The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Deer 6.0

Hunting from the window

I "hunted" our 2015 deer from the couch and shot the button buck through the front window. The hardest part was waiting for the goats to move out of the way so I was positive I wouldn't injure anyone I cared about via friendly fire.

We're finally starting to become old hats at butchering a deer, so there's not much to say other than --- Thank you, Jayne, for the awesome gambrel! Instead, here are some stats for those of you keeping track at home.

Deer gambrelAll-time scores:

  • Mark: 1.5
  • Anna: 4.5

Yearly totals:

  • 2009: 1
  • 2010: 0
  • 2011: 2
  • 2012: 1
  • 2013: 1
  • 2014: 0 (Heavy acorn year; deer barely came into the garden.)
  • 2015: 1

Venison as percent of annual  meat consumption:

  • about 8%

Amount of damage deer do to our garden compared to their food value:

  • Roughly even, trending toward us getting more food from the deer than the deer get from us in recent years

There's still time for us to bag another deer this year, and we certainly wouldn't mind the additional delicious, pastured meat. But I've found that once either-sex rifle season starts in earnest, the critters get much wilier and I can no longer hunt them from the trailer. For example, my neighbors on one side tell me they've already killed five deer so far this year, and I suspect the neighbors on the other side are equally productive. A pretty average year here in deer-central, where hunters fill their freezers in November to feed them all year long.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Nice deer!

Not that many deer around here, but the elk, Ugh!

Comment by Nita Sun Nov 22 08:59:35 2015
I understand that deer around here can sometimes have a disease called "blue tongue". Do you know if that would affect the edibility of any meat?
Comment by NaYan Sun Nov 22 09:38:35 2015
Have either of you gone on a real hunt for your deer, or is it just front porch hunting?
Comment by Gerry Sun Nov 22 10:23:12 2015

Gerry --- Nope, I'm afraid we're not hunters (except the front-porch kind). Honestly, I probably never would have shot a deer if they didn't nibble my sweet potatoes and strawberries down to the ground. For me, it's all about protecting my garden, with the meat being a good bonus.

NaYan --- The only disease that I believe carries over from deer to humans is chronic wasting disease. Actually, even that hasn't been shown to transfer, but seems possible due to its similarity to mad cow disease. Luckily, CWD hasn't been seen in this area.

Nita --- I'd guess an elk could eat through a garden even faster than a deer could....

Comment by anna Sun Nov 22 13:51:35 2015

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