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Thanksgiving Traditions

My favorite memories of Thanksgiving day don’t center around food and drink… well I’ll qualify that answer, they don’t center around ONLY food and drink.  I’m a female,  I enjoy hunting, and no, I don’t consider it unethical or unsporting, and Thanksgiving in our family is a traditional hunting day, where we all get together to enjoy the sport as a family..

Anyone who thinks hunting isn’t a sport has never had to follow a rabbit  with their gun as he zigs and zags, or try to fell the gray squirrel who is quite good at hiding among the trees.

Thanksgiving at our house wasn’t just a celebration of friends and family and all of the other things that the harvest signify, it was also a day when we all got together in the morning and went small game hunting, a season which came in just days before Thanksgiving.

We polished up our shotguns and went out hunting squirrel and rabbit on the morning of Thanksgiving while the ladies, or at least some of them, (there are several of us who take part in the actual hunting) cooked a wonderful meal, and waited for the arrival of the group around lunch time, famished from the lengthy walk over the fields, dogs prancing with tails beating wildly as they raced the humans to the house.

While it may seem like a strange tradition for Thanksgiving, and in reality to those who don’t hunt, who don’t walk the fields and woods in search of the small game, or who don’t spend the afternoon skinning and caring for what they gathered after the big meal, its probably going to sound a bit odd.

To us, it was part of being grateful… for our ability to still traverse those fields, to still aim carefully and bring home a meal of wild rabbit, to still raise our voices in laughter and teasing among friends as we  roasted the others abilities to shoot and skin, while we skinned and quartered what we had taken and drank several pots of strong hot coffee, and a few glasses of something a little stronger sometimes.

Hunting isn’t for everyone, certainly not for the faint of heart, but for those of us dyed in the wool country kids, whether male or female, the annual Thanksgiving hunt is something we just wouldn’t miss, even if we had to fly home to attend it.


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