Backyard deer hunting

Inexpensive food from the outdoors

Archive for July 2009

Alligator hunting and gator eating

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Alligator Hunting and Gator Eating, 2010, is a 5-min. Video that is now available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkEP0ZlBx7s&layer_token=bb3e74f081ead427 that contains more information than the older version shown above.

This head belongs to a 12-foot GA alligator.

This head belongs to a 12-foot GA alligator.

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  With states like Arkansas and South Carolina joining the Gulf Coast States in having a sport-hunting season for alligators, there is more interest in hunting this outsize reptile than at any time in living memory. After being protected, alligators have rebounded nicely and their numbers need to be controlled to prevent potentially deadly contact with man. Alligator attacks occur each year in Florida, and it is not unusual for one to three people per year to be killed by them.

Gator hunting has my vote as being the most exciting hunt offered in North  America. No other hunting puts the hunter so close to a dangerous game animal for so long. The hunt for a trophy-sized alligator, over nine feet, takes three people. One to run the boat, another to work the lines and a third that actually does the killing.

 Killing an alligator is a multi-step process. First a line of some sort must be attached. This is usually done

Crossbow, muzzleloading pistol and knife used to take this eating-sized gator.

Crossbow, muzzleloading pistol and knife used to take this eating-sized gator.

 with a bow or crossbow. Then more lines are fixed to the alligator often terminated with a rope attached to a harpoon. The alligator is fought until he is exausted which may take several hours. Finally, he is brought to the edge of the boat and shot with a pistol or bangstick (depending on the state). At this stage he is usually less than three inches from the hunter’s foot. After that, he is drug to shore and a knife used to sever the spine behind the head. After all of that he may still struggle for 15-minutes before he is “dead enough” to safely put into the boat.

 Most often this hunt is done at night. Throughout the nation the alligator harvest is done by permit and it is closely monitored.

 Alligator meat, if not cooked too long, and if tenderized by being

Gator ribs on the grill. A sweet fruit-based sauce does best.

Gator ribs on the grill. A sweet fruit-based sauce does best.

pounded or run through a machine, is excellent eating. I make an alligator paw soup, gator burgers out of the red leg meat, have gator ribs with mango or pear sauce as well as the more usual fried gator tail.

 There is a partial chapter on alligator hunting in my book Crossbow Hunting and more on techniques and also recipes in Practical Bowfishing.  A PayPal button below the book’s description on my website www.hoveysmith.com will allow purchase at a cost of a little over $20.00.  This out-of-print book is now selling for over $50.00 at Amazon.com.  The crossbow book may be ordered from Amazon.com, bookstores and other sources. Nothing about alligators made it into  Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound because of the restricted distribution of this animal.  

 Master Hunter Bowie provided by Buck Knives.
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July 28, 2009 at 9:27 am

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Practical Bowfishing brings record prices

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Recent listings on Amazon.com offer Practical Bowfishing (Stoeger,

Last chance for an inexpensive copy of bowfishing book.

Last chance for an inexpensive copy of bowfishing book.

2004) for prices that range from $90-125. Stoeger quit publishing and marketing outdoor books last year, and my and other author’s books were withdrawn. In the back of Backyard Deer Hunting is an ad for my bowfishing book. If you send me a purchase receipt for Backyard Deer and a check for $20.00, I will mail you a copy of Practical Bowfishing  for as long as copies last.  These are new books, taken from their original shipping cartons. The book with many fewer photos, but with a new chapter “Bowfishing Across North America” is now also available as an E-book and may be ordered from the iBookstore for $8.99 by using the link below.

 As with Backyard Deer I cover bowfishing from choosing basic equipment, rigging a bowfishing boat, the species to be taken and conclude with instructions for cleaning and cooking the fish. There is also a section on taking “supersized” fish like 300-pound alligator gar and alligators. Alligator hunting at night using a bow and arrow is one of the most exciting hunting opportunities offered in North America.

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July 26, 2009 at 11:06 am

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Backyard Deer Hunting Video Clip

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  Above is a four-minute video of Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound. While this clip cannot cover all the points that I make it the book, it does mention the major topics.

  A significant advantage in watching the video is that you will see the original color photography, insted of the black and white versions of these images that were printed in the book. Be patient, this video may take a few minutes to upload, but it will be worth the wait.   

  The bottom line  is that almost anyone can inexpensively, legally and ethically hunt, kill, process, cook and eat deer and other wild game.  Backyard Deer Hunting  will show you how to do all that and save money in the process. This narriated clip will allow you to determine if this book is for you.

Enjoy your view.
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July 24, 2009 at 6:48 am

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Can I shoot a deer?

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  One of the more frequent comments that I have received on Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound is, “I don’t know if I can actually kill a deer. I see them all the time, but I don’t think that I can shoot one.”

  A less sympathetic person might reply, “You are not hungry enough

A very old doe with large-size head and shrunken body size caused by its inability to chew its food.

