Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

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al k
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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby al k » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:56 am

I voted 3 but in reality for the past few years it has been 5 or more. I try for 3 each year which is what we can easily consume - We eat very little other red meat. Supplement that with chicken, a little pork and fish.

I give a lot away but always check later to see "how was it?" - if the answer is "it's still in the back of the freezer" they get scratched off my list. I also dontate to "Hunters for the Hungry" if I have an especally good year.

I'm fortunate that I have acess to several places to hunt, some of which do not allow gun hunting and are covered up with deer. Having said that, it still is not a slam dunk because I mostly hunt with a crossbow. As my wife is fond of reminding me, "every year you are starting at zero"

As many have already noted, "does taste just as good as bucks" and if you have access to private land with few other hunters you can grow some nice bucks by passing them up when they are yearlings.

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby nuideas1 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:23 pm

We have removed the deer's natural predators and it is up to us to fill in that void. By not shooting enough does, we have actually hurt the herd by there being too much competition for the same food resources, along with the fact that sub-dominant bucks can do some of the breeding, which will only hurt the overall genetics of the herd. The size of the animals will get smaller, which is a bad thing.

This is exactly right! It amazes me the ignorance of some that think that the deer population of the area they hunt is the same as everywhere in the country. If we all had the attitude of "only take one deer so our kids can still hunt" or "don't shoot any does" it would be absolutely tragic. I have almost hit several deer and have many friends that have not only hit deer but totaled ther cars and been seriously injured.....and I live in the city. The rural areas are much worse. If your area doesn't have a large deer population not overhunting is a wise choice. That is just not the case in NC. If hunters don't keep the populations in check then disease, accidents, and unnatural circumstances will. 

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby scotty00 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:01 am

In an ideal situation, between my wife and I, we would love to have 2 deer in the freezer after this hunting season.  The one I shot last fall will barely make it through this month, and we've been rationing it since December.  The nice thing though is that we also haven't bought beef since then either.

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby drowell » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:19 am

My two sons and I kill at least two, often three deer a year, but our family rarely eats deer meat. That's right. We give most of it away or make jerky out of it. We kill deer in case we don't get enough elk for the year. We much prefer elk and there is always someone begging for the deer meat by those who can't or don't hunt enough to satisfy their own need.

We will have the opportunity to kill three deer and five elk this year between the three of us. Two would have to be cows. We will at the very least put one elk and one deer in the freezer, but most likely two elk and a couple deer. I drew a rare mulie buck permit in a trophy management area here in Montana in the same area that we hunt elk.

There are too many cow elk and the ranchers love it when we kill those cows, as they compete with their cattle for graze. We'll do our part and enjoy giving any left over deer and elk away about August of next year. I will be sharing the leftover from last year just as soon as my wife tires of making jerky this month! She's our "meat processor", by the way. Years ago she told me, "you bring it inside the house and I'll take it from there." The pieces got bigger and bigger until she now gets full elk quarters plopped down on the kitchen cabinet. And that's after she helps us skin, quarter it and prepare it for packing out! I have a good one, eh? (She doesn't do guts or shooting, though.) You can see her and the whole family going at it here: http://www.elk-hunting-tips.net/field-dressing.html  "I'm blessed to be living out this dream."
http://www.elk-hunting-tips.net/ Increasing the odds of �close encounters of the herd kind�.

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby wack » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:34 am

I personally think it is really sad that in Wisconsin venison is the ONLY choice on the big game menu! We are all so gun ho for deer hunting and this land has been so screwed up for so long that we actually believe this is the way it's supposed to be. Wisconsin is supposed to be one big petting zoo full of deer for our fun food and pleasure, can't have anything dangerous in the woods, someone might get hurt!

 We tried to put as many deer as we could in our petting zoo so everyone could shoot a half dozen deer each, but we learned that the forest can't feed that many deer. While we were too busy fighting over how many deer we should have, bears and wolves got into our petting zoo, threatening to screw up the whole petting zoo. Diseased deer down south, over hunted deer up north, all proof that our unnatural "petting zoo" management doesn't work.

 We don't know any better, I slept through history classes, all I know is this is the way Wisconsin is and has been for as long as I remember. Wild animals were something we saw in movies, bears, wolves, cougars, elk bison caribou and moose, just characters in a Disney movie, not something we see in the woods in real life. ...I never even saw a coyote in WI before the 90's,  and now I think Mother Nature has had about enough of our foolishness. If you're paying attention, the message is fairly clear. Go back to 5th grade biology, are we smarter than 5th graders? Humans+bears+wolves+cougars= 0 deer and 0 deer means no human deer hunters, and bears, wolves and cougars either eat domestic animals or die.

