Hunting for Meat

I’ve been trying to eat grass-fed beef and buffalo, etc. for the past year or so, but the stuff is really expensive. My brother-in-law doesn’t know or care about anything diet or fitness related, but his storage freezer is always stocked with venison, elk, and antelope for cheap because he hunts. I’ve always been opposed to trophy hunting, and in favor of sustenance hunting, but I’ve never hunted and don’t know anything about it. I’ve just started researching, and I don’t get along w/my brother-in-law, so I’m in need of basic info. Anybody out there hunt for meat? Could you point me in the right direction to get started? Thanks.

I don’t hunt, but I did note that Coach Davies’ site, which is linked in his recent fat-loss article, has a column about hunting and stuff like that. Hopefully that would prove to be a good starting point.

Go to your local U.S.D.A. Forest Service Office and ask them about taking a hunter’s education course for adults. This is a good start.

wild game is the most expensive meat there is - believe me. I don’t hunt any more but used to hunt a lot. The purpose of hunting in America is not for cheap meat but for hobby for socializing such as hunting with your buddies or friend or family, not for cheap meat. Think about it - 1st you have to buy a hunting rifle with scope (>$500) and ammunition. you have to spend a lot of time practicing shooting with lots more ammo so that you are good enough to drop running game. Then you have to buy a $50 or $100 dollar hunting license. And a $30 hunting knife to gut your kill. and probably some special hunting clothes and gear (every body does) and a truck to get out in the woods and haul your game out and all the gas for the truck both for the practice target shooting and the hunting and the list goes on. You’re into it for maybe $1000 or more now and you still haven’t shot anything. If you get lucky and fill your tag, then you still have to pay a meat cutter to cut and package your game at $1 a pound as you probably don’t have the equipment or experience to butcher it your self with out making a huge mess. And even if you do all the above, you still risk getting shot by some other crazy drunken slob hunter - thats 1 reason I gave it up. Anyway, you end up with gamey, gut shot deer that ends up costing $20 a pound. Much cheaper and a lot quicker to go to a small custom butcher shop and make a deal on a whole side of grass fed beef cut and wrapped. Even buffalo would be cheaper in the end. Happy Hunting.

The only kind of human meat that is worth anything is that of children. Plus, they’re pretty easy to lure and cart away in a hurry. Although parents are more diligent nowadays, the ‘lost puppy’ or ‘free candy’ lines still work pretty effectively. There’s plenty of websites on how to butcher the meat and dozens of recipes as well. The hands are DELIGHTFUL! Brains are SCRUMPIOUS! Make sure to bread the liver and fry in butter: yum yum. The oldest you want to hunt for is around 10, after that, the bad diet really tends to taint the meat. On a side note: What do you deem expensive? I just picked up a shitload of bottom round steak for 1.89 lb. I’ll usually wait for the sales and stock my freezer with steak, salmon, or chicken breasts.

Gotta agree with Heb – big game is definitely the most expensive meat. The only way it becomes cheaper is if you live in a state that allows multiple animals per person, such as Montana. If you can butcher your own (which really isn’t that difficult if you don’t care how “pretty” it is, that will make a big difference. You can potentially tag along with another hunter (suck it up and go with your bro), that will alleviate the need for a truck and such, but I DEFINITELY recommend getting your own rifle. In some states it’s legal to hunt big game with a hand gun (44 mag minimum), but your range is limited. There is definitely a learning curve, and be aware of the “busy” seasons. Archery may be a goos alternative, as there are fewer people in the woods, and the season is usually earlier. Of course, all this is relevant if you feel the need to do it all legally. I’ve known a few people who hunted for meat (poaching) out of necessity, and they were quite successful: one shot, in the freezer in an hour, an animal a month. Of course, you have to live in an area that you can get away with this. As for hunter safety courses, they boil down to knowing your firearm, and knowing what you’re shooting at and where the bullet goes (both if you miss and after the bullet goes through your kill).

Heb, wild game is actually very cost effective. You seem to have a prejudiced attitude about hunters and hunting, which I feel the need to address. Let me consider your points individually. First, the cost issue applies only if a person prepares themselves for one hunt and never does it again. If a person adopts a hunting lifestyle, then the equipment and time investments pay for themselves. You don’t need to buy a 4X4 truck to hunt upland game birds, most waterfowl, or to bowhunt big game. For that matter, I drive a 2WD Chevy S-10, and it works fine for winter big-game hunts. Rifles can be passed on to children (and need not be bought brand new anyway), quality cold weather gear can last decades, and processing and packaging can be learned at home (via video) and done very much on the cheap. Growing up, I knew of many families that ate wild meat almost exclusively, and believe me, it wasn’t because they were affluent. It was because hunting provided them with an inexpensive, viable protein source. They certainly could never afford the $20 a pound you claim wild game costs. As for getting shot by a “crazy drunken slob hunter”, I’ll need to see some stats before I’ll consider your claim. Hunting is statistically very safe, especially if one wears orange and pays attention to basic safety procedures. As for the comment about ending up with “gamey, gut shot deer”, well, sorry Heb, but you’ll only end up with that if YOU are a slob hunter. A responsible one takes a well-aimed shot that will put the animal down as quickly and humanely as possible while simultaneously damaging as little meat as possible.

