Monday, November 24, 2008

Let the Season Begin

.... Gun season that is.

Today was the first day of deer gun season here. Our resident hunters, Tim and family friend Terry, each got a deer early in archery season, but then, in what has become a pattern over the past few years, the deer have been scarce. Hopefully, they will each get another in gun season.

Hunting is a big deal here. Not just in the 100 Acre Wood, but in the state. In the area of Ohio we are from a fair number of people hunt. I would have called it a fairly normal activity. In fact, the school that I did my student teaching in made the first day of gun season a day off school. But hunting there is not nearly the big deal that hunting is in this state.

I wouldn't say everyone hunts here, but I bet everyone has a good friend or family member that does. Camo, gun racks, and four wheelers in the back of pick ups are frequent and normal sites. Sunday, our local news station had a fairly long segment on the six o'clock news about how to site in your gun. The local paper regularly has hunting articles, and Sunday's edition featured about a 3/4 page article about the start of the season. It confirmed to me that deer season is a big deal here. (Read the full article: Deer Season Starts)

It brings $233 million into the state economy.

Last year during the two week buck season 67, 213 bucks were tagged.
Over 67,000 bucks in just two weeks in a state that is only a little over 24,000 square miles. That is crazy to me.

Deer season is a big deal to me too. It fills my freezer, and is our "beef" for the year. Cooking venison is different than beef though. Gail asked me for some deer recipes. I referred her to a post I wrote on another blog, Venison Roast. The main thing to remember is that deer has less fat than beef, and will dry out easier. Steaks are best cooked medium at the most. When Tim butchers he cuts the tenderloin into thick steaks which we wrap in bacon and grill medium rare. Those are the best!

Roasts need to be cooked with liquid. Since writing the post above, I have had better success with cooking roasts in the crockpot. They turn our very tender when put in the crockpot with broth or other liquids.

After the roasts are cut from the legs, we (mostly my mom) makes broth and stew meat by boiling what is left. The stew meat is canned. It is so convenient and delicious to use with noodles or rice for a quick dinner.

Not exactly recipes, but ideas I hope. Enjoy the season, and your venison.


  1. It's big here, too. They local paper only publishes twice a week, but they always include pictures of the kids with the deer they shot (I think they have to be at least 8 years old to hunt). They released some elk about 10 years ago up on an old mine site, but they were protected for 5 or 6 years until the herd got big enough, and now there's a lottery to hunt them. I think it costs money to actually join that lottery though. (Just like the others.)

  2. THE paper, not they paper. ugh.

  3. Thanks for all the tips, I really appreciate it. The deer is in our freezer and ready to go for the long Michigan winter...

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving....

  4. I am in Central Ohio and live on a small farm. My kids were outside playing with the dog, and ran in yelling "MOM...the dog ran off into the field and the neighbors are shooting guns" Not what I wanted to hear! LOL! Anyway, I found your blog while looking around on facebook, and Im really enjoying it.

  5. A friend of my husband's hunts on our property every year. He is a very responsible hunter and a friend so we are happy to allow him that. This year he got a very large buck. He was nice enough to give us some of the meat and I really appreciate it. I had never ate deer before, but there is a slight taste to it I don't care for, almost a "buck" taste. Of course it was from a buck deer. Is there anyway to cover that up with spices or something?

  6. Shiloh Prairie Farm,

    We've only gotten younger bucks or does, and they haven't tasted gamey. So I can't guarantee that these work, but two things I've read is 1) to marinate and cook in tomato sauce or 2) to simmer in a carbonated beverage (ginger ale was the one recommended.)

    If you try it let me know.... in case one of the guys gets the "big one." LOL!

  7. Thank you so much for the suggestions! I don't hunt or know anything about it but judging by the pictures and how happy he was about it, I would say it was a very large buck.

    We made chili with it last night and I could eat that and it was actually pretty good because the spices or tomatoes maybe covered that taste up. Thanks for the suggestions, I will try the ginger-ale one too and let you know if it works.