Family Game Night

Earlier this month Scott shared this photo on Facebook.  We didn’t think it was anything special as, like many of you, we sit down to do this several times a year.
Butchering Venison

Tiffany's first bear.

My first bear.






Tiffany Mule Deer

My first mule deer with a bow.

We are a family that hunts, skins, butchers and cooks everything we harvest.  This entire process is made more special to me because it is shared with my family.  Every job is done by us, every bit of meat is touched by us, every bite is eaten by us (or shared).

There were some funny replies from friends on our pages, then Cabela’s and several other outdoor companies reposted.  Wow, we were amazed with the responses, likes and shares.  In a few days we received over 30,000 likes.

Posted was a single photo from a GoPro hanging on our dining room light.  Check out the whole process, shot as a timelapse and edited by our son, by clicking below.
Video Butchering

Most comments were positive with folks reminiscing about butchering animals around the family table; some shared how they were doing the same thing at that very moment.  Others voiced disgust with the whole process, admitting they don’t even want to know where their meat comes from.

We enjoyed looking through the thousands of responses and would have liked to have replied to each and every comment.  With such great material, a blog post was screaming to be written.

Grilling Game

Grilled Pheasant Satay

As I read comments, I became increasingly convicted in my commitment to feed my family with the animals we hunt and fish for.  The meat is healthy, fresh and handled with TLC from the field/water to the table.  Raising two sons to hunt, fish, prepare and cook animals feels like a positive contribution.  They will have the tools to survive off the land if either by choice or force.

Boys Fish

Braxton's First TurkeyKazden with Sage Rat





Below are some of the comments that caught my eye…and my responses to them.  Thanks to all who contributed to this thought-provoking (comment-provoking) photo.  All comments came directly from FB, only first names were used to protect privacy and no comments were changed in any way.

Nancy S.  “Yuck! If I had to do that I would be a vegetarian.”

To Nancy I would comment that 23 years ago, I asked Scott if he could butcher the meat on his own, put it in the freezer nicely labeled so I could pretend it was from the store.  That all came to an end just a few months into our marriage as we lived a subsistance lifestyle in Alaska’s Arctic.  If I wanted to eat, I needed to “man-up!”  Vegetables were a rare delicacy that far North.  From a health perspective, a vegetarian diet is a very healthy choice.  We eat a lot of vegetables and plant based proteins but we supplement with what we hunt/fish for ourselves.

Anastasia B.  “id kill my bf if he did this on my dining room table”
Paul L.  “Wow i did that my wife freaked and threw the table out”

There is no difference between butchering an animal on the dining table as cutting up something on the kitchen counter.  Game animals, when properly cared for carry little or no bacteria.  They are much cleaner than some supermarket purchased meat.

Will R.  “That is similar to how hogs were processed on family farms before almost everyone became so specialized and they lost the knowledge. Tables are meant to be used and are easily cleaned. Better to clean the table than go hungry.”

Deena S.  “The only thing I could think about, is how those white sleeves are about to be ruined. Lol the table is clearly covered, but those poor white sleeves!”

My white sleeves stayed white!  There is very little mess with meat that has been properly aged.  That shirt has also survived multiple fishing trips – easy clean compression fabric.

Norma L.  “That is totally unsanitary as well as discusting…Not to mention those children shouldn’t be handling those knives.”

Butchering your own meat, when done properly is completely sanitary.  Meat can be processed in small amounts so everything stays cold.  Meat is cut, wrapped and frozen much faster than large processing plants.
In regards to kids with knives, our children have been using knives, guns, bows and fishing poles (with hooks) under our close supervision since they were two years old.  They have also been in the kitchen preparing meals, digging in the garden, cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming since they could walk.  These are all skills we believe in.

Kazden Skinning a Deer

Kazden at age 4 skinned most of Dad’s deer on his own.

Braxton Mule Deer

Braxton at 12 got his first mule deer with a bow.

Sherri M.  shared Cabela’s photo.
“Yeah, this looks like a real fun family thing to do….NOT”

It just depends on how you choose to raise your children.  We believe kids should know where their food comes from and if they can have a hand in hunting and gathering, they will be more prepared to take care of themselves and their families later in life.


Kazden's first blackmail

Kazden’s first blacktail.






