My Preseason Ritual: The Freezer Clean Out

A week from today I'll be sweating it out in hot blind, waiting over a Wyoming water hole for an unsuspecting antelope. It's hard to believe hunting seasons are already here, but I couldn't be happier the end of summer is near. I'm sick of the heat and ready for that first frost-filled morning, even if it is a month or more away.

August is also time for one of my pre-season rituals--the freezer clean out. And not in the bad way I experienced earlier this summer. In many states, local wildlife agencies set an arbitrary date when possessing game from last season is illegal. In theory, this helps enforce poaching laws, though in practice, I can't see how it's very effective. Still, law-abiding citizen that I am, I go through my freezer to ensure I'm legal.

That means this week I'll be using the last of my skinned goose breasts to make a big batch of goose jerky. It should taste pretty good while I'm waiting for that big buck antelope to get thirsty.

Even if your state doesn't have a post-season possession law, late summer is still a great time to go through your freezer to make an inventory of what needs to be eaten before hunting seasons start cranking up. Besides, you never know what kind of surprises you'll find, like the javelina hock hidden in the bottom of my freezer that I just discovered this morning. Guess it's time for a barbecue.