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A Trip to Cabela’s

October 28th, 2009

I come from a family of avid hunters. My grandpa had to hunt to survive since he was very poor and his dad died when he was young. He passed his skills and love of hunting down to his sons, one of which was my dad. My grandparents bought a big piece of land in rural Ohio and built a hunting cabin for the family. I got my hunting license when I was in 7th grade, although I never really got into hunting all that much.
Mr Chiots didn’t come from a hunting family, so he was introduced to it when he joined our family. He’s really gotten interested in it this year and finally took the Ohio Hunter Safety Course and got his license.
He’s planning to go deer hunting in November with my dad. Since Mr Chiots is a new hunter, he needs a few things. Yesterday we headed down to Cabela’s in West Virginia with my parents to look around and pick up a few hunting supplies.
It’s a fascinating store, even if you’re not into hunting. They have all kinds of sporting goods from camping and fishing, to grilling and home sausage making supplies. They have all kind of animal scenes from around the world and a huge walk-through aquarium. It’s a lot like going to a natural history museum. They also have a white-tail deer exhibit featuring many award winning deer. We ate in their cafe, which features a lot of different game (we had elk burgers for lunch).
I know hunting is something that not everyone is in to and not everyone agrees with. In our area of the country it’s very popular and many people still enjoy it. Wild game supplies most of the meat we eat, except for the chicken we buy from our local farm and an occasional beef roast from the farm as well.
I’ve eaten my fair share of interesting things in my lifetime, which can’t be avoided when your dad is an avid hunter and you grow up in another country. I have eaten; bison, ostrich, elk, wild boar, venison, squirrel, alligator, and various interesting cuts of beef that aren’t popular here in the U.S. The strangest thing I’ve eaten is fried ants, they’re very popular in Colombia. They kind of taste like popcorn.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten (fruit, vegetable, meat or insect)?

19 Comments to “A Trip to Cabela’s”
  1. Helen at Toronto Gardens on October 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Our maternal grandfather was a butcher, so we grew up eating interesting cuts of meats and offal. I enjoy fried sweetbreads, as much for the name as anything (they’re the pancreas).
    .-= Helen at Toronto Gardens´s last blog ..Sunday Favourite: Not everyone has your passion for dead leaves =-.

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  2. Diane on October 28, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    We too come from a long tradition of hunters. My son is transferring to a local state university, primarily for the hunting! Now that’s priorities! I had wild boar in Prague and it was delicious! Happy hunting!
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Sweet Cream Butter =-.

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  3. Teri on October 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Hmmmm, I can’t think of the strangest thing I have ever eaten, but I know I don’t like beef tongue………..We are a family of hunters too. Venison, elk, and game birds take up the majority of our freezer space right now. I did buy half a lamb last week……I love lamb.
    .-= Teri´s last blog ..294/365 =-.

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    • Susy on October 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm

      I think I like beef tongue the last time I had it. We have several squirrels in the freezer right now, we’re trying to save up for a family squirrel dinner.

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  4. kristin @ going country on October 28, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    The lamb tongue was pretty strange. I wouldn’t eat it again.

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  5. Daphne on October 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve had squirrel before. Tongue doesn’t seem all that weird since that was a specialty of my husband’s family. Personally I think snails and squid are the weirdest. They are just such weird creatures. And snails are just slugs with homes. No one thinks about eating slugs. My mom used to make chicken hearts when I was a kid. I guess that is pretty strange. I know I’ve had brains. Ick. I tasted Rocky Mountain Oysters once. Also ick. And really you don’t want to know what they are. I had a stew once in the Caribbean that supposedly used all different weird parts of the goat. I ate it. It was OK.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..Chinese Cabbage Soup =-.

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    • Susy on October 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm

      We used to eat squirrel brains when I was a kid at our family squirrel dinners. I don’t think I’ve ever had goat, but there’s a local farm that sells it and I’d like to try it.

