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Buying Venison, WHAT'S UP with the RULES

Did you know that VENISON, usually defined as the red meat from deer, was North America's original red meat.  Native Americans hunted and enjoyed venison year around and had an abundant natural supply.  Unfortunately, with the European colonization and their eventual spread across the Continent, deer and buffalo eventually were hunted almost to extinction.  By the 1930's with the Great Depression in full swing, elk, deer and buffalo were becoming increasingly rare due to extreme hunting pressure just for people to survive.  Only a small population of game animals remained in protected environments like our National Parks and some private game preserves.

Over the next two decades, in order to forestall the complete extinction of the various venison species, most states declared that wild game were the "peoples" (State's) property and passed hunting rules that were designed to control the numbers of animals harvested and what people could do with the elk meat or deer meat (Venison) harvested.  To eliminate "market hunting" (the shooting and sale of deer meat to third parties), various states instigated licensing procedures which allowed the taking of game meat for personal consumption, but prohibited the sale of this meat to third parties.  Essentially, the State sold the venison meat to selected individuals via licensing.  These rules decreased the hunting pressure by removing the profit motive from market hunting and were additionally set up to punish those involved in the poaching (or illegal taking) of game meat animals.  The various state rules were hugely effective, and as a result, the game meat animal populations have been steadily increasing for several decades now.  Almost to the point of a wild deer nuisance in some areas.

Fortunately, from those National Parks and game preserves, enterprising farm and ranch entrepreneurs assisted in the re-establishment of the near-extinct game meat animals by actually "ranching" these divergent species and helped to re-establish native game meat species in many parts of the country.  Deer or elk bought from governmental agencies or private preserves were allowed to be fenced in on a ranch or farm.  These animals are undeniably private property, owned by the farmer and in many states they are even regarded as livestock 

Game farm animals are NOT wild animals captured on a whim.  Most states have special Game Farm licensing procedures to be able to buy, sell, contain and raise game meat species, with each state reserving the right to dictate which species and what requirements are necessary for elk farming or deer ranching.  Laws and regulations are very strict and the game ranching business is one of the most regulated industries in the USA.

Most state hunting rules are quite succinct and specifically apply only to wild game meat animals.  On the other hand, farmed animals are private property and are not covered by state hunting rules and regulations.  Unfortunately, some arcane state laws, passed many decades ago, have vague hunting regulations and some even prohibit the sale of certain kinds of deer meats to prevent "market hunting".  Farmed animals were just not around those many decades ago.  But, now they are, and the laws, as worded are outdated, yet still on the books. 

At Grande Natural Meats, ALL processed animals are farmed animals, NEVER wild game meat.  A USDA Stamp of Inspection, or occasionally a State Stamp of Inspection guarantees that the processed game meat animal IS and MUST be a farmed animal.   In order to receive the Inspection Stamp, the animals must be inspected before slaughter for ownership and disease issues, and if defective in any way, the animals are disposed of without use by governmental decree.  Further inspection during processing assures a safe, clean and legal game meat product.

Rest assured, EVERY Grande Meats game animal meets the Federal and State governmental regulations in whatever state it is processed in.  We then warehouse all our products here in Colorado, where all game meat species sales are fully legal.   We then pack and ship in a safe and cost-effective manner throughout the country.  You are buying fully legal, government-inspected safe, game meat products.  Always farmed, NEVER wild, game meat.

For the best Elk, venison, or deer meat cookbooks in the nation (recipes can work for buffalo meat, as well) try the Complete Venison Cookbook by Harold W. Webster Jr.  Grande Premium Meats is a featured Elk or Venison purveyor!  



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