Chinese Water Deer for the Freezer

I know… its really cute, but it was dead when we found it. I am the sort of person who hates wasting things, especially life.

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So, if you were reading this blog a few years ago you might remember this. When Becs and I found a Muntjac deer on the side of the road in Leicestershire, and took it home and butchered it for the freezer. Well, what do you know, if it didn’t happen again in Suffolk! This time though it was a Chinese Water deer. These are really interesting little deer, they escaped from Woburn safari part  in the 1930s and now live wild in that part of the country.

So here is how the story goes;  we were driving back from a day at the seaside when we noticed a large light coloured item of road kill, Becky decided to double back, and I jumped out and wrapped it quickly in the blanket and put it in the back of the car. When we reached a safe place to stop, I unwrapped it and checked it out. It was dead, but very recently, with no signs of rigor mortise. I hadn’t really looked at its face at this point and had just assumed it was a Muntjac due to its size, but when I turned its head round, I saw that it was something else.  The really sad thing is that these beautiful deer have faces like little teddy bears, so we felt like big meanies, even though we didn’t hit it. Thankfully this wasn’t a full grown male, because they look like this ,had I turned its head round and saw that, I think I might have thought that we had picked up some kind of vampire wallaby or similar.

Anyway, skip to a day later, and I have spent the last four hours butchering it into usable portions of venison. It has weighed out about 4.5 kgs of prime cuts and mince, and then another 1kg of meat and bones for slow cooking. Even by conservative estimates this amount of venison is worth about £50 – 70. This time of year is very bad for deers, as they are so obsessed with mating that they keep running into cars. The moral of this story is keep your eyes pealed, don’t be squeamish and learn to butcher.  We will report more once we have cooked some.

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