A couple of weeks ago I invited a group of work friends over for a small dinner party. With an e-mail subject line of "Wild game night at the Branch ranch," I suppose I should not have been surprised by the barrage of questions that followed. After all, journalists tend to be an inquisitive bunch.
With a spicy blend of trepidation and curiosity, they responded to my invite one by one: "So you actually killed it?" "How are you cooking it exactly?" "Did you clean it yourself?" and "What part of it will we be eating?" I smiled to myself and crafted a response, reassuring them that they would enjoy a safe, nutritious, and hopefully delicious-to-them meal.
Along with some pheasant my father recently shot in South Dakota, and the obligatory bottle (or three) of some Syrah and red California Zinfandel, I served one of my favorite venison meatball recipes.
The word venison is derived from the Latin venatus, defined as "to hunt", or "the chase". Humans have been eating venison for tens of thousands of years. In Native American folklore, in historical accounts from the earliest European settlers, and throughout the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition and beyond, we find references to these animals. Deer were a staple in the diet of Native Americans and early European settlers. Whitetail and mule deer, in particular, were revered for their agility, their beauty and their flavor.
The United States Department of Agriculture defines venison as meat from deer, moose, elk, pronghorn, caribou and antelope. Within that broad description, these animals produce an even wider array of flavors, influenced by a number of factors including diet, regional habitat and exercise.
In addition to the questions showing a concern for personal safety, I was also asked "Does it taste gamey?" My answer: "Honestly, at this point, I have no idea."
A high percentage of the red meat consumed in my home is wild Georgia whitetail deer that I've harvested myself. To my palate, venison is what red meat is supposed to taste like. Yet, the flavor of an individual animal can be quite different. Many meals at my uncle’s hunting cabin in Wisconsin and friends’ dinner tables in Wyoming have shown me the truth of this.
Not surprisingly, a deer whose life is primarily spent eating in the corn fields of Iowa will have a different taste than a deer who has spent its life eating acorns in the southern woodlands of Georgia, or one who subsisted on the twigs and shoots from the forests of northern Wisconsin. What the deer eats becomes the deer meat.
No matter the diet and unique flavor of the animal, however, wild deer and, to a lesser extent, farm-raised ones are lean, athletic animals that have a significantly lower fat content than beef. They serve as an excellent source of protein. The iron levels in venison consistently rank among the highest of all meats. Wild deer are also completely free of the many hormones, antibiotics, steroids and other supplements present in commercial livestock.
In addition to the health benefits, venison is as versatile an ingredient as beef, and should be prepared using similar techniques. However, its leaner fat content requires a watchful eye and deft hand in the kitchen, as certain methods, without care, may result in the meat becoming too dry.
Venison is so lean, many chefs, and some wild game processors/butchers, add a small percentage of pork or beef fat to the ground meat to aid in holding the meat together during cooking and to prevent a too-dry result.
Like many mammals, the finest cut may be the loin or saddle cut. Also referred to as backstrap, this cut quickly seared over high heat and seasoned with nothing more than salt, pepper and rosemary, is positively mouth-watering.
When cooked properly, deer backstraps can be cut with a fork. Other recipes call for cube steaks for Milanesa, or ground meat for tacos, chili or a meat sauce to accompany pasta. Some of the tougher cuts, such as legs and shoulders, can be used as stew meat, roasted in a crock pot or ground into burgers.
The next time you're in the mood for a steak, or craving a burger, head to a specialty market or butcher shop and buy some venison instead of beef. Better yet, become acquainted with that neighbor or family member who hunts, and see if they'll share something from their freezer. They may also share their favorite recipe to get you started.
Venison’s popularity as a healthier, tastier alternative to beef continues to rise. Judging by the empty plates, the smiles and a complete lack of leftovers following the dinner party, the inquisitive, skeptical journalists seemed to agree.
Related - Give squirrel a whirl
Sounds good! There are a lot of good hunting land for deer in Mississippi
I like eric's post about murdering vegetables! vegetables ARE living things just like animals-and more intelligent than we give them credit for. flowers that look, smell, imitate bees, birds...how does a plant know what a bird or bee look or smell like even though they have no eyes, nose? so to all those hypocritical vegans out there, you are killing living plants, which makes you no better than meat eaters! HYPOCRITES!
I never liked venison very much until I moved to Nebraska. The corn fed deer there are extremely tasty and tender, much like lean beef. A hell of a lot better than gamey and tough Florida deer that I was used to. Diet is everything. I will remember this when Republicant's crash the economy again and I am forced to EAT THE RICH!
Deer costs as much as the bullets to shoot it with- eating deer appeals to the same demographic that likes "Road-Kill". You idjits ruin the peace of the day for animals and people by making war on the relatively defenseless deer (after all- can they shoot YOU? Would that they could!)
Deer does NOT taste good- you people are cheap, WT types who make it unsafe for well-educated upper middle class types like me to go hiking.
Vete al diablo!
Tommy Wildoner from Jim Thorpe, Pa. makes the best pickled deer heart ever!!!!!!!!!!! Yummy!!!!
P.E.T.A.= People Eating Tasty Animals....!!!!
Animals taste good!
I'm always amazed by people who live in the country, who want the country atmosphere, and then are absolutely astonished when a deer eats their shrubs! Funny how, per other postings, when wildlife intrude upon our "territory," they're the ones who suffer, not us. We don't adapt to them - we force wildlife to adapt to us, usually by their death and destruction. How dare they eat our crops! How dare they walk down our sidewalks! How dare they nibble at the expensive shrubbery we purchased! The nerve of these animals!
I know, right? Stupid deer eating my lovely petunias.
The deer are actually prettier than the petunias, LOL.
I don't hunt – not because I think it's unethical – but rather because I'm not convinced that I could put an animal down cleanly.
That said, I DO like deer meat and eat it whenever a benevolent friend will share some, and I assist when my club hosts MD's Hunter Safety Course.
