There a lot of self-proclaimed “experts” on wild game out there. Years ago, I shot a deer with a bow just before dark and he ran off. At 8:00 P.M. that night we found the arrow covered in blood. The blood trail started two feet wide and my friend said: “This deer is dead. We’ll find him in an hour.” At midnight we lost the blood trail. To make it easier to get back to the truck at night, every 20 feet or so we had places a few pieces of toilet paper. This really paid off because we were able to back track right to the truck. The night cooled off to below freezing. Next morning bright and early I was back on the trail. The cool morning frost crunched under my feet. The fall colors blazed out at me. The smell of fall was in the air. My favorite time of year.
Following the toilet paper trail it was an easy walk in to where we lost the blood trail. I started circling around the the last known blood spot. I began checking under small pine trees and brush piles, looking for the buck. This is a slow and tedious process. Slowly, I expanded the circle. Sometimes a wounded deer will jump 20 feet to one side change direction and lay down watching their back trail. I will never forget what happened next. The circle had expanded to about 100 yards from the last spot and I came out to a wide, slow moving creek. I looked down the creek to my left and then to my right just as the sun broke above the tree top. I saw a log with a single branch sticking out. I thought: “That branch looks just like part of the buck that I shot.” Curiosity took the best of me and I just had to see this branch better. Walking a little closer something almost magical happened: The “bark” on the log turned into deer hide and the branch had turned into an antler. I ran up laughing and thanking God for leading me to the buck.
I dragged him out tagged and gutted him. Now the fun began; dragging the deer out by myself. Slowly I worked my way back to the truck dragging my prize. Loaded him up and drove home. Skinned and butcher him putting the wrapped meat in the freezer. Of course I rewarded myself with back straps for dinner. Wow that was some awesome eating. The next day at work I was bragging about it and one guy said that the deer I had bagged was “unfit to eat.” I replied: “You’re crazy. I already cooked up some backstrap and it was fine. He then said: “I used to work in butchering shop and any deer not found within an hour after it was shot is no good to eat.” Needless to say I ignored his ranting and the deer was eaten over the course of the following winter.
Now if I would have listened to “Mr. Expert” I would have wasted a whole deer. There was recently another “expert” saying that a snared deer is unfit to eat. A snared deer is dead in less than one minute. How that somehow make is not fit to eat is beyond me. What the heck is the difference if you shoot a deer and he runs off and dies 30 minutes later? Is that deer unfit to eat? Of course not. People are weird when it comes to wild game. I trust wild game one heck of a lot more than I do store bought meat. Like I have said many times, I should have been been born in Missouri because I come from the “show me” state. I test everything and taste test all this unfit to eat meat. (Grin.) Not that I have ever snared deer but have eaten plenty of snared animals and never found one to be “unfit to eat.”
Even if the animal was still alive in the snare it is still good to eat. I just shake my head at these experts and wonder how the human species survives. If you are starving are you going to waste a whole deer because some expert said it was unfit to eat? I hope not. Don’t let other people sway your opinion. You hunt and trap in the fall for a reason. Why? Because the little ones have had a chance to grow up, the disease is down to almost zero. You know the funny part is these are the same people who spend hours typing up what is the best slingshot, bow, crossbow, pellet gun to buy for silent game gathering. A properly trained trapper/snaresman will out-produce any hunter alive. I guess it is just more fun to talk about silent game gathering weapons then it is to talk about traps and snares.
After eating wild game going on 35 years I should have been dead years ago from eating all these “unfit to eat” animals. But I keep finding myself waking up every morning. I wonder why? Oh I know, it is because I didn’t listen to the “experts” and I tested it myself. – Buckshot (http://www.buckshotscamp.com)