A herbivore that is willing to occasionally eat meat has the potential to either exploit an available niche as a predator, or to survive a brief period of starvation by eating meat when plants are scarce. “Some of these animals really are omnivorous,” U.S. Geological Survey biologist Pam Pietz reported all the way back in 1998. It’s a symbol of life – the beating, pulsing, core of life. Much like many college students I’ve known, the species we think of as herbivores may only be passing through a phase. Herbivores eat plants and carnivores eat meat, and then there are a few oddball omnivores that eat both. Generalists, such as raccoons and pigs, can survive in a variety of habitats and climates and can utilize many different food sources. In the article it states “Whitetail deer eat large varieties of food, commonly eating legumes and foraging on other plants, including shoots, leaves, cacti, and grasses. I think most herbivorous given the opportunity will eat road kill. That is to say that when compared to beef, pork, and chicken it is a superior source of nutrition as you will soon find out in terms macronutrient composition (protein, carbohydrate, fat), iron, … Deer have often been spotted feeding on larger carrion—sometimes even on the guts of other dead deer. Learn how to process deer. Regular supply of iron is very good for pregnant women and the middle of menstruation. Realizing that nobody would ever believe me, I grabbed a camera and got it on video. In a 1995 report, a cluster of household cases was linked with eating jerky made from Black-Tailed deer meat, and a sporadic case in 1987 of O157 infection in … The hungry doe that I met at the campground certainly had no idea about any of this evolution business. Chronicles: A Mexican Standoff, New Derby Opportunity for Michigan Anglers, Drones, Guns, and Zombies: Interview with Marque Cornblatt of “Guns & Gardens”, Julie Kreuter’s First Muzzleloader Mule Deer Buck on “Beyond the Hunt TV”. Before talking more about crucial health benefits of deer meat, let me show you some nutritional lists inside the meat. Deer meat contains protein and high iron also low in calories to good for our health. Eagle perched on deer's back eating meat out of its spine as it tries to walk away http://heavenat10k.com/ Deer belong to a group of animals called ruminants, which have a special organ called a rumen for digesting tough plants. She didn’t know about differing levels of protein, iron, or salt. Although they are herbivores, they are not picky in regards to what kind of plant they will eat. “Cold pack” the raw meat into the quart jar, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. We can only speculate about what the advantage is in this behavior. I’ve heard all sorts of apologies for this behavior. Another video of a deer attempting to eat a dead squirrel. Habituated to human presence and living in a place where hunting was forbidden, she seemed very interested in what I was doing. Crowdfunding and Shooting Ranges: Odd Couple or Perfect Match? Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. For sustainable meat aficionados who are not ready to hunt for deer … A biologist in Scotland documented red deer eating seabird chicks, and concluded it was how they got the dietary boost necessary to grow their antlers. In 2002, there were news reports from Ethiopia’s Kaffa Province of hippos killing and eating livestock. Other small animals are game too, as long as the deer can actually eat them. It may be or it may not be. But is nature really so clear-cut? It's safe. However, deer are not physically equipped to eat meat, and in most cases will not be able to bite through thick skin with their teeth. Highly-specialized animals are more likely to become evolutionary dead-ends than are generalists. Hippo ancestors split off from cetaceans about 60 million years ago—yes, whales and dolphins are their close kin—had teeth that suggest an omnivorous diet as well. On the flip side, no one wants to chew on shoe leather, either. The more I looked around, the more exceptions I began to find. Birds were flying in and running into the head of this young buck in our front yard. Early forms of deer about 30 million years ago are thought to have eaten large amounts of grubs, insects, baby birds, eggs, and small mammals in addition to plant matter. And I worked on a farm as a youth and would swap boots for wellies in a barn. Biologists say that this behavior is uncommon and rarely is deer depredation documented. If you dislike meat that is very tough, or if you simply find the gamey taste of venison slightly unappetizing, you may