Friday, November 11

Friday Farm Photo: Through the Kitchen Window

Frosty morning view through the kitchen window -
Twenty-two degrees and a graceful morning view.

Firearm deer season opens tomorrow. All around the area, hearty community breakfasts will start being served at 3:30 am. Businesses will be closed or short-staffed all week, and the kids are off from school. Vacation days from work were scheduled months ago, and campers and RVs have been parked in favorite hunting spots for days.

The small local meat processor, located five miles outside a town of 325, will take in something like 600 deer over the next week and a half—and those are just the ones hunters don't process themselves.

Deer season is a really big deal around here.

More below. . .

When people ask my hunky farmguy Joe if he hunts, he usually says, "Well, you can't really call it hunting. I just open the window and stick the gun out."

The other day I was at the feed store buying 50-pounds sacks of oats for the sheep and chickens, and an old guy asked me if I was seeding a food plot for the deer. I told him I'd already planted one—it's called my garden. Thousands of acres of wilderness, and they want to eat my kale (and pretty much everything else).

Now we love a big plate of wild venison pan-fried in homemade lard at least as much as the next person, and more then once I've stayed up into the wee hours, cutting up and vacuum sealing fresh deer meat (I love our FoodSaver!).

But the truth is that we prefer to watch the deer from the comfort of the farmyard or the great indoors, rather than sitting stock still for hours on some dead wet log in the woods, not making a sound, freezing your butt off, thinking about food, wishing you didn't have to pee like crazy, and hoping a nice, fat deer will just happen to amble by. Been there, tried that—once.

Fortunately the donkey peddling cowboy and his sharp shooting family—who used to own this farm and still have property adjacent to ours—all love the thrill of the hunt, and most years they kindly supply us with a deer in exchange for letting them hunt on our land, along with a big bag of manly chocolate chip cookies and a couple of loaves of Farmhouse White.

If we're really lucky, our deer has already been gutted, skinned, and quartered, and is delivered in a cooler. We really suck at skinning.

The bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen windows of our new home look out over the hayfield, and for the last few months we've been seeing all sorts of deer activity. One day we spotted three bucks out there at once, and there's a doe with twins we've been watching grow up since summer.

Did you know deer love to race around and play? They really are beautiful creatures (as long as they're not in my garden). We keep a pair of binoculars on the windowsill.

The hills have been echoing with booming practice shots all day, scaring the heck out of already high strung Lucky Buddy Bear. Starting at the crack of dawn tomorrow it will be mayhem in the woods, with both hunters and creatures going nuts. Patterns and schedules will be upset, and there's a good chance we won't see any deer in the hayfield for weeks.

I'm rooting for the twins.

More wild critters and creatures? Here.
More farm life tidbits? Here and here.

©, where there actually is an upside to having spent the last several (and possibly the next several) weeks peeing in a Luggable Loo (oh, the joys of country living!)—the deer haven't been near the kitchen garden since we started emptying the loo along the fence line.


  1. we have windows like that, the ones that double as the worlds cushiest tree stands, but I refuse to let him turn the view into the killing fields, I make him go across the river and ya, freeze his tush off on a wet log......he's never done it....LOL

  2. EngineerChic11/11/2011 8:57 PM

    Okay, inquiring minds want to know ... WHY are you using a luggable loo? Is something wrong with the new house? Farm life just got a little less glamourous in my eyes ... I'm a big fan of indoor plumbing :)

  3. What a beautiful picture! Frost glossing over everything. I see deer almost daily, though I live in a suburban/metropolitan area in PA. Our schools allow time off and businesses employing avid hunters-construction companies especially-grant leave during hunting season.
    I have helped a friend to cut up deer, and it is not so bad...even for a former vegetarian! Seal-a-Meal is a great invention.

  4. Oh Farmgirl Susan, such a pretty picture and a beautifully written post, too. You said it all so well.

  5. I liked this post a lot because it reminded me of my time in the woods moose hunting with hubby and my two boys. I sure laughted at some of the more uncomfortable memories you revived. Mother-in-law made awesome venison ribs with tomatoes, garlic and onions which we all dove into enthusiastically. I so envy your kitchen window and the ever changing pastoral scenes and all without the use of a remote!

  6. Husband is off hunting in the north right now. On the one hand, I hope he gets a deer, because we like venison and he'd be pretty depressed if he drove north and camped out overnight for nothing. On the other hand, I don't really enjoy butchering the deer ourselves, which we always do. Conflicted.

  7. My in laws all hunt and or eat venison and small game while I'm a vegetarian. It's better for the animals to be killed after living for a while free. I used to buy meat in the grocery store and never think about how they lived or died.

  8. I got some nice photos of a two-point Muley buck out our kitchen window last week as he was munching on my peach tree! :(
    I'm rooting for the twins too!

  9. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all the fun comments. :)

    Ha - I love it!

    I'll spare you the details and months of frustration, but let's just say that the composting toilet we installed in the new house - because putting in a whole new septic system was out of our budget - is not working out.

    So now it looks like we may be putting in a septic system after all - just as soon as everybody goes back to work after deer season. And while we're at it, we'll go ahead and tie our grey water runoff (from the sinks, shower/tub, and washing machine) into it, too, so there won't even be an unsightly, water-filled pit outside the kitchen window anymore! :)

    I don't share everything about our crazy country life here, but once in a while I do like to throw in a little dose of the not so pleasant side of reality, just in case people are mistakenly thinking we have a perfect, idyllic life. ;)

  10. It's big here too. But, we process our own.

  11. I know the fever... it was so frustrating trying to get anything done during deer season in NEMO.

    Before you invest in a septic system, have you considered a reed bed? I was going to put one in up in NEMO before we decided to move to KS. It can be as complicated or as simple as you're budget or water well enivronment allow. There was actually one at the old farmstead, but I'm sure they didn't call it that back when they installed indoor plumbing. The bottom line is that the affluent goes through a small (50-100 gal) tank or series of tanks, then outflows to a trench planted with reed canary or other reed grasses. At the end of the system you have purified clean water running into the environment. The reeds purify the water. In the 30 years my parents lived at the homestead, they never had to pump a septic tank and never had trouble with the well water. Good luck.


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