I killed my first one at age 6, and have been dropping them just about every year since, and I am knocking on 49 pretty hard. I haven't got a clue as to how many, but it would be a pile for sure.
When I started out and up until about 10 years ago we really DID count on the extra meat to help get through the year. It was simply one of the small things that when added up at the end of the year saved us a little extra cash. We did all of our own processing except for making link sausage. It was just easier to have it made than to do the whole smoke house thing here in the city.
I have always hunted on my own property as well as being invited to hunt with friends, so there was no added lease fee. Most years we didn't put out feeders and if we did it was not for hunting, but either after the season to help them out when there was little mast, or just around fawning time to boost their protein.
As for memorable hunts, I have had a ton of them. Even years when I did not actually kill a deer I had encounters with them where I let them pass and could have but didn't shoot. A couple of those bucks have been some of the best I have seen in the areas I hunt, and I was just as happy to watch them trot off. Most of my best memories however are not actually of the hunts, but rather the time spent with family and friends who are now passed away.
Since the hog populations have ballooned in the areas I have been hunting I have concentrated my efforts on them rather than the deer. Heck I even have a half dozen does we now call the farm pets, as they drop their fawns within 50yds or so of the house. I guess I am just not as mad at them as I once was.
This all said, don't get the wrong impression, I am out there every season with bow, rifle and handgun looking for Mr Big. It's just over the years my criteria has changed and if I am going to drop the hammer on a buck, it is going to have to be something REALLY OUTSTANDING. In fact here are the last two bucks I have taken with a rifle both breaking 20+ inches inside,
Opening morning 04,
weekend before Christmas 09,
and I let these fella's go on about their business,