A very old doe with large-size head and shrunken body size caused by its inability to chew its food.

yet.” While starvation will drive people to eat anything, even occasionally each other, it is thankfully true that the great majority of us have never been taken that far down the road towards  starvation.
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  We would not wish that on ourselves, and we should not wish it on the deer either; yet that is what happens as deer get older. Their teeth wear to the point where they can no long chew hard foods like acorns and grains, can’t utilize the food that they eat and ultimately weaken to the point where they die or are taken down by predators.

  It is also true that if deer are overpopulated, they will eat nealy everything green that they can reach

Over population results in diseased deer like this one on a Federal refuge.

Over population results in diseased deer like this one on a Federal refuge.

 even if it has little nutritional value. Again the population weakens, becomes subject to more diseases and the animals die. By managing the deer population by taking animals for our own consumption we reduce this problem, feed ourselves and also help maintain healthier deer, because there are fewer of them stressing limited resources.

  The best way to train yourself to hunt is to start on small game like

Squirrel stew made from the de-boned meat from five squirrels, tomatoes, corn and onions is one of the recipes in my book.

Squirrel stew made from the de-boned meat from five squirrels, tomatoes, corn and onions is one of the recipes in my book.

squirrels. These are abundant, are cleaned something like deer – albeit on a much smaller scale, and they produce some tasty eats. Teach yourself to shoot well, take the animals with one shot and then recover, clean and cook them. If you can sucessfully hunt squirrels, it is comparatively easy to scale up for deer hunting when the season arrives.

 In Georgia our squirrel season starts on August 15 while Virginia’s is even earlier. These early season hunts allows a person to become use to the concept of hunting and teaches some valuable skills, such as being patient and letting the animals come to you. When the woods are wet, you can stalk squirrels as they feed in the trees on pine cones and other nuts. Much of the time the woods are too noisy for stalking, unless you walk very slowly and carefully through the dry leaves on the forest floor.
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July 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

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Deer Cooking: Cleaning out the freezer.

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  Now is the time to start seriously eating your deer, and other wild

Except for the pie and bread, every dish on this table contains deer meat or is seasoned with it.

Except for the pie and bread, every dish on this table contains deer meat or is seasoned with it.

game, out of the freezer to make room for next year’s animals. The first thing is to look at are the largest packages that you have in the freezer. What are they?

  Maybe this is a deer head or hide that you were wanting to do something with all Winter, but never got around to it. Now is the time. Either tan those hides or have the head mounted or throw them all out. Your choice, but you are going to need the room.

 Perhaps the next largest package are some dog bones. Dogs have been waiting very patiently. I can safely say that they would like them right  now, preferably boiled with a little salt.

 If you have big hunks of meat, like huge roasts or even an entire hind quarter, go ahead and thaw it. Wrap it in aluminum foil with some onions and potatoes and roast it in the oven. Cut what you can eat within a few days and make sausage from the remainder. This will reduce the volume and give you a product that you can safely freeze for later use. I am willing to bet that you are out of sausage anyway. Similarly, ground meat can be turned into spaghetti sauce. What you don’t use can be frozen for later.

   At this time of year groups often have wild game cook-offs, wildlife meetings, trade shows and the like. If your community, or club,  has such an event, or would like to, such an occurrence can empty a freezer in a hurry.

  Maybe you might want to even try some of the recipes that I have in Backyard Deer Hunting or Crossbow Hunting. You have plenty of meat, so now is the time to be inventive. Perhaps you will discover a unique way to make your deer taste better that you ever imagined. Wild-game meat is too good and versatile to allow to get so old that it must be discarded. Even if  old, I bet hound dogs would still enjoy it if you cooked it up for them.

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July 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

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Backyard Deer Hunting now available for purchase

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E-mail new cover backyard deer Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound  became available on July 20,  for purchase at the  AuthorHouse.com website, at  Amazon .com and the first books are being sent to bookstores.  The softcover book  has a suggested retail of $19.95, but AuthorHouse offers a discount for books bought directly from its site.  Within a few days the electronic version of the book will also be available. Orders placed now should be delivered in three-to-four days.  The easiest way to order is to go to www.authorhouse.com, click on the bookstore box on the upper right of the page and follow directions. You can request the book from your local bookstore by supplying the ISBN 9781438984186. This will make it easy for the clerk to order the book for you if they have not stocked it.  The electronic version of the book will soon be available for on-line purchase from AuthorHouse. The price for this version of the book will be $7.99, which will allow for two down-loads.

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July 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm

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For Index and Contents of Backyard Deer Hunting

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For the Index and Contents of  Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound, click on the ” April 2009″ entry under  “Archives” on the right had side of the page. To see this part of the page move the space bar on the bottom of the screen to the right. There you will also find a connection to another of my blogs, The Southern Home Bestuary. As the Index and Contents were were among my first entries, they have been kicked back into the Archives section.

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July 4, 2009 at 1:31 pm

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