Hunting is a tradition my family grew up with, and is a big part of my active outdoor lifestyle. Yesterday I went hunting and shot a cow elk (female elk) and the meat from this animal will feed our family all year. This isn’t a trophy elk (it would have had huge antlers if it was), this is an animal that I legally and respectfully harvested in the mountains of Idaho. I like to share photos like these because it is all a part of my active outdoor lifestyle, but also because it is a core part of who I am.

In nearly all of my healthy recipes here on my pages and websites, I include animal protein. In my opinion shooting and processing an animal yourself is the most respectful way to eat animal protein that I can think of. Instead of just having a steak show up on your grill or plate, you know exactly where that meat came from. It’s the same reason I spend so me time teaching and encouraging others about backyard gardening, because I think being close to your food sources is valuable. Because I know the amount of work and effort that went into shooting, cleaning, hanging, and processing this meat it does not get wasted at our house. Our family has a tradition of thanking the animal as soon as we see it after the shot, and cleaning it as quickly as possible to ensure no meat is wasted.

I put videos of the entire process on my snapchat and Instagram story (nataliehodson1 for both: warning it is slightly graphic/shows guts and blood) and they will be up for probably another 6 hours or so if you want to see them. I got some negative feedback from people, but I hope that by sharing these types of posts I can: 1) encourage other women to start hunting 2) show the entire process to someone who may not have ever seen what happens when you hunt as an educational post and 3) start a respectful dialogue about hunting and the reasons behind why we hunt as a family.

I know some will disagree with my viewpoint here, and I can respect that. I hope that even if we agree to disagree, we can be respectful in our differing viewpoints. I was really proud of this hunt yesterday, and am really excited to fill my freezer.

Your friend,