Ethical dilemma

hoopscoach

Active Member
Messages
268
I need some help from my community of hunters out there.
I have a friend who I encouraged to get into hunting because they love eating game meat and were very excited about filling their freezer. I helped them draw a ranching for wildlife cow tag and they also have a slam dunk doe tag for CO.

I process my own meat and don't like to have any waste so I take all the trimmings that "don't make the cut" for steaks or burger and grind it up separately as "dog burger". Things like silver skin, tendons and other trimmings that just wouldn't be good mixed in with ground meat. Anyway, I gave some of this "dog burger" to my friend and their dog LOVES it.

If they are successful this fall, my friend is now talking about cutting the up the backstraps and tenderloins and a few pounds of burger for their freezer and then just grinding the rest up to feed to their dog since they like it so much. I hunt to fill my freezer and about 90% of my diet consists of game meat so the idea of taking any of the edible meat and feeding it to a dog is blasphemy to me. I tried to explain to them that it's not right to knowingly shoot an deer or elk just to feed a large portion of it to the dog but they can't understand why that is questionable and my argument is falling on deaf ears. So, here are my questions:

Am I wrong in thinking this is an unacceptable use of such a delicious resource or should I mind my own business and let them do whatever they want with the meat?

If I'm not wrong, how can I explain it in a way that will convince them it's unacceptable?

Finally, if I can't convince them, should I still help them knowing what their plan is or should I take a stand and say, "if this is what you plan to do with the meat, then I don't want to be part of it and will not help you in the future with your hunts or process any animals". I did promise to help them this year and I always keep my promises but this is something I did not see coming. Am I making too big of a deal about this?

I would love some advice on this subject.....
 

nripepi

Very Active Member
Messages
1,547
You are 100% correct, high quality venison is not dog food. I would explain that to him and tell him you cannot help him this year.
 

TheNewGuyInTown

Active Member
Messages
125
I see your point but what he does with his meat is his own personal right. I Know guys that will jerky 100% of their deer meat cuz they hate it other wise. We all hunt for our own reasons maybe your friends is to feed his dog. Just go have fun. Hunting is about more then just filling the freezer. It ain’t worth losing a friend over.
 

Bocephus

Active Member
Messages
680
It sounds like he may not necessarily love the venison as much as he claims if he wants to feed most of it to his dog? Maybe take the approach to let his dog eat the scraps and possibly give what he doesn't want to eat to a human in need this year? If he agrees to that for this year, I would then try to distance your offer to help them hunt in future years. That's a tough one, but no friend of mine that I know of feeds choice venison to their dog, or if they did I would have a hard time having them be a good friend. It's too good to feed to a mutt.
 

bodhi

Member
Messages
78
I'd be straight as an arrow with him and tell him that's BS feeding it to a dog. I'd also tell him he's an a$$hole if he doesn't change his mind. Then I'd still help him.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,144
1). If he eats the backstrap and likes it, he will want to feed more to his family on his own without outside advice. I can’t believe they don’t eat any hamburger?. And with a freezer full of burger, why would they buy store burger?

2). I am a veterinarian. Tell him you talked to a vet and he told you that feeding a dog just meat is bad for them. It is not a balanced diet. Weakens their bones and is hard on the kidneys especially as they get older. Even wild canines don’t eat just meat. He can google it for more info or ask his vet

3). Do you make any sausage or smoke rings with your animals? If so share a few of them with your friend. My wife doesn’t like straight elk much but loves smoke rings and we mix some Italian sausage seasoning to burger and it makes great spaghetti.

4). Discuss why you eat lots of venison. It’s the HEALTHY red meat. Lower fat and doesn’t have the hormones to that store bought meat has
 
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elkmo41

Active Member
Messages
231
Legally this is not wanton waste, or is it? Not sure? Ask for what he intends to feed the dog for helping out, keep giving him the scraps.
 

BigChiefJ

Active Member
Messages
418
I thought the regulations say something about keeping game meat fit for human consumption, but don't specify that it has to be only consumed by humans.

I believe shooting a game animal just for pet food is unethical, but giving them scraps is a good treat.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,080
My dog is awesome and deserves the best, BUT I make jerky or spaghetti meat out of all the good meat of my deer. I trim away all fat. All fat and what I think is crappy meat, I grind up to make jerky for my dog. He loves what we call Juky Jerky.
I personally feel best about eating that good, fat less meat (25 lbs or so) and the dog ends up getting the rest.
Some people like their dogs better than their kids and spoil them. I’m getting that way. He thinks I’m cool. The kids think I’m old.
 

BigChiefJ

Active Member
Messages
418
I had a cat that loved all the trimmings from venison. Not the meat, but the blue skin. He would look like he ate a basketball after I processed a deer.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,130
So if your deer meat get's freezer burned does the law say you have to eat it? What if your freezer gets unplugged and it all goes rotten?
I've thrown away some pretty expensive beef for those reasons.
My point is, you can explain "your" ethics, but ultimately I don't think I'd try to become the "ethics cop" either.
 

BigChiefJ

Active Member
Messages
418
Be sure your meat freezer isn't on a GFCI circuit. I've known folks that lost a lot of frozen food and had to replace a stinky freezer.
 

Buckjunkie

Active Member
Messages
276
A good friend has killed 80+ elk and countless deer. His wife won’t cook it so they feed it to the dogs. He loves hunting and as you can see and he’s very successful. If anyone helps pack his animals out, they can have what they pack. He gives some to people who ask, but the rest goes to their dogs. Their dogs don’t live as long as expected.

It Rubs me the wrong way, but I am not the judge. He is not technically wasting game. He’s my friend and a good one at that.
 

newhunter

Active Member
Messages
138
I have know many people who treat there dogs as family.
Buy them chicken, steak, fish, eggs and cook them special because they love their family.
I feed my dog all the scraps and some of the hamburger.
He is my second best friend.
I'm not feeding a dog back strap, that's mine.
Nothing unethical about it. It's being put to good use.
"Be his friend not his judge"
 

Focoelkman

Active Member
Messages
308
Not sure an ethical question. Our dogs get a few bites maybe, & they inhale the silver skin - some slivers, and chew on leg bones. They are like family to most here I imagine. To each their own.

Enjoy yours man! Success is sweet regardless. (Folks lose meat to freezers dying, or never touch it, freezer burn, and spoilage. Archery hunters the same when hot or do not recover to cool in time. Some elk have infections, ya must cut it out. )
expensive dog food that's for sure.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,144
Bottom line for me is I would help him this year (as promised) and then next year offer to lend him your grinder because you will be "busy" on the day of.....
 

Joe2Kool

Very Active Member
Messages
1,586
it's his deer.....be his friend ....not his judge

I agree. He's not wasting it. He's just choosing to use it in a way different than you. If we ditched friends because they did things different than us, we'd have no friends.

You made a promise to help this year, so you need to follow through with your word. On the other hand, help doesn't mean sit with him every minute, call for him, field dress, pack it out. Just help.
 

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