BLOODING and OTHER RITUALS!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: December 23, 2023

Hunting is a Blood Sport. Humans have been Hunters and Gatherers for centuries. It is how they have survived. It’s no wonder that rituals that support hunters’ success are common. 

Many rituals happen in hunting camps. A hunter’s first kill is rewarded in many ways. In Europe, complex rituals involving prayers, placing sticks and grass on the animal, and wearing certain outfits or jewelry were common. Germanic and Austrian “Last Bite” Blood Rituals were very common. 

American hunting camps have their own regional takes on how to reward successful hunters. Normally a blooding takes place. This means that blood from the deer is applied to their faces. It may be a bloody handprint across the whole face. It could also be a line of blood on the nose to honor the deer’s sense of smell, over one eye to honor the deer’s great vision, and one smear of blood over the hunter’s shooting eye to honor their accuracy in the kill. 

A simple blooding involves blood applied to the cheeks. In other cases, it is not uncommon to drink a cup of deer’s blood. Taking a bite of the heart or liver is also a common ritual performed by Native peoples. 

A simple prayer or a handshake/hug is also practiced. Other camps may require a shot of booze. Some would drink the whiskey out of the empty shell casing or a special mug/cup. 

Michigan YOOPER hunters perform a very unusual task. This ritual involves the bucks’ testicles and scrotum! The bucks Privates are removed and draped around the hunter’s neck. After some ceremonial comments, they are then well hung in a tree. Other camps required that the hunter feast on the testicles. 

Strangely, the buck is also often left hanging in a tree until the end of camp. The group of hunters then go back and retrieve the camps’ harvests. There were not as many wolves, coyotes, foxes, and bears back in the day. These predators were hunted for fur or to protect people and big game herds. 

It’s never appropriate to desecrate the kill. This means no cigarettes, beers, hats, glasses, hats, or other stupid disrespectful adornments. Making fun of the sacred hunting rituals is simply Bad Karma. It is important to give respect if you want to earn it. 

I may not attend the hunting camp that requires testicle eating! 

Montana Grant

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