View Full Version : Meat or Trophy? I go for the meat!!!!

May 5, 2006, 06:00 PM
Honestly, I just don't get a thrill out of measuring 'antler size'. I don't care if the hog is a 'big one'. Don't misunderstand - I don't go for game that is too young...but I just go out there and say 'Gosh, that looks like a nice respectable steak - and yeah he's old enough!' In regard to hogs - I actually prefer smaller and tender as opposed to bigger and badder. I won't deliberatly bypass a trophy - but it's not what primarily motivates me to hunt. I have nothing to prove in regard to 'trophies' and taxidermy...can be a leeeetle to expensive for me. :cool:

May 5, 2006, 06:07 PM
This year when i go out ill be looking for a big one but that wont be my only objective. I can get drawn for Mule deer (X3) Moose (X1) and purchase a white tail tag so meat isnt going to be a concern for me if i get one big animal then the rest will be just for meat to eat while im away for my second year of college.

May 5, 2006, 06:10 PM
A man has to eat.......

May 5, 2006, 07:43 PM
i would love to shoot a wall hanger but i will never pass on a yearling doe!! yummy!!!

May 5, 2006, 07:57 PM
I only have so much wall space/freezer space/storage and living space. So while I would really like having a monster rack hanging above the mantle, I need the mantle first. For the time being, I can only eat so much salami/jerky/burger--but I love a nice, tender steak. So I have no problem passing on the trophies to take the young ones. They "meat" my needs just fine.

May 5, 2006, 08:37 PM
If you're hunting whitetail deer, shooting antlered deer will assure you of having an ever increasing supply of runts eating everything green in sight. Hunting does will reduce the total numbers of the herd and allow better nutrition for the ones that are left. I've hunted does for the last 3 years and am just getting to the point where I don't have deer eating all our flowers, fruit trees and vegetables. So now I have something else to eat besides prime venison.

Jack O'Conner
May 6, 2006, 07:54 AM
Meat hunting is the most viable defense of our sport. The average urban American has no quarrel with this reason for hunting, according to a national poll. Even liberals have responded favorably to the subject of meat hunting.

A big herd bull is a stinky animal. The meat is less than ideal. Yet meat from a young bull or cow elk is a genuine pleasurable dining experience!

A big buck antelope is equally stinky during the rut. Yet a youngster (kid) buck tastes a lot like lamb.

A big mule deer buck is fine animal for eating. Every now and again, I catch one that is a stinky old buck. I haven't hunted whitetails much but the ones I've shot were good eatin' animals.

I'm NOT against trophy hunting. But it is difficult to explain/ defend to the average non-hunting urbanite.

May 6, 2006, 08:14 AM
Meat. You can't tenderize horns/antlers enough to be able to eat them.

May 6, 2006, 08:44 AM
We have a very liberal bag limit in most counties for whitetail around here. MeekAndMild nailed it. It helps the population to shoot some does and I agree that they taste better.
I do usually hold off on the does during bow season, though. After that, meat.

Art Eatman
May 6, 2006, 09:43 AM
For sure, gotta take does off the land.

When I first moved back to the old family place outside Austin, TX, we had way too many deer on the place from a dozen years of no hunting there or on the neighbors' places.

I cured that. Ate bunches of deer meat, and fed lots of friends. All year 'round. :)

After three years of gutting more deer than I really enjoyed, body weights were up almost 30%, average. By getting rid of mature spikes and "scraggle horns", I started seeing decent racks.

But I've killed some pretty good bucks and they ate pretty doggoned good, just like the does. I did all my own butchering and learned how to cook, so that helped a lot.

By and large, generally--which means most of the time but not always--your old mossy-horned bucks go into rut after the younger deer. Guess who's already Done The Dastardly Deed? Killing a bragging buck for a trophy isn't gonna hurt the genetics any...


May 8, 2006, 12:01 PM
I gotta be honest, If Legal & Brown, It Goes Down!

But last year was the first time I specifically hunted a pair of does (I know, DOES??!! Hey, a guy has to start somewhere, right?). Anyway, the thrill of hunting those specific animals and tracking them and waiting for them at a spot that I knew they would show, and then actually having them show, and hitting one, was the biggest thrill I've ever had.

The worst was when I lost her due following the blood trail too soon for fear of losing it because of heavy rain, so I wound up pushing her too much and never found her again.:(

May 8, 2006, 05:47 PM
Because of my culinary ability with venison I have become all about the meat. I used to take it to the processor and pick up these vacuum packed, who knows who shot it,packages.

Now I process myself and when cooked correctly venison is like no other meat. I've also recently learned the art of jerky on my new smoker. I made 6 lbs of meat into jerky the other day and it was gone in 2 days.(I have 3 kids).

I shot 5 does and zero bucks last year and about 70% of the meat is gone.

