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Should We Start Selling Deer Meat?

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October 28, 2013

Should We Start Selling Deer Meat?

By David Draper


CC image from Flickr

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Jim Sterba, author of "Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlegrounds," placed a pretty good question to the public: "What explains the fact that we have a glut of white-tailed deer in this country, yet an estimated 85% of the venison sold in restaurants and at meat counters is imported from farms in New Zealand?"

I think most of us understand the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and how it shaped the state of conservation in America. If it weren't for the foresight of a select group of conservationists banning the sale of free-ranging game for meat, the modern face of hunting would be much different, if there were any game to hunt at all.

But let's consider the whitetail deer. Little more than 100 years ago there weren't much more than 300,000 left in the wild. Today there is probably 30 million, many of which are considered nuisance animals to suburban city managers, residents and the thousands up thousands of motorists who are unfortunate to meet one on America's roadways. It's safe to say, the whitetail population is not only back, it's back in a big way. Too big for some people.

So, what's wrong with opening up the sale of game meat, with some tightly controlled regulations of course? It works in other countries, most notably South Africa where even hunter-killed free-range game animals are often sold at market by the landowners. It's big business there, and it could be big business here. Of course, it could also spell disaster.

Among the pitfalls of adding a dollar value to deer is the threat of increased poaching. Just take a look at the headlines as giant bucks get picked off with ever-increasing frequency each fall. It’s not a stretch to see the same thing happen to does if you start hanging virtual price tags from their ears. Still, there’s little threat that whitetails will ever go the way of the passenger pigeon, which was gunned to extinction by market hunters in the early part of the last century. Any plans for commercial harvest would be tightly regulated, utilizing specially licensed shooters to cull populations of problem deer. As Sterba points out in his article, this wouldn’t be the end-all to over-population and wouldn’t replace hunting as a means to manage deer herds, but it would give wildlife biologists another tool to manage herds, particularly in problem areas.   

On my recent alligator hunt in Florida, my guides were two government-contracted alligator control specialists who annually remove more than 400 problem gators from people’s backyards and swimming pools. As part of the deal with the state, they are allowed to sell the meat from any alligator they catch. So what makes problem deer any different?

This is a controversial subject, so let’s go back to my original question and take a poll:

Comments (31)

Top Rated
All Comments
from JRE716 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I do not believe anyone should be able to sell free range whitetail. If they want to sell the deer that get raised in captivity go right ahead all they are is "cattle" in a way anyways.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from E.J.H wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Sell the pen raised deer, or get people in to the outdoors to join the hunting heritage and harvest the wild game from the woods.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wittsec wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

As soon as their is a dollar sign on the deer not only will there be more poaching but there will also be more hunters that will attempt shots that are beyond their ability leading to some unethical situations.

If states want to use hunters to cull the whitetail population they should issue special tags that will allow real hunters to go out and do what they love to do but the deer will be delivered to a place that will process the meat, sell it to restaurants, then use the profits for charities such as feeding the hungry. Yes you could give the meat straight to the hungry, but venison is expensive and more people could be fed with the profits. I do think that the hunters that participate in this should be able to keep the backstraps though, got to get something.

So:
1) hunters get to do what they love
2) whitetail population held down
3) restaurants serve American grown venison
4) charities get funded

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane256 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

As soon as a dollar sign gets put on it, it'll be wholesale slaughter of whitetails. As others mention, poaching will skyrocket (it's bad enough as it is). Pen raised is one thing but for wild deer, this would be pretty bad, IMO.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHAEL J RING wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

England not only permits but promotes selling game to the market. The difference between the US and England is that the land owner has the rights to the wildlife on his land which creates an incentive for him to manage his land to support game. In the US hunting interest try to get the federal government to pay farmers to create habitat to support wildlife.

Here in Ohio, we tried a hunter-farmer program to open up more of the state to hunting. The farmers didn't join the program since there wasn't anything in it for them. Just imagine the amount of land that would open up to hunters if the ever struggling farmers had a market incentive to partner with hunters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

wittsec has a pretty decent idea.

VA Hunters for the Hungry always runs out of money before donations run out. If the donation centers could sell a few deer or even just the prized cuts to restaurants in order to fund labor and packaging for distribution the program could help more people. I would only support it in this way. Highly regulated, no money to the hunter for deer, and processing centers would have to show the money was used for processing for charity. USDA would probably never allow any of this so it is probably a moot point.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHAEL J RING wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

England not only permits but promotes selling game to the market. The difference between the US and England is that the land owner has the rights to the wildlife on his land which creates an incentive for him to manage his land to support game. In the US hunting interest try to get the federal government to pay farmers to create habitat to support wildlife.

