Allow me to introduce myself: the name is Beth Graham and I am lucky to call our intelligent and beautiful blogger, Melissa, my BFF. I also got to share a room with her while she was teaching in Ishpeming (I'm an SLP...look it up). But my bio isn't why we're here. We're here because it's deer season.
A year ago, on Thanksgiving Eve, I was exactly where all hunters want to be; sitting in my deer blind watching the does. I was a little edgy because I knew, in all likelihood, this would be my last hunt of the year. There was a lot of family coming to town for the holiday. This was my 6th year hunting and I still fell under the category of, "Buckless Yooper" (insert intense music here). Around 3:30 pm a decent sized spike horn started making appearances. But he was chasing one of my does and I never had a clear shot at him. My adrenaline was sure pumping though. Around 4:30 my girls started to meander on their way. Then HE came in. A beautiful 5 pointer. I set up my shot, clicked off the safety, and...
As I shot, the buck stood up on his hind legs to rub his antlers in a branch. Shit! Did I miss because of it? I knew it was a good shot but couldn't account for his movement. He bolted. That's when I got the adrenaline shakes. A hundred things were buzzing in my head, but I managed to get a text to my husband, Justin, who was sitting at our camp. "That was me! Five pointer at least. It ran. Oh shit." Justin isn't the most technologically advanced guy and I'm only allowed to text him during deer season. When he hadn't responded in 30 seconds I sent out eight more rapid-fire texts. He finally responded, "ok." I guess my adrenaline rush hadn't reached him. I promised myself I'd wait 15 minutes before going to collect Justin and start tracking my deer (you don't want to come up on a deer that's laying down and dying and push it further away). I'd like to say it was the longest 15 minutes of my life, but I only made it 10 minutes before I hightailed it back to camp. I know I was talking 100 miles an hour when I came through the door and found Justin reading. READING?!?!? He apparently didn't realize I'd just shot a BUCK! At this point, my version of the story and Justin's differ. But I'm writing this so you'll hear it how I remember:) He made me drink a beer to use up more time. He might as well have poked a hole in the bottom and had me shotgun it. Knowing I should wait and actually waiting are two horribly different things. Finally he started getting his outdoor clothes on. Finally we headed out.
First stop, the scene of the shot. Blood! And lung tissue!! We were on the trail. The blood trail was far apart and there was little snow. But I'm an excellent tracker and was literally running from one blood spot to the next. And then the trail ran cold.
My heart dropped.
My stomach dropped.
We split up and went down different paths. And then I saw it, blood! I called for Justin and he started to laugh as I was hunting for more blood to follow. "Turn around," he told me. And there he was, my first buck.
The rest of the night was a blur. Family and friends flocked to our camp and celebrated with me. And, of course, there was the traditional shot of blackberry brandy for the successful hunt to go with all the beer.
"The second week of deer camp, is the greatest time of year!" ~Da Yoopers, "Second Week of Deer Camp," 1987
Meet the Stormy Kromer! If you live in or frequent the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (known simply around Michigan as the U.P.), then you probably have heard about, seen, or even wear your very own Stormy Kromer on your head! Personally, I hadn't heard about the Stormy Kromers until I moved to Ishpeming (located in the U.P.) and many of my yooper friends wore these hats. It is the "in" thing around those parts.
After returning back downstate, I learned more about these very hats and quickly realized why these hats are the thing to wear in up north backwoods. The main reason why many yoopers sport these hats during the winter is because they are a product of the U.P. Stormy Kromer hats are made right in Ironwood, Michigan. The hats are also wildly popular because they are designed to help keep you warm when you are outside in the cold and if you know anything about Michigan's Upper Peninsula, then you know it can be QUITE cold around there. These hats are extremely popular with hunters and people who enjoy outdoor sports.Stormy Kromer now has a full line of hats aimed at women. Not only can you get your hat in pastels and other more "feminine" colors, but you can also purchase them with accents such as flowers.Don't forget your can of pop or beer...Stormy Kromer also markets can coozies!!A little extra interesting information from wikipedia....
Stormy Kromer is named for George "Stormy" Kromer, a semi-professional baseball player who later worked as a railroad engineer. Kromer lost many hats to the wind while working on trains, and in 1903 he asked his wife Ida to make him a warm hat that would stay on more securely. She modified a baseball cap into what became the Stormy Kromer cap.
Due to popularity with other employees of the railroad, the Kromers formed the Kromer Cap Company in 1903 to produce the caps. In 1919, due to ever increasing demand, the Kromers opened a factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. George Kromer sold the company in 1965 to Richard Grossman. In 2001, the Kromer Cap Company planned to cease production of Stormy Kromer caps. The rights to the caps were purchased by Bob Jacquart, owner of Jacquart Fabric Products, and production moved to Ironwood, Michigan. Stormy Kromer Mercantile was formed, increasing production to over 50,000 caps annually from the previous 3000-6000 caps.
President Barack Obama was presented with several Stormy Kromer caps when he visited Marquette, Michigan, on February 10, 2011 to speak about wireless communication technologies. It has become a traditional garb in the Upper Peninsula.
A version that is a 'tip of the hat' to the chapeau's Wisconsin roots is available in Green Bay Packers green with the team logo and sold through Lambeau Field.
The hats are unusual in that they carry a lifetime warranty against defects, and a three year "insurance policy" for events such as loss, once the product is registered. Versions for women are available, and they are called the "Ida Kromer" or some variant of "Petal Pusher."
Slow Cooker Venison Sloppy Joes
Original recipe makes 4 servings
- 1/4 pound bacon
- 2 pounds venison stew meat
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
- 1 cup ketchup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove from skillet, crumble and set aside. Brown stew meat in bacon grease for flavor.
- Put onion, sugar, vinegar, cumin, chili powder, garlic, mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper in slow cooker and mix well. Add bacon and venison and stir together.
- Cook for a minimum of 8 hours on Low setting. Use a fork to separate the meat into a thick and yummy Sloppy Joe-style barbecue.
- PREP5 mins
- COOK8 hrs
- READY IN8 hrs5 mins
Vegetable Deer Soup Original recipe makes 10 quarts
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 pounds venison stew meat
- 3 cups chopped cabbage
- 3 large potatoes, cubed
- 2 (15 ounce) cans peas, drained
- 2 (15 ounce) cans carrots, drained
- 2 (15 ounce) cans green beans, drained
- 2 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
- 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup butter
- 1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle tomato juice
- 1 (32 fluid ounce) container beef broth
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 pinch ground cumin
- 1 pinch ground mustard
- 1 pinch curry powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch dried parsley
- 1 pinch Italian seasoning
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the cubed venison in the hot butter, stirring frequently. Add the cabbage, potatoes, peas, carrots, green beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and remaining 1 cup of butter. Pour in the tomato juice and beef broth, then sprinkle in the sugar, beef bouillon granules, salt, black pepper, cumin, mustard, curry powder, cayenne pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the venison is tender, and the soup slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 hours.
- PREP45 mins
- COOK2 hrs
- READY IN2 hrs45 mins
Recipe taken from Allrecipes.com
It's Deer Season here in Michigan. Rifle season is fast approaching on Friday, November 15th. In honor of Michigan's hunting tradition, I have decided to share a healthy venison recipe each day until Friday, opening day of rifle season. I hope you find these recipes useful and delicious.