Rochelle LeClaire | Mossy Oak ProStaff
I’m often asked, “Why do you think not many women in New York are hunting deer like you do?”
I’m on the outside looking in, and I’ve always hunted deer with my dad. So, my understanding why other women don’t hunt is hard. But I guess it’s like one of my girlfriends who never had hunted or known anyone who did. After meeting me and moving into our town where the culture in our town is that everybody hunts, she started hunting and really likes it.
Perhaps there are a lot of ladies who have never even considered the idea of going hunting, don’t know what hunting is all about and may not understand that hunting isn’t just trying to take an animal. They also may not be aware that wild game is some of the healthiest meat you can eat. I love knowing exactly where the food I eat comes from, and I just don’t think enough women have learned what hunting is all about. Therefore they’ve never tried it, nor have they ever prepared or eaten venison.
At my house, we usually eat venison that we have harvested at least twice a week. For instance, last night, we cubed some venison, cooked it and put it on top of our salads. We also grind venison for hamburger, sausage and hot dogs as well as having deer burgers, roast and steak from the deer we harvest. The venison hot dogs are the only thing that we have to let a butcher prepare for us. The rest of the butchering and processing we do ourselves. This processor makes venison hot dogs, and they are delicious.
My father-in-law has a grinder we use to grind up our venison to make deer burgers. Then, to make sausage, we mix in pork and pork fat with the venison, grind it up and put sausage seasoning with that mixture. My father-in-law has a machine to take that mixture of pork and venison and squirt it into the sausage casings. We also make breakfast patties from the sausage as well as links. Each year we change up our recipes a little, but always enjoy our venison.
Getting more women/mothers involved in the outdoors is a huge passion of mine. Mothers on average spend more time with their children, which is just another reason I am so supportive and try to push women to hunt, because we literally need to help raise the next generation of hunters. We’re keeping the sport alive. I get a lot of flak with people saying, “You’re a mom now, you can’t spend your time in the woods.” And I’m always quick to correct them. I say to these people, “I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken. We’re hunting harder than ever. And, we do so to teach our kids perseverance, patience, determination, discipline, endurance, responsibility, how to deal with disappointment, build confidence and to respect, not to fear, weapons. We bond, and we connect with the outdoors, add family traditions, teach conservation, promote health and fitness and develop skills for and with our children.
Rochelle LeClaire lives in Schaghticoke, New York, in eastern New York, and has been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff for five years. She hunted with her dad, grandfather and brother, until she was old enough to get a hunting license. Although married and with two small children, Rachelle hunts as often as possible and enjoys preparing and eating wild game.