This is the time of the year when families throughout the country are dusting off their good dinnerware in preparation for another round of holiday traditions. Unlike most people, however, the hunting community has had Thanksgiving on its mind since spring turkey season. For us, Thanksgiving is a true celebration of our labor in the field, and it’s an opportunity to share our gifts with those around us.
As we are reminded of this, it’s only fitting that we share just what Thanksgiving means to us.
Hunters are still doing it the old way
“I told Bill we were having another old-fashioned meal using only the food we had either raised or acquired ourselves. Just think: apple pie from our apple tree, squash casserole and sliced tomatoes from our garden, Idaho bakers from our neighbor’s field, homemade rolls, venison roast and grilled salmon. What a blessing.”
Not everyone has the pleasure of catching, killing, growing and cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal. Lenore Mobley is one of the fortunate few. With her husband at her side, Mobley rode through 6 inches of snow to collect the venison roast that will adorn her table. Why? Because that’s her Thanksgiving tradition.
National Wild Turkey Federation members pass the turkey
Hunting to put food on your family’s table is a special kind of achievement, but for the members of the Sioux Falls National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), it’s not quite enough. For the past several years the group has donated turkeys to The Banquet, a ministry dedicated to providing food to people in need. The organization will be able to serve 350 to 375 people this Thanksgiving with the 32 turkeys NWTF delivered. It’s a tradition for them that goes beyond the individual hunting experience and highlights what the season is truly about.
The Sioux Falls NWTF group isn’t the only organization offering a helping hand either. Hunters across the country are fighting hunger this Thanksgiving.
Work and play collide, and it’s delicious
There’s a great joy in sharing your passion of hunting with someone else — especially if you’re exposing them to something new. The fastest and easiest way to do this is with food. So bring on the jerky, goose chili, bacon-wrapped dove and whatever else!
Creating new traditions
Jeremy Elbert of Wildlife Pursuit decided a couple years ago that his family needed a new tradition. When you hunt as much as Jeremy does, changing things up is always acceptable. So now, once a year, his mother and brother meet up for an out-of-state long distance hunt. They captured their most recent journey to Montana in the video below and it’s worth a watch.
Remember, traditions have to start somewhere. Could this be the year you start a new one?
A different kind of dressing
Once you’ve got meat in the fridge, you’re only about halfway done. Everyone has their go-to recipes for venison in particular, but most reserve the best ones for the holidays. It’s also a chance to do something different. If you’re ready to move beyond your tried and true ways of cooking venison and WOW your guests, Celby Richoux of Wide Open Spaces makes a compelling case for why you should. This venison tenderloin recipe is so enticing it could steal the spotlight from the turkey. We’ll let you decide!
The big bird still rules the table
Somewhere in America, a hunter and his family are enjoying this wild turkey. We hope that whatever you’re serving this year, you’re with friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Hunter Ed!