More Cave Girl than the Cave Girl

Oooooobviously I use the term “Cave Girl” loosely. I don’t frequently wear a loincloth, and I generally manage to cook my food (whether it tastes decent is something else entirely). I call my little corner of the internet “Cave Girl Eats” because I try to eat with the diet of a pre-agricultural bipedal hominid in mind (!). Lucky for me, this happens to be a diet composed of Real Food.

The big difference between myself and a real-life Cave Girl, woe is me, is that I almost always buy food from a person or a farm. I’ve never killed my own dinner. This is my shame.

My friend and high-school classmate, however, is what I call a Gratitude Hunter. She loves, appreciates, hunts, gathers, and kills her own chow – sometimes with a bow, sometimes with a rifle, always with a deep appreciation for the food, the life it sustains, and the process of acquiring it.

My personal interpretation of Primal living is tightly linked to the idea of appreciative eating, and one day I want to hunt my dinner as Ashley does. It’s the reality behind how we choose to live – something must die – and it’s important to have a perspective on how that happens, and how it’s done gratefully. I asked Ashley to share a little about her experiences hunting with her husband, Scott. This is the story of a modern hunter-gatherer!

 

Ashley and her husband Scott, fashion forward.

Hunting and Gathering the Eftink way

I went to college out in the country and stood out in every way possible. I came in with my pearl earrings on and my khakis and quickly realized that the dress code called for camouflage.

I started to make friends and soon was in the middle of different guys telling hunting stories. Most of them in no way impressed me and I took no interest whatsoever. All I heard was ego and disrespect for the deer.

Then I met my husband. A kind-hearted man who had a true love for God’s country. He would talk about hunting with such passion and heart. He would make statements like “I could sit in the stand all day and not kill a thing and be just as happy as if I got a deer.”

“Wow! I thought. “I have to try this.”

I have been hunting for four years now with my rifle and with my bow and have created many amazing memories with my sweetheart.

 

Ashley, field dressed. (Get it?)

Our biggest point we like to stress to those who aren’t hunter savvy is our ultimate respect for the deer, the woods and the sport. How do we do that?

1. Practice- we never come to deer camp (cute name huh?) unprepared. Whether it be gun or bow, we practice to make sure our shots are dead on because in the heat of the moment you tend to shake and we NEVER would want to injure a deer.

2. Prayer-Before every hunt my husband and I do a prayer in the woods that we have a good shot so that the deer dies right away and doesn’t feel any pain.

3. Meat – My deer is my deer and no one will be touching it but me. I hunted it and will gather it and finish the hunt I started. We field dress and skin our own deer. The deer goes from the woods, to our cooler, to our deep freeze. It is completely processed by us and no one else. That way we know that everything is done according to our standards.

Our goal is to always have at least 5 deer a year to be able to eat. From steaks, chili, spaghetti, fajitas, burgers-you name it, we cook it. And as a thank-you to our friends who don’t see us the whole month of November, we throw a deer fajita dinner party and share the yumminess and hope to open up their views on why people hunt.

 

The product of the hunt. No factory farm in sight.

 

We often run into the individuals who judge us for killing Bambi and the vegetarians who think we are cruel. And that’s ok. We are all entitled to our own opinions. But the hours I have spent in the woods watching sunrises and sunsets and the special memories I have had with my husband that we talk about over and over while we eat our yummy deer fajitas, is worth every judgement passed.

 

The Eftinks celebrating their one-year anniversary...at Deer Camp.

My name is Ashley Eftink and I’m a hunter and gatherer.

Look for a deer chili recipe tomorrow!

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