Here in Ohio, we tried a hunter-farmer program to open up more of the state to hunting. The farmers didn't join the program since there wasn't anything in it for them. Just imagine the amount of land that would open up to hunters if the ever struggling farmers had a market incentive to partner with hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

I was recently at a meeting where this very topic was discussed in detail. I'll be curious to see where it goes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GregMc wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Michael, just to be clear, people who are not landowners or very rich do not get to hunt in England. In England, the landowner owns the wildlife and consequently, none of it is available to average people.
The North American Model, the foundation of which is that all wildlife are held in trust for the American people and cannot be owned by an individual, is the only reason that Americans are still free to hunt no matter their social status.
Market hunting is a bad management and would set in place a policy that wouldn't end with whitetail.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from IND_NRA wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Short answer NO Selling of wild meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Never in a million years would I support the commercial sale of wild game meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from makersman wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

NO NO NO!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SMC1986 wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

I have to vote no on this one. Let them sell farmed deer all they want though.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kansasjeff wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I could see this as possibly a solution, not for deer, but perhaps for invasive species such as feral hogs, Asian carp, or for the truly adventurous among us, boas and anacondas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bear31062 wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I don't think it would be good except for farm raised to be sold from OUT OF COUNTRY. I think if they were to start selling deer meat at whatever the next you know the grocery stores will have it then restaurants will sell it then the corner 7-11. Then they will say why do you need to hunt if you can by it everywhere. No it will lead to the end of hunting as we know it and possibly of all hunting period. That's the governments take on all things gun related it is another means to an end to our guns and our heritage as we have come to know and love.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stvncts wrote 25 weeks 22 hours ago

Why is this a debate? How many thousands of deer preserves are there in the U.S? how many deer carcasses are thrown away due to the fact the hunter only wants the head and hide?
Why don't we put these preserves under the USDA and they could then operate as deer preserve but also sell deer meat commercially...the wheel has already been invented....

Dr. Steven Cates

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jsodo57 wrote 25 weeks 22 hours ago

I agree, No. Not only will would we see a huge decrease in the deer population, therefore limiting my hunting success. We also have the issue of the quality of the meat handling skills of the person processing the deer. I am extremely careful with how I process my deer. I make sure to take the extra steps to properly field dress my deer, to make sure it s cooled properly, etc. If you open it up to someone making a dollar you would need a regulatory body to govern this (USDA). Right now the chances are if you are unsafe with your processing and you get someone sick it is probably a friend or a family member. You know who processed it and who to blame , I would like to see how someone would food poisoning get revenge, I could only imagine. If I go to a restaurant and my kid gets sick because Billy Bob didn't take the extra step to field dress the deer properly then I am going to have issues. I know I am being paranoid but I am good with it. If we do it make it farm raised.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bruce Albright wrote 25 weeks 21 hours ago

There are a number of issues. Some were brought up in the article, like possible increase in poaching. Some other potential issues: Here in Colorado we have endemic Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and up to 10% of the male deer in certain parts of the State are infected. I, for one, would not buy deer meat in a restaurant if I didn't know the CWD status of the animal. Some other commenters have also noted that you have no way of knowing how the meat was treated after the kill. Would we have to have USDA inspections for field dressing? And if someone gets sick from meat that was not handled properly, who's liable?

To the commenter from Ohio, did the state try compensating landowners for any deer harvested on their land? I know that's standard in Wyoming. The license is in three parts - carcass tag, license and landowner coupon,, so when you harvest an animal you drop the coupon into the handy box that the landowner will have mounted on a fence. Everybody wins. I can't imagine that farmers in Ohio are overjoyed at herds of whitetail chewing up their crops, not to mention the spouses flowerbeds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 25 weeks 20 hours ago

Does no one remember why we outlawed market hunting in this country?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary Devine wrote 25 weeks 20 hours ago

I say no way!

