11/20/12

Hunting or Harvesting?

Is Harvesting Game A Bad Thing?

I'll start with saying that I am not a hunter.  I've been deer hunting a few times, never got one.  I'm not opposed to it, but I am opposed to getting up at 4 a.m. to go sit in the cold.  I really would like to become more of a hunter, certainly a skill I should develop.

I am against "slob hunters" that trespass on private land, shoot across roads, cut fences, and leave trash behind.  I don't have any desire to hunt deer with dogs, but I don't care if someone else does.  I admire a big rack mounted on the wall, but I hope the hunter also used the meat and did not waste any parts of the animal that have a use.  I have respect for the animals and believe that they are here for us to use, but not misuse.

All that being said, the deer around here are almost varmints.  They are overrunning this area.  Since summer, my wife and I have had a combined four wrecks with deer.  She totaled her car missing one and did $2,000 damage to her newer car a few weeks later hitting one.  I did $2,500 damage hitting one a few weeks ago, and tapped another with my bumper just last week (no damage on that one).

There are some bad genes in the area too.  Some deer are almost albinos and others are what the locals call "hot rods."  The have stubby front legs and regular rear legs, so the herd definitely needs thinning.

That leads me to my moral question... is it ever OK to not "hunt" them, but to "harvest" them to make the roads safer and put some meat on my table?  In the back part of our property, there is a depression that is a deer trail leading to the neighbor's pond.  I know it isn't sporting, but would it be bad for me to build a tree stand over the trail, and lay in wait?  Shooting straight down on one from just a few yards away?

I'd really like some feedback on this from experienced hunters.  What do you think?

11 comments:

  1. Harvesting is hunting and hunting is harvesting. Follow your states games laws and have a nice venison dinner. So far this season, I have added 2 deer to the freezer with tags for 2 more (a key part to my prepper supplies}. As to the method, there is nothing wrong with an elevated tree stand to harvest from as long as it follows your states game laws. I hunt both firearm an archery seasons adding to our families food stores (if we have a good season...}

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  2. Here in New Zealand there is no season for hunting with a great variety of game; Red, wapiti (elk), fallow, white tail, sambar, chamoi and thar!

    tree stand hunting is the way to go, just go a few hours before dusk and twiddle your thumbs and wait, a fully suppressed .22 running subsonic rounds from less than 50feet will do the trick just behind the ear or through the eye.

    If knowone hears you then no-one can complain, just process it quick into the freezer!

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  3. d, i think as long as you use or donate the meat to hunters for the hungry or someplace like that its perfectly moral and right thing to do. you are doing them a favor. have you ever seen that hunter safety film of the deer starving to death? nasty heartwrenching stuff. chronic wasting desease occurs more in herds that are not culled as often. we are overrun here as well and every year they get smaller and smaller adults. i see a LOT more hunting going on this year though, a LOT. wonder why? they can't use dogs here and we are much better off for it. most here will tell you they get more deer without them. most dog hunters aren't really hunting, just partying with guns and trucks. i know, i used to be one, before i was very nearly shot by a good buddy. even the game dept wants the herd cut down.you can kill six this year in most places and go back n get bonus tags even. i remember two a year, buck only bag limit when i was growing up. now its two a day. do your duty to protect the herd ! happy thanksgiving.

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  4. Mike in SE VirginiaNovember 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    I agree with the earlier comments about hunting vs. harvesting, with perhaps a nod to your notion that maybe nipping them from less than 10 yards isn't quite as "sporting." Just remember, they've had a better life than many factory-farmed animals and you're indeed doing the local herd a favor by taking some now before they all end up starving this winter. And if you have any questions about tree stand heights or other requirements, just call VDGIF and ask; I've had uniformly very good experiences with those folks.

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  5. Interesting conversation. Our neighborhood herd more than doubled in the past year and they are causing numerous accidents, especially a few weeks ago. It hasn't hit me directly, but on two or three occasions my wife and I have had to slam on the brakes as the herd just meandered across the street. One neighbor has explicitly asked for permission to take them with a bow, but was denied. So, realizing the legalities of the decision...

    I was seriously considering using a subsonic 22 behind the ear, or even a high powered air rifle with a 22 or 25 caliber pellet traveling at 800-950 fps, but was concerned about the effectiveness. My gut tells me that a properly placed shot behind the ear from 10 yards or less should put it down on the ground almost immediately. I haven't heard anyone else discuss until I saw Deep South's comment. Any thoughts?

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    1. .22 will work,(personal exp) make sure you have your knife handy though as i have heard of them just being stunned for a few moments and back up. wish we had such a problem that cars were hitting them!

      got to love hunting over here, no seasons with minimal permit process needed. though we do live with slightly stricter laws on gun control

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    2. This is Anon from 11/21 4:42pm... I literally hit a deer that night on my way home - probably a couple of hours after I posted. On my motorcycle. I was on the interstate right before my exit and several cars in front of me pounded it first, which likely kept me from dying, but I managed to catch its head on my boot and stubbed a toe pretty good, and got venison spatter and hair on my face shield and clothes (not enough for a meal though :(). Given I survived, it was pretty awesome. Thanksgiving morning, apparently the neighbors were fed up with the deer too because I heard multiple shots over a period of 2 hours from something substantially larger than a 22.

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  6. Thanks for all the feedback. Clarifies for me that my plan meets the hunter ethics test. We live in a buckshot county, so my weapon choices are limited, but I think I'll see if I can't get a tree house/tree stand built over the path here before too long. If I don't make it this season, then certainly by next.

    Any thoughts on eating the mutant deer?

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    1. all kinds of ways, but my fav is cut up in bitesize pieces, marinated in allegro, wrapped with bacon and cooked on the grill.lots of folks grind it for burger with some beef fat added. too lean without it. other than that its steaks,roasts and trimmings. the tender loin(strips of meat on either side of the backbone) is the best you'll ever eat.happy hunting.

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  7. Hey Cuz, I'll weigh in from North Idaho, I know you would follow the regs and my only thught about doing anything as far as heard health goes, your effict will be neglegiable at best. Provided you don't disreguard the rules and take all you can find. I must say I feel anyone calling themselve's a prepper should build the skill set of stalking, killing, dressing, butchering, preserving and prepairing for eating GOD's abundant game animal bounty. Follow the regs and get busy!! My favroite food in the whole world could possabbly be canned venison! And German Sasuage made from deere!!

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  8. hot toddy in SW Va.December 24, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    I feel the same way...I have no compunction against hunting....I DO have a problem with getting up at 3 am and freezing my butt off in a deer stand for hours, all for that one glorious moment when I can fell the animal ...and THEN have to field dress it, lug it out, carve it up...instead, I just let neighbors hunt on my land and they offer me all the venison I can hold!

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