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Thread: Feathers and Bones - Orannhawk's Journal page 14

  1. #131
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    Primal Fuel
    Cherokee Reflections on Hunting, Life Lessons & Got a Gun, Got a Date !
    Part One

    As a child I spent most of my time at my grandfather's side, watching, listening and learning. He taught in the ways of a true Elder, showing by example, weaving lessons into my daily life in a natural flow. My days were filled with these lessons, each one specific in his mind to the proper way to guide me. I learned to recognize the sound of the rain crow, the different bugs and how they reacted as a storm approached; the appearance of the fragrant purple blooms on the sage growing in heavy abundance around his home, the quiet indicators of the rain to come.
    I was raised to hunt and fish and carried a rifle from the time I was six years old. This was a commonality in my family, with the women hunting as expertly as the men. I followed the footsteps of my grandfather and father most often, learning the signs, studying tracks and rubs, watching for the subtle indicators of movement.

    Did you know that the pungent odor of a rattlesnake never truly leaves one's olfactory memory ? Once you have recognized this scent, you won't forget it the next time you are in the wilderness.
    As a small child I sat and watched venom drip from a big rattler as my father tapped on the fang with a stick, listening to my parents explain that the muscle movement of the viper even shortly after death is strong enough to strike and inflict the poison into anything within range.

    I was taught from that same early age how to field dress a deer; on numerous occasions crawling up into the cavity to help with my own little knife, severing the tissue and pulling the entrails out as I pushed my way from the emptiness of the buck. My parents and grandparents instilled in my sister and me the sacredness of hunting in the proper way.

    I remember so many mornings waking to hear my Dad talking of 'dreaming the deer', giving us vivid descriptions of the location, the approximate weight of the buck, the time of day, all of the detailed information as if he had already been out, made the kill and returned back to the camp with fresh meat. Throughout the many years that we were all hunting at the same place, there was never a time when he 'dreamed the deer' that he did not go to the exact place of the dream and come in later with the animal that he had described to us that morning.
    I never gave it a lot of thought, that's just how he was.

    There were differences in how I was taught in regards to Papaw and my Dad. My Dad was more matter of fact, and never gave mention to my memory of our past, of the ancestors as Papaw did …but looking back now it was there regardless, just fashioned with other threads.
    His 'dreaming the deer' was his way of connecting to the spirit of the animal and finding agreement so we had food. His way of teaching me was direct, showing me sign, training my eyes to see the near invisible movement in the brush, guiding my knife to skin with minimal hair loss onto the fresh meat, learning to cut cleanly, removing the backstrap in a continuous strip, to slip the blade of my knife between the bone to cut and quickly remove the forelegs without a hatchet.

    My Mom taught us her skillful way of dressing the meat as her Dad had taught her, using touch to find the subtle sections of the muscle to separate and cut the choice ham and steaks, sorting out other pieces to be set aside to grind into burger or sausage.
    It was commonplace to sit for dinner during the winter months and eat with the big wooden cutting boards covered with fresh bloody meat at my elbow. Rings of smoked sausage hung from small nails above the huge bar that separated the kitchen and the den and I would often sit mesmerized by the unique colorations of the bits of venison and fat beneath the gut. I saw the beauty in the colors, the texture and the shape; this was one of the quiet ways that my family taught me to "see".

    In elementary school my classmates would open up their sandwich bags with giant cookies from home for their snack, while I gave away my milk to anyone who was willing to drink it and pulled out my snacks. Dried venison sausage or jerky and occasionally a homemade dill pickle or pickled okra, both seasoned liberally with jalapeno and garlic.

    I carried rocks in my pockets, collected dirt everywhere that I went, and my Mom complained when she would open my closet and find herself covered with the feathers that would lift and float over my clothes and into the room.
    In high school it was apparent to me that I was more popular during the winter months; in the words of one classmate "she's good with a knife" which translated to she can gut, skin and process your kill, if you can catch her at home and not hunting and if you don't mind losing a backstrap or inside tender when she leaves. Yeah, I found it strange that so many of the guys that I knew from school had no clue what to do with the deer that they shot. It became clear to me later on that I wasn't raised like the vast majority of my classmates.
    It never occurred to me at that time that I was so different from any of the girls that I went to school with; other than the fact that a great many of my dates involved guns and knives as opposed to makeup and movies.