Both boys are skilled at meat/fish preservation.

Both boys are skilled at meat/fish preservation.








Some of the posts ended up in heated debate, here’s one:

Josh G.  “This is the healthiest thing you can eat! No preservatives here!”
Megan T.  “I think fresh fruits and veggies are a little healthier and a lot less disgusting lol”
Ricky J.  “I wish there was an extra like button. We need a picture of us doing this after we get like 5. Lol and who’s Megan? She’s totally wrong.”
Megan T.  “I’m Megan..and no..pretty sure I’m right…”
Ricky J. “Nope. Wrong!!!!!!! I’m not even gonna look at it cuz I’m from the holler and I know what’s right”

Another debate, I had a hard time following as it wasn’t all in English, some good points though.

Beth- shared Cabela’s photo.
Sofia  “absurdo”

Beth  “No food if you are raised in rural usa you hunt and feed your family the best way you can and it has less fat then beef or Pork. My kids liked it better then beef or Pork.”

Sofia  “caçar hoje não é a mesma coisa que caçar a 10 anos atrás. Hoje abater um animal pode causar desequilíbrio, pois não restam muitos.”

Beth  “hunting around where I live is not just for food but helps keep a healthy dear poulation 30 years ago there where no dear around here hardly now they nnumber so many they cause wrecks they have an abundent food sorce few predtores they have corn fields bean fields lts of woode placese to hide rivers we have some of the biggest dear around and they are restricked on how many and witch sex il. dear healthy and great poulation because our hunters harvest only what will be eaten. Thats how God made it to be”

Some were downright hilarious:


Ryan M. “This is awesome! I see your flank, and I raise you a filet.”

Scott F.  “No son, there’s no app for this game!”

Colleen P.  “hahah. Family game night. what a pun. i guess. other game nights with family means playing games. But the Hunter family processes and butchers on the table.  i wonder if one can invent a game with meat. like go-fish but not.  is it bad a part of me wants to chew on that bone?”

Denis M. ‎”Family Game Night” Love the rustic punny feeling of this!”
Scott M.  “oh dear. you could loose some bucks playing that game.”
Denis M.  “Are you trying to get a “leg” up on me?”
Scott M.  “no. I was just hunting for a joke. don’t shoot me.”
Denis M. “It is just a great way to ‘meat’ new people.”
Scott M.  “such a “cut up”.
Denis M.  “Good to the bone…”

Greg B.  “All u need is a deck of cards… I see your rump roast and raise you four stew meats.”

Pamela F.  “Meat Monopoly”

There were some political posts:

Josh W.   “Now thats my kinda butcher shop. We know we are not being poisond by government processing facilities. Just robbed being it cost to hunt.”

Chip C.  “The kind of stuff that made this nation.”

Robert P.  “remember kiddies, when the shit hits your not gonna be able to run to wades, weggies, tops, to get’cher groceries, so get’cher game processing skills on…”

Dwayne R.  “that family will make it no matter what happens,self sufficint bet they are not on welfare.”

Charles B. “Not the most exciting part of deer hunting but love the conversations of the good time you had in the woods. Wont see any antihunters filling their freezers for less than 25 cents a pound”

Benjamin T.  “Very important for kids to know where there food comes from. It will help them value it down the road. I brought my buddies kid into the garage this year to see a carcass hanging and his kid started to cry and thought meat from the store does not look that way. He was 14. Damn yuppie kids.”

Terry Y.  “Thats the way to teach kids to be real Americans.”

Bobby S.  “All the DUMB ASSES that voted obama better learn to do this.”

There are a lot of people that value the health benefits of wild game:

Adam L.  “really need to learn more about this end of the process….grew up in the city, never really did any hunting, but I am trying to learn now….afterall you never know when the knowledge could come in handy…Plus wild game tends to be healthier for you, less fat, and no added hormones”

Terry M.  “good,clean family time,processing the wonderful ,delicious drug/hormone free meat our god gave us for food.looks good,enjoy a bite or two for me when yall cook up a meal of it…lol”

Jerrold C.  “It’s the only way to finish off a great hunt is to bind the family even closer together and then we know exactly what were eating. Clean fat free heavenly goodness sent from heaven above.”

