Author Topic: Can deer be THE meat?  (Read 18857 times)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2011, 10:58:20 AM »
Yuck.. I hate working on ruminants which have died before we made them die. When I was dog mushing, farmers would call with a down cow from calving or shot due to a prolapse or slipping on ice etc for us mushers to feed out to the dogs.. I picked one up in the back of my truck about 30 minutes after the rancher shot it and dumped it in the back of my truck with a tractor.

THANKFULLY I had another musher with me to share in the meat for the dogs. It was November, so it was probably -10C and we took it to my house, started to take it out of my truck.. both of us usually have a strong stomach and both of us decided very quickly to take the cow far up into the bush and dump her for the wild animals. She was NASTY smelling without even cutting her open. So eiher he shot her a long time before we arrived there.. or she was bloating pretty darn fast. I also know she had to have been bloating from the stomach and intestines as she was much larger looking in the bed of the truck 40 minutes after putting her in there. We cut her tag and brand off.. and left her there for the coyotes and eagles. You could not have paid me enough to open up that cow any further than that. And my truck smelled!!!

Even when I worked at a zoo (I was a vet tech there and it was a zoo which specialized in ungulates) and we had an animal die, I had to take it immediately to OSU to be necropsied.. and OMG.. just being in a vehicle with the recently deceased beast was NASTY as each mile went by and it was only a 2 hour trip there. Ruminants start smelling rather quickly.

So be wary of picking up road kill like that. Like someone else said you might get lucky and only have a broken legged animal. The deer which committed suicide on my truck only had a MAJOR head injury and I would have taken her home then for the dogs had I not been in a white coloured dress and heels. I have seen others which were so bloodshot in the meat from being hit although it didnt look like much damage on the outside, it was completely unusable for human consumption.

Cedar
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 11:06:14 AM by Cedar »

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2011, 09:36:53 PM »
I didn't think that it would last long. Where I live here in Missouri there is quite a bit of people running into deer (mostly hamburger on I-44). I guess something to keep in mind. Bad idea to hunt along the roads?
Not just a bad idea, it's illegal here in TX.  My advice would be to find a friend who hunts you can tag along with.  Get the feel of the ropes, and how it works in your area. 

When you're ready to buy your rifle, do not waste your time and money on anything expensive.  You can get a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 for less than $100.  You can buy a 440 round "spam can" (factory sealed can) of the 7.62x54R ammo they eat for around $80.  That, my friend, will last you many a season.  The rifle is military grade from the virtually indestructible years, and the cartridge is powerful enough to take anything in North America.  You can easily drill pretty much anything within 200-250yds easily without a scope. 

Don't be fooled by the hunting industry into thinking you need a $300 scope, $800 rifle, and $200 in camo.  It's all crap.

Offline Poppa C.O.B.

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2011, 10:16:51 AM »
I wasn't going to spend a whole lot of money on a rifle. Now that i know i can get one that cheap I think I might be able to move my times up a bit. Hunting near the highway (facing away from the highway of course) was a bit of a joke but a little bit of serious. I mean, where do you see the most deer? On or near the highway. Desperate times i guess.

endurance

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2011, 05:55:10 PM »
I wasn't going to spend a whole lot of money on a rifle. Now that i know i can get one that cheap I think I might be able to move my times up a bit. Hunting near the highway (facing away from the highway of course) was a bit of a joke but a little bit of serious. I mean, where do you see the most deer? On or near the highway. Desperate times i guess.
IMHO, you get to know an area intimately.  You spend time out in the woods, find their trails, figure out what time of day they're moving and in which direction and you use that information to develop a strategy for success.

That's the strategy I've developed over the years and today it paid off in spades.  Drove up to my area at 5:40am.  Hiked in with headlamps and separated at about 6:10am.  I found my spot around 6:25.  At about 8:10am my hunting partner got his animal.  At about 8:15am, I got my animal.  We were eating breakfast in town with two critters in the bed of the truck by 10:30am. 

Admittedly, it was my best opening day ever, but it's taken three years in that area, sometimes wandering around for 12 hours in a day to make today happen.  Sure, there's a chance you might see something from the highway during hunting season that happens to be a legal animal to take on land you're allowed to hunt, but leaving things to chance doesn't sound very prepper-ish. ;)

Offline Poppa C.O.B.

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2011, 07:28:50 AM »
It was more of a random opportunity. Just so happened to be cruising along with you gun in the back. Or in a desperate time, hanging out where the deer crossing signs are and waiting. Definitely not leaving it to chance at the moment. Doing everything that can be done now that i can and hoping to improve upon when given the opportunity.

endurance

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2011, 10:43:37 AM »
As long as you know the area well enough to know where the private vs. public lands are and are familiar enough with your state wildlife laws, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of an opportunity.  In Colorado you must be at least 50' from the centerline of the roadway to legally discharge a firearm for the taking of game, but I know there's a lot of variance on these laws from state to state.

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2011, 05:04:03 PM »
IMHO, you get to know an area intimately.  You spend time out in the woods, find their trails, figure out what time of day they're moving and in which direction and you use that information to develop a strategy for success. 