    My Dad taught me techniques of walk hunting, stalking, and moving through the mesquites and blackbrush with little disturbance. I quickly learned to move at his pace to avoid the slap of a thorny mesquite branch across my face if I wasn't paying attention. I learned to watch his body language to know when he was going to stop before he actually did. As a small child I would sit with him to hunt and often felt the pop of his hand on my head if I was too restless, he was a lot less subtle than Papaw. Be still, be quiet, observe, and learn.

    On numerous occasions when the deer were running, I would sit at his side or with Papaw and quietly watch one or the other use their rattling horns, working the horns together to lock and scrape, dragging them against the brush and onto the ground, timing the pauses to mimic with precision the natural act of two bucks locked in battle.
    One afternoon my Mom left me near a ladder where I was going to hunt. I was 11 years old and carrying a new bolt action rifle my parents had bought for me.
    I watched her walking off into the brush on her way to the location she had chosen to hunt. In the distance I could see our old Model-A truck in my scope, it was just off the road and obscured by mesquite trees.

    The wind was high, the ladder taller than I preferred and I wasn't comfortable with the constant swaying, so I climbed down and slowly made my way down the road to the Model-A. The Model-A, or the "Hoopie" as we called it, was outfitted for hunting. Daddy cut out the rumble seat in the back and welded in a brace that held a 4.5 foot stand topped with a swivel seat, so the truck served double duty. Papaw's rattling horns were in the back and I picked them out and began the gentle tapping of the tines, increasing the strike as I had watched my Dad and Papaw do. I checked the wind and my location, keeping watch into the high wind and to the sides. I figured the high wind would carry my scent and likely nothing would slip up behind me …. Ah, there was one of Papaw's lessons staring me in the face; never assume.

    I could feel something watching me and slowly turned to look across the low mesquite branches at a spectacular buck. The wide rack was glinting in the sunlight and sparkled like a chandelier.
    I eased that new rifle up. My Dad had cut at least six inches of the stock off to accommodate my short arm length and I could smell the faint scent of the glue under the new recoil pad.
    I had the crosshairs on him, the rattling horns draped over one arm, I was calm and certain. Damn, there's that assumption again …
    Up to that time I had carried Papaw's old carbine and I was still getting accustomed to my new rifle. My fingers found the safety. Crisp and distinct it was, like the subtle sound of a firecracker in a sound proof room.
    He was gone in an instant, no time to squeeze off a single shot. I sat there in a state of shock.

    My Mom arrived later with a slight smile on her face. She had watched me through her scope as I crawled down from the swaying ladder and had heard the sounds of me rattling. I sat near the campfire that evening after unloading my gun and worked that safety, determined not to make the same mistake again.
    I was sold on the rattling horns after that, sometimes so exuberantly that I would return to school the next week with bloodied and beat up knuckles. I overheard someone talking about me one Monday morning, convinced that I had been in one hellava fight over the weekend.
    Last edited by Orannhawk; 10-12-2011 at 06:05 PM.
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  2. #132
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    Cherokee Reflections on Hunting, Life Lessons & Got a Gun, Got a Date !

    Part Two


    Years later I sat in a favorite location on another lease in deep South Texas, affectionately known as the 'rats-nest'. Every year my Dad would draw a poster of the lease with each road, ladder and tripod stand marked. As it was on past leases, we named roads, stands, areas and at night we would discuss where each of us would hunt the following day. The 'rats-nest' was as much a favorite as 'gut-alley' had been on prior lease. But for the most part, it was my territory.
    The 'rats-nest' was a converted cardboard box that we found outside a local furniture store after new washing machines were unpacked. A few swipes of brown and green paint, a sheet of heavy plastic on the top and it was good to go. Basically it kept the rain and sleet off of me. We wedged it up against a few mesquites, cut out big 'windows' on the sides and a 'door' in the front and piled brush up around it for camouflage.