I live in the 'burbs, near a National Park, and in any given time of year we can have between 10 and 15 deer of various ages run through our yard. We do put out feed for them – especially two that have hind legs that were broken off below the hock and above the ankle. It looks like the legs (right rear on both) were cut by the jaws of a trap, and if that's true and I ever catch the trapper, I'll know how to deal with him/her. But I digress...
If I'm ever sure enough of my own abilities to take a deer – or any other animal – with a clean kill, I WILL be buying a bigger freezer. Just sayin'...
It's really kind of you to want to try to feed the deer, especially the injured ones. But I'm not sure it's always a good idea to feed wildlife. I believe it even further upsets the ecosystem's balance (which is pretty out of whack anyway). Maybe try talking to your local wildlife rescue organization about it. Well, heck, I guess once you start, you have to keep going ... but it's just a thought for the future. But your compassion and thoughtfulness about these deer and about hunting is appreciated.
I've had the same thoughts about feeding the deer – especially since I'm on about my 10th 50lb bag of corn this winter ;)
The reality is that IF I can keep them out of the roads, I can [perhaps] reduce the chance that they'll wind up going through some driver's windshield. Though here, again, I run the risk of depriving some thoughtless driver of his or her Darwin Award.
Besides which, they've already eaten every hosta in the neighborhood
I appreciate your efforts, really. But I do take issue with the Darwin statement about hitting a deer. I'm often on roads where the deer roam, and as careful as you try to be, it happens. A lot. They are fast. And you don't always hit them, sometimes they hit YOU. I go slower at night, especially around dusk when they are on the move. I look for those shiny eyes on the side of the road. I've seen as many as six cross the road in front of me at one time (that's all I saw, could have been more). Some instances are avoidable, but certainly not all.
Quit eating meat before you end up in the Cath Lab, you Demented Old Fool! Or soon to be demented old !@#$%, as your arteries plug up with the scuz that comes with large meat consumption.
Don't believe me? Ask your cardiologist (You ARE certain to have one) to show you some of the shit they dredge out of the old coronaries.
Quit eating meat before you end up in the Cath Lab, you Demented Old Fool! Or soon to be demented old !@#$%, as your arteries plug up with the scuz that comes with large meat consumption.
Don't believe me? Ask your cardiologist (You ARE certain to have one) to show you some of the yuck they dredge out of the old coronaries.
Venison may be a healthier meat, but my preparation of rack of venison in a sour cream sauce...not so much, but really, really delicious lol
MEAT IS MURDER!!! Tasty, tasty murder :D
I love the "meat is murder" morons. Guess what? So is eating vegetables. Scientific studies have proven that plants have an innate intelligence. So the next time you eat your salad realize you have a plate full of murdered veggies. Yummy. Don't believe me? Read Secret Life of Plants. So now what are you going to do for food? How about breath air. You can be a breatharian. See how long that works for you. IDIOT!
Uhhh..I believe Jay was being facetious...isee the laughing face? Idiot.
Thank you, Lynn, for pointing out what I thought was obviously a joke to Brett. Maybe next time I will begin and end my comments with, "THIS IS A JOKE. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ME SERIOUSLY!", for those swimming in the shallow end of the intelligence pool.
You know that the Secret Life of Plants is complete bunk, right? No scientist has even been able to reproduce the results. They even tried to on Mythbusters.
But they did discover that plants love listening to metal.
Great thread, with a few exceptions.
Pheasant is mentioned. Hard to beat pheasant. There was a news item not long ago about a French breed of chicken (La Fleche) that is supposed to be the best eating chicken. I don't have chickens but sometime I want to try one of those birds. Guinea fowl are supposed to be on a par with pheasant.
I like elk better than deer but there is a lot of variation in deer, in my experience. A whitetail buck got before the rut is usually very good. The Joy of Cooking regards elk as the best venison. I've never had caribou; I hear it's good.
A friend grilled some deer steaks with a dry rub; that was excellent.
I get my beef in the store but there was another article about grass fed being the best. There is a local small slaughterhouse that does a good job with their animals and I should find out where their meat is available retail. I think it's all grass-fed. Animals deserve respect and they do a proper job. They bring the animals in one day and don't slaughter them until the next, so the animals are not stressed.
Also 3 year old beef is supposed to be better than the regular 2 year old beef. Better flavor. The way beef used to be. It costs more of course to grow a 3-year-old (unless they're eating your grass).
All the best to you fellow carnivores and you herbivores, well, you're entitled to your opinion. You can eat what you want, but don't tell me what to eat.
Supposedly grass fed beef is supposed to be a lot healthier too (actually similar to venison). It's just harder to find because farmers need more pasture space and/or fewer cows. There are a few farms around where I live that are starting to raise some grass fed cattle though.
Our family has used venison for our "red meat" for over 16 years. Although we are not "anti beef" (I do enjoy a nice beef steak) we prefer venison for its taste and health benefits. We hunt deer and perform our own processing and packaging which consisis of ground, steaks, roasts, breakfast and summer sausage. Some of my best friends are cattle farmers and it is amazing how many antibiotics, steroids and other chemicals (medications) are introduced into these animals. Venison is very lean, nutritious and flavorful and free of these foreign chemicals.
As for the anti-hunters on this site...visit a cattle farm sometime and see for yourself what the steers go through from the time they enter the loading chute until they exit the processing plant. Case closed.
I'm all for P.E.T.A: People Eating Tasty Animals!!
OMG your so clever!! That joke is so old...and no I'm not a PETA member before you comment on that.
You had to say the joke was old, but you had nothing else to contribute. Yay! I'm happy for you. I hope you feel better about yourself by attempting to rip on someone else. I'm sure you need that to get through your days.
They did say they were not a member of PETA, but failed to mention which PETA they were referring to. Are they saving animals or eating them? Hmmmm......
LOL my bet is they are more aligned with the scary P.E.T.A (member or not) than the other. =) It's ok though, because apparently if you buy meat at a store no animals died, or at least no animals that mattered.
