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The Manifesto: Eat What You Kill

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December 01, 2009

The Manifesto: Eat What You Kill

By T. Edward Nickens

Thoughts on eating venison from F&S contributor Steven Rinella.

Why should you eat the deer that you kill? For a moment, let’s dismiss the obvious reasons. Forget the nutritional value of venison, which has higher protein levels and less fat than domesticated, grain-­fattened beef and pork. Set aside the flavor, which is more substantial and interesting than anything you’ll find at the grocery. Never mind the economic benefits of a pursuit that can reward a day’s work with enough meat to feed you for a year. And toss aside how properly stored venison allows you to relive the memories from a great season around your family’s dinner table.

What’s left? Probably the biggest reason of them all: because we love our rights as hunters. Every year, American outdoorsmen lose critical wildlife habitat, hunting privileges, and access to land due to the actions of a public that all too often views hunting as a cruel and frivolous sport. Responsible hunters battle these losses with their votes, wallets, and pens—all very important tools—but we shouldn’t forget to use our forks as well.

Through the examples of our eating habits and our thorough care for and preparation of game, hunters can demonstrate to others that we count on wild places and wild animals for an important and irreplaceable part of our physical sustenance. Now is the time to make this connection, because current national discussions about food rely on catchphrases that will look familiar to hunters: locally harvested, free-range, organic, humanely slaughtered. Some nonhunters will never understand the passion that pulls us into the woods, but many of them will sympathize with our passion for what we bring home. In my mind, this puts hunters into a pretty good position. In the battle to protect hunting, the most effective tool might just be the most delicious.

Comments (38)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Ted Nugent calls is "sustenance." Eating what you shoot/kill is good stewardship. Not doing so is mindless.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from prairieghost wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

mr. Nickens- a series of great posts. Hunters should gladly celebrate and share their bounty with the uninformed. i cannot tell you the number of "converts" who've dined at my table over the past few years who discovered an appreciation of game meat flavors and the honest harvest ethics of getting it from field to table by yours truly.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from sjsmarais@gmail.com wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Wow, let's not get so blinded by the antics of anti-hunters that we lose sight of the fact that urban sprawl and agriculture also threatens wildlife habitat.I fear that while we focus on the anti-hunters industry will destroy wildlife habitat. In the hunting club that Fred Bear founded the mission statement reads that the pollution of air and water is one of the biggest threats to wildlife habitat.

I agree with prairie ghost, a lot of uninformed people out there who oppose hunting can be brought around. At least some of them care about something other than profit at the expense of the environment.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Outsider wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Agree 100% nothing like eating the meat from a deer that you harvested with your own equiptment, processed, and cooked. It tastes so much better than bland store bought meat.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Wel put.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Eat what you kill because it allows you to realize your true nature as a predator. There is nothing more real and honest than killing wild game and consuming it. People like our latest troll ss3 may wish to deny our nature as meat eating hunting hominids, but it is hunting and fishin, eating meat and fish that gave us the large brains that allow trolls like ss3 to actually do things like criticise hunters on a hunting website. If we had stayed root, insect and vegitation eaters we would have no more technology or culture than a mountain gorilla. Mountain Gorillas may be very cool, but I have yet to see one learn to read and write.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Is this even an issue? I was under the understanding that it is almost universally illegal to waste game.

I have defended hunting to many people in the past who (I thought mistakenly) were under the impression that there were hunters out there who hunted animals just to shoot them.

All the hunters I know hunt game to eat. Are there hunters that don't do this (with the obvious exceptions of prairie dogs and coyotes)? This may sound like a silly question but I'm serious...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

It is special to share the bounty of my hunts with my family at our dinner table (breakfast and lunch too). It is truly free-range, organic and humanely harvested, before such catch-phrases were needed or thought of. And we like the taste too, and the lack of hormones, antibiotics, processing, etc. My wife likes the self reliance of both growing(gardening) and hunting our own food, as do I. We do still shop at the supermarket, but we enjoy our meals more when they are the fruits of my (our) harvest

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I not only share my bounty with family and friends but have also made "donations" to Hunter for the Hungry.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Uh, do you really need a "manifesto" for eating what you kill? Seems a bit self-evident, doesn't it? This being a hunting and fishing site and all, and what with all those wanton waste laws most every state has on the books.

