muzzleloader last week. Great job Brooke! 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