If you don’t enjoy hunting stories then don’t read this story! My friend Ali is from another country. His ways and customs are different then mine but he and I have developed a similar interest in several areas. One of them is hunting. I took Ali to my ranch to hunt with me. The trip started out by him firing my gun into the air in the middle of Houston on the day I picked him up for our trip. I began to wonder what kind of weekend I was in for!
On an early Saturday morning I placed Ali in a small tree stand well before daybreak with the hopes he would become so uncomfortable he would climb down shortly after sunrise and call it a day. As small as the tree was I also figured there was no way he could make a shot from a shaking tree, so I thought my cows would be safer that way.
We had stayed up late the night before, so surely he would come down early.
I had grilled Ali on the difference between a deer and my cows so much to the point he became angry with me for thinking he was an imbecile.
As the first ray of light began to break though the trees I heard a shot ring out from Ali’s direction and I was fussing under my breath about how early it was. How in the world could he even see a deer much less hit it and then another shot rang out.
“Oh, great” I thought, “Two cows down in-stead of just one” I mumbled to myself.
I couldn’t take the suspense any longer and I left my stand giving up my morning hunt.
As I made my way to the house, I stood next to a wall of the house for protection looking for Ali in the treetops and I saw him waving proudly while perched in his stand.
“I got him, I got him!” he yelled. Every time he waived his arm in delight the little spindly tree I had stuck him in waved back and forth with the motion.
“Oh Lord,” I thought to myself. “I hope he got a ‘him’ deer and not my ‘him’ bull!”
I made my way toward Ali and I soon saw his barely legal buck deer on the side of the trail.
Ali was proud of his shot and was already making plans for deer steak and sausage. I wanted to get his gun out of his hands so I suggested we go up to the house to put up our guns and get a cup of coffee. About thirty minutes later we made our way back to the site and Ali pulled out his knife to bleed the deer.
“Ali, there is no need in trying to bleed this deer anymore it’s been laying here too long. Let’s just pick it up and go clean it”, I said.
“No, I must do this, it’s part of my religion,” he said. I backed off from making any comments because I had never talked rel-igion with Ali and wondered what bleeding an animal had to do with anybody’s faith.
Ali had soon cut the animal’s throat and then he stood up for a second. Then he bent back down and cut a small slit into the skin on the inside knee area of all four legs and then he stood up again. As I stood next to Ali I saw him bow his head as if he was praying while he was wiping his knife off on his pants. I refused to ask any questions, as I didn’t want to interfere with what appeared to be a religious ceremony.
Suddenly Ali fell to his knees and grabbed this deer by the leg and began to tear at the cut with his teeth and then violently began to blow air into this deer as if he was blowing up a kids beach ball. He was huffing and puffing and I soon became overwhelmed with curiosity and in a very alarmed voice I asked him what in the world he was doing.
In between his labored breathing and exhaustion he exclaimed, “Watch, this is how we do it in my country”!
After two or three minutes of huffing and puffing my friend from the other side of this world had blown this deer up like a beach ball and this deer looked like it had been dead for a week.
Sweating and worn out he exclaimed, “In my country we use air pumps!”
I burst out with laughter as Ali began to slap this deer from side to side pushing the pockets of air across the entire carcass. He then took his knife out and slit the deer’s skin down the stomach. As he did I could hear the air releasing itself from between the meat and the skin. Ali then used his hands with very little tugging and had this deer skinned in short fashion. This was the cleanest deer skinning I had ever seen. The air separated the skin from the meat and there were no nicks or cuts anywhere!
I was dumbfounded! This crazy country boy thought he knew all there was to know about cleaning game. I’ve cleaned one of almost everything that lives here in South Texas but I have never seen a blown up deer!
Ali was proud of the education he gave me. Later that afternoon he made some kind of meal with Olive leaves, eggplant and hamburger meat. Mushroom sauce was added along with several seasonings I couldn’t pronounce. He made it all in a pressure cooker and after an hour or two of cooking he dumped it out on a plate and it looked like a layered cake. It was good! Try it!