    Sitting in the 'rats-nest' one day, I heard a rustle in the brush and I watched as a javelina stepped out into the open. He was big and I could see the long tusks on each side of his mouth. I hadn't seen any deer so I decided to bring some pig to the table.
    My first shot was clean and into the neck.
    That just pissed him off and he turned and threw his head up, and I knew that he had smelled me. I was on the ground, granted in a cardboard box, but that's not a lot of protection from a wounded pig in a pissy mood. I threw the bolt and fired as he turned to charge, at the same time I got outta that damn box to head for a tree. It took another three shots to bring him down, each one hitting rock solid, the fifth shot again in the neck.

    I had moved out at an angle from his intended run at me, and he died sliding to the ground within five feet of where I stood. I remember Papaw and my Dad watching me gut him, that pig was just rank. He was old and graying, with tusks close to five inches long. Papaw was visibly proud that I had brought down the boar, as well as the fact that I got him before he got me. And there was that subtle hint that a small, young pig would have been more tender and less musky. Lessons.

    Later that week Papaw would mount the tusks on a plaque with a small metal plate he had engraved with the date; it would be his last gift to me. He would move on to the next world shortly after this hunt.

    As a child I had taken friends into his house to share his small den with them. The corners of the room were stacked with rocks, small cairns. Deer horns and old bird nests hung on the walls, arrowheads on the table top and in cigar boxes, a carved bow cradled across the horns of a whitetail deer, leather and canvas bags filled with ammo, knives, bits and pieces of his life in a tapestry unlike any other and my friends would marvel at each fragment, each new discovery.
    And as we turned to leave the room I would point over the door to the mounted javelina glaring down at them, the long teeth and tusks taunting them. My delighted laughter usually covered over their childhood terror and occasionally Papaw would see us leaving and shake his head at me. Not exactly appropriate behavior and I knew it, but I would see the laughter in his eyes and he knew that I would apologize for scaring them. Well, I did most of the time. My grandmother found me to be, in her words "too much of a little heathen", but with Papaw I was just as I was meant to be.

    Sometime after his death I bought a small sterling silver pendant. A perfectly sculpted, detailed javelina. I wear it still to remind me of the lessons that he imparted and the bond that we had over the beast. I had no fear of the javelina, respect, yes; but no fear.

    Subtle lessons in the wild transfer into the world. Be still, be quiet, observe, give thanks and respect. Know that rattlers can strike, venom can taint and poison, being upwind doesn't give you any guarantees of anything, always watch your back, staying calm can save you, being handy with a gun and a knife can get you dates as well as food on the table, and humor can keep you sane.

    I have rocks stacked in the corners as Papaw did, feathers are still around me, albeit not in my closets, there's extra ammo around, my knives are sharp and Papaw's rattling horns hang on the wall ready for the next hunt; one of the last gifts from my Dad. Some of the same King Edward cigar boxes that sat in his room now sit in my studio and the faint smell of the cigars is always present. Perhaps the smell is only in my memory, but none the less it is there.

    I was with Papaw on his last hunt in November of 1977, just days before he made his transition to the other world. My son took my Dad on his last hunt this past November, a mere week before my Dad went home to the Old Ones. To the end they hunted, to the end they taught. They were warriors of another time, on another journey, but warriors just the same.

    İOrannhawk
    May 13, 2007
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  3. #133
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    Oh, I love the way you write!

  4. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by honeybuns View Post
    Oh, I love the way you write!
    Thank you !
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  5. #135
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    Quiet day today, meals went well ... with egg white shake w/coconut, lunch was a salad with chicken and half of an Fuji apple, fixed cauli-rice and chicken for dinner, egg whites afterwards.

    Dentist called today and they are setting up what I HOPE will be the last oral surgery in two weeks. I will be so damn glad to have this completed !
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  6. #136
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    FRACK FRACK FRACK !!!

