Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Hunting

Hunting Deer?

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Michael8593:
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.

bcksknr:
     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.

Nophix:
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!

bcksknr:
     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:
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.

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