"How did our ancestors do it? I mean, we worked hard for our food today. If they didn't get a rabbit by sundown, it's not like they could just go get something off of the dollar menu!" -Andrew
As first light illuminated wisps of fog over the meadows of our go-to hunting spot, my good buddy Andrew and I set a steady but silent pace in search of our dinner. The morning dew hung to cob webs and grass blades alike making for a breathtakingly beautiful start to a great day in the field.
It was our hope that we might secure some small game and a few fungi for a wild stew; the perfect dish on a cool and wet winter's day.
By mid morning we could already tell we were in for a heck of a good day!
We found oyster mushrooms in abundance, though many were a few days past prime and thoroughly soaked from recent rains. However we still filled a gallon bag with a healthy bounty from the trunk of a single old dead-standing cottonwood tree!
Late in the day, we were both successful in our hunt for small game. Ten minutes before the end of legal hunting light, Andrew got his first rabbit! I had had the honor of introducing Andrew to the art of sustainable subsistence hunting over the last year and was very proud of his fine shot.
We discussed the importance of ethical harvests, staying connected with the fish, plants, and game we consume, and gave thanks for the harvest we would enjoy this night!
As the rabbit braised in the pot, we cooked up an incredible oyster mushroom pizza!
The next day it was a fantastic rabbit and fungi stew!
It had taken us from sunrise until sunset to aquire our food, but every bite of savory pizza and wild harvested hearty stew has been well worth the effort! Besides, had we come home empty handed we still would have enjoyed all of the sights, sounds, and smells of a great day in the woods.
We had a great weekend out in the wilds of northern California watching deer, geese, and hawks in the daytime and listening to owl hoots echo throughout the forest as night fell.
We have plenty of stew for the coming days, dried mushrooms for the coming weeks, and memories to last a lifetime.
We hope to see you out there soon, by flood or by field.
Keep the old ways alive!