If every hunter stopped to consider the actual cost value of the venison he or she might obtain during the deer season, Next fall might see him or her stocking up on super market meats prior to the season opener. But of course that isn't the case because we spend the time hunting because we enjoy all that it represents ...being outdoors for prolonged periods, observing wildlife, helping conservation, and getting some healthful exercise and high quality meat.
I'm not sure if anyone actually did an accurate study regarding the average hours spent hunting for each deer taken, but even when the ones taken early on opening morning are added to the mix, it would probably average out to several days per deer harvested. But that's only the beginning; what about the additional costs in man-hours, transportation, gear, licenses, permits, and unless the harvester does his own meat processing, the cost of having the meat professionally processed? A Maryland study indicated the total price for each deer killed by hunters there was approximately $1,100. Considering each animal provided approximately 45 pounds of meat, the overall cost for this venison amounted to $24 per pound. The 2008 United Stockgrowers reported getting an average of $22.70 per beef cattle per hundredweight Hmm, no wonder venison is so highly regarded.
Yeah, I know I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to choosing hunting for venison over store-boughten meat. My wife and I happen to really like venison, not just for its great taste when prepared right, but also because it contains less saturated fat and is healthier to consume than most domestic meats. We obviously enjoy the steaks and chops, but also use the less tender cuts in stews and, when ground into burger, in meatballs, meat loafs and goulash.