How Long Does Your Haul Last?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by JW357, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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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
     

  3. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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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.;)
     
  4. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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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.
     
  5. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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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 *** 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.
     
  6. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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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!
     
  7. Winchester94

    Winchester94 New Member

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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!
     
  8. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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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.
     
  9. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Even though nothing is guaranteed, that's an excellent post. Thank you.
     
  10. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Good luck to you. I hope you do well, also.
     
  11. Winchester94

    Winchester94 New Member

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    I know several people here hunt and eat black bear. I've never gotten the chance to try it, but I've heard different opinions on how much people like it. Some say its greasey and stringy and some say you just have to cook it right.
     
  12. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

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    first off, I applaud your effort. I wouldn't have the ambition to try what you're doing.

    don't go hog wild your first year & try to live off nothing but what you kill, like others have mentioned some people have to get used to the taste of wild game. someone in your family might never get used to it, it happens. it would be a great idea to do some sort of bird hunting to off set the monotony & still some chicken or a few pounds of hamburger in the freezer.

    my grandpa on my mom's side was pretty much raised exclusively on deer meat so he's completely burned out on it. I don't think he's eaten it in 30 years.
     
  13. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Seems to me that greasy and stringy would be a perfect meat to do gravys and stews with. Therefore, I fail to see a problem!!!
     
  14. Winchester94

    Winchester94 New Member

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    I'm sure I'd like it. The same people who don't like it don't like other wild game, so I guess I should think before I type. :p
     
  15. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Would also mention that venison tends to be a very lean meat. When making sausage, I blend pork fat with lean venison.

    And as said- I doubt that you live entirely on beef now- would not try to live exclusively on venison.

    If you are going after this in a big way, would look at a vacuum sealer. Meat last a lot longer in the freezer when it cannot lose water.
     
  16. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    I have pulled out venison that's been kinda hidden in my freezer for atleast 2 years, it was freezer wrapped and/or in a tightly packed plastic bag.

    It's not the best meat you'll ever eat, but it is palatable and if stewed or jerked for the whole pieces, and the ground made into chili, meat sauce for pasta, or mixed 50/50 with gr. beef for meatloaf or meatballs, it can be very good.

    I don't know what the wild hog situation is where you'll be settling, but I'd rather hunt & eat pig than bear!
     
  17. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Adding hog to your harvest will help, pretty sure they can be hunted year round. Then spring turkeys.
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    with the amount of feral hogs that have exploded in the last several years, most states don't even have any seasons or restrictions on hunting them.

    feral hog or wild hog if cooked right is downright tasty!
     
  19. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

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    Alright your getting into hunting. That is a good thing for sure. And you are allowed six deer. The average of those six deer will be between 30-50 ponds of deer meat for each deer. Deer meat HAS to stripped of ALL fat, sinew, bone etc to be fit to eat. You should get about 30-35% meat out of each deer. The backstrap and the hams provide all the meat for steaks and roasts, although a big bucks neck can make a roast or two. Most does necks are only good for stew meat and not much of that. The front shoulders strip the meat and make jerky or stew meat out of it.

    Now killing six on good land and after a few years experience should be a cakewalk. My youngest son and I pass up 30-50 deer a year and take about 20 most years. We only got 12 this year but did not bow hunt at all. That is when we take most of our does. Plus where we rifle hunt it can take a day to get a deer out. We don't shoot does much on that place just hunt for a good buck. We did kill 10 though this year when they were close to field.

    Killing just any deer is pretty easy after you get the hang of it. But it does take time. Most years we hunt 45-60 day a year. This year we hunted only about 20. I have never been burned out on deer hunting as someone said here. I could hunt every day all year long and not get tired of it. Just go to have fun at first and learn everyday that you hunt. Get good with your weapon of choice, shoot straight and enjoy the harvest.

    Wrapping it in plastic then aluminum foil as has been mentioned or vaccum sealing is the only way to go.

    By the way bear meat is excellent. Way better than deer. I salt the hams down and cure them out just like the hogs we raise and kill. BUT and this is a big but. If it has been eating nothing but dead animals for weeks it is not near as good as those raiding corn fields, eating berries, acorns and other such foods.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  20. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had bear burgers last night, delicious