Author Topic: Hunting Deer?  (Read 6955 times)

Offline Michael8593

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Hunting Deer?
« on: June 14, 2015, 06:01:14 AM »
Anyone hunt deer for meat here? I live in N. WI where there are fairly restrictive limits, but even 1 or 2 deer is very helpful on the food bill. I know that in some southern states, you can just about live off of deer given the generous bag limits and abundant deer. Share your story, or if you want some advice on how to easily bag some deer, post in this thread.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 02:42:40 PM »
     I live in Central WI. and have hunted for 25 years on my five acres and a few farms in the area. First of all, you will not get as much meat off of a deer as you might think. Deer are not muscled the same as domestic animals engineered for meat production. That's not to say that you won't get some very excellent cuts to put in the freezer, but it's not like a beef steer or a whole pig. So don't be disappointed. Second, learn to gut, skin and butcher your own deer. Take your time, the deer isn't going anywhere. It's respectful to the animal, because it shows that you want to make the most of it in the best way. A good, clean kill is only the beginning. Also, the cheapest I've seen butchering fees is a hundred bucks or more; save the money. When you do it yourself, you get the cuts you want, trimmed the way you want and you have the satisfaction of being a true sportsman.
     When you butcher venison you can be picky and remove the tallow and silverskin that can give venison an off taste. When people say they don't like the taste of venison, it's probably because someone didn't do a good job of trimming. When you take your deer to a processor you can't be sure of what you get back. I want my venison, butchered my way, because I know how it was handled and how well the carcass was taken care of.
     I don't care to mix my venison with other meats. I don't make sausage or "hot sticks". I cut a few roasts, cube stir-fry meat, tenderloin tips, backstrap butterfly steaks and bone everything else out for ground venison. It takes a couple to get the hang of it and a couple of good filet knives.
     I've had great success with a scoped Mannlicher-Steyr chambered for .270. I reload all my own hunting ammo. I use the same powder, bullets, primers, consistently. We can hunt with rifle or shotgun in my zone. If you have to use a shotgun, I feel a rifled slug barrel with sabot slugs is the best way to go. I usually try for shot placement behind the the front shoulder. it takes out the lungs, maybe the heart (too bad because heart and liver are delicious). and wastes little meat. I should say that I hunt for meat. I have antlers on the wall, but that wasn't what I was after. A nice big doe is just fine by me.
     I've never heard of anyone getting a deer sitting in the house. The truth is that you have to dress for conditions and be out in the woods where the deer are, usually for hours at a time (I'm a still hunter). I bring sandwiches, snacks, a thermos, a comfy cushion, and a pocket radio with earbud to keep from going completely nuts. I plan on going out early and staying out until I get something or the day closes. As soon as you give up and go in, you'll hear a shot and it will be a neighbor or someone else in your party shooting a deer that could have been yours.

Offline Nophix

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 09:44:46 AM »
Thanks for the post! I've always had my deer processed because I'm, well, a complete newb, but I'd like to do my own.

Btw, hello to a fellow central WI member!

