I grew up in a family that always hunted. Grandpa Rankin trained bird dogs and loved hunting quail and deer. All the men in the family hunted from the time they were knee-high.
The women, though, that was a different story. I’m sure my Grandmother Rankin never went hunting a day in her life. She was way too busy cooking for all the hunters that came to hunt with Grandpa. I really don’t know how she always seemed to have plenty of food to eat when there were always more men that came to hunt than she thought there were going to be. It seemed like Grandmother could stretch food and make it work. She could take a box of bought cake mix and make it taste homemade. You see, Grandpa always showed true Southern hospitality and invited the hunters to their house to eat. Anyway, that was way before the days of fast food, so unless the hunters brought their own food, they would have had to do without.
I never went hunting myself until after I was married. My husband always had hunting dogs and I loved to go with him and listen to the dogs run. One afternoon when he was going to run the dogs, he handed me one of his guns and said I needed to be ready to shoot if the dogs ran a rabbit past me. I told him I just didn’t think I could actually shoot a rabbit. He said, “After the dogs do all that work and run a rabbit by you, you need to have to kill the rabbit so they’ll know they did a good job.” I said, “Okay,” and he handed me a gun.