It’s a symbol of life – the beating, pulsing, core of life. Hat tip to Stephanie Mallory for the story idea. 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. This is because the taste of their meat is usually mild-tasting, finely grained and extremely similar to venison. Although they are herbivores, they are not picky in regards to what kind of plant they will eat. Eating wild game meat is a great way to make your diet leaner, fresher and more sustainable. 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. I think most herbivorous given the opportunity will eat road kill. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Realizing that nobody would ever believe me, I grabbed a camera and got it on video. Cube the meat into pieces that are about the size of a golf ball. 5. 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. 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, … These iconic herbivores have a lot of flesh-eating in their past. A young buck uncovers a gut pile in the northern snow. 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. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. When it comes to meats, deer meet is said to be high in nutritional value. Scientists have recorded deer devouring dead fish that had drifted to shore, gobbling them up at a rate of up to eight per minute. Just like all meat, there is always some risk in its consumption. Habituated to human presence and living in a place where hunting was forbidden, she seemed very interested in what I was doing. 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 … October 28, 2009. There have been documented instances of deer eating squirrels and rabbits, although it is not known if it was the deer that killed them. In 2002, there were news reports from Ethiopia’s Kaffa Province of hippos killing and eating livestock. Uncooked deer meat, even from fastidiously harvested deer, can harbor micro organisms and hidden diseases. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. Deer are herbivores. Most reports of hippos eating meat involve the scavenging of animals killed by other causes. “Cold pack” the raw meat into the quart jar, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Meat is a highly controversial food. Relatively few cases of O157 infection have been associated with eating venison over the many years of deer hunting. Realizing all of that felt pretty good. 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. 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. And it’s not just deer. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. While this wasn’t technically my first time eating venison, it was my first time eating venison from a deer that I hunted myself. Meat-Eating Deer. 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. We can only speculate about what the advantage is in this behavior. Scientists using field cameras have caught deer preying on nestling song birds. It’s hard to imagine these creatures as steak-seeking predators, but … Nutritionally, deer meat (venison is a broader term that also applies to meat from elk, moose, caribou and antelope) is healthier than beef. Use a spoon to tightly pack in the meat. It is entirely possible that deer and hippos eat meat now and then simply because they can and they feel like it. In fact, they have even been witnessed in the act of cannibalism. If we consume 4 ounces of venison every day, we fill up about 28.2% to 68.5% protein and iron daily needs. “If they come across a nest, where the food doesn’t move or run away, they’ll take advantage of it,” Pietz said. Many people may not know that deer, like some other herbivores, eat meat from time to time. Other groups of herbivores have also been caught crossing the divide. 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. 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. It may be or it may not be. View Images The animal simply wanted the salt, or they are iron-deficient or starving. 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. 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. Deer meat contains protein and high iron also low in calories to good for our health. These animals can’t tell us why they are eating meat. Deer meat is the best meat you can buy, or even better hunt. The answer to that question is definitive: It depends. 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”. Come to think of it, this was pretty much the same reason why I started eating meat after growing up as a vegetarian. 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. 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. They then rummage through the mess looking for tasty treats. For example, a prolonged drought may cause many herbivores to weaken and die, creating a scavenging opportunity for the survivors. This means that they only feed on food produced from plants and do not eat meat or other animals. 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. I carved off a bite of rare meat and held it out for her. Some scientists speculate that herbivores turn to meat when they're not getting enough nutrients in their diet. Deer have often been spotted feeding on larger carrion—sometimes even on the guts of other dead deer. 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. Generalists, such as raccoons and pigs, can survive in a variety of habitats and climates and can utilize many different food sources. “Some of these animals really are omnivorous,” U.S. Geological Survey biologist Pam Pietz reported all the way back in 1998. The more I looked around, the more exceptions I began to find. 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. 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. 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. It's safe. Yes. 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. On the flip side, no one wants to chew on shoe leather, either. This article covers how to cut up a deer and clean deer meat preparing it for wrapping and putting in your freezer. They also eat acorns, fruit, and corn. But the whitetail doe that demanded my steak wasn’t simply licking off the Worcestershire sauce—she was swallowing whole chunks of meat. Every single facet of animal behavior does not have an evolutionary explanation. When we look at the evolutionary histories of some of these herbivores, we find even more omnivorous  behavior in their past. The hungry doe that I met at the campground certainly had no idea about any of this evolution business. Other small animals are game too, as long as the deer can actually eat them. All rights reserved. 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. It's possible. too. Meat derived from any species of North American deer is known as Venison. Aging Deer Meat. This supposed herbivore greedily devoured bites of cow flesh. 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