Living up to Stereotypes: Midwestern Deer Hunting Culture

Undoubtedly, one of Wisconsin’s most beloved sports is deer hunting (or outdoor gaming, in general). It would be unavoidable for me as my parents are passionate about the game, having come from similar history back in Laos. Watching from the ignorant first-generation Asian-American’s point of view, it’s kind of poignant that this culture will be lost. If you were as clueless about where processed bologna came from, here’s a clue:

Dead deer hanging

My dad's deer hanging. About to be skinned and butchered.

Deer meat stinks. Let me get that out of the way first. It stinks like any other meat humans consume: cows, pigs, chickens, goats, etc. However, once cooked, I find venison very pleasent. But maybe that’s just how my parents cook it. They put a lot of ginger in there to make it aromatic and the broth is very good. Deer meat is red and a little tough. Those suckers run.

Another deer already skinned and butchered

Another deer already skinned and butchered

If I had to choose between beef and venison, I’d prefer deer most of the times. However, I’m not saying beef is bad. A big, fat juicy steak is pretty damn good. It’s just because a tender peice of venison is more interesting for my taste buds. Then, after I’ve had too much deer, I’ll say I prefer beef again. It tastes really good with blood soup, but that’s for another entry.

Bountiful deer meat

Bountiful deer meat

Dead deer butchered

Dead deer butchered

Dismembering deer legs

Dismembering deer legs

Dismembering deer legs

Dismembering deer legs. My uncle cutting off the deer legs.

Skinning the deer

Skinning the deer. My uncles skinning the deer.

Skinning the deer

Skinning the deer

Skinned deer

Skinned deer. Meat is getting partitioned.

Cutting deer meat off the bones

Cutting deer meat off the bones

In the end (of this documentation), my dad shot a 6-point buck. In deer sport, the prestige is in shooting the deer with the most antler points. It shows that you as a human man has outsmarted the very cunning deer. The more points it has, the longer it has lived without getting gunned down. Makes sense? The deer population is regulated by the DNR, so undoubtedly some might question whether anyone can fortify a deer with many points and just claim it. But if you’ve ever encountered a deer in person (some in our backyard), those things are so keen to your presence and disappear like lightning, I don’t know how you could wrangle it. Even so, if you could, where would be the honor? Just roll some paper mache antlers on your mantle.

Anyway, it was good eating and the season will roll around yet again.

So Bambi musta taken place in Wisconsin.

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One Response to “Living up to Stereotypes: Midwestern Deer Hunting Culture”

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