My younger brother’s name is Joel. He is 5 years younger than me. Although he is my “baby” brother he was my first Deer hunting partner and also my teacher in many finer hunting techniques. I have already shared my story on my big brother David. This story is going to focus on Joel.
Joel is a very unique individual. He, like me, didn’t get all of Dad's genes. Dad is well over 6’ and built like a tank. Joel is 5’ 8” and about 200 pounds – more like a much smaller tank – like me. Joel definitely more closely resembles Mom than Dad. But Joel also was the recipient of the humor gene in the family. Joel can always turn a mundane situation into a laugh fest.
I can clearly remember when Dad, David, Joel, and I were bear hunting in Quebec. We were all focused on the hunt in front of us. Joel, he was focused on having fun and ensuring the rest of us laughed. We had traveled 15 hours by car to get to the meet spot prior to taking the one hour boat trip to the island where we would stay. We were all going to do a little fishing in the crystal clear waters of Kipawa Lake while waiting for our outfitter to arrive... but not Joel. Joel in the excitement of the situation tried jumping over the guard rail at the top by the road and tripped over it. After knowing of his mistake and his tiredness he then proceeded to roll down the embankment until he hit the cold water. Once landing in the 40 degree water he stripped down to his birthday suit and decided it was time for the backstroke. Needless to say he scared all of the fish away while giving us a good laugh. And I was blinded for the next 12 hours!
While Joel is the “clown” of the family he is also a very good teacher on the finer techniques of hunting and the processing of the meat.
I have already shared my 2010 hunt with you but I have not shared how I learned how to process that nice 8 point whitetail buck so I could bring it home.
After dropping my 8 point Ohio whitetail buck last year during gun season I was faced with having to butcher it myself prior to packing and freezing it for a suitcase or two within the next 24 hours for the trip back to Colorado.
Joel had been Deer hunting for years while I hadn’t due to my work schedule. Ohio butcher fees are from $60 to $90 per animal based on the area. The butcher was going to take far longer than the time I had available. I had to get back to Colorado within the next 24 hour so I had looked towards Joel for guidance.
While my nice buck was hanging on Dad’s hang-pole, my brother Joel, knowing I was on a very strict deadline, took the time to show me how to butcher my own deer versus going back out and getting his own. We spent the next 60 minutes together in the rain as he explained how to carve out the back-straps, the tenderloins, as well as steaks and roasts. I did all the knife work based on his direction. I now know how, because of my little brother Joel, how to fully butcher a deer.
There are many many more funny stories of Joel and his adventures in hunting and in life… however, what I will remember most of my little brother Joel is how he taught me to do what I was not comfortable or able to do on my own in butchering a deer. I’m hoping he can make it out in 2012 for a deer and elk hunt with me. Maybe I can teach him a thing or two then!
Here is brother Joel with a very small fish. We were taking a break from our bear hunt and enjoying the fishing... and Joel's humor!