Some input from you deer hunters, please.


October 5, 2010, 11:29 AM
I stopped hunting when I moved to The People's Republic of **********. Too much red tape.

I've moved back to civilization and am considering picking the sport back up. Here's what I'd like to do. Harvest the game animal, use a wheeled thingy to transport it back to my truck (I'm too old/bad back/just don't want to drag that much dead weight), then pay somebody to process it.

And really, all I care to eat are the tenderloins/steaks. The part(s) of the deer they use to make hamburger really don't interest me. I might, however, be interested in some good, lean, deer sausage.

So, am I way off base here? Should I just take up croquet? Or is that crochet?


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October 5, 2010, 11:54 AM
There's nothing better than harvested venison, IMO. So long as you stay clear of CWD.

I take mine to a meat processing plant, and this year will have them grind the venison without any added fat, for either burger or sausage, and use the ground venison in chili. Nothing leaner, and consequently better for you, especially considering all of the hard work that went into harvesting.

Croquet doesn't offer any of these benefits.

October 5, 2010, 12:00 PM
What's "CWD?"

October 5, 2010, 12:05 PM
What's "CWD?"
Chronic Wasting Disease

I think it's basically like mad cow in game animals

October 5, 2010, 12:48 PM
No, you are not way off base. By all means, jump back in the pool. I find the time afield very relaxing and enjoyable, whether or not I take game on any particular outing. If you enjoy all the aspects of the hunt--preparation, getting to and from, experiencing the beauty of creation, seeing wildlife (including things NOT in season), the rush of adrenaline when you spot an animal that IS in season (whether or not you get a shot)--and see the taking of game as a bonus, you need to get back into hunting. If you only enjoy it when you take game, maybe not.

October 5, 2010, 01:42 PM
Crochet?... I don’t think that would be near as rewarding or taste half as good… but hey if you want to.

(I'm too old/bad back/just don't want to drag that much dead weight),
Or maybe just too smart. (the cart is a great idea)

IMO having it processed is the way to go… I may be good a lots of things but processing a deer is not one of them… processing, I feel will get you better cuts of meat and possibly less wasted meat (at least it does for me).

Around here many of the processing places will also take the meat you don’t want and donate it to the local food banks, so it will not go to waste.

Now go hunting, be safe and have fun.

October 5, 2010, 01:47 PM
An alternative to the cart might be quartering it in the field and carrying out the quarters individually (or two at a time if your back will handle the weight). I don't know about the topography and vegetation where you hunt but wheeled carts aren't very practical in deep woods.

October 5, 2010, 01:58 PM
I would talk to your meat processor about keeping a portion of the meat or look into donating that processed meat.

I also use a deer cart where I can. I hunt about a mile from my vehicle and I feel it is worth the hike to get cart and return for the deer. The last time I dragged a deer out that kind of distance just about wore me out. I don't drag the cart around with me unless I would use it to transport say a deer stand or something like that. You risk loosing the deer, but that is not something I worry about much unless there are a lot of hunters around.

Your meat processor may be able to make deer sausage for you. Mine does for an extra fee. They also sell it, so I suspect in my case, they would keep the extra meat for making sausage.

October 5, 2010, 02:07 PM
Plenty of time for crochet in the deerstand. That's where i get most of my reading done. Just look up every time you turn a page.

I don't know where you are, but around here there are check stations, if you're worried about your kill having CWD...but i'd much rather have seen it healthy on the hoof, and processed the meat myself to be sure it is OK...that's much safer than ordering a rare hamburger at a restaurant. I don't buy ground meat; because i didn't see what went in there. Also, in processing, you can be sure not to get any spinal fluid or marrow mixed with your meat. Mad-cow and CWD, if present, is contained in the prions of the nerve-system, not in the muscle tissue itself.

You'll find that when making sausage, the venision is so lean that it won't cook well or eat well without a little extra fat added - i save pork belly from hogs for this, or throw in a pack of fatty bacon.

It'll also taste much better than anything store bought, since you shot it yourself!

October 5, 2010, 05:08 PM
I bought an ATV and can't believe that I went so long without one. There are a few places where I can't use it. I just make sure that I have some younger guys along when I hunt the restricted spots.

October 5, 2010, 08:06 PM
Whitetail? I'll take the burger meat, yall lol

October 5, 2010, 08:26 PM
Those game carts work pretty well. A wheelbarrow also works pretty well. If you don't care for the meat another thing you might consider is predator hunting. Coyotes provide most of the excitement of big game hunting combined with a year-long season and a multiple bag limit.

