College Survival Food - Part 1

          College and survival are pretty much of the same family, at least in my experience.  Trying to work your way through four or more years of college, get good grades and keep fed with a roof over head was definitely an advanced survival course.     

      Most of my money went for tuition, books, rent, gasoline, car repairs, dating, tires, etc. and if you had any extra, haha- it went for food. All us roommates would pool six dollars apiece each week for groceries.  That was $30.00 a week for five hungry guys. One or two of us would be elected to S-T-R-E-T-C-H that money as far as we could when we were sent grocery shopping.  Up until college I was unaware of the fact that there was such a thing as “imitation Bologna”, it was cheaper of course than “real” bologna and that’s what we always bought. It was like buying imitation imitation food.  But like I said it was survival time. I can remember my roommate elatedly and in a very ecstatic surprised voice declaring “JUICE” when he realized he was actually drinking “REAL” orange juice one time for breakfast. From then on we all would copy him anytime we felt we were actually eating or drinking as normal people do. That incident, well both the imitation imitation and real juice happened at BYU in Provo, Utah. I can remember eating “porcupine” one of my roommates killed. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t roadkill, I don’t think we ever got “that” desperate. I hunted, and deer meat was big time and good time stuff.  Two other roommates hunted as well. 

            When I was at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, duck meat was a regular in our apartment. We hunted ducks at what was called the “Texas Jim Slough”. Mallards were pretty plentiful out there, and it was a good break from studies. Our big break, food wise, happened in the latter end of November. I borrowed my Dad’s “Scout” 4-wheel drive and Bill and Dick Bohman and myself went looking for venison in the hills east of Moody. It was a beautiful sunshiny day, some snow on the ground and no classes since it was Saturday.

            We hunted all day in different places. In the afternoon Dick and I heard a gunshot off in Bill’s direction. One shot could be a good sign we said, more than several shots—at least we hoped so. Food was getting pretty scarce at our abode and money was too, school and rent etc. were taking care of all our money. What we needed badly was a lot of good venison to get us through the winter. Bill worked part time for a farmer and he supplied Bill with all the potatoes we needed, so now if we could “make meat” we’d be in pretty good shape.

            After a while, Bill showed up and sure enough his hands said good news, we were all pretty stoked, especially when he told us how big this buck was. He led us to the edge of a canyon, then down into it through a dark patch of timber to the bottom of a draw. There lay a “MONSTER” buck nine points on one side, twelve points on the other side. It had been with a harem of does, he jumped them from their beds and made a good shot, or good enough until he tracked it to where it lay.

            Dragging it back uphill through the timber to the top of the canyon where we could drive to it would be very difficult, it was so heavy. I think it was at least 200 pounds, probably more, and that was field dressed weight. Bill thought I could drive the scout around to a road that was on the other side of the canyon, then make my way down a fence line that intersected with the draw we were in, and they could drag the buck downhill to a place he thought I could get to in the scout, then we’d load the buck and get out before dark. Sounded doable, at least it’s the only real thing that made much sense at that point. So I hot footed it back up through the timber to the top of the canyon then over to the scout and drove the prescribed route till I hit what I thought had to be the road Bill was talking about...

To be continued...

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