My grampa Losee was an avid hunter and caught deer, water fowl and various varmints around Red Hook and along the Hudson River. For many years he and his friends would go up to Maine and spend a week or so hunting in the woods, often having a meal of venison while they were there, having a good time in each other’s company. These men would even bring their wives along. This was before cable TV and the internet when people’s attention spans weren’t narrowed to 60 seconds or less and they could actually spend time in a cabin in the woods with their spouses and not lose their minds with perceived boredom!
John Losee and the deer that became Fred, 1936
Fred is a taxidermy deer that John Losee hunted in 1936 and has been passed down in the family. Of interest to those who mount their kills is the December 16th, 1936 receipt for the work, seen below. The cost was only $19.00. Most full heads like Fred start at about $300.00, an increase of 1,478% over 76 years!
On the left is Fred in the 1940’s in black and white with some friends and below he’s hanging in our office in Millerton in 2011. For Christmas we let him wear a santa hat. Many customers have wondered about him. Some who hunt marvel at the low price on the receipt framed next to him. Small children often point him out and some have made us all giggle by trying to look on the opposite wall for the rest of him!
Grampa Losee took his son hunting on a few occasions but I do not know if Johnny knew how to prepare the kill after he shot it. My own brother does not know how to hunt, as he does not need to supply venison to his family and does not live in our area anymore to enjoy the sport of it. This is also true for many other young Dutchess County residents. How many young men (Grampa Losee was 29 when he bagged Fred) still hunt on a regular basis, let alone serve what they hunted to their families? Not many.