For the past 12 years I have been a widow raising my six children. I had to remain strong, and push forward, leaving my own needs aside for many years. I wanted to provide for my kids, show them that they could be self sufficient and harvest their own meat, especially when times were tough. I went out and got my firearms and hunting licence and harvested my first deer the same year. I was always an angler, so this was new to me, aside from being raised with a hunting father, this was my first personal experience. I am humbled, and appreciative of every opportunity to provide for my family, and when I look into my full freezer, I feel blessed. I couldn't have made this happen without some truly special people in my life that educated me, taught me their strategies, and know how. I am happy that after twelve years of hunting steady, that I have been able to pass on my knowledge to youth and women, first time hunters and educate with an open heart. Hunting is healing for me. Being out in the wilderness with nothing but my thoughts and and the quiet solitude was and still is, my medicine.
This picture makes me laugh at what transpired after this photo was taken. I had all the kids line up so I could take them through the process of breasting out the Grouse. I explained slowly, got them to stand on the wings, hold the legs, and asked them to wait as I made my way down the line. My youngest Camryn was first, and she listened, pulled and did quite well with a bit of a feathery mess lol.. Next was Breanna and she pulled cleanly, like a pro! Next was Jesse, my oldest of the four, and he was rough, had to re-situate his feet but succeeded. When I came to Jake, his face was in shock, and all he was holding was a pair of legs! He didn't wait for my guidance and pulled far too hard lol... so Jake got to pluck the whole grouse out and learn how to field dress his bird. We stuffed that one, wrapped it on bacon, and enjoyed it :)
My kids love to see who can spot an animal first! In this instance, Camryn was looking for Black Bear up an area called Sunshine Valley during Spring Season. I had seen a big Cinnamon up there the year prior and she was dead fast at finding him again.