Monday, June 27, 2011

Planet Of The Rednecks

Being from New Jersey, you would think that I would have spent more time at the Jersey Shore, even as a kid. But, the first time I’ve ever really been there was last week with my best friend. I have to say that it wasn’t really any different than I had imagined.

The ocean was beautiful; it was pretty cool to sit on the beach at 8 in the morning and watch the boats going in and out of the fog as the sun slowly burned its way through and warmed up the water. It smelled like fish, saltwater, and well…the ocean. 

We spent the day down there (lucky for us, there was hardly anyone at the beach); the morning we spent laying on the beach until the sun warmed the water up, then we went to play in the waves and tried to avoid as many of the tiny jellyfish that were in the water as possible. There were millions of them dead washed up on the shore, we didn’t know what they were since neither of us had ever spent any real time at the ocean. It was kind of gross to walk on a carpet of squishy dead jellyfish in order to get to the water.

By the time noon time rolled around, we were sufficiently tan, a little sunburned, very hungry, and our hair was completely tangle from the salt water. We headed to a little restaurant called Surf Taco and got something to eat. Then, we decided to take a stroll out on The Boardwalk before we headed back to the beach.

For anyone who has never been to the jersey shore, The Boardwalk isn’t just a boardwalk. It’s a boardwalk out along the ocean that has hundreds of vendors, restaurants, carnival rides, anything you can think of. And that was where we started to feel a little like we were at the zoo. Everyone looked the same pretty much; it was like everyone was a clone from the show Jersey Shore. Which totally made sense since that’s where it was filmed. Seriously that show has given a bad name for everyone who lives in Jersey. We aren’t all like that, I swear.

Walking down the boardwalk, I felt like I was from another planet. Planet of the rednecks maybe??? And I’m not sure what would be the name of the planet I was in at the shore.

Walking past a restaurant we saw a group of guys in camo hats and sunburn lines around their biceps. For second I felt like I was back in Sussex County.

We ended up going all the way to the end of the boardwalk, stopping at the arcade and winning some water pistols, and stopping at a food vendor for some deep fried oreos. It took us an hour and a half to walk the whole boardwalk, and I have to say it was an interesting experience.

It was definitely a fun day; I loved the ocean and the beach and the good food, and it was definitely interesting to walk along the boardwalk. My best friend said it was better than a trip to the zoo and I couldn’t have said it better.

We’ll probably head down there a few more times before I move to Ohio, just to sit on the beach and play in the ocean. It’s a good place to visit once in a while but I prefer to stay on a planet where I can relate to the people around me. It made me appreciate the rednecks in North Jersey.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


June is almost over! That means that before long I will no longer be a resident of New Jersey, which to me is a very good thing. I miss Mike! Unfortunately my moving date has been pushed back into July since things with the house are moving so slow, but I'm hoping that they speed up soon. 

Mike got me a Ross Bow last week so I'm super excited to start practicing for this deer season. In the meantime I've been trying to use up the small amount of food, mostly venison, that I have in my freezer. When I make the trip out to Ohio in a few weeks, I don't have to worry about keeping any frozen foods frozen. So, I've been doing a lot of cooking lately, and inviting my best friend or sister over to help eat the food I make.

I figured since most (if not all) of my blog followers are hunters, I might as well share a few of my favorite venison recipes that I invented on my own or are my own variation of another recipe. So, here they are!!!

Montreal Venison

1-2 backstraps
Montreal Steak seasoning

Sprinkle backstraps with steak seasoning on all sides. Place in aluminum baking pan/cookie sheet and bake at 500 for ten minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 20 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before cutting so that the steak retains its juices.

Venison Enchiladas

1 small onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
2 teaspoons of oil
3 cups (approximately) of shredded/chopped/or ground cooked venison
1 tub of Sante Fe Philidelphia Cooking Creme
1 cup shredded cheese, whichever flavor you like
6 whole wheat tortillas (6 inch)

Oven: 350 F

Cook onions and pepper in hot oil in a large skillet/pot over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in venison, 3/4 cup of cooking creme and cheese. Divide evenly between tortillas and roll up. Place in a 13x9" baking dish or on a cookie sheet, sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon remaining creme over tortillas, sprinkle more cheese on top if you like. Cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Can also serve topped with lettuce, salsa, sour cream, extra cheese

Restaurant Style Venison Parmesan

Venison loin/steak sliced thin (1/8-1/4")
Cooking Oil
Shredded Mozzeralla
Tomato sauce
Parmesan Cheese
2 beaten eggs
Seasoned breadcrumbs

Dip venison pieces into beaten egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Heat oil on medium-hi until hot. Fry venison in oil until golden brown, flipping once. Place venison on papertowels for several minues to rid of excess oil. Place cooked venison in 13x9" baking dish, cover with sauce and sprinkle with Mozzeralla and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over spaghetti noodles or italian bread

Monday, June 13, 2011

May 20th, 1999

The other day as I was boxing up some random things and starting to get ready for my move to Ohio, I came across something that I thought that had disappeared years ago; a journal I had kept when I was ten, the first year I had gone hunting. 

It was made out of notebook paper and orange construction paper stapled together, and all the entries were printed in pencil. On the inside of the construction paper “cover” I had drawn a turkey. The first entry was dated May 20th, 1999.