Agree 100%.  We've got three deer so far, although a bit behind number this year...too many irons in the fire.  But there is still time (season ends Jan 15th).  Hubby and our two youngest are in the woods right now.  :)

Offline Oldhomestead

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2011, 05:55:36 PM »
Interesting question, but I would wonder why you would limit yourself to JUST deer. Here in South Texas there are 4 and 5 deer counties where each person can take that many, but as stated before they are small.

I like venison, but I've taken another tact. We raise sheep on grass alone and my 15 acres easily handles the 20 head we have, even with a drought as bad as this last year. The sheep drop lambs approximately every 6-7 months, so we have about 40 lambs a year. We also raise laying hens and turkeys and 3 acres have Pecan trees.

We've gotton to know the neighbors and friends all over the area so the lamb, turkeys, eggs and Pecans are traded for Grassfed beef, Venison, and Raw Milk. One neighbor makes his living trapping the feral hogs that are epidemic in Texas and after he traps them he feeds them out on local corn. A "free" lamb and turkey around the Holidays ensures I have my choice of what's in his pens.We never "buy" meat anymore, but my chest freezers are always full of Venison, Beef, Lamb, Pork and Poultry merely by leveraging the local community of which we made an effort to become a part.

After years of study and application it became apparent to me that the lone survivor mentality was more romantic than practical. So we opted to locate ourselves in a rural environment with neighbors of a similar self-reliant mindset and work to build relationships to supplement our skills.

endurance

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2011, 11:01:33 AM »
Me and my hunting companion had opening day success this year.  Had two nice animals dressed and in the truck by 9:30am on opening morning.  It pays to scout and know an area.  Our seasons are very short here in Colorado (Second season, the longest, is only nine days long), so knowing where you're going, what you're doing, and where the animals will be is extremely important.

I went up the next weekend for elk, but with 50-60 pounds of deer meat in the freezer, very cold temperatures and lots of snow, my heart wasn't in it like it should have been.  I probably wouldn't have gone if I hadn't already commited to taking up a hunting newbie who wanted the experience.

I did have an interesting conversation with a couple other hunters that we ran across during elk season.  We were talking about deer and they mentioned how much better tasting Whitetail was compared to what was in the are we were in, Mule Deer.  I'd never thought about the difference, but I think it's worth mentioning since that's how this thread started: the difference between deer and beef.  Unlike small game, which really does taste a lot alike (there's a reason everyone says "it tastes like chicken"), mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, elk, moose and caribou are all likely to have significantly different flavors and textures.  There is not a big game meat that tastes just like any other meat.  Some is an acquired taste, some is delicious from the first bite.  Some people like lamb, some people can't stand it.  It's a matter of taste.

Offline Oldhomestead

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2011, 11:51:36 AM »
Good Point, Endurance.

It's the ol'  store what you eat and eat what you store. Planning to hunt local animals for your protein only makes sense if the family will eat it.

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2011, 04:23:42 PM »
There is not a big game meat that tastes just like any other meat.  Some is an acquired taste, some is delicious from the first bite.  Some people like lamb, some people can't stand it.  It's a matter of taste.

And it can also depend on the time of the season, age, sex, etc. of the animal.  I've had buck deer taken while in full rut that was so strong I couldn't stand to even be in the house when it was being cooked, much less try and eat it (the meat went to feed the dogs, so it didn't get wasted).  On the other hand, while it's pretty much a given that if it's a young doe the meat will be it mild and tender, I've had older bucks taken after rut in late December that were super sweet and fork tender after the meat has been kept in a coolor for about week, all the while being covered in ice and lightly salted.     

Offline MD3C

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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2012, 07:08:01 PM »
I canned a cow elk a few years ago and I'm still working on that. I eat/buy very little beef. I'm got elk, deer, and antelope in the freezer/can. Thank goodness that my daughter can shoot.
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Re: Can deer be THE meat?
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2012, 10:48:32 PM »

(That picture was from one of my "unsuccessful" deer seasons)

Can there be such a thing as an unsuccessful hunt? . . .  I for one can not think of a more satisfying sport.  One that offers camaraderie, food, and the appreciation for the outdoors.  The skills you learn from it can not be matched either, and one can argue that what you get from these learned skills can be used in every day life.

I raise beef and pork but would rather eat elk or deer by a long shot.  It doesn't matter where it came from or what it was eating as far as I'm concerned.  The processing couldn't be easier but I recommend learning from someone who knows what they're doing.  I do my own processing and it costs very little money & time and doesn't require anything more than a single knife.  I simply make three piles; if it doesn't make a perfect steak (boned fillet) it goes in to the jerky pile, if it doesn't make a perfect strip of jerky it goes in to the canning pile.

If you don't live where you can walk out your back porch and harvest a deer, it can get expensive (gas, food, bullets, rifle, tag, license, etc) but what vacation can be as rewarding?

Depending on where you live and the time you put in to it, there is no reason at all that you could not harvest enough meat to live on.  If I could not afford to buy it, or because economical conditions caused other meat to not be available, I would have no problem feeding my family with wild game.  I have paid enough taxes over the years, donated enough to animal preservation and have never taken wild game illegally, that I could work all that out in my mind just fine.