What next selling bear gall bladders to the Orientals?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reggie6567 wrote 25 weeks 7 hours ago

Yes we should allow for the controlled selling of Whitetail. There are some hunters that are not interested in eating the meat. They either give the deer to someone else or they leave it behind, which I consider really sad. The restriction is that deer meat for restaurants or consumers should only be available through licensed meat processors. And of course, they would only be able to process deer that are properly tagged as is currently the case. Everything would be traceable. As it is costly to process a deer, the fee that someone would get for a deer would not be that much, maybe $30 to $40. That would essentially be the fee that you pay for your state hunting permit, so there would not be any great financial incentive to hunt deer for a profit, but it would allow people to buy venison and for restaurants to serve it.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from goldhunter wrote 25 weeks 6 hours ago

I dont think we should sell this stuff. A lot more people will get into deer hunting just because they can make a profit doing it. And I can hunt mostly public ground so there won't be all that many deer left for me.
Also if you gut shot a deer some of the meat is not good to eat right? well if someone sees money in that part of the meat just because it weighs something they will keep it and someone will eventually eat it and possibly get sick.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kybill54 wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

The only problem with that is, the government will want to regulate it. FDA will get involved. They will want to inspect it. Regulate the sale and how much can be sold. What can be done is to lift restrictions on the number taken. To decrease the population have certain areas to only allow does taken instead of bucks to balance out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kybill54 wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

The only problem with that is, the government will want to regulate it. FDA will get involved. They will want to inspect it. Regulate the sale and how much can be sold. What can be done is to lift restrictions on the number taken. To decrease the population have certain areas to only allow does taken instead of bucks to balance out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from siberd wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

when you allow money into it we will lose to big money

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 8bears wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Here's something to think about:
Market hunting was banned in the US because we were causing the wholesale slaughter of, and extinction of certain species of animals(for one reason of many).
The situation has drastically changed within the last 50 years. There are now more deer in the state of Maryland alone than there were in the whole original 13 colonies.
There are farms with crops totally razed due to deer. Deer are destroying people's flower beds, stripping tree bark and killing saplings, causing mega-bucks of damage due to auto accidents, are carriers of deer ticks (Lyme disease) ---- I could go on for hours --- ALL DUE TO OVER POPULATION. Hunting is NOT controlling the deer population.
We have more deer, and we have less habitat. We have eliminated the natural predators. We sometimes have to hire professional hunters to try to get rid of some of the excess. Overpopulation will eventually cause disease & starvation in these herds - less humane than a single bullet.
So, why waste this resource? CONTROLLED market hunting, with the proper licensing, regulation, and food inspection MAY just be the answer.
I doubt that if properly handled, poaching will be much of an issue (any more than it is already).
If you/we are not sure, try it "for a year or three." You can always write a law with a "sunset clause." That way, if the legislature finds it is a bad law, it will die. If it is a good one, they can renew it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 8bears wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

One additional thought about regulation & inspection for you nay-sayers.
I spent over 15 years working for our local Department of Health in the area of food inspection. With that knowledge & with what I have seen, there is NO WAY that I would like to see unregulated meat enter the commercial food chain.
I have investigated food-borne disease outbreaks, and I have inspected both clean and dirty restaurants and food processors. If you saw what I have seen, you'd probably starve to death rather than trust what's already "out there." That's one reason why we already have local laws preventing the processing of wild game and storing it next to domestically raised beef, etc.
Rather than complaining about the FDA getting involved, maybe you should complain about the FDA not doing enough.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gjstcruz wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

The conflicts between the Sportsmen and the For Profit Hunters would be ugly, and many. I say issue additional tag(s) to Sportsmen that would allow them to harvest animals for sale after what would have been their limit has been reached.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Christopher J Helwig wrote 21 weeks 3 days ago

Make it legal to sell a tagged deer to a butcher to process and sell. Have a number for the cuts of meat. When the butcher receives the deer he weighs it gutted, When the butcher packages a cut of meat he/she must write in sharpie the "cut #" along with the tag number for that deer. Then on a receipt of sale include the "cut #'s" along with the "tag number's" of the sale. If a game warden audits a butchers meat on hand and tag numbers to the sales receipts and it shows some outrageous unpractical numbers. It would be safe to say he is either not doing his paper work correctly of he has taken in poached deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Griffithn wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

I think that selling game is the future, and is the only way to ensure hunting survives... without the economic value of the game. there is nothing that can even slow down habitat destruction via urban encroachment... good game management... good herd health... proper attention to environmental changes... good shooting (nothing worse than wasting meat to bad shots)... and a renewed sense of value to good game management can come from a financially incentivized network of informed hunters via a well thought out and administered program...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan Trapani wrote 12 weeks 5 days ago

