How to Hunt Deer for Self-Sufficiency

Learn How to Hunt Deer

If you know how to hunt deer, you’re well on your way to providing a self-sufficient source of animal protein.

It takes 200 pounds of meat to feed a family of four for a year. If you can kill deer, you can easily account for 150 pounds of that total with venison. You can then supplement the other 50 pounds with small game.

How to Hunt Deer: Location

You will need to find a place to hunt, either public or private. If you plan on butchering yourself, you need to make sure you have the proper equipment and adequate space. You must keep your game under 40-degrees Fahrenheit and out of the rain and other moisture to avoid meat spoilage.

Learn How to Hunt Deer

How to Hunt Deer bookLike most types of subsistence food acquisition, research and scouting will help you achieve your goal. There are many great books on hunting public land, but one of my favorites is, of course, my husband’s Whitetail Wisdom book.

Published 10 years ago and still on Amazon’s best-seller list, the book crams Dan’s decades of deer hunting experience and insights from his time as editor of Deer & Deer Hunting into a very useful handbook for learning how to hunt deer. If you’re not a hunter, it will teach you the ropes of how to hunt deer. And if you’re a season veteran, it will dispel many of the longtime hunting myths that cause many of the struggles hunters face when pursuing pressured animals.

How to Cook Venison

Venison Wisdom CookbookThere are many great ways to cook deer meat. My book, Venison Wisdom Cookbook, is full of down-to-earth, family friendly recipes. Some people think that having to plan their meals with frozen or canned meat is difficult.

It really is just a matter of knowing what you have to use in your freezer.  I indexed the venison cookbook based on cut of meat so if you have hamburger to use then you can just turn to the hamburger section and there will be a list of great recipes to try.

Anyone can cook game meat. Don’t let the fact that you have hunted it in the woods instead of bringing it home on a Styrofoam tray make you feel intimidated. Instead, let it make you feel invigorated for the great gift you have provided to your family.

3 thoughts on “How to Hunt Deer for Self-Sufficiency

  1. lmchambers60

    Husband has hunted and dressed his kills all his life and we processed almost all our deer ourselves when we first got married and hunted although these days we would rather pay for the processor to do it. But here is the best way to age deer now and as much as possible after SHTF. One major consideration to help prevent spoilage, to reduce any gamey taste and to make processing less messy is to get as much of the blood out of the meat before processing starts as possible. As soon as you have gutted, skinned and at least quartered your deer you need to get a large cooler, put in the meat and then fill it with ice. Once ice is not available fill with as cold of clean (drinkable water that has no chance of having living organisms in it) then place it in a cool location (basement, root cellar, even if just under shade with a breeze and let the meat sit and blood soak out for 12-24 hours, if cool enough outside 40-50 degrees you can go longer up to 72 hours. As the ice melts, cover with new ice and drain the over flow bloody water from the drain plug, being sure to keep the meat covered the entire time with ice and or water. If you only have cool water and if you have enough to allow it, change the water out completely at least once in that first 12-24 hours before you continue processing. All aging is, is a controlled amount of decaying of the meat fibers to make the meat as tender as possible. Deer will never be tender like beef due to the amount of tendons in the muscle and thinness of muscle bundles of deer not found in cows. Mature buck meat is best just to grind and use in total for hamburger (except for the back straps) due to it’s age and toughness. Younger deer and does can be cut into roasts (Neck, shoulder, rear haunch) besides grinding any other meat that is left. The front leg meat if large enough is good to slice into small ham steak size and beat with a meat mallet into swiss or cubed steaks. Deer has little to no fat which is healthier for you but when grinding you should add a little fat if possible into the grind to make using it to cook with later easier, pork fat is the best added fat to use. You only have to add it at a 1-2% ratio. If you are processing now with freezers, get butcher paper and wrap your meat in meal sizes, tape it tight, write what it contains and freeze. If this is after SHTF and freezing or even refrigeration is not possible. Then cook and can all the ground meat you can, make jerky, smoke and/or salt cure the rest. Word of warning. Salt curing is the last resort for deer meat as it is only good then as a meal additive such as when cooking beans etc and is not good as an entree item. Also Deer ribs can not be cooked like pork ribs to any eatable results, and we have tried numerous times. Do not try to eat the liver (can have flukes) or other internal organs. If you want to make deer sausage use pork intestines for the casings before smoking, not the deer intestines. Deer hides make nice leather so if possible and you have the time and tools do not let this resource go to waste. When cooking garlic powder brings out the flavor of deer meat very nicely. Deer can be used to make sausage and hard meat rolls with good success if you have learned how.

    1. Monk

      If you believe that 50 lbs per person per year is enough you must subscribe to the “meat as condiment”
      school of thought. Not enough for a stressful survival situation filled with HARD physical labor, not spent
      sitting at a desk. What works as a dietary standard now will have to be totally rethought.