Hello to All:
It has been a quiet week out here. Mild weather with the highs in the mid 80’s. This past week our neighbor John and his son Luke were here for a visit. They came to work on their deer blinds. I don’t know what all can go wrong but I guess it does. I saw a cartoon of a hunting blind, a moose in it reclined and it was a mess. The hunter was trying to decide to shoot it or not.
Thinking that would be a bigger mess to clean up. I remember back when I was young, maybe in the 4 to 5 year old group, my daddy and his brothers and my grandfather would load up several pack mules and horses and head out for a deer hunt in the New Mexico mountains. This would be up around Cloudcroft toward Ruidoso. They would go for three or four weeks at a time.
Any deer they shot were cleaned on the spot. They put up a canvas tent and it was used to smoke the meat for several days. This was a serious matter as it meant meat on the table the next year or not. I recall the taste of venison that has been smoke cured. Can’t say it was my favorite. More like jerky than a steak but it was eatable. I recall one time that I was staying in Artesia at my grandfather’s house and asked me if I had ever eaten bear meat. No Sir, I never have. He had my grandmother get a bear steak out of the freezer, thaw it out and cooked it for my supper. I have never in my life seen anything like that or taste any thing like it. First of all, it was fatty with yellow fat. It was tough and impossible to chew. The more I chewed on it , the bigger it got. I finally had to give it up and take all the laughing about me trying to eat bear meat. After that I was a bit leery of what they were serving.
Back then the Pecos river was really a river. Some places were a half mile across. Today you can jump across it in most places. Some places you just step over it. But the thing is , my daddy and others would go in to get catfish. They called it “gigging”. Feel along under the bank for a hole and with their foot to locate a catfish. Then duck under the water and grab the catfish by the mouth and haul them up to the bank. Most were in the 40 lb to 50 lb range. They would hang them from a tree and clean them. I recall that they used a pair of pliers to pull the skin down and off at the tail. Then they would deep fry them and make hushpuppies. Now, the catfish tasted a lot better than some of the other things they got for food. I recall that way back then, they would go pheasant hunting. I recall that they were good eating. They don’t migrate thru West Texas any more. I am sort of surprised that the dove still come through here as dry as it is some years.
So it goes in our quiet little corner of Coleman County.