Survival Seeds

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hunting - Quality VS. Quantity

September 1st is the opening day for dove season here in Oklahoma and I am pumped. I plan my vacation around the season so that I can go hunt during that time and we have a blast. We have permission to hunt some fields that are close to the house and they are fields that aren't hunted much so we always seem to get a limit. We have another couple that we go out with and have a blast!

As I was looking over the regulations and just refreshing myself on what they were I got to thinking about our mentality towards wildlife. In Oklahoma you have a limit of 7 deer. I need to double check with Matt but between our archery season, primitive season, gun season and then a bonus holiday season we have a decent limit. The population in Oklahoma is thriving, almost too much, so they have increased some of the limits. But my question to us is although we can shoot that many deer, should we?

The first couple of years that Matt and I were married the only way that we lived was the fact that we had deer meat. We process the deer ourselves so our cost involved is the gas to drive, the ammo, paper to wrap the meat, and basically the time. We then take some and have it ground but we spend no more the whole season on what a person would spend on processing fees for one deer and this is multiple deer! We still cook with deer constantly and love the flavor as well as the fact that it is a lean healthy meat. I make jerky and chili in huge quantities and they never last long.

This is the question that I am looking at, with Matt and I both hunting we could shoot over a dozen deer. That seems a bit much to me. We have gotten to where we set a limit that we would like to reach between the two of us and hope that we reach it. I use the ground meat for anything that I would use ground beef. I cut the steak up and make some wonderful fajitas and have used the roast smoked before. We use every bit of meat that we can and are thankful for the deer. Society today has a mentality of "Gimme gimme gimme" and we always want more than what we really need. This is depleting out assets and is actually hurting the quality of deer.

Matt has set a standard of what he would like to shoot in his next buck. He wants a wall hanger for our house so won't shoot a buck unless it meets his standards. The reason that he is doing this though is to allow the population to grow and become those beautiful bucks that we all want to shoot. We hunt on land that his grandfather owns and they have shot what they needed for food in the past. We now know how much we need and set a limit for ourselves. They put corn in feeders and have been able to watch the population so they know what deer are where. There are a few bucks that are making amazing growth and changes in the last couple of years. I can't wait to see them continue to mature. Since I still haven't gotten to shoot a deer the boys are bit more lenient with me on what I can shoot. They both want me to get that first one down, but having to work the weekends like I do can make it hard and my vacation has to be taken all at once it limits my days. Matt takes days off specifically around hunting season. (It was a pain wonderful trying to figure out what days were okay for us to get married on!!!) This allows him more time in the woods than me but I will get that deer soon!

I am just wanting to bring it forward all our minds that in order for us to have the beautiful quality deer that we want we must watch our quantity that we take. This doesn't just go for deer either, this is for any hunting or fishing that we do. They must be allowed to grow and mature to be those wall hangers that we all want.

1 comment:

Albert A Rasch said...

That's a great question to ask, and really, one that requires a bit of rumination. As ethical hunters we should only shoot what we can eat. A dozen deer might be a little too much of a good thing regardless of how big your freezer is!

I think much of it boils down to what you are comfortable with, and what you are trying to accomplish.

Just throwing out an invitation to visit The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. Everyone is always welcome, we have lots of fun, and we take Outdoor pursuits seriously. I hope to see you soon!
Best regards,
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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