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Meat Eaters R’ Us

FRESH perspective on the food chain

By Kevin Reese

To All HuntersAs an outdoor writer, photographer, videographer and speaker in the outdoor industry I’ve successfully made work out of hunting; unfortunately, I’ve been so busy writing about hunting recently, that I haven’t had many opportunities to hunt at all. My outdoor work is finally starting to wind down but deer season is all but over and only two whitetails fell victim to my stick and string.

It’s also worth mentioning that I’m so immersed in outdoor communications that I don’t watch very many hunting shows at all – a bricklayer doesn’t want to lay bricks then go home and watch bricklaying on television, even if that his is life’s passion.

That said, I do have a guilty pleasure. I’m addicted to Duck Dynasty. Worse, I created a couple of other addicts; my wife and son can’t get enough. We even blew duck calls at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I must admit I was the only one in the family that actually sounded like a duck; of course, I’m also the only duck hunter in our family so I suppose the gross difference in calling technique wasn’t such an anomaly.

During a recent family viewing, Jase Robertson echoed my sentiments, “I don’t like grocery store meat. It scares me.” Disliking purchased meat has less to do with taste and much more to do with the disassociation it creates between us and the brutal reality we call the food chain. A perfect example of this tragic circumstance was sent to me via email years ago. The email was simple, “LOL” with an attached image. Opening the image I found a newspaper clipping that read, “You ought to go to the store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed.” Sadly, the same person that submitted that gem also votes.

Newsflash – ALL meat comes from living things; in fact, all food sources come from living things whether directly or indirectly – meat, fruit, veggies, all of it. Wouldn’t you rather take an active role Click here for more information on The Mindful Carnivore!in what you provide for your family? Like my hunting brothers and sisters, I choose to take an active, responsible role in providing sustenance. Where most people live in that disconnect, we are intimately, blood-under-the-fingernails aware of our role and the significance of taking life to sustain life.

With the close of deer season, it seems that your backwoods grocery store is locking its doors, making for a pretty dismal postseason outlook for meat-seating hunter’s throughout our region, and soon, across the nation. The last time I checked I didn’t see coyote or bobcat entrees littering restaurant menus. For many, hunting is over until spring, full freezers or not.  But living in our Lone Star state, especially here in our area, provides infinite opportunities to stock freezers year round.

With an estimated 2 to 3 million feral hogs rooting up the neighborhood, it’s safe to say we are overrun. The bad news is that feral hogs predate bird eggs (including quail, turkey, and others) and other small and young animals, including other hogs. Rooting also causes immense damage to land as hogs root for grubs, roots, shoots and other tasty morsels in the soil. Rooting injures livestock, destroys farm and ranch machinery, and negatively impacts both the landscape and our fragile ecosystem, especially where other wildlife are concerned.

Kevin Reese rootingOver $400 million in damage is caused annually in Texas alone by feral hogs. They are not native but invasive and compete with indigenous Texas wildlife like whitetail deer for more than just food sources, but habitat as a whole – and, they are winning.

So, what does that mean for red blooded, meat eating, conservation minded hunters? It means hunting feral hogs is not only fun, it helps combat a real problem! Even better, that freezer of yours, hungry for packages of organic red meat, can be fed year round. There are no bag limits or time constraints. Hunt day or night, seven days a week if you’ve got the time. Dust off your britches, pick up your rifle or bow and go hunt. With our feral hog population Corsicana freezers have a bright, bright future.

Hunt hard, hunt often.

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