In order to evaluate market hunting in the past, we must look at the conditions then as well. Deer were nearly extirpated - as well as passenger pigeons - during a time when little habitat existed for those animals, since most land was cleared for agriculture. Second, we have to look at how deer are owned. Since they are a public ownership (no one owns them) there is little incentive for individuals to preserve deer (or manage for them) when the guy over the hill can simply take one. This would be similar to a cow farmer investing both time and money upon his cows, only to learn his neighbor shot and harvested it and essentially stole it. I think in order to have market hunting, wildlife must be allowed to be owned when on private property. If not, there is no long-term incentives, other than those that implement force (game laws). I hunt quite a bit as do my friends. Save a few food plots here & there, few invest in forest management to deliberately manage for deer. For the most, part, we're foraging for deer out there, and not much else. To add insult to injury, private landowners, farmers, orchardists, and foresters are paying for it. That's not fair. Maybe they should be compensated by potentially selling the meat. It's a tricky situation. I admit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from wittsec wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

As soon as their is a dollar sign on the deer not only will there be more poaching but there will also be more hunters that will attempt shots that are beyond their ability leading to some unethical situations.

If states want to use hunters to cull the whitetail population they should issue special tags that will allow real hunters to go out and do what they love to do but the deer will be delivered to a place that will process the meat, sell it to restaurants, then use the profits for charities such as feeding the hungry. Yes you could give the meat straight to the hungry, but venison is expensive and more people could be fed with the profits. I do think that the hunters that participate in this should be able to keep the backstraps though, got to get something.

So:
1) hunters get to do what they love
2) whitetail population held down
3) restaurants serve American grown venison
4) charities get funded

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

wittsec has a pretty decent idea.

VA Hunters for the Hungry always runs out of money before donations run out. If the donation centers could sell a few deer or even just the prized cuts to restaurants in order to fund labor and packaging for distribution the program could help more people. I would only support it in this way. Highly regulated, no money to the hunter for deer, and processing centers would have to show the money was used for processing for charity. USDA would probably never allow any of this so it is probably a moot point.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from GregMc wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Michael, just to be clear, people who are not landowners or very rich do not get to hunt in England. In England, the landowner owns the wildlife and consequently, none of it is available to average people.
The North American Model, the foundation of which is that all wildlife are held in trust for the American people and cannot be owned by an individual, is the only reason that Americans are still free to hunt no matter their social status.
Market hunting is a bad management and would set in place a policy that wouldn't end with whitetail.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane256 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

As soon as a dollar sign gets put on it, it'll be wholesale slaughter of whitetails. As others mention, poaching will skyrocket (it's bad enough as it is). Pen raised is one thing but for wild deer, this would be pretty bad, IMO.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from E.J.H wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Sell the pen raised deer, or get people in to the outdoors to join the hunting heritage and harvest the wild game from the woods.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from goldhunter wrote 25 weeks 6 hours ago

I dont think we should sell this stuff. A lot more people will get into deer hunting just because they can make a profit doing it. And I can hunt mostly public ground so there won't be all that many deer left for me.
Also if you gut shot a deer some of the meat is not good to eat right? well if someone sees money in that part of the meat just because it weighs something they will keep it and someone will eventually eat it and possibly get sick.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 25 weeks 20 hours ago

Does no one remember why we outlawed market hunting in this country?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JRE716 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I do not believe anyone should be able to sell free range whitetail. If they want to sell the deer that get raised in captivity go right ahead all they are is "cattle" in a way anyways.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Never in a million years would I support the commercial sale of wild game meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gjstcruz wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

The conflicts between the Sportsmen and the For Profit Hunters would be ugly, and many. I say issue additional tag(s) to Sportsmen that would allow them to harvest animals for sale after what would have been their limit has been reached.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from makersman wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

NO NO NO!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bear31062 wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I don't think it would be good except for farm raised to be sold from OUT OF COUNTRY. I think if they were to start selling deer meat at whatever the next you know the grocery stores will have it then restaurants will sell it then the corner 7-11. Then they will say why do you need to hunt if you can by it everywhere. No it will lead to the end of hunting as we know it and possibly of all hunting period. That's the governments take on all things gun related it is another means to an end to our guns and our heritage as we have come to know and love.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IND_NRA wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Short answer NO Selling of wild meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jsodo57 wrote 25 weeks 22 hours ago

