Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Hunting

Hunting Deer?

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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.

     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.

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!

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.

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.


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