How Long Does Your Haul Last?
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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Default How Long Does Your Haul Last?

I plan on getting into hunting in 2014 since my family and I will be settled down in NC.

Ideally I'd like for my wife to stop buying meat at the grocery store, mostly. I understand the occasional hamburger patties or whatever. But I'd really like to replace most of the meat in our diet with hunted game from yours truly.

The seasons for deer in eastern NC are as follows:

Archery: Sept 7 - Sept 27
Muzzleloader: Sept 28 - Oct 11
Gun: Oct 12 - Jan 1

As of right now I'm not an archer and have no muzzleloading guns. That might have to change if it turns out I enjoy hunting.

There is a six deer limit per season in NC. All six can be antlerless but only four of the six can have antlers.

Since I am new to this I don't know how long to expect a deer to last. We are a family of four.

Is it reasonable to think that if I am able to harvest six deer each season that amount of meat will last a year for a family of four?

I'm sorry if this seems like a ridiculous question to you guys. For all I know that might be too much meat?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:02 PM   #2
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JW,

That is a lot of meat! But there are a lot of things you can do with it to break up the monotony of the same preparation. Of course the Back Strap and Loins are fantastic to keep as they are for several different preparations. You can mix it and make good deer burgers. Also Summer Sausage with Jalapenos and Cheese is great. Also the meat will last a long time in the freezer if wrapped correctly. I like to be sure most of the blood is gone and wrap it in saran wrap three of four raps then wrap it with the heaviest duty freezer paper I can find several wraps. Mine will last around 2-3 years this way if we do not eat it all. I would say a deer should last you a couple of months. And if you mix it with other game like quail, turkeys and others sounds like you will have plenty of meat to eat if you get your limit. Good Luck with your move and the hunts!

03

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:04 PM   #3
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Humm? Do you know how to properly handle harvested meat? Failure to do it right provides a very disgusting diet. People who have never eat wild game must learn how to cook it properly. And of course if your family has never eat wild game there is an adjustment period. Many adults simply can not change to game and give up pork, beef etc.
Hunting is not like shopping. Just because the law allows the taking of 6 deer it may not happen. The cost of hunting an animal that may actually only provide 30 lbs. of edible product can be expensive. Not every deer will be that "Big" buck. Subsistence hunting through out history has been a risk. Nothing has changed.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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03,

Thanks. That's a very helpful post.

Nite,

I realize I have a lot to learn. I have never truly hunted before so I have to learn basically everything. But rest assured before I leave my house for that first hunt, I will have all the knowledge necessary to complete the process as well as possible from beginning to end. That includes processing the meat and storing it and etc.

Honestly if I can't fully substitute store bought meat for hunted meat the first year or two, that's not the end of the world. That's the long-term goal, though.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:20 PM   #5
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JW, just a word to the wise, and I'm sure other real hunters can attest to this (it seems nitestalker was kinda alluding to it).

I've known hunters who could regularly take 4-15 deer per season... and then have a completely dead season where they don't even SEE a deer.

Myself, I hunted religiously from the ages of about 10 until I was 17. Then went hunting twice last season. The ONLY time I've even seen a deer in the woods was one of those times last season when my son was with me, we scared up a deer on our way out of the woods, and I caught a glimpse of it's ass disappearing into the brush. To this day, the only deer I've ever killed has been with my truck.

I heard a statistic once upon a time (and we know how little faith we can put into statistics, but keep this in mind anyway), that said "most people hunt for at least 2 years before they kill a deer."

Not telling you this to try and get you to give up before you even start. But, pointing this out to remind you, you may want to branch out into different fields. Do some bird hunting, squirrel hunting, maybe some trapping (I think I recall NC trapping laws are pretty easy to get along with), and some fishing. I know I remember NC fishing laws are easy to get along with. The last time I was there, you didn't have to have a saltwater permit unless you were on a boat.

I've always gotten a pretty decent haul with ducks and dove, and squirrel hunting is just fun as hell. And there's not much on earth that beats a hot North Carolina summer's day if you're spending it sitting on the beach or the bank of New River. Watch out for them gators. They ARE there, I promise you that.

Just don't get your hopes up on filling your limit on deer every season.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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JW - The amount of meat you get off of 6 deer can vary greatly. You can expect about 40% of the live weight of a deer in edible venison, less if you have sausage, bologna made. No matter what your yield is, you will want to harvest as many 100 - 130 pound does as you can, that's where the really good meat is. Young deer can be as light as 45 - 50 #'s and monster bucks 200+#s.

So, you could end up with anywhere from around 120#s of venison to as much as 350#s of venison out of 6 deer. The extremes are not your likely yield but that would be your approx. min. - max. range. YMMV!

I will also add that you will want to supplement your venison diet with beef, pork, chicken and turkey!

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:29 PM   #7
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First of all, I'm glad to hear your going to start hunting!
I've not killed a deer in two years. I've been hunting a little while but learning almost my whole life. You'll definitely need to hunt other small game and turkey along with deer to sustain yourself and to keep from burning yourself out on deer. I also hope to be getting all of my meat from the woods rather than from the store at some point also. Good luck!

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:34 PM   #8
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I guess I didn't mention hunting flyers and other animals because deer would be the main staple of the diet. In my mind (maybe I'm wrong in this thinking) it seems that there is just much more meat to be had from six deer (provided I can get that many... Or any at all for that matter) than from the other game.

That is not to say we won't hunt other stuff too. We fully plan on it. (I use "we" because my wife wants to hunt as well - who knows, maybe in a few years hunting will be something we enjoy together). I just don't necessarily expect to get as much meat than out of large game. (Coincidentally, do people actually hunt and eat bear? I know its legal with restrictions in NC... but does it happen?)

Trip, that's a good point about the possibility of never seeing a deer in a season. That's partially why I'm asking how long the meat can be stored for. I'd like to have a supply stored up as a just-in-case measure that I rotate out as needed.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatmydust View Post
JW - The amount of meat you get off of 6 deer can vary greatly. You can expect about 40% of the live weight of a deer in edible venison, less if you have sausage, bologna made. No matter what your yield is, you will want to harvest as many 100 - 130 pound does as you can, that's where the really good meat is. Young deer can be as light as 45 - 50 #'s and monster bucks 200+#s.

So, you could end up with anywhere from around 120#s of venison to as much as 350#s of venison out of 6 deer. The extremes are not your likely yield but that would be your approx. min. - max. range. YMMV!

I will also add that you will want to supplement your venison diet with beef, pork, chicken and turkey!
Even though nothing is guaranteed, that's an excellent post. Thank you.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winchester94 View Post
First of all, I'm glad to hear your going to start hunting!
I've not killed a deer in two years. I've been hunting a little while but learning almost my whole life. You'll definitely need to hunt other small game and turkey along with deer to sustain yourself and to keep from burning yourself out on deer. I also hope to be getting all of my meat from the woods rather than from the store at some point also. Good luck!
Good luck to you. I hope you do well, also.
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