I hope YOU feel better about YOURSELF by attempting to rip on someone else while having nothing else to contribute. Yay! I'm sure YOU need that to get through YOUR days.
Funny how I can't find any other posts by you or tess in this thread . . . . I must have missed them. Anyways, I enjoy ripping on people who have ripped on others first. Make a civil post get a civil reply. Make a snarky, rude, or offensive post and get one in return. See how that works? It's very similar to real life.
@steve – feel just fine about myself. Don't rip on my meat-eating ways and I'll not say a word about your choice. Meat-eaters generally have no issue with vegetarians. The other way around? Not so much.
Amazing...the BS that hunters come up with so that they don't have to admit that hunting is cowardly.
In my experience, hunters are the last people who need more food. The majority are fat slobs who can barely waddle out of their pickup trucks. Nothing sillier than hearing a fat person tout the lean nature of venison. If you're using the money that you save from hunting to buy beer, corndogs, tattoos, cigarettes, or gas for your unnecessarily large pickups, then you don't need to hunt for food. And no, anyone who is against hunting doesn't have to be a vegetarian. Animals that are raised for food are fed and provided shelter by humans for the purpose of later being used for food. Wild animals survive on their own, day in and day out, with no help from humans. And then are shot by some redneck who can't admit to himself that shooting animals for entertainment, which is all hunting is, is wrong. And hunters, please stop pretending that you're hunting elusive game. These animals have intelligence levels on par with toddlers. Hunting takes about as much cunning and toughness as punching a 5 yr. old girl in the face. If you actually appreciate nature, as I'm sure you all will swear you do, then pick up a camera, or a pair of hiking boots and spend some time in the wilderness for more than a couple weekends a year. For the few of you with enough intelligence for introspection, you'll quickly realize that as a hunter, you're nothing more than an inter-species bully.
In other words, you have no experience with hunters and no understanding of hunting, farming, and wildlife management.
LOL, and that's just for starters.
LOL this 'person' has as much experience with hunting as I do with being and an astronaut. But regardless they thought themselves so entitled as to speak on the subject. Life must be hard for you, having everybody and everything all figured out, even when you don't know what the hell you talking about. And OMG, some people don't agree with you. It must drive you nuts. Oh wait it already has.
I personally have experience as a former hunter and a lifelong Texan. I have also known many ranchers, guides, other hunters and game wardens. As a general rule, hunters I have known have been the biggest punks in the neighborhood. So I do understand hunters, I assure you. Typically, they have been wife-beating, drunken punks. I also have some idea as to how many shots are not kill shots, but rather only wound the animal. Also know that many of the kills are a result of baiting with a feeder, then having the "trophy" mounted. Sick. These are the same freaks who pay thousands to kill majestic beasts around the world in hopes of convincing themselves and others that they are "real men" because in easily 90 percent of cases, these guys were the biggest punks and mistakenly believe that someone will think them rough and tough. Still a gun lover, though I only keep for defense of loved ones, self and property.
Doesn't match up at all with any of the hunters I know. Your experience must be very limited. My father hunted, my mother hunted, my brother hunted, and I have several friends who hunt. None are overweight, none are punks, none beat up anyone.
And do you really think that deer who die in the wild die peaceful deaths surrounded by all their animal friends? Sorry, they die slow painful deaths from starvation, untreated disease or injury, or being eaten alive by dogs or wolves. Death from hunting is far more humane.
I do not know you and from the tone you are one of the few of my own, born and raised as a real Texan, that I might avoid just for principle. Unlike your own experience I can rattle off several hundred people, family and friends of the family, who are not beer swilling, wife beating rednecks and have, especially in recent years, fallen back on our roots just to provide meat on the table. Go to the local supermarket and you can see the reasons why. We also are not fat slobs who just hunt for the heck of it because we "enjoy the hunt". Not many of us enjoy the pre-dawn rise and shine before going and sitting out in makeshift deer stands freezing our backsides off for hours straight just hoping that the oats or corn we have thrown out will bring in a deer or two that present a good target before ambling on though the brush. The vast majority of us are also prior military so know how to shoot, how to clean and how to process our own meat without outside influence or costs. When they could afford it a few of my relatives would take the horns and have them mounted by a relative in the Taxidermist business but even that is too ecpensive now. So, before you make it sound like the majority of us fall into the hunting you have known you might want to actually get out away from the big cities of Houston, Dallas or Austin with all the privileged folks who hunt because they are bored and visit areas where self reliant real Texans live and survive daily.
I don't understand how so many people believe 1 activity can collectively define millions of people. There are good drivers and bad drivers. There are good Muslims and there are terrorists. There are nice people and there are jerks. No one is going to argue that there aren't some obnoxious hunters. I've met a couple and can honestly say I want nothing to do with them and hate that people might even associate me with them based on a shared activity/interest. Obnoxious hunters are usually obnoxious in other aspects of their lives/personalities, yet it seems so many people are willing to focus solely on the hunting . . . probably because they just don't agree with hunting and that reinforces their view.
@ADingDangDoo – I am curious of this 'experience' you speak of. Please elaborate.
Don't hold your breath. We all know what 'experience' s/he has.
Rarely have I ever heard such a naive description of hunting wild game. The very notion that wild animals have the intelligence level of a toddler is an indication of how out of touch with nature most of our population (sadly) is. I live with deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, wolves, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, bears, and a host ofother critters on an ongoing basis. They are very good at what they do and that is surviving in a hostile world. Notj ust hostile from the standpoint of human hunters, but from their predatory neighbors who view them only as dinner. I definitely consider most wild animals more savvy than the average human. The overall success rate of hunting big game in the wild is typically 30-40% for experienced hunters and less than 20% for less experienced hunters. It might be different in the East, but I know very few successful overweight hunters here in the rugged country of central Idaho. A fat person can't compete with the agility of wildlife in this environment.
