Monday, November 29, 2010

Re-upholstering and Gutting Deer

Well, this week didn’t go as planned.

We started with purchasing our crown molding for the living room and dining room. We hope to install it this week.

On Monday night, I re-upholstered the seats for our sunroom chairs. This was my very first re-upholstery project so I didn’t have anything I needed. I bought an electric staple gun on eBay for $0.99 (plus shipping) and staples while we were at Home Depot. Last weekend, we picked out the fabric for the chairs.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad. The worst part of course was removing all the staples from the seats. A nice small screwdriver and a pair of pliers worked quite well!

After cutting the new fabric to size, I used my new stapler to attach the fabric to the seat.

After a couple hours, the seats were transformed.

I’m glad I started with a simple project first – now I think I can tackle the armchairs we have waiting downstairs!

On Sunday, we bought a treadmill I found on Craigslist. It is a $3000 treadmill that we got for $600. It is in great shape and very heavy duty. I’ll post pictures of it after we set it up inside. I hope this helps me get more motivated to run again – it’s always so hard to run when it’s cold and dark.

If you are squeamish, now is the time to stop reading – the next section is graphic!

On Tuesday morning, Chris let Tucker out in the backyard just like every morning. This time, there was a group of deer in the yard. Tucker ran straight for them and they scattered. Most made it over the fence on the first try but a few of them needed a couple tries to get over. One deer wasn’t so lucky.

Tucker ran over to the area between the brush pile and wood pile. He turned back with his head hung down like he had done something bad. Chris was curious and went to investigate. What he found was a deer lying next to the brush pile with her legs caught in some vines.

Chris came inside and told me what had happened. The deer was still alive so we called everyone we could think of to put it out of its misery – animal control, police, etc. Nobody could/would help us. The only option given to us was to pay a company to take it away. We are both from rural areas and know a lot of hunters so it seemed wasteful to throw away perfectly good venison.

We decided to field dress the deer and take it to a butcher instead. Unfortunately for me, Chris had a presentation to get ready for at work. So with a kiss and a “Good Luck” wish, he left for work.

I took gloves, a kitchen knife and hacksaw out back to start the gutting process. My brother, Rob, is a hunter so I called him about a dozen times during the procedure to make sure I was doing everything correctly. He was at work in a cubicle trying to explain things like “now cut around the butt hole” and “you might have to dig out the female parts to show the warden.” He had a lot of explaining to do to his co-workers!

During the gutting process, I had to run back and forth to the house a few times. Our next door neighbors were having their garage removed that day and about a dozen workers were watching me run around the yard covered in blood with bloody knives and a hacksaw. I can only imagine what they were thinking!

It took me awhile to finish the gutting because I didn’t want to make a mistake and spoil the meat. Once I removed the guts, I turned her on her stomach to let some of the blood drain out. When I turned her, it was easy to see that her neck was broken (good to know the cause of death). We think that she got her legs caught in the vines and when she tried to jump she hit the tree next to the wood pile.

In order to get a deer butchered, you need to get a permit. I called the Natural Resources Police (the equivalent of the Game Commission) and had an officer come out to the house. He was extremely nice and helpful. Once he left, I covered the deer in a sheet to keep the flies away and put ice in its stomach cavity to keep it cool.

Chris came home at lunch so that we could take it to the butcher. He drove our old beat up pickup truck to the back yard and we threw the deer (covered in a blood soaked sheet) and the guts (in a garbage bag) into the bed of the truck. Another interesting activity for the workers next door to witness!

While Chris was at work, he asked around for a good deer processing place. One of the guys suggested a place up in Finksburg so we drove the deer up there. It will be about 10 – 14 days before we get the meat back – now we need to buy a freezer to store all of it!

After all that excitement, we packed up and drove to my parents’ house on Wednesday. Upon our arrival, my dad showed me the sign he made so that we can advertise our new business…

We spent Thanksgiving Day with my family and drove to Chris’ parents on Friday. When we arrived there, I was greeted as “Sarah Palin” and the “Deer Slayer.” I have a feeling that I won’t live this down anytime soon!

It was great spending time with family and not working on the house for a change!

This week we plan on getting a few projects finished…as long as there are no more deer incidents!

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