Wild Bill Bucks
May 9, 2006, 09:29 AM
I'm not lucky enough to get shots at trophy bucks, so I try to take my limit of deer every year based on, the older does, scrub bucks, and deer that look poor.
Most of mine gets mixed with beef or pork, and turned into burger anyway, so tenderness is not a big issue.
I eat everything I harvest(except for vermin)and every year I give away the left over meat in my freezer, so I don't keep it to long. Easy to do because there are so many people who need the meat.
What I'm trying to say is, try to shoot deer that will improve your lease or area, and don't waste anything.
This will keep everybody off your back, and some day you might be blessed with that "Once in a lifetime buck".

May 9, 2006, 07:58 PM
Meat, but won't pass up a trophy buck. No desire to take a hugh boar, I'm happier cleaning and eating the 70-90 pounders.

May 11, 2006, 07:03 PM
Hate to argue this point but I don't hunt for meat, I hunt because I like to. Lets face it the time and effort most people put into hunting these days it is cheaper to go buy meat at the counter. Of course the ethical answer will always be "I hunt for meat, to hell with the Trophy". The fact is most trophy hunters donate the meat to people who need it. Deep down inside all hunters want the big trophy on the wall that they can brag about with all of their buddies.

Last elk hunt I went on cost me a lot of money.

$45.00 Hunting license
$110.00 Fuel 600miles/15MPGX2.75gal
$180.00 Motel @ 30 per night, couldn't camp in hunting area
$100.00 Meal, drinks, snacks incidentals 7 days @ 14.28 per day
$140.00 Processing fee for elk, too hot to let hang outside
$600.00 Missed overtime from work 20 hrs
$1175.00 Total

600lb cow elk (no antlers on the wall)
300lb carcass 50% live weight average
215lb processed after de-bone and trim, plus friends and family wanting some
$1175/215lb=$5.47 per pound

Granted I could have done this hunt cheaper, but like I said most of us don't hunt for meat we hunt for love of the hunt. I got to hunt on private property for free and got to deal with less hunters than on public lands that is why I couldn't camp. Before you go and say you are strictly a meat hunter take time to consider what you spend to do what you love in tags, gear, transportation, leases, property and time. I could have bought a lot of T-bones for 5.47 a pound but the hunt was Priceless!

May 11, 2006, 07:07 PM
I'm in it for the meat.

May 21, 2006, 07:36 AM
There exist two types of QDM schools of thought. Those that think QDM means quality deer management and those that think it means quality deer meat. Meat people here.

trigger happy
May 21, 2006, 08:37 AM
a friend of mine shoots does because he says they taste better..

I don't hunt for trophies..I've passed some good ones up..I sure like to line up a good shot on them (counting coup if you will) but I don't take them home anymore

May 21, 2006, 04:57 PM
90% meat hunter here too... though I'm not averse to getting a trophy either.

May 22, 2006, 07:12 PM
I have never been a trophy hunter. I do have minimum standards for what deer I will take, but I don't hold out for something special. Meat in the freezer is my main goal. Once I fill the icebox, then I get more selective.
The last deer I shot was on Thanksgiving Day. I was in a tree stand on a friends farm just up the road from where I live now. I don't think I was in the stand for more than 10 min before the deer showed on the trail.
Gas to the farm: $5.00
Bullet $.35
6 pack $4.50
Total $9.85

Meat after cleaning, about 65 pounds, or about $.15/lb.

Not bad at all, and delicious :D

May 22, 2006, 09:09 PM

I agree a lot of hunting can be done cheaper than the example I gave. I hunt deer and pronghorns on my Fathers ranch and I get to do that at quite a discounted rate. I'll still spend $50-$60 for a weeks hunt in diesel plus tags and other incidentals. Here in Colorado I only get one animal per season so I have to make my shots count to get the most buck(or doe) for my bang:D . I still spend on an average from $1.50 and up per pound of meat in my freezer when I hunt the cheap stuff.

May 23, 2006, 12:55 AM
The sig line says it all :)

May 23, 2006, 08:23 AM
I've got a freezer full of venison sausage, but would love to have a nice wall mount.

May 23, 2006, 10:27 PM
As my grandpappy used to say, "horn make poor soup." I would shoot a wallhanger if he came by but I generally drop the first doe(or 2)that walks by.

May 29, 2006, 01:58 AM
Meat is #1 a nice rack is just a bonus.

May 30, 2006, 03:23 PM
+1 to all the "meat first" comments. I hunt on/near family farms and deer are considered crop-eating varmints. Taking out the does not only culls the herd better but 2-3 young doe yield less, but tastier meat IMO. Sure, it I see a nice buck, I'll take him...but I never pass on a young doe.

May 30, 2006, 03:45 PM
I'm hunting a Whitetail with a Giant Rack myself, BUT I never have the paintince to get one. When I see a Decent 8-point that is probally bigger than my last one or really close I'll take him..... but I also hunt in a 2 Buck 3 Doe county where if you need to fill 2 tags in a day it wouldn't be much of a problem.

June 5, 2006, 06:46 PM
I'd love to shoot a trophy bull or buck, but I'm a meat hunter at heart and will shoot the first legal animal that presents a good target.

June 8, 2006, 06:16 PM
The Taxadermist might tell me to leave if I brought in a trophy dove.

June 9, 2006, 11:22 AM
Trophy dove, lol.