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  6. Christine on October 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    I think it’s great that hunting is a part of your life! So many people think it’s a terrible, vulgar thing, but when approached the right way, it’s nothing of the sort. It’s something that I’d really like to get into later in life when I have the time and money, but I have a few friends that are into primitive bow-hunting.
    As for the weirdest thing I’ve eaten? Snake, probably, or snails. We’re actually looking to raise our own snails for food, too.
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..And the snails go ‘nom nom nom’ =-.

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    • Mr. Chiots on October 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      I have found through this experience that hunting is actually a very humane form of conservation. Since we as humans have removed most of the deers’ natural preditors, if it were not for the yearly harverst of the deer, many thousands and millions would starve to death in the coming winter. Interesting.

      I bought a scope and some of the best ammunition because I want to be sure to harvest the deer in the most humane way possible. And it is great that it will feed us in the coming year. It is a win all around… that is except for the deer that ends up with my tag on it.

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    • Susy on October 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm

      Raising snails for food, I’ve never heard of that before. I should try snails sometime, I bet they’re good.

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  7. Beegirl on October 29, 2009 at 9:47 am

    We are a family of hunters too. Cabela’s is a great place to see! Congrats Mr. Chiots on the hunting license! Best of luck to you for venison for your freezer. We are hoping for two this year. One down, one to go.
    .-= Beegirl´s last blog ..Cabin No. 23 =-.

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  8. Andres on October 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    That is great that hunting is part of your way of being more sustainable. i grew up hunting, but have not gone since high school. It is something I would like to get back into, and to impart to my children.

    As for strange foods, I have eaten goat, various times, (and funny enough, I wasn’t actually going to mention it, since it didn’t occur to me that it is strange until reading other comments, as is not uncommon in the parts of Mexico from where my family is from). The foods I was going to mention are bear, after my father and uncle came back from a moose hunting trip in Alaska, and I have eaten fried grasshoppers (very small ones). Those were eaten in a taco with lots of cilantro and lime juice and salsa.
    .-= Andres´s last blog ..Antonio Feeding the Worms =-.

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    • Susy on October 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm

      I’d probably like grasshoppers if I liked ants. They’d be delicious with lime & cilantro, I like just about anything with lime & cilantro.

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  9. Tommy on October 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    OK, this is coming from the crazy Californian on your blog—I grew up eating all sorts of crazy meat—my mom is from the South, and my dad is from meat n’ potatoes Utah.
    But I’ve been vegetarian for 21 years now, and couldn’t imagine eating animal again.
    Life is so much healthier and easier without meat in the diet. However, I agree with you about hunting vs. store-bought meat. If you are going to eat meat, it seems much healthier to eat what you hunt, rather than supporting the large industrial meat farms that crank out the meat, often pumping it full of antibiotics, steroids, etc.

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  10. Deer Hunting Tips on November 1, 2009 at 12:51 am

    I love that store! Put me in there with a credit card and I’m like a kid in a candy store. The strangest thing I have ever eaten? I would have to say is fish eyballs. Like big ones the size of a large marble. They don’t taste like what you think they would. They were quite good actually
    .-= Deer Hunting Tips´s last blog ..Deer Hunting Tips =-.

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    • Susy on November 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

      OOOOO, fish eyeballs. I’ve eaten small ones before.

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  11. risa b on December 8, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Head cheese. ‘Cuz Beloved was workin’ on it and it kinda looked like it was lookin’ at me. I’ve kinda liked veggies a lot ever since.

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  12. Marcia on January 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Wow! Where to begin? I`ve eaten rooster testicles (seed sacks really, they`re on the inside when you butcher them). Brains, organs, intestines, eyes, tongue, from most herd animals. If its edible somewhere, I`ve probably eaten it and enjoyed it. Snails make a frequent appearance at my table.The better question is what will I not eat. I will never eat sea turtle though. I don`t believe in eating any endangered species, however of a delicacy it may be.

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    • Susy on January 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      Wow, you’ve got quite the adventures palate. I’ve eaten some weird things in Colombia, but wow you’ve eaten some interesting things. It’s great to know there are other people who eat weird things (I used to eat squirrel brains as a kid).

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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