 #1 predator in Wisconsin? Human. Tell me, what's in your freezer? Mine has beef, pork, venison, turkey, pizza, and a variety of other foods. Predators need variety, and we're the only predator that can go to the store or raise our own. What do our current other predators have to eat here in Wisconsin? Funny, the same exact things we find in our freezers. We don't take too kindly sharing our food either, especially our domestic animals and crops. Back to 5th grade, what did the bears, wolves and cougars eat in Wisconsin before the white man came and killed everything? What's it going to take to maintain a natural food chain that has bears, wolves, cougars and humans? A LOT MORE THAN JUST DEER! That's for sure.

  Back to the question. I use to put 6 deer per year in my freezer. We ate a lot of venison in a variety of different ways, hot dogs, brats, sausage, steaks, roasts, hot stixs ect. I guess that's how Wisconsinites have evolved, making the most out of what's available. Now that I've grown older and hopefully wiser, I'd like to leave more than just deer for my grandchildren. Don't get me wrong, deer are awesome, but to save the deer, to save hunting, to save and rebuild Wisconsin's economy, we must rebuild the natural food chain and manage our natural renewable resources by reintroducing the links that are missing.

 In my lifetime I have seen bears go from 0-30,000 plus. Wolves go from 0- 1000+. Now cougars are showing up. In my life time I've seen many birds and animals return to Wisconsin, most recently turkeys and pelicans have showed up in numbers I never would have believed 30 years ago. We've done a lot of good work cleaning up the mess we've been left with and only a few steps away from stabilizing the big game food chain. Get behind our DNR and get the elk program back on track, and give the DNR a kick in the back side for keeping bison behind fences and sold off like cattle. Those bison in Sand Hill should become a test herd in the wild where they belong. If we have to have wolves, bison are the number 1 favorite wolf food. We can have a couple million grazing animals to hunt, they just can't all be deer.

 So in 20-40 years from now I hope my grandson has more than just venison on the big game menu here in Wisconsin, but that's up to us here and now. We're a couple steps away from loosing EVERTHING too. The choice is ours.
American by birth, hunter by choice.

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby woodsman603 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:29 am

I started hunting last year and took my first deer, a whitetail doe that weighed in at 119 lbs. With 6 of us consuming the meat roughly once a week (and minus the packs I gave off to my hunting partner as he didnt fair so well), we have lasted just till recently. I would think that 2 would fill the freezer and we would only have to supplement with some chicken instead of beef. It has been amazing the taste difference between the venison and beef on nights that we have it back to back. If I could somehow get three I think we would be pretty good for the year, I may have the chance as I seem to be acquiring new areas to hunt each day and am working on food plots on my property to keep the herd healthy. We had 13 solid looking does in the back yard a up until a few months back but I have not seen them since.

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby Ranger6 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:39 am

I think three would feed the family so that is what I put. I give several Deer away each year to folks who are having problems making ends meet. Last year I killed six deer with my bow and gave three away. It is August and I am down to about 10 LBS left in my freezer. So I think I had it planned about right. Last year I killed my first deer in september, the same week I ran out of meat from the year before. 

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby brentru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:25 pm

We could probably eat 2.5 in a year, but I would like to put down as many as I could get tags for.  What we couldn't eat would go to friends and Hunters for the Hungry.

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby hunt4ever » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:58 am

I voted two, but if I get 3, we don't have any in the freezer come hunting season, since I have quite a few friends that I invite in to enjoy the meat-of-meats!  Tom Mac
I would be unstoppable...If I could just get going!

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RE: Dan's Question of the Week: How Many Deer Will You Use in a Year?

Postby jsummers » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:39 am

I voted 4 and that's usually enough. Different size/ aged animals go to use in different ways. Tenderloins and back straps are saved from all animals but I may make different cuts for different methods of cooking based on size/age/sex. Other "best steaks" are similarly selected and cut. We like "value added" products so I also choose how the trimmings from a particular animal is used. From the youngest I make fresh or smoked sausage products like breakfast sausage, bratwurst, hot dogs, and smoked polish sausage. Trimmings from older animals go to more highly seasoned and heavier smoked products like snack stix or summer sausage.


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