    My damn blender - a Breville at that, is fracking leaking out at the bottom in a serious way. Egg whites and water all over the frigging countertop. Can't find the stupid booklet to see how long the warranty is on this thing. The receipt was in the file, where the book should've been ... damn, damn, damn ....
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  7. #137
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    Breville bit the big one and a Ninja has taken it's place. More power... arrrghhhhhh ... I think I hear Tim Allen in the background LOL, and a lot cheaper than the Breville. The Ninja sounds more primal for a blender anyway !

    So meals today ... the small amount of the egg white shake that didn't flood the counter top, leftover cauli-"rice" and chicken, fixing a chicken stir-fry thing with broccoli, zucchini, onions and radishes right now.

    Good workout this morning, leg press - kept it at 360 today since I was also doing heavy (270 and 360 lbs. ) calf raises on the sled as well as a few sets on the hack, 100 lbs on low seated rows, kettleball swings (between the leg, up and flip to the other hand) - moved on up to the 14 kg today, which was pretty cool.
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  8. #138
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    Missed posting yesterday, no excuses, just flat out didn't do it. On track though with movement and meals. Kept it simple with egg white shakes, followed by boiled eggs, avocado and bacon, chicken sauteed in coconut oil w asparagus and another egg white shake with four strawberries. Had a headache all day ... chiro did not hold well this time and I have two cervical vertebrae out ... again.

    Did some convict squats while waiting for the water to heat for my tea. Having leftover chicken with the tea, a handful of raw spinach and some sliced radishes drizzled with lemon. Throw in an egg white/coconut shake after that. Cooking up some ground buffalo later, will add in some steamed zucchini and grill some onions, throw it all on chopped romaine. Egg white shake w coconut oil for later.

    Time to go scrub some clothes on a big rock down at the river ....... ok, I'm not that primal LOL ... I do like my washing machine, I can see through the lid ! Haahaaaa
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  9. #139
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    Awesome sweaty morning at gym today ... Calf raises on the hack, then on the sled for leg press. Sets and reps were my option on the training log today, so I decided that since I was comfortable with high reps at 410 lbs. the other day, it was time to add on some plates today. Did my one 'leggers' at 180, did full sets at 180, 270, 360, 410, and finished out with 20 reps at 430 lbs. Wooooohooooo ! Love that rush of energy.
    Worked on close grip pull downs, progressive weights to finish at 100, then alternating between lat press downs and ez-bar curls at 35 and 45lbs. respectively. Finished out the morning with low squat stance on ropes.

    New blender is amazing for the egg white shakes, although it sounds like there is a plane in the kitchen ... that thing is fracking loud !!!
    Meals for today :
    Egg whites, coconut, ice
    BAS with chicken
    Short ribs (if they are done by then) and zucchini, if the ribs are not happy by the time I am ready for them, will throw a chop in the cast iron and save the ribs for tomorrow.
    Finish out the day with more eggs !
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





  10. #140
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    Forgot to mention that when I was talking with the owner at the gym I mentioned to him something I had re-read over the weekend regarding strength and overall body health and longevity, granted the increase in the immune system overall as a result of eating/living in a primal way. He eats this way as well ... so it has been great to talk to him about nutrition and macro nutrients, etc and how it relates to training. Anyway, as I was talking to him about some of the key points that I had really connected with (in particular, the author's thoughts on the leg press and overall body strength and avoiding diseases), he turned away for a minute to one of his bookcases and pulled out the exact same book that I had been re-reading. The book is The New Evolution Diet by Art De Vany, known by many as the “Grandfather” of Paleo Movement.
    We've had some great talks on primal living as well as discussing the influx of what he calls "fitness entertainment" ... grinning ... basically the SAD version of training, chronic cardio while watching TV and listening to blaring music and getting absolutely no where.

    He did tell me today that he is going to incorporate more clubs in progressive weights in my workouts, as a lead-in to the sledge hammers. Now to get him to get a tire or two to flip around outside !
    Last edited by Orannhawk; 10-17-2011 at 01:32 PM.
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.





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