I agree, No. Not only will would we see a huge decrease in the deer population, therefore limiting my hunting success. We also have the issue of the quality of the meat handling skills of the person processing the deer. I am extremely careful with how I process my deer. I make sure to take the extra steps to properly field dress my deer, to make sure it s cooled properly, etc. If you open it up to someone making a dollar you would need a regulatory body to govern this (USDA). Right now the chances are if you are unsafe with your processing and you get someone sick it is probably a friend or a family member. You know who processed it and who to blame , I would like to see how someone would food poisoning get revenge, I could only imagine. If I go to a restaurant and my kid gets sick because Billy Bob didn't take the extra step to field dress the deer properly then I am going to have issues. I know I am being paranoid but I am good with it. If we do it make it farm raised.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHAEL J RING wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

England not only permits but promotes selling game to the market. The difference between the US and England is that the land owner has the rights to the wildlife on his land which creates an incentive for him to manage his land to support game. In the US hunting interest try to get the federal government to pay farmers to create habitat to support wildlife.

Here in Ohio, we tried a hunter-farmer program to open up more of the state to hunting. The farmers didn't join the program since there wasn't anything in it for them. Just imagine the amount of land that would open up to hunters if the ever struggling farmers had a market incentive to partner with hunters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bruce Albright wrote 25 weeks 21 hours ago

There are a number of issues. Some were brought up in the article, like possible increase in poaching. Some other potential issues: Here in Colorado we have endemic Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and up to 10% of the male deer in certain parts of the State are infected. I, for one, would not buy deer meat in a restaurant if I didn't know the CWD status of the animal. Some other commenters have also noted that you have no way of knowing how the meat was treated after the kill. Would we have to have USDA inspections for field dressing? And if someone gets sick from meat that was not handled properly, who's liable?

To the commenter from Ohio, did the state try compensating landowners for any deer harvested on their land? I know that's standard in Wyoming. The license is in three parts - carcass tag, license and landowner coupon,, so when you harvest an animal you drop the coupon into the handy box that the landowner will have mounted on a fence. Everybody wins. I can't imagine that farmers in Ohio are overjoyed at herds of whitetail chewing up their crops, not to mention the spouses flowerbeds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kansasjeff wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I could see this as possibly a solution, not for deer, but perhaps for invasive species such as feral hogs, Asian carp, or for the truly adventurous among us, boas and anacondas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

I was recently at a meeting where this very topic was discussed in detail. I'll be curious to see where it goes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stvncts wrote 25 weeks 22 hours ago

Why is this a debate? How many thousands of deer preserves are there in the U.S? how many deer carcasses are thrown away due to the fact the hunter only wants the head and hide?
Why don't we put these preserves under the USDA and they could then operate as deer preserve but also sell deer meat commercially...the wheel has already been invented....

Dr. Steven Cates

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary Devine wrote 25 weeks 20 hours ago

I say no way!

What next selling bear gall bladders to the Orientals?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 8bears wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Here's something to think about:
Market hunting was banned in the US because we were causing the wholesale slaughter of, and extinction of certain species of animals(for one reason of many).
The situation has drastically changed within the last 50 years. There are now more deer in the state of Maryland alone than there were in the whole original 13 colonies.
There are farms with crops totally razed due to deer. Deer are destroying people's flower beds, stripping tree bark and killing saplings, causing mega-bucks of damage due to auto accidents, are carriers of deer ticks (Lyme disease) ---- I could go on for hours --- ALL DUE TO OVER POPULATION. Hunting is NOT controlling the deer population.
We have more deer, and we have less habitat. We have eliminated the natural predators. We sometimes have to hire professional hunters to try to get rid of some of the excess. Overpopulation will eventually cause disease & starvation in these herds - less humane than a single bullet.
So, why waste this resource? CONTROLLED market hunting, with the proper licensing, regulation, and food inspection MAY just be the answer.
I doubt that if properly handled, poaching will be much of an issue (any more than it is already).
If you/we are not sure, try it "for a year or three." You can always write a law with a "sunset clause." That way, if the legislature finds it is a bad law, it will die. If it is a good one, they can renew it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 8bears wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

