My Huntingmoon
Dec29

My Huntingmoon

  Did I mean honeymoon? Well, maybe! Four years ago, we were all set to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on December 9th at The Cloisters in Sea Island , Georgia where we first honeymooned that beautiful December day so long ago. We were to leave on Thursday for a relaxing long weekend. I had been thinking about the trip to the resort and early in the week, I blurted out to my husband that I would really love to go deer hunting instead. His mouth dropped and he said, “Are you kidding…you want to give up a five star resort with a non-refundable deposit to go deer hunting?” “YES!”, I said “I really do.” He was quick to start surfing the internet to see if we could find a last minute hunting destination that could accommodate us. Sure enough since it was not peak season, we were able to book into a world class hunting spot in St. George, SC at Deerfield Plantation. My husband made sure it was ‘female friendly” and they assured us that they had a very nice cabin would be available to us. So, I traded a luxury suite for a cabin, sighting in my gun instead of spa treatments, food plots instead of flowers, hunting boots instead of heels, southern home cooking instead of five star dining, sitting in a deer stand instead of sitting by the pool, getting up at 4 am instead of lounging until late, and wearing long johns instead of lingerie! You get the picture, but I could not be happier! Our cabin was perfect: rustic, inviting, and cozy! We were very happy sipping wine by the fireplace and catching up on how the past 30 years had flown by in a blink of an eye! We raised 3 wonderful children and now could spend time together that was just “us” time. Best of all, we were spending time doing something we both love. We especially were grateful that we could find enjoyment in simple pleasures such as the beauty that nature offers us and preparing beautiful meals from the bounty we have harvested. We sat together on every hunt (after all, it was our anniversary) and had the best time. No, we were not exactly quiet or still. We cuddled to stay warm, listened to the owls howling in the pitch black and watched the sun wake up the woods with its first light. The brisk morning air was invigorating as we waited patiently to see a deer. Since December is not peak rut, we didn’t have high expectations. We were thrilled to see lots of turkeys strolling...

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!
Dec22

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

I have been captivated by this photo.   It is often said that a picture is worth  a 1,000 words and that is exactly how I feel.   I first saw this photo a few months ago and and I recently contacted Joni to see if I could use it for a blog post, not sure what topic I would attach to it.  She was happy to allow me to use it.  “It was taken in Hugo Colorado”, Jonie explained.  “I went there for my father’s funeral.  We decided to visit the home he grew up in, which is now abandoned. The yard was full of deer and turkey and they refused to leave. It was the only house in the neighborhood that they were on. The sunlight was beautiful there.  My siblings and I found it as a comforting sign.  My father was an avid outdoorsman and the fact that even as we walked around, the animals didn’t run away – made us feel comfort somehow”. When Joni told me the story behind the photo, I knew there was a reason why this photo was calling to me.  It made me think about what it means to me to be a hunter.  Being an avid outdoorsman is so much more than hunting.  It is the bond that we all share of caring and loving these beautiful animals.  That is the message I want to talk about today.  Some non-hunters cannot wrap their minds around the fact that something so beautiful is hunted.  The juxtaposition of being a hunter and being a conservationist may be hard for some to understand.   Simply put, we hunt to enjoy the harvest, but we give back to protect and preserve the animals. There are many exceptional organizations that are dedicated to conservation and the two that I hope to become more involved with this year are the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) . “To put back more than we take”,  the camp motto of Wildlife Action Club (WLA),  another very worthwhile organization,  describes the efforts that hunters and outdoorsman strive to do. Members and volunteers from these organizations participate in so many worthwhile projects that directly benefit turkey and deer populations all over the country.  They do this by improving habitats for the wildlife to flourish.  An example that many can relate to is overpopulation of turkeys and deer in urban areas.  These animals become dependent, as well as a nuisance,  and lose their fear of man resulting in their inability to survive in the wild.  Through strategic programs, education, funding, and participation of so many members, great progress...

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Hot Chocolate for Adults! Guest Recipe
Dec14

Hot Chocolate for Adults! Guest Recipe

Some of our hunting seasons in Maine start and end in chilly or downright frigid weather. After I climb down from the stand, walk through the woods and up the hill through deep snow and arrive back at camp, I want something warm to drink even before food. It’s too late in the day to drink coffee and sleep well. Hot chocolate is nice but after hours in the cold, an adult beverage is what I have in mind. A shot of Irish crème makes a mug of hot chocolate is delicious but I wanted something new. I stumbled onto a blog with a recipe for hot chocolate and wine. It didn’t sound good at first. Hot wine? Turns out it’s incredible. Choose your favorite red wine and chocolate. If dark chocolate isn’t your thing you can use milk chocolate. It’s worth the few minutes it takes to make hot chocolate instead of using an instant mix but if that’s what you have on hand until you shop, use it and make it rich. This recipe makes enough for two mugs of Dark Red Hot Chocolate. Halve or double as needed but make each mug fresh. Enjoy! Chef Robin strikes again: Hot Chocolate Recipes – Dark Chocolate & Red Wine Course Drinks Cuisine Beverages Servings- 4 INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups whole milk 1 1/2 cups red wine Use your favorite 1 cup dark chocolate chopped or chips 1 tsp vanilla pinch cinnamon or nutmeg as a topping 1/2 cup whipping cream whipped separately as a topping Hot Chocolate Recipes – Dark Chocolate & Red Wine INSTRUCTIONS Combine the milk, wine and chocolate in a double boiler. Warm until the chocolate melts, scraping the bottom of the pan often to keep the chocolate from burning. When the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and whisk briskly to make sure the chocolate is thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream. You can add to the richness of this drink by grating a bit of chocolate on top of the cream, or dust with cinnamon or nutmeg.     Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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