View Full Version : What percentage of your diet comes from game you take with gun or rod and reel?

July 12, 2012, 12:13 PM
I was thinking about this the other day after I caught two good smallmouth for the grill. What would you say is the percentage of your diet that comes from game you take yourself? I'm sad to say that putting ego aside, only about one to three percent annually comes from game I've taken. I've made a personal commitment to increase that number. Just curious how others do in this regard.

July 12, 2012, 12:19 PM
Sadly my naturally harvested meals have diminished recently due to running out of my last bit of deer sausage and backstrap. Last year I couldn't bring myself to take a deer because of the long drought resulting in small body sizes. I'm a catch and release guy so if I bring a fish home, it is for dinner! All in all, maybe about 10%. Good thread, and hope you're having better luck out on the water than me!:)

July 12, 2012, 12:47 PM
At times 30% give or take. Now closer to 1% although I'm trying to catch some more fish. Makes me kinda sad;-( gun club does a big game feed every spring though.

July 12, 2012, 01:51 PM
40% or more. Not a fish eater really. Throw a pound of LEAN beef hamburger in a pan, shovel out the burger after it is cooked, and let the pan sit overnight. Look at the goop left in the pan. Do the same with deer burger (No pork added). I like my deer sausage too, but grill it to lose a lot of the pork fat in it. I have been lucky and average 2-3 deer a year and don't turn up my nose at a road kill if it was not mangled.
I ate a lot more when I was younger. Pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, duck. During trapping season I saved all the coon and muskrat legs. That really adds up. I guess you just get lazy when you get older.

Brian Pfleuger
July 12, 2012, 02:46 PM
1% or less.

I give away almost all the venison and almost never keep any fish, no matter how big.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
July 12, 2012, 03:17 PM
Venison once a week in some form i.e. canned or steak. Fish twice a month unless its Lent. Than once a week during Lent till it's over with. What ever that percentage is I haven't a clue. Fishing I'm a catch and keep guy. Hunting I consider myself a Meat Hunter and never do I purposely hunt for a trophy. If one comes along >good!!_ I'll have us photographed than eat him too.

July 13, 2012, 07:37 AM
If I had it my way it would be at least 50%. Unfortunately, my wife doesn't like wild meat at all and she is not really a fish eater either.

July 13, 2012, 08:30 AM
Before I got married and had kids I'd say it was easily at least 30%.

Now its closer to about 5%... Not enough time now to get out hunting and fishing to have more personally harvested meat.

July 13, 2012, 09:05 AM
Maybe 25-30%.....

July 13, 2012, 09:16 AM
Great responses. I've made the commitment simply to be more self-reliant, and relearn some of the skills I was raised with to pass on to my son.

Brian: It sounds like you're pretty successful. I'm curious why you keep so little. Are you more of a trophy hunter? with fish is it fear of pollution? We in this area have to contend with alot of contaminated water.

July 13, 2012, 09:36 AM
I killed two bull elk and a buck mule deer last year and it's only my wife and I (I'm 64 she's 69 ) so we give away what we cannot eat. I eat elk or venison every day. Then there's the stuff I bring home like Palo Verde pods and Pinion nuts. I used much more when I was young but my dad's family was mostly Native American (Indians then) and that's just what they did. It wouldn't be hard for me to live off what I could find to eat.

July 14, 2012, 01:44 AM
Protein wise? Upwards of 90%. Between 3 of us we can easily consume 11-13 deer and antelope per year. It is in everything. Steaks, roasts, smoked German sausages, bratwurst, liverwurst, breakfast sausage, chorizo, jerky, soup bones, fish, rabbits & poultry... Here is an example of some typical meals in house Brugman:

8:am: Biscuits & Gravy...It's in there.
Noon: Meatloaf sandwhich & a bowl of Borcht... it's in both.
6:pm: Spaghetti...it's in there.

8:am: Chorizo omlet...it's in there.
10:am: A little jerkey snack....yum!
Noon: Roast "beef" sandwich & french onion soup...both again!
6pm: Walleye & Perch fillets....piles of 'em.

7:am Snowbound venison steak & hotcakes...It's in there.
Noon: Liverwurst sand w/onions...2 of 'em!
7:pm: BBQ deer ribs & wild asparagus!

7:am: Sausage and eggs...it's in there.
Noon: a rabbit I BBQed with the ribs...(my co-worker is a PETA type...lol!)
7:pm Pecan encrusted baked trout fillets....

....WAY too many dishes to name. As you can see, it isn't unusual to eat game 3 meals a day here....AND I LOVE IT! My 16 year old girl will actually complain if I bring beef steaks home! Give her a Med-rare slab of mulie or whitetail and she's in heaven.

July 14, 2012, 02:19 AM
Sure Shot McGee: You, sir, are my kind of hunter & fisherman.

