The first part of my ritual is easy; it's what our parents told us a long time ago, the please and thank you rule. I say thank you--very quietly, under my breath really--to the mountain I'm on and to the animal. Then I set about cleaning the animal. It's often too far from a road or trail to drag, so I quarter it for packing out. I like to leave the meat on the bone for aging--hams and shoulders--but I make sure the carcass that remains--head, vertebrae, ribs--is positioned on its side, with each part as it was, back in the brief assembly of life. I place each foreleg and shin in its appropriate pairing, so that the animal is positioned as if in midflight, reminding me of the great Edward Hoagland line about a leopard poised to jump as if in "an extra-emphatic leap into the hereafter."