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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

If you happen to be a vegetarian and are so as to save animals from death by grocery stores and hunters, you may want to stop here. Some people stay away from meat for health reasons. I was a vegetarian for a while as a young adult for both. But, the human animal is omnivorous. At this point in my life, I choose to go with what nature intended for us rather than fight this tendency towards meat eating.

Having said all this, the subject of this blog is deer hunting. A few years back when we still lived in DE, I was at a car wash watching the vehicles move along the conveyor along with 3 men in the waiting room. Two were hunters all dressed in camouflage and one was uncomfortable with the idea of hunting down and killing a deer. He admitted that he did eat beef – obviously from cows. There was some discussion about how ranches raise and butcher them. One of the hunters said “At least they have a chance” (referring to the deer he hunts). This changed my perspective. If you are going to eat meat, it makes sense to have an animal live its life free and not even know what hit them when they are taken for their meat.

So far, my husband and I do not hunt (although we do love fishing and crabbing) and use our livestock for dairy products. But, we have a stretch of woods on our property and offered a friend hunting privileges. Our very experienced, hunter friend is not one that would shoot anything that moved. He spent a day in a tree stand out back watching does and young ones wander by before taking a buck not long before sun down. It was gutted of all organs in the woods, leaving a feast for raccoons, possums, etc.

Jim T. and his buck

I did not choose this pic to be gruesome, but to show what excellent aim Jim has. His estimate is 6 seconds to death when a deer is hit in the heart and lung area. There is no long-term suffering or waiting in line to die. And they get to live free instead of being crowded into pens with nothing to do but eat and sleep.

Our pony helped drag the carcass out of the woods. This only lasted about half way since the rope came loose and the pony bolted ahead on the trail to the yummy grass in the back yard. Jim dragged it the rest of the way and left it hanging to cool.

It didn’t seem like a deer to me anymore. There was no movement at all and its spirit was gone. It was now similar to a fish getting ready for the frying pan. I was unexpectedly calm and curious.

Dead Buck & Live Goats

Our pygmy goats were curious too. Our goats are not a meat breed. There are quite a few people that raise goats to eat. The most popular for meat is a Boer goat. They are really large and yield more than a deer. I don’t think that we will raise them to kill, at least anytime soon, since our livestock animals quickly become pets. 

8 point antlers

Jim removed the horns with two 45 degree saw cuts. My son Dorian and I watched on in amazement and listened to the explanations and stories of the hunting/butchering process. The tools were a knife, a saw, plastic bags and a tarp. We got to see the brain and all the choice cuts of meat. Dorian got the tail to salt and dry. Jim generously brought the antlers back for our him, along with packs of meat for our family. 

Tail - from the white tailed male deer

You honestly can’t beat deer venison in flavor and freshness. I was quickly altered to a new level of carnivorous satisfaction. My husband and I just looked at eat other wide-eyed when we tasted grilled back strap meat, and even wider with the tenderloin skewers. Our response to having Jim hunt out back – ANYTIME (It is still hunting season)!

Frozen venison roast

The leftovers of the deer were dragged back to the woods. This time it was a feast for coyotes, foxes and vultures… Nothing gets wasted. Apparently even mice get nutrition from the remains of the hunt, particularly calcium from the bones.

Hopefully, Jim will get more deer in his hunts. A big doe would be good, since the ratio of males to females is far outweighed by the girls.

To our vegetarian friends – we greatly respect your choices. We hope that you are able to accept ours.

Also, many thanx to Jim T. for everything!

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