I have no idea what the rest of the words to ‘Cry Me a River’ are, but know that the first line can easily be adapted.
Yes, this post is to explain another of the photos in the ‘Spirit of Crofting’ video. Correct, the picture of me gralloching a deer (also known as gutting). And hence why I haven’t put up the same photo. I may be a theatre nurse that can handle blood and guts but I am aware it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Nor will you see the picture of us trying to get it into the back of the pick up, or of it hung in the shed, skinned with me about to start the beginners guide to butchery.
Now I do realise, there are a lot of people who do not agree with eating meat and many more who are happy to eat meat but don’t like the field to fork concept (of having to catch/kill/prepare your own). I’m not posting this to get hate mail. I would rather eat local food (ie, cow, sheep, deer) and particularly food that I know has had a good life and has been humanly dispatched.
Why the significance? It was the first deer I ever got. We had done target practice to ensure we were familiar with the range, and I had even got someone to come out and go over several safety points as I was not particularly comfortable or familiar with the matter.
When we bought the croft there was an area of old woodland in the middle. No new trees had been able to grow for years as deer had free access to come and nibble out all the new growth. We put in fencing (some stock and some deer) and planted about 5,000 new trees. Not just quick growing, native types, but slow ones such as oak too. And with this, came the responsibility of pest control. So don’t be thinking the incident was a sport. Plus, the meat off that deer helped feed us for many months to follow (he wasn’t just a wee thing as it took two of us to drag him back to the pick-up). Understanding anatomy is helpful when dealing with innards. I did have the voice of a particular surgeon though, who always used to mutter ‘you’re on the wrong plane’ to his juniors, while doing it.
It was after this event that I did some analysing. And decided that if it were to happen while on my own, I would need to make a few adaptions. I didn’t want to think I was dependent on the Crofter being home to deal with pests (I wouldn’t want to shoot one and leave the food to waste). So, I asked for some ratchet straps (to get it onto the pick-up as I could make a ramp to slide it up) and a chain winch (to hang it in the shed). What more could a girl ask for.
And no, I’m pretty sure we did not fry the liver…