want to age the deer meat for a while before you consume it. All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. Due to its nature as wild game meat, specific health problems related to field dressing and the health of the deer itself can impact the safety of consuming venison. All rights reserved. And this buck caught noshing a gut pile on camera looks pretty fat to me. This meat, whereas much less widespread than different protein sources for canines like beef, rooster, or salmon, to call just a few, does supply canines a lot of potential health advantages. October 28, 2009. Yes. Whenever a menu item or a piece of meat at the butcher shop is listed as “venison”, it has more than likely been taken from a deer. But sometimes hippos will hunt, kill, and eat prey. Chronicles: The California Boulder Buck, Jackie Bushman Talks Buckmasters’ Success, Julie Kreuter Takes a Bull Elk at 12 Yards, A Tribute to Sadie and Great Dogs Everywhere, Crimson Trace’s Midnight 3 Gun Invitational: Enlightened in the Dark, Game and Fish: Exclusive Interview with WebEye Group’s Chris Keig, Rick Kreuter’s Never-ending Hunt for a Monster Muley, Hunters of an Ancient Pedigree: “The Falconer: Sport of Kings”, Julie Kreuter’s Long Stalk for a Utah Velvet-antlered Muley, Julie Kreuter’s Birthday Brown Bear Hunt with Rick Kreuter, The BAREBOW! Any third-grader can tell you the difference between herbivores and carnivores. Use a spoon to tightly pack in the meat. I had just prepped and grilled a deer heart and now I was thoroughly enjoying eating it. Venison steaks, roasts and meat for stew are just some of the cuts. Sure, canines can eat venison. In fact, deer can be a common danger for ground-nesting birds. Specialists, on the other hand, tend to exploit one niche very thoroughly and may be able to dominate it for as long as it exists. There have been documented instances of deer eating squirrels and rabbits, although it is not known if it was the deer that killed them. Every single facet of animal behavior does not have an evolutionary explanation. If you shoot a deer in a known CWD area, you don’t know for certain if that individual animal is infected with CWD. It turns out that deer of various species have long been observed eating the flesh of the dead. It’s hard to imagine these creatures as steak-seeking predators, but … Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. They probably ate a lot of meat in the past, their descendants will eventually do so again, and meanwhile they indulge every so often when nobody seems to be paying attention. Hat tip to Stephanie Mallory for the story idea. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. So long as ethical hunting is implemented, choosing to eat wild game meat, and deer in particular, is one of the most humanely treated animals you can consume. news reports from Ethiopia’s Kaffa Province, this buck caught noshing a gut pile on camera. She smelled a steak cooking, she wanted to eat it, and it wound up in her mouth. When we look at the evolutionary histories of some of these herbivores, we find even more omnivorous  behavior in their past. I stood in front of a smoking grill at a campground in Florida with a pair of raw T-bone steaks. Aging Deer Meat. Come to think of it, this was pretty much the same reason why I started eating meat after growing up as a vegetarian. Don’t add any liquid, as the meat will create natural juices during the canning process. In cases where the deer is unable to reach the nutritious organs inside the body cavity, it instead munches on the limbs. Nutritionally, deer meat (venison is a broader term that also applies to meat from elk, moose, caribou and antelope) is healthier than beef. It’s hard to imagine these creatures as steak-seeking predators, but deer will be quick to take advantage of a nutritious opportunity. A three-ounce serving provides only 134 calories and three grams of fat, including only one gram of saturated fat. You can cancel anytime. No one wants to eat rotten meat. Meat-Eating Deer. This article covers how to cut up a deer and clean deer meat preparing it for wrapping and putting in your freezer. This supposed herbivore greedily devoured bites of cow flesh. Accordingly, hunters are advised not to eat meat from animals known to be infected with CWD. Other groups of herbivores have also been caught crossing the divide. Meat derived from any species of North American deer is known as Venison. Most reports of hippos eating meat involve the scavenging of animals killed by other causes. Scientists have recorded deer devouring dead fish that had drifted to shore, gobbling