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The Obligation: Feed Deer to Your Kids

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December 01, 2009

The Obligation: Feed Deer to Your Kids

By T. Edward Nickens

Thoughts on eating venison from Editor-at-Large T. Edward Nickens.

For a long time—­almost too long—I made the mistake of treating venison as something special. Backstraps were saved for company. Roasts were relegated to holidays. All that changed when the kids came along.

My family of four will eat three whitetails a year, and I’ve learned to treat venison as no big deal. Today, it’s the meat in the soup and in the stew. It’s the meat on the shish kebabs and in the pasta salad. When my kids’ friends are over for dinner, we don’t have “wild-game nights.” We have supper. You want meat? Then it’s a wild-game night. What’s the big deal? (The big deal is that most of their friends rave over “Bambi Spaghetti” and don’t even know it’s venison until later. Which my kids think is hilarious.)

I’m not saying I don’t make a big deal out of a few special meals from each special animal. But by and large, deer meat has become an ordinary part of my kids’ lives, a routine expression of our family’s reliance on the harvest of the woods. I’d argue that that’s a pretty big deal in its own way.

Comments (9)

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from johntalbott wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I agree completely. I have made an attempt to use venison not as a substitute or special meal, but as an everyday item. Its funny though, the more regularily i eat it, I am able to relive the hunt and appreciate all the flavors of the meat cooked different. The tradition my buddies and I did a couple of years ago in college remains though, fresh backstraps grilled over an open fire or at least charcoal. Mr. Bestul, Always enjoy reading what you have to say, its insightful and provides valuable perspective. Thanks!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

i have family members who love it and when i have a deer processed they love it... others have a serious problem with knowing its venison and won't eat it which is very weird to me i can see if it was a repulsive animal like a crow or raccoon... but deer eat almost the same as cows and pigs... i wouldn't shoot it if i didn't plan on someone eating it...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

This is very true. Deer meat has almost no amazingness value in our household. If we have meat, it is deer meat. You still won't hear me complain, though, because vension is delicious!

Nate

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Good article, this is the first step of getting kids into the outdoors and we could all use a little help when eating our deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from prairieghost wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

mr. Nickens-
i couldn't agree more. when i remarried eight years ago, my wife brought a twelve year old into the house who basically only ate chicken mcnuggets. today, that same young woman requests antelope backstraps for supper when she comes home from college and has enjoyed elk, venison, antelope, and moose as a regular part of her diet over the past few years.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

being able to harvest multiple deer sure would help on the grocery bills.....I dont know where they put it, kids eat like little locusts.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Ted Nugent said once that his family has NOT "bought" meat in over 30 years !
Everything they eat (meat) comes from the field !

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

Both my 4 y.o. and 16 mo. old love venison, as does my wife. Guess i gotta keep at it to keep the fridge and freezer full!

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

We all love venison. All 4 generations of our family would rather have it than beef or pork. All of the kids, male and female, love the outdoors. Even our 2 year old great grandson loves to go into the woods to see where the deer live.Hopefully some day he will hunt and be able to teach his children and grand children to love venison.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from johntalbott wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I agree completely. I have made an attempt to use venison not as a substitute or special meal, but as an everyday item. Its funny though, the more regularily i eat it, I am able to relive the hunt and appreciate all the flavors of the meat cooked different. The tradition my buddies and I did a couple of years ago in college remains though, fresh backstraps grilled over an open fire or at least charcoal. Mr. Bestul, Always enjoy reading what you have to say, its insightful and provides valuable perspective. Thanks!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

i have family members who love it and when i have a deer processed they love it... others have a serious problem with knowing its venison and won't eat it which is very weird to me i can see if it was a repulsive animal like a crow or raccoon... but deer eat almost the same as cows and pigs... i wouldn't shoot it if i didn't plan on someone eating it...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

This is very true. Deer meat has almost no amazingness value in our household. If we have meat, it is deer meat. You still won't hear me complain, though, because vension is delicious!

Nate

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

being able to harvest multiple deer sure would help on the grocery bills.....I dont know where they put it, kids eat like little locusts.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Good article, this is the first step of getting kids into the outdoors and we could all use a little help when eating our deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from prairieghost wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

mr. Nickens-
i couldn't agree more. when i remarried eight years ago, my wife brought a twelve year old into the house who basically only ate chicken mcnuggets. today, that same young woman requests antelope backstraps for supper when she comes home from college and has enjoyed elk, venison, antelope, and moose as a regular part of her diet over the past few years.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Ted Nugent said once that his family has NOT "bought" meat in over 30 years !
Everything they eat (meat) comes from the field !

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

Both my 4 y.o. and 16 mo. old love venison, as does my wife. Guess i gotta keep at it to keep the fridge and freezer full!

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

We all love venison. All 4 generations of our family would rather have it than beef or pork. All of the kids, male and female, love the outdoors. Even our 2 year old great grandson loves to go into the woods to see where the deer live.Hopefully some day he will hunt and be able to teach his children and grand children to love venison.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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