One additional thought about regulation & inspection for you nay-sayers.
I spent over 15 years working for our local Department of Health in the area of food inspection. With that knowledge & with what I have seen, there is NO WAY that I would like to see unregulated meat enter the commercial food chain.
I have investigated food-borne disease outbreaks, and I have inspected both clean and dirty restaurants and food processors. If you saw what I have seen, you'd probably starve to death rather than trust what's already "out there." That's one reason why we already have local laws preventing the processing of wild game and storing it next to domestically raised beef, etc.
Rather than complaining about the FDA getting involved, maybe you should complain about the FDA not doing enough.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kybill54 wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

The only problem with that is, the government will want to regulate it. FDA will get involved. They will want to inspect it. Regulate the sale and how much can be sold. What can be done is to lift restrictions on the number taken. To decrease the population have certain areas to only allow does taken instead of bucks to balance out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kybill54 wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

The only problem with that is, the government will want to regulate it. FDA will get involved. They will want to inspect it. Regulate the sale and how much can be sold. What can be done is to lift restrictions on the number taken. To decrease the population have certain areas to only allow does taken instead of bucks to balance out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from siberd wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

when you allow money into it we will lose to big money

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SMC1986 wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

I have to vote no on this one. Let them sell farmed deer all they want though.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Griffithn wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

I think that selling game is the future, and is the only way to ensure hunting survives... without the economic value of the game. there is nothing that can even slow down habitat destruction via urban encroachment... good game management... good herd health... proper attention to environmental changes... good shooting (nothing worse than wasting meat to bad shots)... and a renewed sense of value to good game management can come from a financially incentivized network of informed hunters via a well thought out and administered program...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHAEL J RING wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

England not only permits but promotes selling game to the market. The difference between the US and England is that the land owner has the rights to the wildlife on his land which creates an incentive for him to manage his land to support game. In the US hunting interest try to get the federal government to pay farmers to create habitat to support wildlife.

Here in Ohio, we tried a hunter-farmer program to open up more of the state to hunting. The farmers didn't join the program since there wasn't anything in it for them. Just imagine the amount of land that would open up to hunters if the ever struggling farmers had a market incentive to partner with hunters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Christopher J Helwig wrote 21 weeks 3 days ago

Make it legal to sell a tagged deer to a butcher to process and sell. Have a number for the cuts of meat. When the butcher receives the deer he weighs it gutted, When the butcher packages a cut of meat he/she must write in sharpie the "cut #" along with the tag number for that deer. Then on a receipt of sale include the "cut #'s" along with the "tag number's" of the sale. If a game warden audits a butchers meat on hand and tag numbers to the sales receipts and it shows some outrageous unpractical numbers. It would be safe to say he is either not doing his paper work correctly of he has taken in poached deer.

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from Ryan Trapani wrote 12 weeks 5 days ago

In order to evaluate market hunting in the past, we must look at the conditions then as well. Deer were nearly extirpated - as well as passenger pigeons - during a time when little habitat existed for those animals, since most land was cleared for agriculture. Second, we have to look at how deer are owned. Since they are a public ownership (no one owns them) there is little incentive for individuals to preserve deer (or manage for them) when the guy over the hill can simply take one. This would be similar to a cow farmer investing both time and money upon his cows, only to learn his neighbor shot and harvested it and essentially stole it. I think in order to have market hunting, wildlife must be allowed to be owned when on private property. If not, there is no long-term incentives, other than those that implement force (game laws). I hunt quite a bit as do my friends. Save a few food plots here & there, few invest in forest management to deliberately manage for deer. For the most, part, we're foraging for deer out there, and not much else. To add insult to injury, private landowners, farmers, orchardists, and foresters are paying for it. That's not fair. Maybe they should be compensated by potentially selling the meat. It's a tricky situation. I admit.

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from Reggie6567 wrote 25 weeks 7 hours ago

Yes we should allow for the controlled selling of Whitetail. There are some hunters that are not interested in eating the meat. They either give the deer to someone else or they leave it behind, which I consider really sad. The restriction is that deer meat for restaurants or consumers should only be available through licensed meat processors. And of course, they would only be able to process deer that are properly tagged as is currently the case. Everything would be traceable. As it is costly to process a deer, the fee that someone would get for a deer would not be that much, maybe $30 to $40. That would essentially be the fee that you pay for your state hunting permit, so there would not be any great financial incentive to hunt deer for a profit, but it would allow people to buy venison and for restaurants to serve it.

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