Deer Hunting Traditions Bring Family and Friends Together, Year After Year
When people ask me “why do you hunt?”, I always tell them that it’s not just about the act of hunting, but everything that can come from this great American tradition. Two weekends ago was the ‘The Annual Sausage Making Gathering’ which for me, is one of the spokes that makes up the entire wheel of hunting.
I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this party! My good friend (who I’ve hunted with for the past 20 years) first invited me to join their party after our first hunting season. He’s family gets together every year in February, to turn the venison they harvested from the past years hunt into a dried sausage. A tradition (and recipe) that dates back to their family's roots in Italy. I can’t share the recipe with you, cause once you're asked to join in on this event, there’s a secret ceremony where you pledge to never reveal the ingredients to the outside world and if you do, well, your fate is worse than death (kidding of course).
It’s not the recipe that's important anyway, it’s the fact that his entire family drives in from around the Midwest, for a three day weekend of eating, drinking, cards, conversation and oh yeah, sausage making! They talk about the past years hunt of course, but also catch up on family news and events (new babies, jobs, girlfriends or boyfriends). These subjects are batted back in fourth with the same exuberant passion that you hear in the political debates (but civil of course). The only time their words get heated is when one of the brother-in-laws (or my wife) are accused of cheating in cards. The food is plentiful, diverse and tastes out of this world!
So now, my wife and kids have also come to love this gathering. Come February, my son and daughter drive home from Chicago and Nashville, respectfully, to join in on this three day tradition. It gives us a chance to catch up over a meal or two, have a few drinks and play cards too.
Hunting has brought me some life long friendships (new and old) that I truly cheerish. But, it more importantly has brought me and my family closer together is so many different ways and that's why I hunt. Plus, the sausage is pretty damn good too!