Warning: Some of the pictures below show graphic images of a deer being butchered.  There are also graphic images of classroom instruction, target practice, and naps in the sunshine.  All acts of killing, field dressing, and butchering the deer were conducted with respect.

Click on the images below to start the slideshow!


18 Responses to “Deer Hunting for Locavores: Photo Essay”

  1. Greg says:

    What am I doing wrong?  I don’t see the images…

  2. Scott M says:

    I think I need to do this sometime, if only so I can deal with the reality of what it means to eat meat and become more connected wih my human nature. I’m not sure if that sounds childish or not, but I still feel it’s something I need to do. Though it would have to be roo rather than deer (Aussie poster, here).

  3. Scott M says:

    I think I need to do this sometime, if only so I can deal with the reality of what it means to eat meat and become more connected wih my human nature. I’m not sure if that sounds childish or not, but I still feel it’s something I need to do. Though it would have to be roo rather than deer (Aussie poster, here).

  4. Grok says:

     Oh.. man :) Very nice. Bet you had fun!

     

    • Kees says:

      John,

      Very well done my friend.   When I was down in Chile I captured a lamb and killed it with a large long knife to the jugular, you do this to get as much blood out of the meet before the Asado.   One of the best experiences of my life, as well as one of the tastiest meals I have ever had.

      • Ira says:

        Sounds like you got quite an education, John. I’ve tried to learn kosher slaughtering of birds before, in keeping with my religious tradition, which derives most probably from a time when projectiles were less in use for slaughter. We also have religious traditions of taking out as much blood as possible, by various means, including salting. Learning to sharpen a knife well was where I got hung-up mostly, and that kind of ended my career. But I’m still glad I spent the time to study and see how it’s done. I’m a purist who sticks to my own tradition, and abhor the abusese of that traditon, as well, but I respect many other traditions of slaughter which treat the animal with repect, and are not wasteful of it. And the ultimate respect you can pay the animal is to know the animal personally and to face its death, and our own mortality, squarely. Anyway, the lumber-company land outside Binghamton, where I grew up, is just loaded with deer these days!

        -Ira

        • John says:

          I did get quite an education. And yes, we used the whole deer: organs, muscles, bones, and we even took the hide so that it could be tanned. And what we couldn’t or didn’t use (the guts, bones), we gave back to the earth.

          We owe a lot to Jackson Landers, the seminar leader, for setting the right tone. He taught us lessons like, If you shoot at the deer, assume that you’ve hit it. Unless you find zero blood or hair near where the deer was, you’re no longer looking for the next dear…you’re tracking the one you shot to finish the job.

          Talk soon

  5. Coleus says:

    Warning! Post may create intense hunger and jealousy! ;)

  6. Alexandra says:

    It’s actually not nearly so graphic as I was afraid of; I thought it was going to be significantly bloodier.  Did you bleed the deer before cutting it open; how long did you do that for (if at all)? 

     

    Did you guys learn any recipes at the seminar?  Also…can you make a soup stock out of deer bones?  I don’t see why not, but I have never tried venison and don’t know what deer stock would taste like…

     

    Also, congratulations.

    • John says:

      I had the same reaction — way less bloody than you might think. No, we didn’t need to bleed it. The organs and muscles are enclosed in membranes, and as long as you don’t puncture those, or puncture a vein/artery, there’s no blood.

      • Alexandra says:

        I guess I should have known that; I once watched the Gordon Ramsey’s F Word episode where he takes his sheep to the slaughterhouse.  It wasn’t nearly so bad as I thought it was going to be on that either (though watching the lamb have seizures was a little worrying).  The most disconcerting aspect for me was to one minute see a cute lamb and the next minute to see pre-cooked deliciousness and not know where the line gets drawn between the two.

        (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/gordon-ramsays-f-word/4od; Series 3, Episode 8)

  7. Nate Lowrie says:

     Glad you are enjoying yourself.  When anyone in our camp would get their first deer we would have them drink the blood when we were field dressing it.  

  8. Paul is actually the head of IT at Monticello, although his background is in historical interpertation and he also seems to get involved with building exhibits from time to time.

  9. Dave says:

    Amazing!

    How does it compare to your average supermarket venison?

    And which part would you say was the best/tastiest?

  10. Richard Garcia says:

    Looking good….not you!….the deer….and…the website. Nice John!

  11. Jenn says:

    Wow, you make killing Bambi look so tasty… and you look good doing it!  Venison liver is making me hungry, even though I just had dinner. 

  12. Jeff says:

    I would really like to go hunting, particularly bow hunting (I was into archery as a kid). In addition to the obvious health and environmental benefits of killing your own food, I think there is something spiritual about having to be aware of your movements, noise, smell etc. when stalking a meal (especially if you have to be close enough to use a bow).

    Does anyone live in the Bay Area who would like to do this with me?  If so, shoot me an email at jeffjschneider at gmail.   

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