Sorry, don't mean to be snarky, but I think this is answering a question that pretty much no one is asking...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Thomas Murray wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Seriously, I know several hunters that kill 6-8 deer a year, and maybe eat one. I don't get it. Some of those deer go to shelters/pantries, or our state venison donation program, but I also know a hunter who feeds them whole to his dogs.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I always eat what I kill and I don't really need a reason, but this is a good one.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

seadog, you said it best, one for you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

DOWN WITH HUNTERS!!

-10 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bordetella wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Silly Sally 3
you realy want to go down on a hunter?Is that why your hanging out here?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from ray cummings wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

My wife is Native American (Shawnee) and over the last 46 years she taught me to respect the land and the animals. I would not think of shooting an animal that I was not going to eat (or give to someone who would eat it).We do not waste any part that is edible. I see so many hunters who waste parts of a deer. Most throw away the heart, liver, and ribcage I recently had a hunter give me the ribcage of a deer that he was going to throw away. I got nearly 8 pounds of hamburger out of it! If you like liver but the venison liver is too strong tasting for you, try cooking it with slices of Macintosh apples. It is great! The heart can be sliced, rolled in flour, and fried. A great meal that many miss.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Just today, I grilled a shoulder of a wild pig that I shot, cleaned, butchered and marinated. My wife watched me preparing the meat and said that she couldn't understand why I like to eat the game that I take. Well I am proud to say that after she ate her pork dinner tonight, and asked for some of mine, that she may not agree with my hunting endeavors, but she sure did agree that the results of my efforts taste great! BTW, Ketchup, Olive Oil, Black pepper, Mojo Crijollo and coconut rum make a mean pork marinade!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Good one Bordatello, Even if she is a hot good looking redhead, with legs a mile long, a great tuches, 38 D, I still would not let her near, me now if she changes her politics I might consider it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Heidelberger, Auf Geht's!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I for got to add Zu auf den Jagd

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

thats pretty stereotypical there ray cummings HOWW!, and moishe SHUTUP with ur jew language

-6 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

It appears that ss3 is just a spoiled child. My guess is male, but I don't think his nut sack has dropped yet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

To ss3, you're obviously a whizz kid at foreign languages. lmao Translate this: Tu eres un pendejo.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hey seadog guess what this says

F@#K U B@#CH

-7 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hey ss3,
I like going through your posts. It's quite funny to see all of your stupid comments. One time you referred to yourself as a Nazi. I like thinking of you PETA freaks as Nazis. You are actually doing us hunters a favor and stabbing your meat-haters in the back! I also read some of your comments about how you want to take me on. I love it when people try to pick a fight over a blog. We can disagree, but there not need be violence.
However, if you insist, come on up to North Dakota and we can have a talk. Maybe I'll even offer you some beef jerky!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA $%(*#$#(&$*&#(*#&($*&#($*#

Yours Truly,
Nate

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Oh, and I've given you a -1 on every one of your comments :)
Have a nice day :)

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Perhaps this would be a better world is we all killed what we eat. "Kill what you eat" would make a great bumper sticker.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

ss3

Ranking:

Points: -440

GOOD work folks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Moishe and 60256, whats it gonna take to relize that I'm better than u in evey way. I'm sorry we dont agree on anything, but i'm in the right, and i can say whatever the hell i want. So go crawl back in that back woods shack of urs and die.

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

You sure aren't better at spelling.What does evey mean?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

As I've said, I'm glad ss3 is such a glad represenative of PETA :)

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from matouse3 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Wow, ss3 really sounds quite intelligent in that posting. Glad to see the smart ones are backing PETA.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mcrumrine wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Eating what you kill is as basic to me as breathing. It was this way with all my friends growing up too. As an example on day some friends of mine and myself were messing around with a pelet gun down in the woods nad one of them shot a ground squirel. He cleaned it, took it home, and had his mom cook it up for him. He did say it wasn't the best meal he ever ate but it sure beat the punishment his dad would have metted out for senseless killing. None of us ever killed (or intentionally wounded) anything we didn't intend to eat after that. And as for PETA I'm a member, People Eating Tasty Animals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 270WSM wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

The eating of the game is the end of a great hunt. Venison is great tasting, good for you and available. If it wer not for venison my family would not eat meat very often. We will consume all the venison we take each year in a multitude of reciepes. We love the taste of wild game and will eat it for special occasion such as setting down for dinner with the kids each night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Good work people! Keep it up!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

ss3

Ranking:

Points: -710

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stjohn30 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

A timely, thoughtful post. Hunting, fishing and the consumption of meat is such a political issue today and we're all the worse for it. The taking and eating of wild game is not only our privilege, it represents an opportunity each season to reflect on what it means to be a part of life's web and to give thanks for nature's bounty. I'm grateful for our hunting traditions and the care with which most hunters take to take ethically while giving back to the great outdoors they count on for their hunting success.

