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  • Writer's pictureTodd Stevens

Subsistence Hunter

My dad was a subsistence hunter. The idea of hunting for trophies was completely foreign to him. When he went out for big game he was looking for animals in good condition that would eat well. He had a pet saying, “Horn soup doesn't taste worth a shit.” Now, I’m not saying he wouldn’t have been happy to take a trophy bull or buck, but the primary goal was to feed our family, not to decorate our walls. About half of our meat was wild game or fish that we caught or hunted. One time it was getting late in the evening and dad needed the light of the porch to do something, I don’t remember if he’d skinned the animal out or what, but there was some blood left over on the porch from whatever he had butchered, and some stained his pants and hands. It was a Friday night and my sister was going out on a date with my future brother-in-law and he was due to pick her up at any time. Dad had some old rags out cleaning up that blood on the porch when my sister’s date pulled up and parked. It was pretty dark as he made his way across the yard to where dad was cleaning up. They greeted each other and then my future brother in law asked, “What’s that blood from?” Dad kept wiping the blood up and without missing a beat he said, “Oh this? This is from the last guy who didn’t get my daughter in before curfew…” and he just kept right on cleaning….

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