Through the many years that we have owned this property there have been many deer killed here. O Wise One no longer really hunts the bucks for horns as so many do in this area. He hunts very close to the house and gardens and likes to take out young does for the table only.
Horns hold little appeal to him any more : )
Yet the herd remains large and strong. We wage a constant battle with these animals over land and food. They tend to prefer to graze my gardens, blackberry bushes, fruit trees and asparagus beds if allowed the chance. It is a constant struggle for domain. Some years we win and some years we lose. I cringe to think of the dollar amount attributed to loss of crops and fruit trees over the years here on this land.
Appropriately we are working on our fourth deer in the freezer. O Wise One went hunting the other morning and killed his doe. After the doe was down he walked back to the house to get the 4 wheeler and trailer to haul the doe back to the house. It took about 30 minutes. On returning to the carcass he was too late. The coyotes had found it.
Coyote damage to deer carcass
In the half hour it took him to return to the animal, indeed the coyotes had already found an easy meal. This was in daylight ( early morning) and less than 500 feet from my garden. The coyotes managed to eat the rear of the animal but we were still able to salvage some of it.
Venison Tally To Date
16 bags deer steak
12 bags stew meat
38 pounds of venison burger
We are at about 110 pounds of pure venison (no bone) in the freezer. Cleaned well, trimmed of all fat and membrane and frozen in vacuum bags. Deer season closes tomorrow but an additional doe season will re open in just a few days. He will attempt to get one more specifically for jerky and to make sausage and then we are done.
O Wise One will be killing the Thanksgiving turkey tomorrow. How's that for fresh ?
Then the two big guys above will be the next thing to butcher. One for us and one for my oldest daughter and her family.
That should pretty well take care of the freezer. With homegrown and butchered chicken, turkey, rabbit, venison and pork in the freezer this should fill our meat needs for the coming year. With everything produced right here on this farm.
Indeed we have much to be thankful for this coming holiday and everyday. Healthy and plentiful food raised responsibly on a small scale. Not for profit but for our consumption only. Not always cheaper than supermarket food .... by the time we purchase grain, but definitely better.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter