Hunting is a sacred event that brings food and many other gifts to the table. When harvesting an animal, we feel it is both respectful and energy efficient to use the entirety of the animal, not wasting any part.
Students arrived on last Saturday to take part in "Using the Whole Animal", a course that provided many real time lessons including; skinning, hide preparation, butchering, food safety and preservation, and feasting.
The day began early and ended late. A steer from a local ranch was harvested in a good way. At the end of the day tears were shed, prayers were said as gratitude was expressed to the animal that was offered.
Later that evening, students were brought out to field dress the animal which was a visceral experience. A fire kept everyone warm as the work carried on well into the night.
The following day was spent studying the anatomy of the animal in a very hands-on manner. Harvesting your own animal is a long, but satisfying process. Students put their minds, hearts, and knives to the test and were gifted with choice cuts of beef as they left for home. There is something about the intimacy of local food that leaves you with a sense of deep appreciation and involvement in the cycle of life.