them up at a rate of up to eight per minute. Since deer are inherently wild animals living on grass and wild plants, their meat can be consumed as part of a naturally healthy diet.Venison is higher in moisture and protein, and the protein is more diverse in amino acids and lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat than most cuts of grain-fed beef, pork, or lamb. The various species of duiker (imagine a very small antelope with a fat belly) in Africa often eat carrion and have also been observed hunting for small birds and frogs. They then rummage through the mess looking for tasty treats. This means that they only feed on food produced from plants and do not eat meat or other animals. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. However, t he biggest concerns with eating venison is chronic wasting disease (CWD). On one hand, it’s a staple in many diets and a great source of protein and important nutrients. Though it has the consistency of beef, deer meat is healthier than beef, according to Andrew Weil, M.D. I turned around and saw a whitetail doe staring at me from only a few yards away. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Venison is considered to be a relatively healthy meat for human consumption. Relatively few cases of O157 infection have been associated with eating venison over the many years of deer hunting. It is entirely possible that deer and hippos eat meat now and then simply because they can and they feel like it. Still, the deer don’t exactly keep it a secret. Deer meat can be crafted into a variety of cuts and meat products, including steak and sausages. Cows are probably the best-known ruminants (and have been witnessed eating birds). Deer in North Dakota, Canada and Scotland have been recorded eating chicks and experts think it may be to make up for protein and calcium deficiencies in their otherwise vegetarian diets. A young buck uncovers a gut pile in the northern snow. Remember to remove the membrane. Biologists are concerned that deer eating or otherwise coming into contact with carcasses run the risk of contracting contagious diseases such as chronic wasting disease. As grisly as it may look, these methods may be tempting to deer during particularly harsh winters. These iconic herbivores have a lot of flesh-eating in their past. 5. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. The dichotomy of plant-eaters and meat-eaters has become more than a set of rules for animals—it helps shape our view of the world. I was reading the White-Tailed Deer article in Wikipedia… yeah I know it’s Wikipedia, that’s what I am asking the question. Aging your deer meat will help dissipate the gamey taste of the meat and will allow natural occurring enzymes to go to work tenderizing the meat tissues. These animals can’t tell us why they are eating meat. And you'll never see this message again. A study by Pete Squibb of Wildlife Solutions, LLC, and Brad Thurston, M.D, revealed that deer are often the first animals to arrive on the scene when there is a carcass present in the woods. A flexible diet makes an animal more adaptable and more likely to survive than a fully-committed herbivore. In this article I reflect on the harvest of this deer, and our favorite preparation of the meat, and savory taste of a simple venison steak. Many people may not know that deer, like some other herbivores, eat meat from time to time. Yet even animals from this highly plant-specialized group will eat meat when given the chance. View Images But in the long run, there is always upheaval: Habitats disappear, climates change, food sources shift, and old niches in ecosystems disappear as new ones emerge. It is unknown if they seek out gut piles to eat the meat or simply the apples and other digested goodies laying about. While this wasn’t technically my first time eating venison, it was my first time eating venison from a deer that I hunted myself. See recipes for Delicious crock-pot deer meat chili. Lacking natural hunting instincts, deer tend to target (or perhaps more accurately, stumble upon and snatch up) easier meals such as bird eggs and hatchlings. Consuming meat from time to time may be a way for a species to maintain an option on carnivory, which may be the difference between extinction and survival in an emergency. Trim up meat so that the majority of fat and tendons are removed. Uncooked deer meat, even from fastidiously harvested deer, can harbor micro organisms and hidden diseases. They also eat acorns, fruit, and corn. Early forms of deer about 30 million years ago are thought to have eaten large amounts of grubs, insects, baby birds, eggs, and small mammals in addition to plant matter. When the steaks came off the grill I sat down to eat and found an aggressive snout that wanted a share. This is the first time scientists have observed deer eating human flesh, though they have been known to turn carnivorous in the past, eating fish, dead rabbits, and even live birds. Just like all meat, there is always some risk in its consumption. “You think of these animals as grazers or browsers,” says Wyoming Game and Fish biologist Reg Rothwell, “but they occasionally eat some pretty weird stuff.”