Caribou Gear Tarp

How many deer....

edbentle

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Nov 12, 2015
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My wife and I are trying to eat only game meat this year as sort of a New Years resolution. I put three whitetail in the freezer this year and I do some squirrel, rabbit, and duck hunting. We eat meat at most dinner time meals. There probably isn't a magic number out there, but how much meat do you all put in the freezer in order to feed the family?
 

Joe Hulburt

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It would take a lot of deer to feed a family.

During the peak feeding stage of raising three boys I recall cutting 3 mature Roosevelt bulls, 3 Pronghorn bucks and 3 Blacktail bucks and a bear in one season. There was a little elk left come the following fall. :eek: We would take out 4 pounds of steak for a meal and we eat venison often...
 

npaden

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It depends on how much meat you eat... :D

With my wife and 9 year old son we can eat about 5 pounds of wild game a week. That's an average, sometimes we have people over and eat a 5 pound roast for one meal. If I end up with more than 250lbs of meat during a season we tend to give some away if I am successful the next season. If I end up with less I either shoot some pigs during the spring/summer or we have to really stretch out the meat we have. When I shoot 2 elk in the same year we tend to give away a lot.

We usually eat fish one evening meal a week and chicken one evening meal a week. My son really likes pizza too.
 

Kiwi

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Here in New Zealand I take about 10 deer a year. This feeds my family of 5 and also leaves some to give away.
 

genesis273

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I have put as many as 24 whitetail (NC deer, which average weight doe:100 lb, buck 170lb) in the freezer, and never eat beef at home. That was for a family of four eating various recipes daily. Now that my kids are grown, I normally put maybe 8-10.
We haven't bought any meat at a store in 22 years. Exclusively wild game. But when I go to a restaurant, I do enjoy a nice steak!!
 

hank4elk

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I have always eaten game meat. Rarely buy any store meat now.
Just me at home now, but I do share my game meat with neighbors.

Deer has been off the list last 6 yrs,til this yr.Just not enough around anymore in NM,IMHO.
Been picky.

Now elk is different. Never enough.
I still have about 8lbs of burger & a couple roasts from last yrs cow still.
Have 2 hanging frozen, to get in freezer completely still this year.

I figure 50lbs of venison and at least 400lbs of elk will hold me a while......
 
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dcopas78

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I usually put about 3 whitetail deer in the freezer. That is for me and my wife, and young son. This year I have a big doe and my mule deer buck in the freezer. I have to say that that mule deer is really good. I cubed all of the steaks and had burger mixed with beef suet. I'm really enjoying it.
 
Joined
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3 deer sized animals seems to do pretty well for me and my wife plus a dozen ducks, a few turkeys and a few limits of walleye and northerns. Realistically its more about freezer space for us in a small apartment, but I can't see needing much more. That isn't eating purely all game meat, but we certainly don't buy beef and pork hardly anymore.
 

Duck-Slayer

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great state of Idaho....
Well i'm usually very fortunate too harvest all kinds of stuff, this past season was a "season too forget", had the best season i've every had last year and the worst this year..... I usually go through 2 elk and 1 deer roughly or 3-5 antelope and 2 deer a year..... well this season I struck out on elk, my wife struck out on elk, I missed an opportunity at an antelope, and each of us shot 1 deer, so we have only 2 deer in the freezer, I do alot of fishing so fish is going too be a staple of our diet this year..... unfortunately we really like meat, we eat out maybe 4 times a month.... I like too cook....
Matt
 

Randy11

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Kaitie and I usually go through roughly two deer, half a bear and two antelope a year. That's cooking game 3-4 nights a week.

I've got a 3/4 chest freezer. We Try to get it empty before our hunts for the fall start, and then fill it back up with fresh stuff. Seems to be about perfect for what we eat.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Just do some back figuring. If you know about how much meat you eat in a meal or a week, then multiply it out for the year. Then compare that to the yield off of your average deer or other game animal. For me its about 25lbs average per deer. More on mature bucks less on yearling does. Use this method to get a good guess. For my family we eat around 2.5 pounds per dinner meal times 365 would be over 36 deer. Not really feasible but if I had the ability to throw in an elk or the deer were bigger bodied it may not be so bad. Especially if you throw in fish and small game on top of it. For me though, venison is how we stretch a dollar to feed three kids that increasingly eat more every day.
 

