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Fern Bailey

Just about anyone that grows up in Michigan has a hunter or fisherman in the family. Mine was my dad. It was like a religious ceremony in the fall as preparation for the week-long deer hunting trip somewhere into the mysterious upper Michigan woods took place at our home. As a kid, the excitement of knowing dad was on his way home with a buck was like the excitement of Christmas morning. I couldn't wait to see the size of his deer and help him with it.

My dad had told my husband that when I was a kid "girls just didn't hunt", so it wasn't until the fall of 2014, that I had my first hunting experience. I sat in the blind with my husband all that fall hoping to encounter my first deer. I was there to observe only and learn the extreme patience of hunting. That year, my husband didn't get a deer, but I got an experience that changed my life.

In the fall of 2016, I took my first buck and I was elated! My dad had passed the previous March so the moment was a very special one. My dad was so excited his baby girl was getting the experience of hunting that I know he was looking down and smiling his big blue-eyed grin.

Now that I am an official hunter I have taken on the task of cooking the wild game. I grew tired of chili and sloppy joes and started to get creative, and I want to share these recipes and ideas with not just other hunters, but with anyone that loves food.

My dad loved many things in this life including hunting, food and his kids, so this is dedicated to him.