What Story Does Your Freezer Tell?

AJ Gall

The morning alarm sounds.  The aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the halls.  Another new day is upon us.  As we hustle around the house prepping for another round of the ol’ 9-to-5, my wife asks from the bathroom, “What are we going to have for dinner?”

Unsure, I walk to the freezer and stare at what is seemingly endless options all wrapped in the same plain white packaging.  The only difference from one package to the other is what’s written in Sharpie.  No fancy printed labels, no brand names, and no nutritional guide.  The pristine paper wrapped meat tells me all I need to know. All that is left to do is to pick the cut or type of meat.  Venison roast? Backstrap? A 1-pound package of ground? Maybe a fresh walleye fillet or wild turkey breast?  The options are plentiful, but tonight we will be having crockpot chili with chunked venison stew meat.

It has almost become routine. I never put much thought to what we’ll be having for dinner as there is almost always some sort of fresh protein waiting to be woken up on the grill, crockpot, or frypan.  The other day however, I was caught in a gaze as I deciphered through the options of freezer paper wrapped cuts.

Storing venison in freezer

S-T-E-W M-E-A-T 9-12-15 the package read.  This was from an opening day doe I had harvested during my first bow hunt of the seasonB-A-C-K-S-T-R-A-P 11-3-2015 the next package read.  This was from an unbelievable rut hunt on a farm across from my parents’ house…man, was he a brute.  In the top left sat a pair of salmon fillets in vacuum sealed plastic.  My father-in-law had given us these after a successful outing on Lake Michigan.  As I picked through the packages, I was instantly thrown back to the moment of truth.  The moment we as hunters wait all season for and prepare all year for.  A living animal is in our sights or on our lure, and within seconds we’ve consciously made the decision to end its life to ultimately better our own.

Many will never understand.  They will spend their money on plastic wrapped meat tucked nicely under a glass window with artificial lighting.  To them it’s just that, a piece of meat with a price tag.  To them, providing for the family is defined by the numbers on their Friday paycheck.  While there’s certainly nothing wrong with earning an honest wage to support your family, there’s also something distinct about providing natural, clean protein that far surpasses any grading metric of the USDA.

I ask you to take a look inside your freezer.  What does it say about your lifestyle?

One simple look into a sportsman’s freezer will tell the following story…

You prefer to harvest your own food

You respect the game you pursue

You willingly explore the great outdoors

You’re a hard-working individual

You were successful this year

You value wild protein

You skip the meat department in a grocery store

You have an understanding of the natural world

You’re a provider

There is reason that lies behind the trigger

The outdoor experience is more than a dead animal

Comradery is dear to your heart

You don’t take opportunity for granted

Sacrifices were made

And the story may ultimately go on and on…

You may have more meat than you could possibly eat in a year, or maybe you have just enough to get you to the next season, or perhaps it’s empty as a result of a tough year, or maybe it is full of pretty packaging and nutritional labels.  Whatever it may be, your freezer tells a story.  Do you rely on the natural world to provide? Is it a bonus if it does?  Perhaps more importantly, these questions should be asked to the individuals willing, but perhaps afraid of joining a community that may seem intimidating.  To those I give the advice: We’ve all been the rookie at one time or another. It’s time to jump in and join us in the great outdoors.  Trust me, there’s plenty of teachers willing to take you under their wing. Out here, there’s room for us all to fill our freezers and our minds with offerings of the natural world.

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About The Author
From Woods to Table

AJ Gall

AJ Gall's prior hunting and wildlife experiences began long ago and make him the perfect contributing deer hunting guru.  As a habitat consultant under Dr. Grant Woods, AJ has worked on properties in 13 different states, amassing over 25,000 acres of quality deer management. He now uses that knowledge to help clients find their dream hunting properties as a licensed real estate agent in Wisconsin.  


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