Nameless Range

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Western Montana
I usually shoot one mule deer and a couple whitetail a year. Other than the Tenderloins, Backstraps, and possible a roast here or there, all of it becomes Jerky. The Elk and Antelope become steaks and burger.

Jerkifying the meat can make a bunch of meat seem like not so much, but three-deers-worth of jerky is usually gone before summer comes in my family of four.
 

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VAspeedgoat

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Randy, you made me second guess myself but I went out and looked at the weights on the freezer bags and which deer they were. The number I came up with for this year was from the boys young bucks and the does on the farm. The weights were somewhere between 70 to 100 lbs field dressed. My buck which scaled at 145 did significantly more as did my mule deer which I guessed at 200. We could probably get a little more meat if we punched out the rib meat and did a neck roast but I find both to be a waste of time unless they are on a mature buck. It doesn't seem like a lot of meat from an average weight of 85 lbs field dressed but its about 30% yield on a lean animal so I guess it makes sense.
 
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M

MN Public Hunter

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Well think of this via the math. 6 oz per person per day so for a family of 4 that is 1.5 pounds per day. If you eat meat for supper every day and follow this rule that is 1.5 X 365 = 547.5 pounds needed. So each deer you get MAYBE 30 ish pounds, sometimes a little more depending on size and whatnot...that is 547 divided by 30 so...18 deer. Even at 40 pounds it would be 13/14 deer. All for a family of 4, so for 2 people cut this in half.

Cheers !
 

dcopas78

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I usually put about 3 whitetail deer in the freezer. That is for me and my wife, and young son. This year I have a big doe and my mule deer buck in the freezer. I have to say that that mule deer is really good. I cubed all of the steaks and had burger mixed with beef suet. I'm really enjoying it.

I forgot to add that my father-in-law, who raises pigs, has one butchered for us every year for Christmas. We usually only take 1/2, but it is a sizable portion of meat, probably equal to another deer. All of this usually lasts a year for us.
 

JohnCushman

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Randy, you made me second guess myself but I went out and looked at the weights on the freezer bags and which deer they were. The number I came up with for this year was from the boys young bucks and the does on the farm. The weights were somewhere between 70 to 100 lbs field dressed. My buck which scaled at 145 did significantly more as did my mule deer which I guessed at 200. We could probably get a little more meat if we punched out the rib meat and did a neck roast but I find both to be a waste of time unless they are on a mature buck. It doesn't seem like a lot of meat from an average weight of 85 lbs field dressed but its about 30% yield on a lean animal so I guess it makes sense.

Guys that have never been back East to hunt can't imagine the difference in the deer size. Where I grew up in Upstate NY, a giant size buck was about 140 pounds and a doe was lucky to be over 100 pounds. The first mule deer I shot out here was a doe and I about crapped when I walked up to her and then we put her on the scale and her live weight was 198 pounds :eek: I about lost my mind when I saw the size of an average sized cow elk that I shot. Damn, these animals are big out West :W:
 

VAspeedgoat

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Guys that have never been back East to hunt can't imagine the difference in the deer size. Where I grew up in Upstate NY, a giant size buck was about 140 pounds and a doe was lucky to be over 100 pounds. The first mule deer I shot out here was a doe and I about crapped when I walked up to her and then we put her on the scale and her live weight was 198 pounds :eek: I about lost my mind when I saw the size of an average sized cow elk that I shot. Damn, these animals are big out West :W:

Dont rub it in John, lol. We have corn fed deer on the farm but the local mountain deer are lucky to hit 125 for a mature buck. The biggest difference I noticed on my mule deer this year is just the mass and thickness of the bones on that deer. The meat yield was a little more too, but the biggest difference was the bone mass to me.
 

Hunting Wife

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There are two of us, and we go through about 2 antelope, 2 deer (Montana sized :)), and probably 100+ birds (all together - ducks, geese, cranes, pheasants, grouse, huns, and a couple turkeys) in a year. In a normal year, the freezer is looking pretty lean by the time hunting season rolls around again. The last few years we've foregone or given away some deer or antelope since we had mountain goat two years running, and a moose last year (still working on that). We eat wild game almost exclusively, but won't kill anything we can't eat unless someone else needs the meat.
 

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