Is Venison going the same way as our game birds?


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Are they in the perfect position? I don't know. However, there's never been a problem before. You can't just suddenly change everything and produce a secondary business because of a blip. Businesses take time, money and manpower to get off the ground. And what about all of the other estates and land owners up and down the land who also need deer culling? Set up businesses for all of them? Not going to happen.
if you’ve got a very high throughput of venison year on year as mentioned, common sense would be the key to ensuring you have plans in place to to sell on the product at a reasonable rate and pre arranged quantity, the estates in Scotland rely every bit of income they can muster. I can’t see any estate not looking forward to generate a constant income as it’s happens every year, doesn’t have to be overnight, forward planning is the key to survival.

doesn't matter if it’s 40 or 400 deer, getting a fair price for supply of a quality product is in the hands of the supplier to get the best deal if that means going down a different avenue so be it, pencil it in on the to do list

on my lease I grass around 10 multi aged bucks and around 70- 80 Does per season all fallow, when I got it, there was a long brick built shed with half a roof, with water and one light bulb on the site, 5 years later, all the wind blown trees are gone and managed, roof is on, a secondhand chiller, with a gralloching station is now in situ, and there is a Bothy with a small kitchen and couple of bunk beds a gun cabinet, the chiller cost £1400.00 and the rest I got done as and when I got the materials and completed the work myself I’ve retrieved the cost of everything through supplying venison to Gamedealers over the 5 years, having said that I’ve had some kickbacks, GD’s not wanting to pay, reducing prices or not wanting any venison

i completed my plan, sorted the wheat from the chaff on GD’s, only supply top grade carcasses, in the event the dealers didn’t want the carcasses I‘m already working on different outlets and ways of ensuring the sale of the venison

Things change. I don’t make a hefty profit out of the site, but it’s not a loss and I have the time and enjoyment of looking after the ground which is a bonus and I sell everything or it a goshomer if it’s knocked about

all about the 6 P’s


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You've done well Phillip but you admit that you're still not making a great profit. The fact remains that profit or not and home or not, we cannot stop shooting deer because otherwise we will end up with all of our estates looking like that LACS side in the west country and none of us want that. Some of my land is primarily muntjac control. They're worth next to nothing already so I do process most of them myself. It will be a sad day when I can't sell on the roe, fallow and reds though and in fact I worry about what will happen to the population of reds around Thetford if people stop shooting them because they can't sell them. Even the hinds can be over 80kgs in the larder. That's a lot of venison for one man to shift and not something that can easily be chopped up on the worktop either!
Plenty of stalkers only shoot a handful per annum so not worth doing what you have done but they all make up what is a considerable cull.


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Yep agree 100% Dexter

Things change and looking for other outlets should be a priority before venison sales go down further and further problems come to the surface, there’s no easy fix, it’s amazing this country imports venison from other countries, and seem to want homegrown carcases for nothing or thereabouts, that makes our stuff environmentally better and we should get a better price you would have thought


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Is it just me, or is nobody else suspicious that what is really happening is that one game dealer has (at least claimed to be) bursting with too many deer in the freezer (Hampshire Game) and the others have simply noted this and reacted accordingly by either also claiming to be full of stock or that demand has reduced, in order to artificially reduce the cost. Isn't this exactly what happened with game birds?

My current GD is still taking carcasses although at a lower rate, and ours are perfectly handled in every way.

At least this will hopefully mean that the guys who put through sub-standard carcasses will be soon be out of business.

Less good is that I can see carcasses being disposed of into incinerators or pits before too long because people's own freezers will be full and it is too much effort to think up another way of disposing of them. That would do wildlife management/shooting no favours at all. Aside from it being a criminal waste of food when we have people relying on food banks in this country, but the image of doing this won't be distinguished from game birds being (allegedly) dumped in the eyes of the antis and the public.

Of course, the game dealers might be persuaded to take the carcasses for free, or a small fee - but aren't we back to my original point that this is just the same scheme that they created over game birds? Shameful.


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Anyone know the % waste of a processed roe carcass?

I work on 33% weight loss at gralloch (from live weight) & 34% loss at butchery, ie 66% recovery, assuming clean shot & diligent knife work & that I can stand the reproachful look from the dog.


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The interesting thing is if the game dealers can’t shift venison at this time of year even when only paying 50p per LBs
What’s it going to be like come February and March?


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Just the gamedealers trying it on they want to pay bottom price and charge top money, and trust me they are making top money if you believe they are inundated with them then think again they get top money from the restaurants here then move excess abroad where the demand is higher!


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Game dealers are businesses. They have no responsibility to provide a service to shooting or stalkers beyond ensuring they continue to have a supply. Paying less for the same is something we all expect to do if we can.

My game dealer is fair, honest and can generally explain their pricing. They are also very nice people. I'd rather they stayed in business and if that means they charge less when the market is flooded so be it.

Take the trouble to build a relationship, listen to what they say about your carcasses, avoid difficult times and don't make the mistake of confusing sporting carcass receipts with the enjoyment of your sport.


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I can indeed see it going the same way as game. Nothing to do with thermal but everything to do with the deer population going up. Too many trophy hunters buying up permissions and not managing the females on their permission and too many people shooting single animals when a proper reduction cull is required. Picking single animals out of herds sends them nocturnal and results in the population going up. Eventually people have to get on top of them and flood the market. We must do this better guys and girls and get the deer numbers down. Shooting lots of females is the only way! If you have more permission than you can manage properly then pass some on to those less fortunate. It doesn't even have to be a permanent arrangement. If you're asked to stalk another permission then decline but recommend someone else less fortunate.
Folk are greedy and are only more than happy to take on more land than they can actually manage just so they can say I've got the shooting on blah, blah, blah. How often do you hear of folk giving stalking to anyone else. Also lots of farmers, landowners just want the deer gone there not interested if we can't get the carcass sold or if its dumped in a ditch. So to keep the stalking we need to shoot the deer, If I said to the landowners where I shoot there's lots of deer about but I'll leave them till the dealers give more money for them I'd be told to fkkkkk off.


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I think a local over supply situation is being used as a market manipulation opportunity........
Agree that it could be as simple as that. Known a few farmers to moan about the price of their crop when its been a bumper year for all. No doubt an element of opportunity by the dealers but with it being a wild supply, I suppose the investment into processing is just not on the same scale and regularity of beef production allowing larger price movements depending on supply.

Also believe with the festive season around the corner, many small dealers are concentrating their time on the Xmas turkey spike in demand which I would imagine is more lucrative per animal.

Just out of interest, what is the maximum amount of time a carcass can be safely stored in a professional chiller?


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Consumer demand is rising, supply can be controlled by stalkers to increase’s in your hands


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Consumer demand is rising, supply can be controlled by stalkers to increase’s in your hands
What? The only way to reduce supply is to:
a) Stop shooting them (That's why the deer numbers are rising out of control) and will quickly result in you losing your permissions.
b) Dispose of the carcasses somehow without putting them into the food chain.
Which option are you going to recomend?


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It’s always been a catch 22 with us shooting deer then thinking about where it’s going afterwards .
The dealers know this and prey on the fact we need to offload x amount before shooting more .
Talk to the dealer and agree a prearranged price before going there ,it’s that simple .If you ain’t happy try somewhere else but as a new customer you will always get a bottom price ,better to build on a relationship with a local man .
Process as many as time will allow and double or triple your money .
Moaning is not going to change a thing .