No, I do not agree with game farms and tame hunting experiences. Wild animals in wildlands are the only legitimate way to hunt for meat. If you don't believe in the concept of fair chase, go to the supermarket.
Regarding other ways to appreciate wildlife, at least one day every week (more often when we can) my wife and I are in the backcountry observing, photographing, and learning more about our non-human neighbors. When the season is appropriate we will hunt and harvest various animals as a staple of our diet. It is delicious, healthy, and sustainable.
Ever notice how the people that truly don't respect and admire wildlife as a generalization aren't hunters?
Hunting means different things to different people, so I can really only speak for myself. However, I have many hunter friends who feel similarly to me. . . . I don't conquer animals, I hunt them. I must be skilled in that I must be able to make a shot that will give me a quick, clean kill, but the animal coming along is somewhat my skill in being able to pick a good place to hunt and somewhat luck (i.e you can be the best hunter in the world, but if their is no animal, there is no attempt at a shot, and there is no kill). You seriously think that raising/killing cows is 'right' because they have been domesticated for that purpose? What people like you will tell themselves so they can live a life of 'superiority'. What a hypocrite you are. How much skill and time and effort did it take you to buy those steaks at the supermarket. Your whole argument is that some animals are meant to be eaten and some aren't. That's just emotion talking, and it makes you full of c r a p.
Oh and btw, I get taxed heavily for every gun I buy or every bullet/shell I purchase to help protect wildlife habitat. I am completely fine with that as I believe it is a good cause. How much money do you donate Mr/Mrs. hiker/picture taker? I'm betting very little.
I'd explain it to you but I'm fresh out of puppets and crayons.
if you eat meat you support the killing of animals, plain and simple
your pie in the sky version of the commercial meat industry is just plain silly
you simply pay others to do the killing for you
Indeed and if you don't grow your own garden (let's ignore the fact that plants are alive and can feel too) you agree with the accidental murder of millions of animals (rabbits, snakes, turtles, fawns, etc) to provide you with your plant material. "Holier than thou" people irritate me to no end . . .
I'm totally agreeing with you. (Just in case that wasn't clear.)
Apparently my original comment is waiting approval even though it had no swear words and did not even have an aggressive tone . . . . I'm curious what algorithm they use to flag posts . . .
So, are you saying you support the mass Slaughter industry of killing cows who live and are fed in horrifying conditions? I mean its already dead, so, its okay to purchase it and forget about all that right ADingdangdoo? Don't say hunting is more cruel, because it isn't.
I'd love to see you on the crosshairs of a wounded wild boar... let's see how your raging liberalism deals with that situation. Not all game is deer for starters.... a wild boar will try to kill you.
Why is it when someone expresses concern/compassion toward animals, they're accused of "raging liberalism?" It has nothing to do with political leanings. Let's not try to stereotype each other. Or, hey, if you want to accuse me of "raging liberalism" if that means I express concern about wildlife, so be it. By the way, your example of a boar charging is so ... well, dumb. I really doubt the poster will be exposed to the charge of a wild boar. You can still have concern for animals and still respect any tendencies they may have toward predation or aggression (ala the wild boar).
So you really think raising cattle specifically for food is better than hunting? I disagree. I have less of a problem with hunting animals than I do with slaughterhouses and farmed animals.
Living a free life is much better than a manipulated one. Maybe they will get shot by a hunter, become road kill, or be dinner for another predator in the wild, but at least they lived a life that was once free and they weren't destined immediately for the dinner table by using inhumane methods. Do you know that most cattle aren't even a year old when slaughtered for food? In the wild, chances of survival are at least greater than that.
I wish you could spend 15 minutes in a world without hunting, because you'd only last 5 minutes before being eviserated and eaten in your own living room by any one of a number of apex predators. If you don't know anything about hunting, keep your stupidity to yourself. And if you're against hunting, then by all means, don't hunt.
And why, dear poster, would anyone have an "apex hunter" in one's living room?
ADingDangDoo's post has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in the comments section of a website. It amazes me how some folks on the left are always so dead set against ridiculous, inaccurate and prejudicial stereotypes UNLESS they pertain to those they disagree with. Then they not only encourage them, they actively perpetuate them.
I’ve been an avid hunter for many years, and have been active in pro-hunting groups for most of that time. Of the literally thousands of hunters I’ve met from many different countries and all walks of life, I honestly can’t recall the last time I’ve met one that fit your ridiculously narrow-minded and prejudicial description.
Alaric, again, per my other post, why does this have anything to do with left-hand leanings? And in my area, there are good hunters and there are other hunters who do booze up and then go firing away in the woods. I cringe during hunting season, hearing them blasting away. Maybe I should call them drunks who hunt, I don't know. But not every single hunter is pure of heart and sure of aim. There are good and bad folks in all areas of life.
I'm on the left, so I'm glad you said "some"...my husband is a bit more centrist than I am, but most of our meat is 1. Venison or 2. Pheasant. I can say that those on the left, who I know, who are against hunting reside in the city and have no idea about game management and have some innane idea that hunters and farmers are anti-environment. Far from the truth..and they have no concept about what happens when game animals die due to hunger, getting hit by a car or disease. Venison is one of the best foods out there....
