Tag Soup...Choice or Just a Bad Decision
March 10, 2014


For me, it was another year with of an unfilled deer tag. I am not in a panic. I'll get another chance this fall. My question is to you is: (and I'm hoping to see some honest feedback on this topic). Do you feel that purchasing a deer hunting license and not filling it is senseless?

Please don't get me wrong. I hunted pretty hard this year. Saw a large number of deer at my stand and saw the benefits of supplemental food sources. The deer and turkeys had a good crop of acorns so early feeding wasn't as effective as it was once.

We watched the activity pick up and then slow down. Rut was weird this year and my treestand time during it was limited at best. There were many chances for me to take a doe but I chose not to. Taking an animal is a big decision for me. If a dominant buck would have shown up, the decision to take him would have been simple. The breeder does that came every night to the stand would have provided a great deal of meat for the freezer. So why not take the shot?

Bear with me on this. I didn't because what happens after the shot is the also a decision a hunter must make. Once an animal is taken the work really begins. The processing of meat can be quite a tedious task. Depending on your plan for the processing. Some want all burger. Some want a mix of steaks and roasts and there are some that make jerky out of everything. I want it all - steaks, roasts, burger and jerky! So there is a lot of work involved in processing the meat.

I usually only buy one tag because for me that one is hard to fill. Not because I don't have the opportunity, but rather the reasons I shared. I'm not a guy that "if it's brown it's down." Never really have been that way.

Timing is also important in my decision making. My job offers me abundant days off and this includes a seven day off period. If I am in my stand during those times, it is much easier to take a shot because I will have time for processing the meat. The later in the week and closer to going back to work I am, the less chance I will take a shot.

My season isn't considered unsuccessful just because a tag wasn't filled. I have had a really good season. I saw some remarkable things while hunting. Taken several movies of many things. I had turkeys roost right next to me. Saw owls and hawks and what seamed like a million squirrels.

I catch a great deal of flack from my buddies about not getting a deer. A lot of ,"some great hunter you are! " and "where's all the jerky?" It's there for the taking actually. You just have to be there, take your shot and get your meat.

It doesn't end with deer season either. The turkeys pitched a shutout on me last spring as well. But the opportunity was there for a double on a pair of jakes with my hunting buddy and I couldn't move without getting busted. I caught grief on that one as well. But he took a nice bird and it tasted great!

So readers, I would really like to hear your opinion on this. Are you a buy all the permits you can and try to fill them all or a one and done type of person? I like to refer to an unfilled tag as tag soup. It tastes bad no matter how you cook it. There is no wrong answer to this question. As long as the life you take is consumed at the table and not just a trophy. That is a whole other conundrum.

For questions or comments, reach Fetty at OVO: 330-385-2243 or by email:


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