In one of the introductions the statement was made that: “You can buy the carcass from the estate at current prices.” This made me think about the situation in South Africa vs. the situation in UK. I’ll briefly describe the general situation in South Africa (SA). [There are exceptions but this generally holds true.]
In SA the game ‘belongs’ to the land owner. Hunting common game [not scarce or rare species] costs a bit more than double the ‘meat value’. By ‘meat value’ I refer to what you are likely to be offered if you want to sell the carcass to a butcher shop.
Example: A non-trophy blesbuck may cost R 1000 (About ₤ 69) to hunt in an area where they occur naturally in good numbers. There is typically a “daily fee” asked by the land owner for the right to hunt on his property as well. These costs are paid directly to the land owner or farmer and with some simple paperwork the carcass then becomes legally yours to use or dispose of as you wish. It would be an exception for a land owner to allow a hunter to hunt at some fee and then claim the carcass. In South Africa the fee to hunt covers the possession of the carcass. You shoot, you pay and the meat [plus skin and trophy] is yours to do with as you please!
Once hunted and skinned the blesbuck carcass may have a mass of 40 kg ( about 88 pounds). If you offer a clean and properly treated fresh and cooled carcass for sale to a butcher, you will typically be offered R 10/kg (₤ 0.3/ lb) for a cleanly shot carcass, so you get R 400 (₤ 27.6) for the carcass. It means that you really pay R 600 (₤ 41.4) or the pleasure of hunting one non-trophy blesbuck. The transportation of the carcass to skinning shed, skinning and delivery to the butcher, plus the risk of wounding and not recovering the animal, is your pleasure!
The scenario described above basically holds true for all of the common game species; blesbuck, springbuck, impala, kudu, gemsbuck and blue wildebeest, plus a few more. Typically the pleasure to hunt these animals cost a bit more than the trade value of the meat.
Naturally I keep and eat all the meat from animals that I hunt: buying the meat from the butcher will cost you about double what you get for it – they have a mark-up of about 100% - so I hunt and eat my own venison.
Can someone please comment on the typical numbers and situation in the UK for the regularly hunted deer speccias?