You make a good point ADingDangDoo, But as your names suggests you are not as intelligent as you have verbally presented yourself. Now you describe the hunting of game animals as- redneck, and punching a toddler- which is quite hilarious. Coming from a person that obviously has no real experience in this field, sitting at your small desk you have brain washed yourself on your own opinions. This shows that you’re pathetic. Now I have a couple points to suggest, (1) first off the monies that are used for recreation i.e. hunting are one of the biggest industries in the world. This funds a multitude of programs that save and hinder the hunting of wild game, along with millions of programs for children. This is called conservation. Now I come from the state mentioned above South Dakota, where a lot of game animals are harvested annually. Most of which animals are harvested by avid/ethical hunters. Now I will admit, we have some people that travel to our state that are only here for random sport. You are not going to be able to get away from this. Also I love how you describe hunting as something where you stand and an animal walks literally next to you. Not so, I guarantee that I have walked more miles in my 19 years of hunting (as you suggest non elusive game) then you probably have walked in your lifetime. Guarantee. Also I probably own more hunting gear to make myself slightly invisible, and increase my chances of success then your car is worth. (2) Another observation I have is that you are a moron, compared to a toddler, lets see toddlers don’t feed themselves, breed, hide, migrate, bed themselves or their family, communicate, and are very elusive. Another clarified statement of yours that shows you have no real experience is deer are quite intelligent. I have seen deer do things that human beings are not even smart enough to do. (3) I have family that farm, leave land for habitat, and others all make a conscious effort to conserve the hunting heritage we have. This said wild game is over populated in my area, hunting them is a way to relieve herds from disease and death. Also this overpopulation has drastic enough of farming operations costing millions of dollars a year on ruined crops and farm ground. Not to mention in other damages to vehicles, etc. In conclusion, next time you make an irrational comment on something you have no experience and no current information on, you should do a little research.
Wow, I was going to offer you a bite of this locally raised, hormone free, 100% all natural, tasty deer steak but since you have a pissy attitude, never mind.
Wow... Are you retarded? Buying meat in a store is cowardly. Do you have any idea how poorly those animals are treated? Have you see the inside of a factory farm? Hunting is many times more humane than eating the packaged product of overfeeding and hormone injections to the point of breaking legs beneath their own weight, crowding into cages so small they can not move, and being farmed and killed to serve productivity and efficiency over humanity and compassion.
A true hunter does not hunt for sport or for trophies (those types are scum), but for survival with the land and with respect for one's prey.
Oh, and I'm a raging liberal who believes in animal rights.
The deer are a pain in the neck. The numbers keep multiplying exponentially and they are very destructive. I say hunt them hard and take few extra while out in the woods.
The hunters are a pain in the neck. The numbers keep multiplying exponentially and they are very destructive. I say hunt them hard and take few extra while out in the woods.
Remember you need to watch where you are walking when talking/texting on your ipad, or else you'll run into a wall or fall into a mall fountain and reveal how much of an idiot you are.
Advocating murder, nice.
Our local deer population is so numerous the city had to send police officers to cull them (all meat donated to food pantries). Even with that, and recent legalization of bow hunting within the less developed parts of our city limits, on any given evening I can see deer walking down the sidewalk in front of my house. They follow after farmers outside of town who are bringing hay to their livestock.
For everyone who thinks it's unfair to kill these animals, is it better to let them starve? They're concentrating in this area because it has more food. Recent flooding has destroyed a lot of their previous habitat. When I'm looking at $4.50 and up a pound for beef, or $7.50+ a pound for hormone and antibiotic free beef, why wouldn't I take advantage of an abundant, lean meat source? I was lazy last year and let a meat locker process my deer, and over 80 pounds of meat cost me $104.
No one's talking about blowing deer away just to mount their heads on the wall. We're talking about taking the place of the natural predators that can no longer keep their population at a healthy level. We're talking about revenue at the state level in terms of deer tags, savings on the grocery budget, and a delicious opportunity to enjoy an environmentally responsible menu option. If you don't eat meat, that's fine, but don't call hunters lowlives or imply that people who enjoy wild game have no respect for animals.
Shut up with your thoughtful logic and reasoning. There is no place here for that.
Well said and thought out. Get ready for the hippies/haters!
It *is* good logic, and all correct. The only thing I have to add, unfortunately to that argument's own detriment, is that the only reason the predators can no longer control the populations of game animals is because so many hunters have hunted and over-killed so many predators; for which there is no justification, because although some few folks may eat bear, nobody is eating mountain lion or wolf.
For those of us who hunt, and claim that we do it to help maintain the ecosystem through wildlife management, we need to follow our own logic to its own full conclusion, and support the expansion and protection of existing predator populations, the reintroduction of wolves, and the protection of habitat, and quit moving deeper and deeper into the wild and destroying more of the ecosystem we claim to protect, and on which we rely.
Most predator populations were heavily reduced/eliminated long before hunting was regulated. In fact most were hunted with the intent of extermination because they were largely considered pests that killed livestock. Predator populations are rebounding and with managed hunting are doing very well. Many people eat bear (myself included) as it is delicious, and I've heard the same is true for mountain lion. As far as I've heard the attempts to reestablish the gray wolf out west have also gone well with current populations exceeding management goals. In fact there is limited hunting in Montana I believe. This is great in my opinion as it helps keep the population in check and generates a bunch of revenue that can be used to preserve habitat.
I raise a few head of beef, and have to weigh in that not all the beef is bad – we feed ours to our taste, with no hormones, antibiotics only when sick, and fattened in the spring/summer when the grass is suitable, using less grain. We like it, and sell to a few friends. However, I also shoot a few deer most years, this past season, just two. I like to can much of it, the canning process enhances/mellows/richens (I just can't quite find the right adjective) the flavor, and it makes fine stews, fajitas, chili or other concoctions one can dream up.
The deer here are pests, I have in the past killed five in one sitting – they are a mess. However they are harvested, whether through hunting or depredation permits, it seems to me that they still deserve respect as an animal and a source of food. I like it – just that deer meat isn't the only red meat I like!
For those of us who eat meat, venison is delicious and versatile, and I would recommend everyone try it at least once. For those who don't eat meat, I respect and support you, and only ask that you grant me the same courtesy. If you cannot do so, feel free to go hang out with the conservatives who don't like gay marriage, contraceptives for women, etc, because you are just like them in trying to shove your beliefs down my throat (see how I put in the food reference? Good, huh?).
For all the hunting of deer that goes on around here (have venison in my freezer) there doesn't seem to be any shortage of them at any time. Everyone here knows someone that has hit (or been hit by) a deer, if they haven't done so themselves. Perhaps they are hunting us? Venison is also a great bartering tool if you have it to spare.