John P.  “my son and i skind and processed 2 deer knowing how to process and cook deer meat is the key deer meat can be rewarding knowing how to cook its as good tasting as any market meat we also saved 190 dollars onskinning and processing fees and its lower in cholesterol than beef”

Niki S. “and sometimes wild game or grass fed animals, never store bought meat that is over priced poison”

Jacqueline S.  “funny thing is though we had a complete assembly line in the basement and there was always a house full and at least 4-6 deer hanging in the barn. I think back and wonder what some of the enviromentalist would be saying. Healthiest meat there is is the fresh venison no chemicals so glad that I have children who appreciate it.”

And lots and lots of positive support, a few of our favorites:

Jason F.  New found respect for Scott and his family. Good to see a “TV” hunter actually using the meat to feed his family! Kudos.

Nelson A.  “thats good that the kids and the family are geting in on making there food”

Rick J.  “We process our own, it’s something the while family does together and the children learn where their food comes from.

Thomas C.  Group activity around the dinner table. Hog butcher and canning every fall. Then hunting when the winter food was all prepared. Neighbors went around helping each other until all were prepared for the winter.

Frank B.  Been there done that. Good stuff. When I was growing up My dad always said ( a table ait a table unless you can skin a deer on it.)

Heather Y.  It is a family affair! So nice to have meat in the freezer knowing it never left your sight and u know exactly where it came from.

James P.  it’s the only way specialy for these young hunters it teaches them the proper way and respect.

Kenneth O.  Nothing better than hanging out with the whole family and making sausage. Better than playing any video game with your kids or watching football.

Albert G.  Great to see this. This is what its all about folks. from the squeezing of the trigger, to the frying pan together as a family!

Ray S.  Yes and I have included my children from the age of 2! I only use the butcher if I manage to harvest a bull moose or several caribou. Great life lesson for children and very grounding for adults.

Daniel G.  Now thats what I call family time!! Some of my best memories as a kid were cutting up deer with my Dad!

Mike F.  shared Cabela’s photo.
The family that “wraps” together dines together. And this family surely knows where meat and food comes from. Model parents live here.

David C.  Nothing brings a family closer than helping with the processing of fish and game after a successful hunt or fishing outing, you can truly then say you know where your food comes from,both my daughters fish and my three boys hunt and fish and they all hep out with cleaning and processing our harvest.
Robtheanimal  “You bet Brother. The only way to live the ‘full experience of the hunt’ is to process your harvest. Imagine what some people would think if they could’ve seen the 200+lb black bear on my dinner table as Jake and I were skinning it. Awesome!!!”

Debbie H.  How many real men can do this and how many real women would let it happen and be grateful your man just put meat in the freezer ??? I sure would be grateful that my man did !!!

John V.   Now we’re talkin’. Give them kids a knife and show ’em how it works.

Angelica H.  Looks like my house! The boys butcher on my island and the girls set up a wrapping station in the living room!

Bob B.  A country boy can survive.

Pedro B.  I love this the whole family together you don’t see this today…god bless guys keep it going your kids will do this with their kids talking about this moment

Heather M.  ‎– thats exactly what a good huntin trip’s return looks like… i could see my daddy, my brothers & my paw doin that! 
*; thats a gooood time ( :

Janet K.  “Yeah, some families spend time sitting around the table playing cards, but the Haugen family takes family time to a whole new level! Time well spent :)”

Bev H.   “I love this!!! Good job training those young men to process their own game.”

Amber T.  I love processing my own meat especially deer meat makes me feel better as a person. Just eating something you worked hard on makes all the difference

Christopher C.  Processed every deer Ive ever harvested. It brings a sense of satisfaction.

Matt U.  “OMG I LOVE this picture. We process all our own game. It truly is an art that needs to be shared with all the generations. Great pic…”

Millie B.  Totally brings back childhood memories of doing this

Diana T.  Been around a table like that a number of times. Everybody wins with great conversation & laughs

Lori B.  that’s what it looks like at my house sometimes too…LOL People down here are just amazed that I cut up my own venison…sissys!!

Just had to include this one, love the “translation” button on FB.

اسلام البركى ااااعععععععع

For more information on our family business find us on FB at Scott & Tiffany Haugen – Hunting, Fishing, Cooking.

Our cookbooks are available on this website.

Our cookbooks are available on this website.

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