Steve
yourfoodchoices.wordpress.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ol67 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

SS3...Are you familiar with the (former) grizzly "man" Timothy Treadwell?

If you are that concerned with animal welfare, why don't you take up his cause?

You don't have to worry about suffering his fate, as bears do not enjoy the taste of *oon-tang...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Ted Nugent calls is "sustenance." Eating what you shoot/kill is good stewardship. Not doing so is mindless.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bordetella wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Silly Sally 3
you realy want to go down on a hunter?Is that why your hanging out here?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from prairieghost wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

mr. Nickens- a series of great posts. Hunters should gladly celebrate and share their bounty with the uninformed. i cannot tell you the number of "converts" who've dined at my table over the past few years who discovered an appreciation of game meat flavors and the honest harvest ethics of getting it from field to table by yours truly.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Outsider wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Agree 100% nothing like eating the meat from a deer that you harvested with your own equiptment, processed, and cooked. It tastes so much better than bland store bought meat.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Eat what you kill because it allows you to realize your true nature as a predator. There is nothing more real and honest than killing wild game and consuming it. People like our latest troll ss3 may wish to deny our nature as meat eating hunting hominids, but it is hunting and fishin, eating meat and fish that gave us the large brains that allow trolls like ss3 to actually do things like criticise hunters on a hunting website. If we had stayed root, insect and vegitation eaters we would have no more technology or culture than a mountain gorilla. Mountain Gorillas may be very cool, but I have yet to see one learn to read and write.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hey ss3,
I like going through your posts. It's quite funny to see all of your stupid comments. One time you referred to yourself as a Nazi. I like thinking of you PETA freaks as Nazis. You are actually doing us hunters a favor and stabbing your meat-haters in the back! I also read some of your comments about how you want to take me on. I love it when people try to pick a fight over a blog. We can disagree, but there not need be violence.
However, if you insist, come on up to North Dakota and we can have a talk. Maybe I'll even offer you some beef jerky!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA $%(*#$#(&$*&#(*#&($*&#($*#

Yours Truly,
Nate

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from sjsmarais@gmail.com wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Wow, let's not get so blinded by the antics of anti-hunters that we lose sight of the fact that urban sprawl and agriculture also threatens wildlife habitat.I fear that while we focus on the anti-hunters industry will destroy wildlife habitat. In the hunting club that Fred Bear founded the mission statement reads that the pollution of air and water is one of the biggest threats to wildlife habitat.

I agree with prairie ghost, a lot of uninformed people out there who oppose hunting can be brought around. At least some of them care about something other than profit at the expense of the environment.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

It is special to share the bounty of my hunts with my family at our dinner table (breakfast and lunch too). It is truly free-range, organic and humanely harvested, before such catch-phrases were needed or thought of. And we like the taste too, and the lack of hormones, antibiotics, processing, etc. My wife likes the self reliance of both growing(gardening) and hunting our own food, as do I. We do still shop at the supermarket, but we enjoy our meals more when they are the fruits of my (our) harvest

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I not only share my bounty with family and friends but have also made "donations" to Hunter for the Hungry.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I always eat what I kill and I don't really need a reason, but this is a good one.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ray cummings wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

My wife is Native American (Shawnee) and over the last 46 years she taught me to respect the land and the animals. I would not think of shooting an animal that I was not going to eat (or give to someone who would eat it).We do not waste any part that is edible. I see so many hunters who waste parts of a deer. Most throw away the heart, liver, and ribcage I recently had a hunter give me the ribcage of a deer that he was going to throw away. I got nearly 8 pounds of hamburger out of it! If you like liver but the venison liver is too strong tasting for you, try cooking it with slices of Macintosh apples. It is great! The heart can be sliced, rolled in flour, and fried. A great meal that many miss.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Just today, I grilled a shoulder of a wild pig that I shot, cleaned, butchered and marinated. My wife watched me preparing the meat and said that she couldn't understand why I like to eat the game that I take. Well I am proud to say that after she ate her pork dinner tonight, and asked for some of mine, that she may not agree with my hunting endeavors, but she sure did agree that the results of my efforts taste great! BTW, Ketchup, Olive Oil, Black pepper, Mojo Crijollo and coconut rum make a mean pork marinade!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

It appears that ss3 is just a spoiled child. My guess is male, but I don't think his nut sack has dropped yet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Wel put.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Is this even an issue? I was under the understanding that it is almost universally illegal to waste game.

