Steamboat Springs Good eats
Elk steak, elk bratwurst, elk summer sausage, elk roast and venison steak. That's the contents of the my freezer at the moment, and for a kid who grew up on the Front Range in a family that didn't hunt big game, at the very least, my freezer contents are novel.
Unfortunately for me and my pride, the meat didn't come from an animal that I shot.
On the contrary. After finding out that I haven't been able get an elk the two years that I've been here, for various reasons, mainly because of my novice hunting skills, a good friend of mine with two freezers full of the wild game loaded me two grocery bags full of the goodies a couple of weeks ago and sent me on my way.
"I'm going to show you what I like to eat," he said to me while wading through his freezer.
"Does your girlfriend cook? Yes? Then she'll know what to do with this and she'll know what to do with this and she'll know what to do with this," he said smiling with an excited tone as he stuffed different cuts of meat into the white plastic bags.
I brought the meat home and my girlfriend, who is a great cook, started cooking.
People had always told me that if you eat wild game regularly that it will be good for your diet. They said it's all natural, it's what God intended us to eat in this valley, it's good for you, it doesn't have added hormones and various other theories.
Many of them I snuffed off, but with all due respect to the local cattle producers, it does seem more normal to eat something that is native here.
So we ate. Marinated steaks, bratwurst, burrito mixes and elk summer sausage sandwiches, among other things. After about four days of the natural meat going through my system, after I became accustomed to the wild game taste and tingle on my buds, something odd happened.
I became nauseous. Not really in a bad way, if you can become nauseous in a good way, but it was a definite communication from my body.
At that moment, I wasn't sure if I was in trouble or being praised. But a couple of hours later, I knew that my body was just adjusting and I began to feel great.
Strong, mainly. Really strong. I snowboarded in the crusty-caked snow, working my legs hard and taking extra turns just for fun. Then I walked home, ate some more meat and shoveled my roof in the March sun.
And since then, it's been the same.
Now, I have no definite proof that wild game makes you feel that way, but if ingesting completely organic meat from an animal living in these mountains isn't good and special, I don't know what is.
Next year, I just hope I harvest the meat.