The entry was short, but I remembered the exact day I had written about.
(Mis-spellings are included)

“Dad and I woke up early this morning to go turkey hunting. We got dressed and I ate my kudo and drank my ovaltine. We left around four but we didn’t go up on the hill instead we went somewhere else. When we got there it was 4:43. We walked around for a while. Then we heard one we walked quickly back to the path. We looked for a place to sit down finally we found one. We were sitting there when catbird fluttered down and screeched. I jumped.  Dad called a few more times but the turkey did not anser. We got up and were walking up the path when we saw him. He was sitting in the tree in front of the Appalachian Bowhunters barn. Dad said I could have shot it but he did not want me to. He said it was in the tree (which was legal) and that wasn’t fair you have to give the turkey a fair chance, besides it was in front of a building. I didn’t get mad. He explaned it to me that people make up stories that they called it in and shot it in the woods in stead of in front of the building. We walked up a different path for a while. We went up a hill that turned out to be a sheer drop off on one side the other side sloped down gently. We heard some turkeys and dad stopped and called but they did not come. Dad said it was time to start back to the van. I didn’t want to but I was kinda glad because I was soaked. On the way back we saw morels (mushrooms) and dad said sometime we could pick some. He showed me a salamander it was orange with black spots outlined by red. I picked it up to take home. I put it in my glove. We saw a cat. By the time we got to the van the salamander was gone. I didn’t now how but it was gone. We came back home. I love hunting.”

The rest of the journal entries were shorter, and were mostly about our caterpillars changing into butterflies, how I was sick with bronchitis, and what my favorite toy horse was. But the first entry really made me remember that day hunting with my dad, that the grass was soaked with dew and my boots were too big and my gun was heavy but I didn’t complain. And I’m pretty sure the Salamander went missing when I tripped over a stick and dropped my glove.

Back when I was ten years old and keeping that journal, it had never crossed my mind that 12 years later I would be reading it. But it’s definitely something I will keep forever. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

3 Months Til Bow Season!!!

Only three months until fall bow season!!!! Seriously, I can’t wait for it to just get here already.  I started shooting my bow, though I do believe that this year I will be retiring my old Hoyt Ultrasport and switching over to a Ross bow. On my way back from my grand slam trip with Mike, we stopped at the Ross archery warehouse and I got to shoot one of their women’s bows.

I actually only started bowhunting when I was sixteen, and my first bow was a Silverhawk, XI. It was a womens bow that was given to my dad by a woman he worked with, so I wasn’t about to complain. It was a little old school, but definitely got the job done. I killed my first few archery deer with that bow (and aluminum arrows!!!), and last year I took it out of retirement and set it up for bowfishing.

My second bow was my Hoyt Ultrasport that I bought from my older brother, and I’ve been shooting the Hoyt for the past three seasons. I’ve killed several deer, turkeys and a raccoon with it, and it’s definitely a good bow. The only problem I have with it is that I have to wear an arm guard with it. At first I thought it was just me, but then my younger sister Sarah got the same bow and has the same problem.

All my life I’ve only shot a few bows; the little Bear recurve when I was a kid, then my Silverhawk and my Hoyt. So, when we stopped at the Ross shop I didn’t really expect their bows to shoot any different than my Hoyt…but it kind of really did.

I didn’t have an arm guard so I was a little worried I would hit my arm, but had no problem at all. I also like that it was easier to draw than my Hoyt, and once I had it pulled back it was much easier to hold back. That in itself was a huge deal for me. Two years ago I was hunting early fall bow, and had a doe walk past my stand at 30 yards. I drew back on her, but she stopped behind a tree; I held my bow at full draw for what felt like hours until my arm started shaking and I had to let down. She started walking so I drew again, and she again stopped behind a tree. This happened one more time, and I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to draw back my bow a third time. Luckily I managed to scrape up my last bit of strength and made a perfect shot on the doe, she ran 30 yards and I saw her fall. But, thinking back on it I’m not even sure how I pulled back my bow and held it that long, that many times.

So, I’m thinking it’s time to retire the Hoyt and switch to a Ross…besides the fact that Mike shoots for Ross, and I’m his camera woman and will also be filmed with him so I switching to the same bow as him is a good thing.

Haven’t decided if I’m going to switch broadheads or not. Last year I bought the Rage 40ke, but never actually shot a deer with one. The deer I shot last year was shot with a Grim Reaper I borrowed from the guy I was dating at the time. BUT, I’ve heard so many bad things about Rage, about people losing huge deer etc. that I’m not sure I want to take the risk. So, the broadhead I will be shooting is undecided as of now, but I have three months to make up my mind.

Last season really wasn’t the best bow season of my life, but I can certainly say it was one of the most memorable. I hunted “Mr. Big” all season, a huge ten pointer that would have scored about 145”. I had tons of trail camera pictures of him, saw him several times at 70 yards before the rut started, but never had the chance to take a shot…and then he was shot by several gun hunters doing a drive on opening day of gun season. It was heart breaking news to me since I had hunted him so hard…but I’m hoping this year I’ll find another Mr. Big and actually get to shoot him.

This year is also going to be very different since for the first time ever, I won’t be deer hunting Jersey. By bow season I will be long moved to Ohio, which besides the fact that I get to spend it with the man of my dreams and the kids, Ohio has a lot bigger deer than New Jersey has. I’m sure I’ll be in a bunch of other states with Mike, to film and/or hunt…so looks like I have plenty to look forward to.