I have defended hunting to many people in the past who (I thought mistakenly) were under the impression that there were hunters out there who hunted animals just to shoot them.

All the hunters I know hunt game to eat. Are there hunters that don't do this (with the obvious exceptions of prairie dogs and coyotes)? This may sound like a silly question but I'm serious...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Thomas Murray wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Seriously, I know several hunters that kill 6-8 deer a year, and maybe eat one. I don't get it. Some of those deer go to shelters/pantries, or our state venison donation program, but I also know a hunter who feeds them whole to his dogs.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

seadog, you said it best, one for you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Heidelberger, Auf Geht's!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

I for got to add Zu auf den Jagd

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

To ss3, you're obviously a whizz kid at foreign languages. lmao Translate this: Tu eres un pendejo.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Oh, and I've given you a -1 on every one of your comments :)
Have a nice day :)

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Perhaps this would be a better world is we all killed what we eat. "Kill what you eat" would make a great bumper sticker.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

ss3

Ranking:

Points: -440

GOOD work folks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

You sure aren't better at spelling.What does evey mean?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

As I've said, I'm glad ss3 is such a glad represenative of PETA :)

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from matouse3 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Wow, ss3 really sounds quite intelligent in that posting. Glad to see the smart ones are backing PETA.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mcrumrine wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Eating what you kill is as basic to me as breathing. It was this way with all my friends growing up too. As an example on day some friends of mine and myself were messing around with a pelet gun down in the woods nad one of them shot a ground squirel. He cleaned it, took it home, and had his mom cook it up for him. He did say it wasn't the best meal he ever ate but it sure beat the punishment his dad would have metted out for senseless killing. None of us ever killed (or intentionally wounded) anything we didn't intend to eat after that. And as for PETA I'm a member, People Eating Tasty Animals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 270WSM wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

The eating of the game is the end of a great hunt. Venison is great tasting, good for you and available. If it wer not for venison my family would not eat meat very often. We will consume all the venison we take each year in a multitude of reciepes. We love the taste of wild game and will eat it for special occasion such as setting down for dinner with the kids each night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ol67 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

SS3...Are you familiar with the (former) grizzly "man" Timothy Treadwell?

If you are that concerned with animal welfare, why don't you take up his cause?

You don't have to worry about suffering his fate, as bears do not enjoy the taste of *oon-tang...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Uh, do you really need a "manifesto" for eating what you kill? Seems a bit self-evident, doesn't it? This being a hunting and fishing site and all, and what with all those wanton waste laws most every state has on the books.

Sorry, don't mean to be snarky, but I think this is answering a question that pretty much no one is asking...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Good one Bordatello, Even if she is a hot good looking redhead, with legs a mile long, a great tuches, 38 D, I still would not let her near, me now if she changes her politics I might consider it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Good work people! Keep it up!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

ss3

Ranking:

Points: -710

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stjohn30 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

A timely, thoughtful post. Hunting, fishing and the consumption of meat is such a political issue today and we're all the worse for it. The taking and eating of wild game is not only our privilege, it represents an opportunity each season to reflect on what it means to be a part of life's web and to give thanks for nature's bounty. I'm grateful for our hunting traditions and the care with which most hunters take to take ethically while giving back to the great outdoors they count on for their hunting success.

Steve
yourfoodchoices.wordpress.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Moishe and 60256, whats it gonna take to relize that I'm better than u in evey way. I'm sorry we dont agree on anything, but i'm in the right, and i can say whatever the hell i want. So go crawl back in that back woods shack of urs and die.

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

thats pretty stereotypical there ray cummings HOWW!, and moishe SHUTUP with ur jew language

-6 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hey seadog guess what this says

F@#K U B@#CH

-7 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss3 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

DOWN WITH HUNTERS!!

-10 Good Comment? | | Report

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