. Deer are herbivores. The animal simply wanted the salt, or they are iron-deficient or starving. And it’s not just deer. For example, a prolonged drought may cause many herbivores to weaken and die, creating a scavenging opportunity for the survivors. The cows would start by licking the polish off and then start to chew laces. Kayak Angler, Shark Battler: Interview with Isaac “Rocket” Brumaghim, Shooting Fun and History at the NRA M1A Springfield Match, Top Ten Reasons for Owning a Laser Sight System, Video: The World’s Largest Centerfire Rifle: SSK’s .950 JDJ. It's possible. As I dropped them onto the grill, I had that eerie sense of being stared at. Per 100 gram deer meat is composed from fat (32 grams), cholesterol (112 milligrams), protein (30 grams), energy (158 kcal), calcium (7 milligrams), magnesium (24 milligrams), iron (4.5 milligrams), vitamin B3, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. If we consume 4 ounces of venison every day, we fill up about 28.2% to 68.5% protein and iron daily needs. Deer aren’t the slim, graceful vegans we thought they were. When it comes to meats, deer meet is said to be high in nutritional value. So to avoid those two extremes, the question successful deer hunters face shortly after putting away their rifle or crossbow is: How long should I hang my deer before cutting it up?. Five Reasons Why You Should Hunt Western Whitetails, Michigan’s Waterfowl Opener Offers a Gaggle of Results, Late-summer and Fall Fishing off Michigan’s Mount Bohemia, Laura Francese: Ambassador, Huntress, Lady of Character, Whitetail Road Trips: America’s Top Five DIY Bowhunting Destinations, Drop Shots and Tubes for Lake St. Clair Smallmouth Bass, The BAREBOW! Hippopotamuses have been filmed eating meat often enough that it can’t be dismissed as a fluke. I carved off a bite of rare meat and held it out for her. Cube the meat into pieces that are about the size of a golf ball. 63 homemade recipes for deer meat from the biggest global cooking community! On March 13, 2005, a … “If they come across a nest, where the food doesn’t move or run away, they’ll take advantage of it,” Pietz said. Deer meat is the best meat you can buy, or even better hunt. The heart, in many ways, is more than just a cut of meat. Experts now say to have your animal tested for CWD before deciding whether or not to eat it. In fact, they have even been witnessed in the act of cannibalism. Deer are also known to frequent gut piles and other animal remains and are often the first to show up at these sites. Below is a video of a deer chasing down and eating a hatchling bird while its parents try to protect it. Realizing all of that felt pretty good. Meat is a highly controversial food. Some scientists speculate that herbivores turn to meat when they're not getting enough nutrients in their diet. Many people may not know that deer, like some other herbivores, eat meat from time to time. Koalas are a good example of a specialist species, feeding entirely on the leaves of eucalyptus trees. The koala’s strategy works only for as long as there are eucalyptus leaves to eat, whereas raccoons will probably be around long after koalas (currently listed as a threatened species) are extinct. Although deer and antelope are different species, their meat can often be mistaken for one another if one is unaware of what they’re trying. As people wonder what might happen if humans eat meat from "zombie" deer, there is at least one group of people who already know. Scientists using field cameras have caught deer preying on nestling song birds. This is because the taste of their meat is usually mild-tasting, finely grained and extremely similar to venison. You’ve run out of free articles. But the whitetail doe that demanded my steak wasn’t simply licking off the Worcestershire sauce—she was swallowing whole chunks of meat. too. Eating wild game meat is a great way to make your diet leaner, fresher and more sustainable. The answer to that question is definitive: It depends. 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