Self Sustainment

ScottR_EHJ

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A few years back I bought an upright fridge with the goal of filling it up with game meat and doing my best not to eat any meat that didn't come from an animal that I harvested. That season I was able to put two Antelope, 2 deer and an elk in. Just about every meal was red meat that I had a taken and to some extent was an experiment to get the desired tastes I butchered all of them myself, and had the intent of taking all of that meat with me in my move to the current location. Well, i lost a bunch of it when the freezer went out while I was hoping that the house would sell.

Winter is starting to hit in full force and I still have one cow tag to fill(Monday hopefully), but ice fishing is about to kick into high gear. I love Lake Trout and Rainbows and plan to stuff the freezer full of it. Might even try to catch some Burbot or Ling a bit this year too. 2 winters ago we had enough in the freezer that it was there nearly every other night. Last winter the ice was sketchy at best with the up and down temps which made fishing a little tougher.

The move is now past, house that wouldn't sell sold and now in a place where I can try it again on my own. That was about 3 years ago. Now apparently it has become cool to do that.

http://www.slate.com/articles/healt..._a_trend_good_for_the_environment.single.html

So how many of you would be interested in trying to go say 80% consumption of animals you have taken? Based on my job and the number of meals I have to eat in public settings it would be tough to get to 100%. So my goal is going to be the 80% number.

How many of you have run into some of this new crowd while out hunting?
 

AK Troutbum

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I don't know the exact percentage of wild game/fish that my family and I consume, but I think it's close to 100%. We rarely eat out, and with the exception of turkey on Thanksgiving, everything else is wild. We have an upright freezer that we fill with Sockeye salmon every year, and a 25 cubic foot chest freezer that we usually put a moose (or various other wild game; deer, sheep, caribou, black bear, etc.) in every year.
 

dotman

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Great idea but unfortunately my wife will not eat wild game. Do you guys also have full gardens?
 

mtluckydan

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Dec 7, 2012
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My wife & I eat over 90% of our meals from meat or fish we have taken and processed ourselves. I have been fortunate to do that most of my life. We also grow a large garden and either can or freeze items from there. I meet quite a few new hunters in MT that move here and start hunting. There may be several reasons, but I think when they make new friends here, almost everyone hunts. I think it is a natural transition. I think to some extent, some of them do it for the quality meat, but it's not always easy to fill a freezer. Now that the wolves are so prevalent, there are less tags available and less animals in general. I think it's good for the sport to have more new participants and get back to the original reason people hunted - for food.
 

Jon Boy

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May 25, 2012
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Im broke and havent bought beef in a really long time. Just been eatin deer. I do buy chicken though on occasion. Good to have some white meat in your diet. I do miss living on the coast where we would stock our freezers with silvers, kings and crabs in addition to deer and elk.
 
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Becca

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My dad emailed me a link to the same article this week. It's funny to see what we have been doing all along finally becoming "cool" :) Trendy or not, I am always glad to hear that people are thinking harder about where their food comes from. In conversations with non-hunters, I always try to be respectful, but I have a hard time with people who want to eat meat, but feel that we shouldn't hunt to do it. Strangely enough, I have more respect for vegetarians and vegans who oppose hunting than those people who just think meat comes from the grocery store...

Not sure I can say I have run into any of this "new crowd" out hunting, but I do know that we have several sets of friends who developed an interest in hunting because they were so impressed with the Taste and quality of the meat we shared with them. I think hunting and processing your own meat really appeals to people, both for environmental and health reasons. It doesn't get a whole lot more "free range" than something you went out and hunted yourself!

Luke eats three meals a day at work the two weeks a month he is there, and we do enjoy eating out several times each month, or at the homes of friends or family. If you are counting strictly the meals we eat in our home, I would estimate that 99% of those feature game meat or fish. On the very rare occasion we cook meat products we didnt harvest ourselves, it is because someone gave it to us. I am pretty strict about not purchasing meat products. We are running three freezers at our house, and I just don't feel like I can justify purchasing meat or poultry when we have been blessed with so much already. The contents do vary some from year to year, but usually contain at least some moose, caribou, black bear, mountain goat, dall sheep, and/or blacktail deer, as well as salmon and halibut. Since we have more than enough for ourselves, we share a lot of our meat with family and friends. To say thanks, last summer my parents brought me Costco bag of chicken breasts and a package with 8 pork chops in it. I think I have literally used two chicken breasts (in jambalaya which also contained game meat) and barbecued pork chops twice, and my guess is that the chicken and pork will last us well into next summer :)

Certainly not knocking anyone else's way of doing things, but this is pretty much how it goes at our house.
 

Shrek

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Jul 17, 2012
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Hilliard Florida
Except for some bacon , all the meat I cook at home is game and fish I collected. I did this first way back in 1988-89 and got away from it until 2007. I've benn eating all game at home since then. I do eat lunch out during the week though. Funny to think it is now cool.
 

Hardstalk

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Apr 29, 2012
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We raise our beef at my fathers. Usually 1 per family with a max of four on his 2 acres. He has a small alfalfa patch that they typically graze during summer. And we feed them hay we cut and bale to get them thru the winter. Usually they pay for themselves by selling half sides when we butcher. We also raise our pork there. Typically 1-2 per family a year. He will also have a round of turkeys that are saved for thanksgiving. All the game meat is a bonus and dont really plan on having it but when we do its tough to find a home for it in the freezer. He lives in a pretty urban area but has been doing it since I was a kid. Hes a big time rancher stuck in a city. If he could he would grow everything on our plates but space is a bit limited in the city he lives in.

Oh, and the pigs are typically fed for free. The local bread man brings his truck over once a week with all the store shelf leftovers and the pigs thrive on bread that would otherwise go to the dump. My dad keeps his garage stockpiled with loafs of bread feeding them twice daily.

Come to think of it the old man has it figured out pretty well. When there are no cattle on his small pasture he invites the local horse adoption agency to leave a horse or two on his fields. Which in turn. They give him a huge tax write off for helping the agency feed the horses.
 
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