On a related note, a fly-fishing snob (not all fly-fishermen) at my daughter's school told her she was a poor sportsman because she keeps and eats trout. In front of a group, and without missing a beat she replied "I kill to eat; You hurt and injure for fun. Who's are YOU to call me un-sportsmanlike?":eek:>:)>:D

I wanted to cheer, but I held it in.

*Disclaimer* She said it to chap his backside and win the battle of wit. Neither she nor I are against most catch and release fishing.

July 14, 2012, 04:10 AM
Dont have a percentage,but it's pretty high.A average year I take about a dozen deer,20 few hogs,600LBS of catfish-flathead,bream,crappie,With alittle luck of the draw a Gator or 2.Might buy a small beef to mix the burger with the deer burger.

The garden takes care of a good bit of the other.We do some trading with a few familys for other garden goods for meat that dont hunt or cant hunt.
Been pretty lucky over the years to be able to give to feed the hungry & other church groups,Fish fries,BBQ'S now & then.:D

July 14, 2012, 04:15 AM
I'd say 25 percent in the fall/winter and 10 percent rest of year.

July 14, 2012, 05:15 AM
About 80% of dinners cooked in my kitchen are built around some kind of Antelope, Elk, fowl, or fish. I haven't, personally, caught a fish worth keeping, in a very long time. But... I have a few brothers that send some my way, when they can.

Plus, I've been making jerky from freezer-burned (2-4 year old) Antelope and some cuts of an angry old Elk that turned out to be very tough. About 75% of my 'snacks' are some form of that jerky.

Overall, it's about 30-35%, I'd say...

Wow... that reminded me: There hasn't been deer meat in my freezer since 1998 (and it wasn't even mine).:eek: I better try to do something about that, next year.

July 14, 2012, 05:18 AM
i was raised on moose, we hardly ever bought any beef or pork except for premade sausage and meatballs that sort of thing

still eat game meat harvested by me or my father every week, fish if i have gone fishing love me some perch

for special occasions roedeer is hard to beat

last few years i have been eating alotta horsemeat to. great meat for grilling

July 14, 2012, 10:03 AM
The percentage of game I eat is directly proportionate to my hunting success rate:D

Some years it's higher than others. If I can pack my freezer with 2 whitetail, a dozen or so bunnies, grouse, and pheasant; I'm eating pretty high until mid-summer the next year. It may be as high as 40% in a good year.

I don't eat much grocery store meat. Most of my chicken is bought from the Amish. And I purchase locally raised pork and beef from an area butcher.

July 14, 2012, 10:22 AM
Of the meat we eat I'd say 90% is game we harvest here at home, deer, squirrels, doves, and quail. We raise chickens for eggs, grow all of our vegtables and a corn patch to grind for meal.

July 14, 2012, 05:22 PM
I took two antelope and one whitetail this year. My wife and average between 5 and 10% of wild game during a given week.

July 14, 2012, 05:44 PM
Before I got married and had kids I'd say it was easily at least 30%.

Now its closer to about 5%... Not enough time now to get out hunting and fishing to have more personally harvested meat.

Same here, sorta. I still hunt about the same amount I used to, but the wife won't touch venison or any other game with a ten foot pole, so I cook it a lot less often since I got married. She will eat the fish I catch though.


playin' hookey
July 14, 2012, 09:16 PM
I'm jealous of some of y'all. I usually kill a couple deer, 2-3 turkeys, and a few squirrels, doves, and ducks. I eat most of it and give a little of the venison away. Still we probably eat game only once a week on average. Would rather eat it more often but my wife and/or I am usually working pretty late and we just get something quick.

July 15, 2012, 12:10 AM
I've never been one to eat fish so a majority of what I catch is released.

growing up dirt poor on an indian reservation, my family had native american friends that hunted year round and were compassionate enough to go out and get us game whenever we needed meat. we rarely ate beef or pork, instead we got mule deer, whitetail and pronghorn(I really miss pronghorn meat on the table).

now we live on a different reservation where the natives were more fishermen than hunters so even though they have year round hunting rights, few actually practice it so we are now stuck with what we can get through normal hunting seasons. unless we are able to get an elk I would say now less than 10% but growing up it was probably close to 50%

July 15, 2012, 11:41 AM
Including fish, probably around 25%, few years ago it was more like 85 - 90%

July 15, 2012, 03:17 PM
The freezer only holds so much. In the years I've got an elk I had to give most of it away. Even on a very good year I doubt that I'd get close to 50%

Wild Bill Bucks
July 16, 2012, 11:11 AM
When my 3 kids were growing up, I did not have a lot of time to hunt & fish, but I would say the percentage was around 20 percent. When the kids all grew up and started their own families, the percentage grew to close to 70 percent.
I put up 100 to 150 lbs of crappie early in the spring, 100 to 200 lbs of catfish, and several wild hogs, as well as my limit of 5 deer almost every year. Every now and again I'll throw a Rib-eye steak or a chicken on the grill, but mostly it's deer burger, hog sausage, or baked or grilled fish at my house.