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 12:05:56 PM »
     I live along the Mississippi river, Wisconsin's "West Coast". This is called the Coulee region, a Norwegian term because the Hills and valleys reminded early settlers of home. Corn and soybeans are main agricultural crops, so our deer are fat and happy. I hunted the "big Woods" up north around Chequamegon National Forest and found it to be disappointing. That opening weekend we saw one deer. It was a medium doe and had been eating the local browse; marsh grass and pine needles. It was inedible. The kitchen smelled like PineSol cleaner when my friend cooked it. Only time I've been talked into hunting "up North". Our deer here are as good as the best beef I've had.
     Although deer are the only thing I hunt any more (mostly in my backyard), I made it a point to learn how to hunt and process the local game animals and game birds. It's not pleasant, but it's all part of respecting what you kill. Knowing how to process a squirrel or rabbit and cook it in the woods could be a life saver. Those are lessons that most city folk don't get. I moved here from Milwaukee and it took a couple of tries and a good, knowledgeable hunting partner to do it right. I'm glad I could pass this on to my now adult son and daughter. My daughter doesn't choose to hunt, but if push came to shove, I'm sure she could remember how to process a deer.
     So, it is good to hear from another "Cheesehead" Prepper. I've been thinking about attending one of those "Meet-ups" in Madison. I have one very good friend who is also into the survival lifestyle. I should add that we aren't "self sufficient". I do a big garden, can the usual stuff, have supplies and equipment for various scenarios, etc. We can heat with wood. It's more of a hobby really, but whatever gets the job done and lets me sleep better at night. I don't belong to a "Militia", worry about black helicopters or aliens, I'm not concerned about the "Zombie Apocalypse" or our government sending us to FEMA camps. I'm pretty sure that global thermonuclear war is not survivable nor is a collision with a seven mile diameter asteroid. So what do I prepare for?
     I see our economy on shaky ground. Speaking of which, I'm concerned about natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and things that could disrupt that shaky economy (not just here, but around the world). I'm a climate change believer and if we don't act soon, our outlook for the future is ****ed. Although there isn't much we can do about it, most of the world's leaders seem to be a little "off center" if not completely nuts. If crazy actions cause disruptions, I hope to have the supplies and skills to make it to the "other side". My biggest worry is the millions of people who couldn't care for themselves without all the systems operating normally. I don't want them at my front door when the semis stop delivering to the grocery stores.
     Hey, sorry to go so far off topic. I wish there was an organized survival network in WI. that we could trust and use as a means to meet others of a like mind, with a degree of OpSec. Well, take care. Nice talking to you. Good luck this Fall.

nelson96

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 05:39:43 PM »
I've hunted deer just a bit  ;)
My state is made-up primarily of Blacktail Deer (west side) and Mule Deer (east side) and numbers a far less than those of other states.  There's a big difference between the two species in terms of size and a considerable amount of difference in how you hunt them given the extreme differences in terrain, vegetation and climate from one side of the state to the other.  I've lived on the west side of the state my entire life, but have preferred hunting the east side for deer and elk for the last 20+ years. 

Each hunting age person in Oregon can harvest just one deer on a general season hunt (west side only) and can apply for up to two total hunts (general, 100 series, and 600 series) with no guarantee of year-after-year success in obtaining a tag on most controlled hunts.  We can also purchase auction and raffle hunts, obtain landowner preference tags for compensation of lost resources (numbers based on acreage), apply for emergency hunts, a leftover tags.....  In reality, most people get one deer tag each year, which includes every member of the family.  My family usually bags two deer per year.

Offline Nophix

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 07:31:57 PM »
Bcksnr, when are these Madison meets? I'd like to come down for some. Not many people up my way it seems. Lots of head in the sand types, though they are nice people.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2015, 08:29:37 PM »
     I think they meet once a month, with varied topics for each meeting. They don't sound political or militaristic. I might have contact info filed somewhere; I know they have posted on this forum in the past (or at least someone posted a link). I'll do some looking and get back on this.

Offline stopthat

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2016, 02:26:28 PM »
You mentioned Northern Wisconsin. I often hunt in Northern MN and I will say that deer have been sparse since the wolves have been gaining more habitat. Since the federal ruling that forbade the wolf hunt a few years ago, the wolves have gotten quite dense in some parts.

Last time I hunted in Northern MN (2015) I had a pack of wolves running around the area most of the day. We had fresh wolf tracks in the snow around our camp in the morning from two larger wolves (they followed us a few miles down a logging road because we followed the fresh tracks). An average wolf will eat one deer every nine days. The average pack in Minnesota has 4.5 wolves. That means a pack is killing a deer every other day. That can be 180 deer a year in a relatively small area for the pack. That is a lot of deer that get eaten before you start hunting! Now I have had some friends who have very little wolf population in their areas up north, but others have been inundated with them.

I guess my point is that until we can once again keep the wolf population under control, there are a lot of areas in northern MN where the hunting is just not as good. I've also run into wolves in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and have been told their population is growing pretty fast. I would imagine that Northern WI is the same way. If you can choose your region, stay further south. Near the Mississippi river valley seems to be a good region for deer populations.