Deer meat is fantastic. I avoid the term "venison" because, as the author pointed out, it broadly refers to all antlered animals.
Almost everyone in my family hunts, so we have a constant supply of lean meat for steaks, burgers, stews, etc. I'm liberal (a pro-gun, pro-hunting liberal ... weird, right?), so every time I mention hunting I get a comment from a friend who says it's "not sporting" or "not fair ot the animal" or something else because it's so easy to shoot a deer from 100 yards away from a rifle. Those friends are missing the point. We don't hunt deer "for sport". That's what turkey, pheasant, quail and other hard-to-shoot birds are for. We hunt deer because their meat is delicious.
You know what ISN'T very good? Moose meat. Being from Alaska it was always around. I can tolerate it, but Deer is definitely better. Know what rivals good venison? Caribou. YUM.
I moved from there as a kid about 20 years ago. Do the Pizza Huts still sell deer meat pizza? yummmmm
I went and shot a tree and ate it. It was good.
Did you hug it first?
I peed on it first. Then used a leaf to wipe my cornhole.
I hope it wasn't a eucalyptus tree. That'll buuuuuuurn.
Laughing my azz off!
We've been eating venison tacos all week! More humane, lean and much cheaper than beef!
Ooo! Sounds good. Might have to try that tonight.
Having grown up in Wisconsin, the Whitetail deer there are very good. Perhaps it is due to all the corn they eat and plenty of fresh water and wild berries. I really like deer sausage. It's just the best with some fresh Wisconsin cheese. It doesn't get any better.
Having moved I miss my ~slightly off~ neighbor who on opening day of hunting season would come to borrow my rifle and return it along with plenty of venison.
He called my bluff one week asking to borrow my little .22 plinker. I asked why and he told me it was a surprise. He came back hours later with the biggest bullfrogs I'd ever seen. Every one of them right through the head. I'm not a bad shot but I can't imagine holding my hands steady enough. He taught me to preheat a frying pan with a stick of butter and drop the legs in for only 30 to 45 seconds per side. Another way was cut to small pieces with just a drop of olive oil and some white wine in the food tray of a rice cooker, then placed on top of the rice with broccoli and/or carrots
Then there were the rabbit breakfast sausages. mmmmmmmmmmmm wild game arrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
nice, are there any houses for sale in your neighborhood (?) I'd move there
LOL when I was a kid I used to go back to the pond to practice shooting with a bow w/ my dad (the dam was steep enough that it made a good backstop). One summer, there was a HUGE bullfrog that we would occasionally see, so we made it a semi-competition to see who could get him first. Well one day I came home from basketball practice and was taking a soaking bath in the tub when through the window above (going out to the porch) this arrow protrudes with the bullfrog dangling. It gave me quite a scare then, but it's a funny family story now. And man, were those frog legs good. =)
Deer boudain, for those of you from TX or LA... you know... is one of the best, most delicious creations on the planet. Nuff said. :)
j I've been hunting and eating deer probably more years than you are old. Call the different flavor of wild game anything you want but the term gamey flavor comes from the term wild game. Also, before you go lining somebody else out learn the correct difference between you're and your.
Nothing like a thread on deer to bring out the tree-hugging, bunny humping crowd.
Well done, folks!
Agree and it's hilarious, too! Well done, indeed!
I'm a tree hugging, bunny lover (even the stupid ones that jump in front of my car), but I also like killing, skinning, and butchering my own deer for all the benefits that it gives and because I can provide it to my family myself.
Don't diss people that love the environment thinking that they're different than you. You may not know them well enough to determine their intent.
Well said. Team Daniel!
I love bunnies too....in the crock pot with taters and carrots!!
Whats tators, precious?
I knew how the comment section would look like as soon as I read the title. LOL
Abusers and killers of animals – Drop Dead!
Ignorant much? Hunting is the most humane way to get meat.
And as much as you may hate it, you are physiologically an omnivore; the human body runs best on a diet that includes animal products, and wild game is healthier than store-bought meat (wild game is leaner, higher in omega-3s, no antibiotics).
Hunting also keeps the deer population in check. Natural predators have moved out of many areas; without hunting deer would die of starvation and disease. And they would also cause billions of dollars worth of damage to crops. Hunting PROTECTS crops. Next time you're eating your soy burger, thank a hunter that he had a part in protecting that crop.
There's debate over whether hunting curbs deer populations. Sometimes the populations actually rebound as a result. Also, sorry, no absolute proof that we run best on meat.
And maybe, when you post next time, leave out the snarky finish ... kinda rude.
Frankly its the US and people can eat and kill whatever the hell they want. People need to butt out of other peoples business. The day I can't kill and eat animals, fish, etc is the day I move to Canada.
Hunting is a yearly thing to keep population in check. Wildlife departments issue deer tags based on how heavy the population is that year. By the way, the World Wildlife Fund supports hunting as a form of population control.
There is plenty of evidence out there that the human body runs best when we eat some animal products. Not "all meat", no, but animal products should be included in the diet. You cannot survive on an entirely plant diet with zero animal products; vegans MUST artificially supplement their diets. There are some nutrients that there are simply no adequate plant sources for, B-12 being the big one. There's a reason no society has been traditionally vegan: they would have died out if they tried. Societies/cultures that are primarily vegetarian greatly prize animal products such as eggs and milk.
Oh, and telling people to drop dead isn't rude?
You are so wrong it hurts. It's obvious you will do anything to justify the lies you have chosen to believe. There is absolute proof humans run best on animal products. Just not factory animal products. The Primal Blueprint is by far and away the healthiest diet one can choose.
Unless you eat dirt, you obviously have PMS...Plant Murderers Syndrome
Yep, probably spouts this garbage while wearing leather shoes, a leather purse.
What an ignorant comment...those Deer breed like rodents and crunch cars every year. would you rather have them multiply like crazy and suffer in the winter from lack or food and disease? lots of deer each year help feed lots of families that can't afford to pay full price. get a grip and have a seat at the STFU Cafe
Your father shot smoked pheasants? Gee, he must be a crack shot.
