Field and Stream - - GIANT - —Rick Bass

Why would you spend a year an­tic­i­pat­ing the hunt, five weeks or more pur­su­ing the an­i­mal, the bet­ter part of a week pack­ing it out, and ag­ing it for weeks, only to not then revel in the nextto-final act of spend­ing a few more days pre­par­ing it for stor­age, await­ing the meal that is the be­gin­ning of all you sought in the first place?

There is one knife, re­served only for this pur­pose. There is the late au­tumn or early win­ter light through the win­dow. There are your young daugh­ters, wrap­ping fas­cia into tight pi­o­neer gar­ments around their dolls. A few years later, they help you la­bel the cuts, draw­ing car­toon pic­tographs of the hunt onto the freezer pa­per. Grown, they’ll cook it for you and it will be more de­li­cious than ever.

Trim away ev­ery bit of lig­a­ment. There’s no in­tra­mus­cu­lar fat, so, if you wrap it tightly enough, and use enough pa­per, the meat will keep for years. “Mastodon!” we cry some­times, in ex­ca­vat­ing from the bot­tom of the freezer. I’m re­minded of a line at­trib­uted to Jim Bridger: “Meat don’t spoil in the moun­tains.”

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