Ok,  I have a couple tips if you want to get your hands on venison...

  • Party hunt: Even in a low yield year, hunting in a group increases the odds that someone gets lucky and shares the meat.
  • Gun hunt: Your odds are better with the longer effective range of a rifle. (Of course deer are more calm in bow season, so to each his own).
  • Get to the far side of public land early (or camp there). When people start coming into the woods in the morning, deer will often move deeper into the woods effectively flushing them out to your area.
  • Get rid of scents if possible.
  • Don't eat meat while sitting in the woods because the deer smell it.
  • If you rifle hunt, hunt on the first day of the season so you have the best chance to surprise the deer before they get too jumpy.
  • Don't be afraid to process a gut shot animal. You will probably lose the backstraps, but most of the meat never touches the gut. There are some hunters who will choose not to claim a deer if they had a bad shot. While this is obviously bad form (and unethical) on their part, ask if you can tag it and keep it. They will more than likely say yes.

And once you get a deer...
  • Get a good book and process your own meat. I've done it for a while and it is fun. I use a Kitchenaid mixer meat grinder attachment and wrap the parts in butcher paper.
  • To make it easier, we sometimes grind a lot of it up. But it still is great. I often mix 50/50 with beef to make it go further.

And when eating it. Incorporate it in dishes when guests come over. When they ask your secret ingredient, let them know it is venison that you got yourself!

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2016, 03:23:41 PM »
I'm sitting here wondering where all the does have gone as I type from the tree stand...  :-\

Bow hunting in NW Ohio has gotten harder for me the past two years and I can't figure out why I'm not seeing anything, for the most part.  Sine shooting a small 4pt last month I've seen a really nice ten pt, but I'm only allowed one buck/year...

Anyway, I second butchering yourself!  I got the Kentucky afield video on field to freezer and have used that method for 5 years now- I love how I get so many steaks out of it!  The rest goes to burger and I always mix in 25% beef fat (grass fed I'df possible) on the 2nd time through the grinder... that also helps it last and improves flavor.


Offline trekker111

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016, 04:34:50 PM »
As one of the dirty southerners who can shoot up to 15 deer per year, my family rarely buys beef. My primary method is to set up on one of our hay pastures and head shoot does with a 308, or stalk hunt the creek bottoms with my 375 H&H (far less meat damage than most main stream deer cartridges)

Yes we can shoot more deer down here, but our deer also end up being smaller. A 2 year old doe will dress out at around 80 lbs. I almost always gut and skin my deer myself, but about half of them will go to a deer cooler for processing. It just depends on my work schedule as I work 3rd shift. If my schedule allows I will butcher myself, but most hunters down here use a processor, but one must remember that deer hunting down here is often a T-shirt event, and also we usually can't let a deer hang until we are ready to process. The market reflects this as the deer I picked up last week cost me $45 to have turned into cube steak and burger.

Offline kckndrgn

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Re: Hunting Deer?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 09:04:57 PM »
Another of the southerners that can get plenty of deer (3 doe per day/2 buck per season not to exceed 1 per day), but, after this year, I'm beginning to question if I should hunt.  In the last 5 years of hunting, I've taken ONE small doe.

Background, 5 years ago, my wife and I purchased 22 acres of land as our "future retirement" and vacation home.  In that first year, I saw 0 deer in the area and had 3 images of deer the first year (12 months) on my trail camera.  This year, just before the season started in Nov. my trail camera was filling up an 8gb memory card with just pictures.  I've been working my backside off doing food plot and salt blocks trying to bring more deer in.  It appears to be working, until I go out to hunt, then nada, nothing, zip.
For example just today, last day of the season (well another week but I'm not able to hunt during the week) and I braved single digit temps in the morning up to 30 as the high, and I got jack to show for it.  Leaving the property to come home I almost hit 3 deer running down the road.

Geesh, is it worth it?  The one and only deer I have taken was the first weekend of muzzle loader season.  She dropped then I had 2 8pt bucks come running up and stop 30' from  my stand.  I tried to reload the muzzle loader to take one of them down, but they bolted before I could get ready.

ugh, so disappointed in the last couple of years of hunting.