Learn to write.
I haven't had any Bambi for quite a while. Man do I miss it. Tasty, very tasty indeed.
Venison jerky is outstanding.
Venison jerky is delicious! It got me through some cold winters in college.
mmmmmmmmmmmm....deeeeer......[drools and makes gurgling sounds]..........
I look forward to the day when I can hunt, kill, quarter, clean, and fill my freezer with deer meat.
You're going to hunt, kill, quarter and clean your freezer? I didn't realize there were feral freezers... or is this a variation of the old "is your refrigerator running?" joke?
yeah, I wanted to be all Hardcore and Neanderthal and make my own spear or bow & arrow but then I realized .308 is so much more easy and humane. Those feral freezers never see .308 coming.
Deer nuggets! They're like chicken fried steak bites. Yummy.
I learned from an old guy here in Kansas to soak venison in cold water to remove the blood. This takes away almost all the gamey flavor. I then add a liitle marinade and grill red hot to sear. Having venison tenderloin medallions for lunch today as a matter of fact.
There is no such thing as gamey flavor, it's just different from what your used to. Only the ignorant ask if something is gamey.
The question " Does it taste Gamey" is like asking what S h ! t taste like. How should I know, I don't eat S h ! t and there is no such thing as a flavor called gamey so I wouldn't know what that taste like either.
wow listen to to u mr expert
it good you acknowledged one, when you read one, thanks.
When I was a kid and my family lived in TN farm country, my mom (she and my dad being both born city folk) had a difficult time with venison at first. One of our neighbor ladies told her to soak it in buttermilk to remove the gamey taste, and boy, was she right. We had a wonderful deer pot roast that night and I've loved venison ever since. Deer sausage, meatballs, burgers, jerky....YUM.
....aaand now my mouth is watering. =)
Veg-heads need to quiet their noise. You can not survive on vegetables alone unless you take man made pills to get everything you are missing. Venison is phenomenal if cooked right, better than beef. For those bemoaning the death of such a pretty animal grow up they become to plentiful and destroy farmers crops and wind up scavenging in trash bins. They then die off anyway because of competition for food/water. Hunters help keep the population healthy and in control.
Gosh, TwM, what's wrong with taking a man-made pill (have no idea what you mean, anyway) if one wants to be a vegan/vegetarian? Plenty of people thrive on such diets. Maybe I should simply put it this way: to each his own.
Why is it that when you criticize a vegan diet, vegans say "to each his own", but they want to tell us that we shouldn't hunt? Oh that's right they're still hypocrites – never mind I got it...
Every person I ever knew who turned vegan ended up sounding like cult members. Many think they are healthy but don't look well or got fat from eating too many carb laden meals. They deny their own evolutionary biology of humanity being an omnivorous species. The American Indians were not vegans, hunted deer and other animals and were healthier than the first white men who showed up on the eastern shore.
Corn fed anything tastes bland and crappy. That includes deer. On the other hand, cold weather deer that live off of native grasses etc. (IE the Wisconsin example) tend to have mild, slightly gamey flavor that can't be matched. Wrap a loin in some boar bacon and pop it in the smoker at about 180 for a goodly amount of time and you won't be disappointed.
I knew a girl from Indiana once, and she was corn fed. Yummmo!
Deer-man you continue to be cold, cruel, self absorbed, self satisfying and com-passionless!!!
I also once ate a moderator's kidneys w/ a chianti and a side of fava beans....slurp...
Here we go with the defenseless animal, how can you kill Bambi, it's not fair stuff again. If you only knew Roger, if you only knew. I myself belong to PETA (People for the Eating of Tasty Animals) and find Venison as one of the finest yum yum meat their is. If made right, the Jerky is the one of my fav's..
Deer are pests. If they were covered with big hairy warts and had runny eyeballs, nobody would care if you shot them. They run out in front of your car and smash into your windshield, too.
So do VEGANS....They have no brains either.
I gotta say I never had a vegan run out in front of my truck. They are scarce in Georgia.
So I am thinking, if Deer, eat grains, vegtables, and leafy things, AND Vegans eat grains, vegtables and leafy things, should we start hunting them? Would they be tasty too?
No because vegetarians are full of S h ! t.
Doc, they say humans taste like pork.
"Subsisted," not subsided. Fix please. Georgia Whitetails are beautiful and graceful and delicious, but must be stalked carefully and respectfully -hold on, you're talking about DEER? Aw, those things are barely edible. Like rats with horns. If they didn't eat my corn I wouldn't bother shooting them.
Don't knock rate 'till you've tried it.
I think the times I haven't liked venison have been when it was not properly cooked. Because it's so lean, it can get tough easily if you don't know what you're doing. Stews and chilis I've tried have been good – roasts and steaks, not so much.
My wife determine the same thing this year. I brought in three deer this year and so far all of them have been very tender, as opposed to other years. There was good variety in the deer sex and age, so I think that pulling the meat off before it becomes tough IS essential, as you say.
Super Bowl Venison chilli!!!!!!!!!!!
You are a coward for killing defenseless animals. How bout we send you into the woods and chase you with a rifle. You and all the other hunter lowlifes make me sick.
Didn't take for some tree hugging wack job to reply
Should say, didn't take long for some tree hugging wack job to reply
Hey, there are a lot of tree-huggers who also hunt. Can't have good hunting grounds if you don't have a respect for the environment.
Of course, there are those OTHER kinds of hunters who only bring ammo and beer into the woods – ugh. Responsible ones are fine, though.
As for Roger – hope you're a vegetarian.
It doesn't matter if Roger is a vegetarian. His perceived moral superiority is laughable considering millions of animals are killed during the harvest of commercial crops. Even the ignorant must consume something to survive.