Hunters have an image problem in this country, largely because the non-hunting public has accepted the flawed stereotype of a drunken redneck with a big ‘ol 4X4 pick ‘em up truck basting away at every living thing with a .50 machine gun. In reality, most of us are intimately tied to the land and animals that give us life, and we respect the fact that in order for us to eat meat, something has to die. I would much rather have that blood on my hands than on the hands of Sam the butcher. Perhaps Heb had a bad experience with hunting and that has soured him/her on it. That’s okay, and truthfully, I’m GLAD that he/she has abandoned this lifestyle, as we hunters have enough public image problems to contend with without another slob taking pot-shots and ruining meat, not to mention our collective reputation.

I was going to wade in with heaps of info but Demo Dick covered it all well, and with style. Happy hunting.

“I’ve been trying to eat grass-fed beef and buffalo, etc. for the past year or so, but the stuff is really expensive” why? just eat a burger. If you like the taste fine, but if you think it will make ANY diff. in your training you are nuts!

Demo Dick, i didn’t mean to offend you and no, I’m not prejudice against hunters or hunting as I too grew up hunting and hunted for many years. i no longer hunt as hunting does take a lot of time. i grew up on a ranch and sure that was a way of life but now living in city with family resposibilities, i don’t have the time to find hunting spots and follow up with the hunt. The comment on slob hunters was due to now living in the city, the only hunting spots locally are public land and I have seen soom real crazy things and believe me there are slob hunters when you are forced to hunt on public land as Pryce I’m guessing would have to do as he doen’t seem to know any hunters or land owners. And no, I’ve never gut shot a deer myself but I’ve seen many newbie hunters have and I wanted to make a point as that seems to happen to a lot of newbie hunters especially without guidance. Also, as Pryce is a newbie hunter, I addressed my post not to a experienced hunter such as yourself, but to a newbie hunter who would appear not to have a grasp of what hunting all entails. Most newbie hunters I’ve encountered think you just walk out in the woods, shot a deer and haul it home and throw it in the freezer. It’s just not that simple. And although I understand your thoughts on depreciating the cost of gun and gear over a lifetime of hunting, I just wanted to point out the up front costs because after all if your apparently having trouble with the cost of steak at the supermarket, How can you justify the up front cost to outfit yourself for the hunt. It is a lot more expensive than most people admit or realize unless you’re a rancher or farmer who can just walk out behind the haystake and drop a deer whenever you feel like it. And i wouldn’t reccomend poaching as one post did because if you ever get caught, it most definately isn’t worth it. And it is easy to get caught as pretty hard to hide a deer. And yes you can butcher a deer yourself. I’ve done it several times but most Newbies that have never seen it done wouldn’t know where to start and would turn into prabably a mess I’m sure. All I was trying to point out to Pryce is think this over carefully as it requires more than most people who have never hunted realize and if he goes out by himself with no experience and apparently no help - he’s chances of success are slim. He could end up with all the cost and still empty freezer. By the way, that’s another cost - a freezer. I truely wish happy hunting to all.

As an after thought, all i really wanted to say was hunting is a way of life. Hunters hunt because they enjoy the hunt. I definately have no problem with hunting. If Pryce wants to become involved in hunting because it is something he wants to experience or try, I think that is great and whole heartedly encourage it. But if Pryce wants to get involved in hunting (starting blind) with the soul expectation of putting meat on the table cheaper than he could buy it at the store (all costs considered) then from my experience most newbie hunters are extremely disapointed and disenchanted. I have to stand by the statement that for the masses, hunting is for the experience not for subsistance. In fact, many hunters don’t even eat all the meat but try to give it away so they can empty the freezer before the next hunt as if the freezer isn’t empty, there’s no excuse to get out with the guys next hunting season. The rare exception to cost of the hunt is perhaps the landowner who over a lifetime can conveniently drop a deer out the back porch. And even most ranchers/farmers eat very little venison as beef is the staple year around. And very few ranchers/farmers even butcher their own beef but have a local butcher do it as not worth the trouble. I just wanted to warn Pryce that if he goes this on his own with no experience or help for the soul purpose of cheap meat he probably will be disapointed. Of course the big question would be can he get access to any worth while hunting spots nearby? Most landowners no longer allow access to strangers. But if he knows a landowner who will take him under their wing and help him out - who knows - Maybe he will find a great new hobby and will enjoy many years of memerable hunts. I’ve experienced many of those fond memeries but right now I thinking of filling a shopping cart full of top sirloin. Happy Hunting and Many Safe Returns

Your points are well taken. I agree with you 100% that if a person wants to go hunting to feed their family, they should be prepared to adopt it as a lifestyle, and not a recreational activity. You won’t save any money until the initial cost is covered, and until you develop some skill you may come home empty handed, or worse, end up wounding an animal that you can’t track. Take care folks.

Hey- Venison is a great source of lean protein. Seriously, a venison tenderloin prepared the right way(I prefer cut into steaks, wrapped in bacon, S&P, and grilled) is a delicacy. No toxins, no shitty hormones. If you are like I am and believe that hunting deer keeps their population in check(relatively, whether or not it should be done by humans is a seperate matter), then you should really check out some of your b-in-law’s sources. Venison jerky is also really tasty.