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agreed! I have shot a few nice bucks over the years... but I really don't care. I like killing deer and I don't apologize for shooting tomorrow's trophy's today... ;) (y)
 

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I hunt on Multiple Hunks of state land. Run cameras year rounds on some spots.
Have cameras running in multiple areas and terrain types. Very rarely do you see in day light during the rut or any time a buck worth shooting at all, let alone a good 150 class deer.
I am a huge fan of antler point restrictions because the balance is so far out of wack in most areas that time is running out to fix it in my lifetime.
If you want to shoot a deer...any ole deer man there's alot of those.
 

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Over a lot of years and a lot of deer I have learned that Deer 2 1/2 and younger that are healthy almost without exception are very good eating, and the very few exceptions are more likely my mistake in selecting deer a little older than that. I did "select" a doe that didn't look all that old, but after breaking her down I came to the conclusion she was at least 10, and even the chops were on the coarse and tough side.

When I butcher I very carefully dissect and then use specific muscles cut in pretty specific ways for specific treats. For instance, bottom round slices 1/4 inch thick on the bias from bottom to top is the best venison jerky meat. The top round sliced across the grain is as good as venison steak comes when pan fried to rare and not beyond. Sirloins make passable steaks an are very good for stroganoff and stir fry Eye of round rivals chops when sliced into medallions and pan fried rare. Chops and tenderloins are of course the best cuts. The rest I make grind meat out of after it is cleaned of all tallow and almost all fat as fastidiously as possible.

Grind meat in particular is something to be avoided at a processor. They do not generally segregate grind meat by which deer it came from, and there is a hell of a lot of variability in how the hunters bringing deer in to a processor. What you take home tends to be a mixture of what was in the batch they ground and more or less the right amount Depending on the processor. I like the sausage I make enough that I want it handled as carefully as the prime cuts so I personally process 100% of every deer I have killed in 60 odd years but for a couple I have given to people I know who process the deer themselves.

I kill deer to suit what I believe is the best for the land. Sometimes that's only the does most likely to drop multiple fawns. Sometimes a balance between bucks and does. Sometimes I get lucky and have a bumper crop of fawns to pick from. When fawns where I hunt typically weigh 100-110 lbs, having 4-5 of them in the freezer makes for a year's worth of prime eating.
 

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Everyone hunts differently. Myself I only hunt one deer per year and that's only if he is big enough hunted many years even when there was not a deer big enough to shoot. And hunt just as many days even if I know I'm not going to shoot one that year. IT is about hunting to me not killing. I like the challenge of hunting a specific deer if I get him great if not oh well
 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Agree about butchers and grinding burger, fortunately mine grinds it separately from everyone else's, except not for stuff like brot or salami, so I don't get that
 

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I like my horns but I also enjoy venison. I will take a year and a half buck for steaks and burger over any five or 6 year old.
At 500$ a mount...I sometimes wonder why I spent all those $$$.....
Most of which will be sold for $20 a piece at a garage sale when I'm dead and gone....lol
 

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As far as processing goes, I used to do it all myself (help from relatives, friends), but as time has gone by I simply don't want to deal with all the cutting up, cutting all the junk off the meat, running it through the grinder a couple times, cleaning the equipment, ect. I de-bone it and then just take it to the butcher. I have very few specialty items made (big bucks there). I hate the fact that my deer is simply thrown in the mix with others', but I can live with it. This is one of benefit outweighs the cost (which is rare for me). I really need to sell all my butchering equipment, but simply haven't put it up for sale, thinking that down the road someone I know will want it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Mounting is expensive, I did taxidermy work for 20yrs, quit to have more time outdoors and be with my son, anyway for me I just mount the horns with a picture or two, takes less space,looks good, is much cheaper and more importantly with the a few pics, tells a story that you or family can see 10 years from now!
 

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Today is the time to be doing your own processing! Grinders can be had pretty cheap and decent quality. Stuffers, for stuffing casing are an even better bargain. You can get outstanding seasoning mixes for anything you'd care to make from a number of places and even a lot of out state markets carry excellent spice mixes. This, while year by year we lose our small quality oriented meat markets where you can actually go to buy first rate sausage products. I order several sizes of vacuum sealer roll stock in 50 foot and sometimes longer rolls for about 1/4 what I have to pay in big box stores and they're better quality material.

In the fall I batch my venison for making sausage/venison burger. I put it in Freezer Zip-locks for my more immediate needs, and vacuum pack it for grinds that will be put off for months. I keep a few pork shoulders in the freezers for when I want to make something tasty.

It's hard for me to get my head around not doing it like that. I Making bacon is so simple, and so much better than store bought. Home made bacon mixed into burger is way better than any ground beef, and I do on occasion buy whole beef rounds which because of the production line meat cutting always have a fair amount of scrap that I just grind for burgers.

Having a big vacuum sealer makes it so easy to put up (put off) things like grind meat, and then to vacuum pack cut in meal size packages that there is just no comparison to wrapping and then freezing. And that doesn't begin to speak to the quality of what comes out of the freezer.
 
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