This site is great, it got me started on predators and there is a lot of good info here. Calling in predators is a heck of a rush.

October 5, 2010, 08:42 PM
I don't think you're off base. Venison is good lean meat. We substitute it for hamburger in many recipes. I'd reconsider not taking some ground venison from your deer. We use it all the time, for example in tacos, hamburger helper, meatballs (usually with some pork mixed in) or just browned and thrown in the spagetti sauce. We love the roasts too! Remember, steaks/tenderloins/backstraps etc. cook quickly and are not as good when overcooked. They will be done much faster than beef!

October 5, 2010, 09:33 PM
I would keep the meat and mix it with pork and or bacon and use either the High mountain mix or the Eastman mix and make your own sausage. I do it with deer and elk. All the duck and goose I shoot gets turned into Italian sausage. That way you have more control over how strong the flavor is. For Duck and Goose I Mix 1lb of bird to 2lbs of cheap pork roast. I usually pay about 5-8 bucks for the Pork, it is just a cheap Pork roast. This still turns out Kinda lean I usually have to add some olive oil when I brown it. But it goes great with any red sauce and even better on Pizza.

The Deer and Elk make great breakfast sausage. I usually mix about 5lb of meat with at least 1lb of bacon and add some Pork roast to fatten it up some and then mix in the suggested amount of Breakfast sausage mix and then adjust flavor as needed with either more seasoning or more Pork to make it more mild.

October 5, 2010, 09:47 PM
Venison is typically more antibiotic/pesticide/herbice free than beef, tastes better, and is a fantastic renewable resource that doesn't harm the environmement like raising cattle in a feedlot does....GO FOR IT!

The wheeled game carriers are OK, if you really have a hard time getting around get a buddy to help carry your gun and gear while you wheel your dinner out.

Arkansas Paul
October 5, 2010, 10:06 PM
You are absolutely not way off base.
There's nothing wrong with only liking the steaks and backstraps, as long as none of the meat goes to waste. You can steak out almost the entire hams by the way. The only thing we grind is the shoulders. I love me some deer chili.
Never have had one processed. We've always done it ourselves. Yeah, I've made some bad cuts and ruined a steak or two, but it didn't go to waste. It went in the grinding pile.
Go hunt, and wheel, and have processed and enjoy. ;)

October 11, 2010, 10:34 PM
Nuthin wrong with a return to a "second childhood" of deer hunting. Heck, I can relate myself. I usually just ride my tricycle when I go out to pick 'em up.

On this day a few years ago I was coming off a back injury and no other hunters were in camp when I had the opportunity to harvest a Piebald Whitetail buck. My back hurt too much to toss it on the back of the 3-wheeler so I hooked it to my tricycle ('85 Honda 250ES Big Red) and chugged on back to camp.

I've had TWO deer on this on several occasions. It beats a cart any day . . . and its PAID FOR! LOL

Loyalist Dave
October 12, 2010, 12:06 AM
Donate the unused meat, or..., the processor where I live has a price to cut up the meat, no speciall price for cutting a specific bit. So if that's the case where you are, why not give some of the steaks and or roasts to non-hunting neighbors? Folks who get venison from a local hunter, but don't hunt themselves, can vote in favor of hunting too can't they? When they hear something bad about hunters, do they know a hunter to ask if it's true? They will know who to ask, if they get some venison from you. We had two kids this year at Hunter Safety who wanted to take the class 'cause a neighbor hunts and shares his meat. Might prevent ********** type laws from spreading. Just a thought.


October 12, 2010, 01:24 AM
Way to go man! I can still drag my deer, but that's only when I find the time to hunt in the first place, and even then only if I'm lucky enough to get one, of course.

Jump back in and hunt.

And if you need something to do with the meat you can throw it on some dry ice and send it my way.

Justin Holder
October 12, 2010, 03:39 PM
God I love them old 3-wheelers! Had an '84 Honda 110 ATC for a few years before the transmission gave out. :( I was born in '87, the same year they stopped making them, bad luck I guess.

Remember that most processing plants charge buy the pound, bones and all. They will also charge an arm and a leg to skin and gut it.

So your cheapest option is to bring them a skinned and gutted carcass with the head and lower legs removed. (but be sure and follow any laws pertaining to proof of sex)

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