I do most of the cooking at my place because my wife works to late to start a supper when she gets home, and she likes the wild meats almost as well as I do. She never even went fishing until after we got married, and now I can't keep fish around her.

July 16, 2012, 12:08 PM
For me it depends on a number of things. I would say on average ~60%, sometimes more. However, if we are going out to eat a lot or if my wife decides to buy chicken or fish which she does from time to time them the percentage goes down. We usually have a freezer full of elk though and it all gets eaten. So I guess an overall percentage is hard to figure, but my family (me, wife, 2 small kids) eat 160-200 lbs of elk/deer a year. Plus the occaisional squirrels, rabbits, fish.

July 16, 2012, 12:31 PM
Seldom catch fish that are keepers and because of county codes i don't have access to a hunting area within a 50 mile radius of my house. My consumption of taken fish and game is very close to 0%

Prof Young
July 24, 2012, 07:44 PM
Not near enough.

July 26, 2012, 03:27 PM
I dont know about the percentage, but its much cheaper to buy meat and fish at the store. At least that is the way it seems when you figure in all the incendentals.

July 27, 2012, 08:19 PM
Not sure about the ratio but last year I took 150 lb pig and a 140 lb antelope. This year I have taken a 170 lb pig. The pigs, except for loins and back straps get mixed 50/50 with store bought pork for sausage. The antelope except for loins and backstraps were turned into sausage, also... Not much left.

July 28, 2012, 05:51 AM
unfortunately, a very small percentage of game makes up my diet. my father in-law gives me quite a bit of the game he's taken from the years hunt, such as venison beef sticks, venison hot dogs, fry sausage and most recently, venison bacon. he also gives me fish and sweet corn when they're done harvesting. my wife doesn't like venison and refuses to touch the stuff.

July 28, 2012, 07:02 AM
"[Prof Young, Not near enough.]"

Same here, At least not as much as it use to :D PS Living in the sticks around salt water as fresh too, has it's advantages ; )

July 28, 2012, 04:14 PM
I go on one hog trip a year, and usually get one around 250 lbs. That is probably about 40 percent of the meat we eat here. We always share some of the sausage and ham with the grown kids and some friends. Only two of us these days and the wife and I really don't eat that much.

Hunter Customs
July 30, 2012, 08:12 AM
At the present time about 5% as I don't do much hunting of game or fishing anymore.

That being said I have a very strong feeling that will change in the future.
Because of conditions caused by the drought, greed farming practices, and fires down south and out west, meat will become a high price commodity.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter

July 30, 2012, 03:51 PM
.005% only game I ate myself was a turkey I got in the spring. Wish I liked fish though, I go fishing 2-3 times a week and would love to be able to take them home and eat them. Dont mind catch and release though, leaves me plenty of fish to catch in the future

Deja vu
July 30, 2012, 10:27 PM
id say 25% of my meat. There was a time 4 years ago that it was 100% because I had an entire cow buffalo in 2.5 deep freezers. Now its limited to a single deer every year and occasionally an elk... but not for a few year.

deer cost me 1 tag at $19.75 + Hunting licence $12.75 + ammo costs (reloading so its pretty cheep)

$32.50. Of course its more like harvesting than hunting when you can shoot them from your back porch.

August 2, 2012, 09:30 PM
I'm guessing my average would be 30%.

August 4, 2012, 11:35 PM
When I was a kid growing up in the 50's, we ate fish & game several times a week and also ate animals we raised. There wasn't much supermarket meat being served at our house.

Now, it's like a couple times a month...... maybe more during hunting seasons.

August 5, 2012, 01:39 AM
Don't know percentages but I usually kill around 7-10 whitetail a year, alot of pigs, many coons and squirrel and plenty garden vegetables. But I shoot most out the front door are in backyard.... Life is good

August 5, 2012, 10:07 AM
I don't hunt at all. I just punch holes in paper. Many years ago, I hunted duck, Quail, Doves, squirrel and Rabbit but in Texas, most land is leased for hunting and every year, it's like musical chairs trying to get better leases. I'll pass on that.


August 5, 2012, 04:29 PM
Zip. I don't eat coyote. Nor feral cats, for that matter.

math teacher
August 6, 2012, 12:57 PM
About 10%. It would be a lot higher, but like Doyle, the wife is not big on wild game so I give a lot away.

August 7, 2012, 06:13 PM
Zero---I haven't been fishin for 3 yrs
and I didn't hunt last year.