Preach it Ann. You are totally correct. I have always loved the environment and want to keep it clean and natural. I am always finding beer cans and bottles on my land from hunters. I know it's them because I chase them off. However, I've been hunting the last few years and on and off through my life. I respect the land and appreciate the scenery as I sit there in the cold morning waiting for the right deer for me.
are you serious? do some research on wildlife management, agriculture industry, and your food sources and let us know if you'd rather eat a wild animal from a population-controlled hunt, or if you'd rather have your food be farm-raised, full of antibiotics and hormones and raised in their own feces?
Actually, a horned deer could kill you in thirty seconds, and you wouldn't be the first. Some guy was hanging up clothes in his back yard back in the 80s and a deer jumped into his yard and stabbed him through the sheet he was hanging. Deer kill each other and each others' fawns; they kill trees by ringing the bark and destroy gardens. They are destructive pests, and they strip their range clean and starve if they aren't hunted. We've killed off their predators and now it's on us to cull them. I still say they are too chewy and gamy. Wrap chunks in bacon and grill them and you might do all right.
aw, they aren't all that now! aaaahhhh! deeeeeer!
You just never hear that sort of scream. No horror movies out there of deer hunting down people. In the 80s? 30 years ago, are you serious?
You sir, and a rectal wart upon the buttocks of this blog. Idemand that you kill yourself forthwith.
"How bout we send you into the woods and chase you with a rifle" Better look over your shoulder a lot. Ever see FIRST BLOOD? Born and bred in de briar patch, Br'er Fox.
Hunting deer with a rifle is not much of a sport. Now on the other hand, hunting tigers with a knife – now that's a real sport!
I would rather hunt liberals. After all, they are the ones that are so fond of murder. Typical of the party of hate.
Would much rather be a member of the party of hate than the party of NO. No brains, no morals, no ambition and no concern for anyone but themselves. If a conservative can't spend it, drink it or sleep with it then they don't want no part of it. But you can bet your sweet shorts that the morning after they will be in church acting all self-rightous like they haven't done anything wrong. That's also known as being hypocritical. Have no idea why some refer to themselves as the moral majority. There's a big difference between being morally superior and just claiming to be. Guess they haven't learned that yet, huh?
I guess its a matter of opinion but hunting is like fishing you do it for the food, the beer and the good times with buddies. Its all a matter of preference so buzz off.
I'd say it's more cowardly to buy meat at a store, killed by someone else, than to kill it yourself.
Roger, I couldn't agree more! Too much time on their hands...how can they kill something so beautiful and graceful.
Oh so you aren't opposed to killing all animals, just the ugly ones? You seem like a nice person. LOL hippies make me laugh. At least I know where my food comes from, and I respect and often think about the animals I've hunted. I doubt that many of the self-righteous, 'don't kill cute animal' types give any thought to the cow that was killed to make the hamburger they are scarfing down.
Lots of hippies hunt, itdgit. You don't sound as if you know what you're talking about.
And Jo does? You sound as if you are offended by the term 'hippie'. I guess it comes down to what it means to you and me. I love nature. I love wildlife. I"m not going to defend all the people (many hunters) that go into the woods and feel obligated to leave all their trash. That isn't being a 'hippie', that's being a conservationist. Being a 'hippie' is being completely illogical and judging everybody else that doesn't live by your 'standards'. You've made some decent posts so I hate to say this, but it sounds like you need some salsa for that chip on your shoulder.
You said earlier 'Don't diss people that love the environment thinking that they're different than you. You may not know them well enough to determine their intent.' How much did you mean that? If your calling me an i d i o t wasn't based solely on the usage of how you perceived my usage of 'hippie' then what is your argument to anything I've said. I didn't say I hated vegan or vegetarians. I wasn't saying they are low-lives and should drop dead. You don't know me at all, and if you did you may be surprised.
@Roger & Jo, It's quite simple. Deer; and you tree huggers, both don't understand the need to curtail procreation a bit. The deer do tear up perfectly good trees removing velvet from their horns & during rut season, by de-barking the trees; hence, less trees for you to hug! Since the predatory animals have all but gone in most of the USA, it is up to the hunters to curtail their procreation by hunting and limiting the population to avoid starvation & disease. Sadly true, it's needed on the population of tree huggers too whom speak without rational thoughts, but there hasn't been a season put on you...........yet.
Been there done that got the tee shirt, I have to admit it would be more fun if the deer shot back, but then I'm providing meat for my family raqther than pay someone else to do it, I also help a friend whose farm is over run with deer, and I provide my children with the answer to where does our meat come from?
Hunting is the most humane way to get meat. Also the healthiest, as wild game is leaner and higher in omega-3s.
Vegetarians/vegans have no idea how much they and everyone else would be affected if there was no hunting. There are no natural predators for deer in most areas; without hunting, deer would become overpopulated and die of starvation, disease, and increased car/deer collisions. But before that, they would do billions of dollars worth of damage to crops. Yes vegetarians, hunting protects your precious soybean crops!
How about we stick you in the dirt and let some farmer rip you out of the dirt and boil you... You plant killing freaks make me sick. What a high horse you must ride roger to think you are any different or better than the rest of us.
The only way your comment isn't hypocritical is if you are practicing a Hindu-esque religion or philosophy that requires you to kill no living being. Otherwise you should think of the last ant you smashed or the last rat trap you placed behind the fridge. Those animals were defenseless too and very likely their deaths were for nothing. At least most hunters respect what they kill and the animal doesn't go to waste. Anyone who is a decent shot can humanely kill an animal so that it doesn't suffer. Which is much better than poisons and pesticides offer their kill.
poor thing you missed your ride back to your planet
Sounds like all those vegetables are making you overly aggressive. You should try some fresh red meat and calm down a little bit.
Hey Roger, I'd let you come into the woods and chase me with a rifle any day. The likelihood of you catching me would be extremely remote. When you get tired and set it down, I would have it and there you would be.
One of the best skills my father ever taught me was how to shoot, hune and clean game. Venison is delicious and VERY low in fat. My favorite dishes are either roast venison, or venison stew. Good stuff there.
Those are delicious, especially fresh.
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