“This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of FoodSaver®; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.”
The Process of Tradition
Before I even hunted, I knew how to process wild game. It was something that my grandmother taught my dad, aunt’s and uncles, and then passed down to me and my cousins. Now that my grandma has passed, her knowledge of processing deer in a way that maximizes each cut of meat is even more sacred. I remember growing up, I never realized that processing wild game as a family was something unique. Then, I got older, and I found that it was a foreign concept to many of my friends’ families; most of them just bought their meat at the grocery store. That didn’t bother me, though; I loved it and I loved venison (I still love venison more than beef).
As a kid, the processing days were like one big party. Much of my family, including aunts, uncles and cousins, would have a pot-luck and work together on our family’s deer harvests for the year. Packing cuts of meat to be divided evenly among the families was no easy task, back in the day. It got easier though. A few years ago, my family bought a FoodSaver® to vacuum seal our venison. And it was a game-changer. Not only did the bags not tear like our paper wrapping days, but they actually block oxygen and moisture, helping the meat to keep its flavor. This year, I’ll introduce the Big Game™ system to my family. It’s heavy-duty and meant to perform and process game faster with up to 80 consecutive seals, or up to 240 pounds.
Now, as a hunter myself. I know how much time, effort, and money goes into harvesting a wild animal. It is not easy, and it is not always successful. That is why, like the memories of the hunt, the actual meat should be properly taken care of and packaged in the best possible way.
New Family Traditions
“Take ‘em!” my brother-in-law Timmy yelled from the cover of a layout goose blind. After spreading our decoys strategically in the frosty field and a bit of calling, a massive flock finally locked their wings, giving us a shot. Springing from our blinds tucked into the windrows, shots rang and the flock fell from the sky. Well not the WHOLE flock. After a brief moment, we scrambled to get out of the blinds and chase down our harvests. We needed to be quick so we could be ready for another flock. And soon thereafter, we’d have our limit.
After the hunt, comes the cleaning. The birds don’t clean themselves. Each one in our limit of birds needs to be breasted and meticulously cleaned of feathers and bb’s. What we don’t eat right away, we preserve with our GameSaver®. It is also easy to grab the system and go straight to the field. We typically clean our birds in the back of our pickup trucks and the12-Volt DC adapter makes it easy to package them right from the truck. Typically, the geese that we seal and freeze are to be used much later on. I like to eat goose, but it isn’t my favorite meat. So, it is typically used up after most of our venison is gone. To make sure our goose meat stays fresh, we use the GameSaver® Heat-Seal Bags which helps it stay fresh up to 5X longer than other storage methods. Yay for no freezer burn! The goose meat that we freeze typically gets made into jerky, even a year later.
The whole experience, from hunting to freezing, is my new family tradition with my husband and in-laws. Like processing venison with my immediate family, goose hunting and processing has become a tradition that I now look forward to every year.