I am just going to start by saying that I have never actually shot an animal yet, I am still working on my horrible aim. (I am lucky if I even hit something besides dirt or air, I don’t care if I miss really.) I do enjoy the smell of a recently fired gun and the loud ear piercing bang of the bullet leaving the barrel, seeing the empty shell flying though the air after being ejected from the gun with such grace as a falling feather.
Now because I haven’t mastered how to aim with wind interference or how to calculate where to aim above the target so that my bullet hits where I want it. But there is something I have done that my husband (and the males that were also shooting) never have done. Field dress a bird. I did feel like yes I am a female and my aim is horrible and my gun is pink but, the fact alone that I did not flinch while field dressing an animal was a bigger rush than actually firing a gun. (I think it was because there was 6 men and I was the only person willing to and eager to take care of a kill.)
Let me explain how this field kill came to be, we shoot on a friends property and there is plenty of acreage that is fenced in so so one would wonder into the ‘shooting range’. So on this property there is also a pond with fish and some birds, small goats and chickens with a rooster. I guess the rooster was mean towards the children of our friends and they requested that we shoot it. I was intrigued, I have always wanted to hunt but unsure of how I would feel about seeing an animal being killed. This would be the perfect way to see if I do in fact want to hunt or if I just like to shoot a gun.
Well, turns out I don’t have feeling about an animal being killed. I do have a problem that our friends were just going to toss the carcass in the woods and leave it. So I asked if I could have it to take home for dinner, the answer back was a slow okay. (like this ooookay) Keep in mind I have never field dressed an animal but I have cut off the legs and feet of already dead whole chickens. Those chickens were empty and featherless and cold. This rooster was whole, feathered and still warm. (Gross now that I think about it, but I did it.)
I won’t go into complete detail about what I did, but here is a PG version. I removed all feathers but gave the tail feathers to the kids that lived on the property and kept some to make (weird statement->) Christmas ornaments for my husband. Cut off the feet and cleaned them close to the roosters ankle (yet another keepsake for my husband), but when it came to the head I could not get the right leverage to remove it but my husband helped. I then removed the insides and the skin. Removing the inside bits took some funny jumping in place to pump myself up, but I did it and it was so much different than removing the innards from chickens or turkeys you get from the store.
My husband said that he was so proud of me, the other men kept asking me if I do this often. I love my answer, “Nope, first one”, then they asked how I knew how to do it, “I guess I just know how”. I never read anything or watched videos but I did it. We baked it in the oven and shredded the meat for dinner. It was tough meat, and I think next time I will boil it in the base to make home made rooster noodle soup. But that wonderful day where I shot my own gun (38 special hammerless Pink Lady) and field dressed a rooster has sparked my love for shooting and hunting. Can’t wait until I can get my own hunting gun and take down some more dinner.
Oh and incase you are wondering when I was done with the rooster I used a whole travel sized hand sanitizer bottle on my hands and arms. When we went to pick up the girls from my parents I showed off my handy work to my parents and they were very proud of my too. I also washed my hands and arms again with so much soap and a scrub brush. When we got home I took a shower with so much soap I used the whole bar. I wasn’t disgusted by what I had done, I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t get blood on anyone or anything. Better safe than sorry.
This happened a while ago and fingers crossed that today my husband will teach me how to clean a fish. My first one, we are doing a King Salmon, I am so excited to learn. I would have never thought growing up that one day I would trade spa trips and pedi appointments for shooting guns and field dressing animals. My husband has brought out the best person in me and helped my discover who I really am. And, on the up side it is good to know that I if it happens and we need to survive off of animals and fish we get from nature, not only can I clean them I can cook them. Now just to master aiming my gun, but that will have to be later for now, I can hear the salmon calling my name to be cleaned.