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Really newbie question on deer prep

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Old February 4th, 2017, 05:58 PM   #1
 
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Really newbie question on deer prep

Hi guys,

I'm the only one that hunts out of my friends and family. Been hunting 3 years and never gotten big game, at least big game in FL, haha. No pig or deer yet, got my first Bobcat last Friday, though!!! Next season id like to get a deer or pig.

So I was watching videos on field prep. I saw one guy that just took the hind legs and back fat of a pig, simple no guts approach that I liked.

While watching vids on quartering a deer, I got to wondering, instead of trying to keep a big bloody carcass of a deer in my work van, cause it won't fit in my cooler, why not just quarter the deer with skin on and guts in, in the field? Is there something I'm missing? Do people do this to keep the hide?

Again, newbie here, should've seen my first rabbit, haha, y'all wouldve made fun of me for years at the local watering hole, talking about the city boy!! Thanks for any tips and advice



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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:47 PM   #2
 
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Does your work van have a receiver hitch? I load deer on a Hitch Haul platform even though I drive a truck because it is lower and easier to load by myself. How you handle the deer after downing it makes a huge difference in the quality of the meat. Two things are super important:
1) If any penetration of the stomach/ intestines occurs you have to get that nasty stuff out right away. Immediately field-dress and remove all internal organs and everything including the anus. Flush the cavity with clean water.
2) Cool the meat. Normally this means skinning (the hide is a tremendous insulator), quartering and getting it into a cooler. On cool nights when it is late getting back to camp I have packed the body cavity of the dressed and hosed out deer with ice to keep until morning.
Regardless of what you do the skin must come off. There is no "quartering" a deer with the hide on as it means you are splitting the rib-cage. My friend's son shot a nice doe at my camp last season right before dark. I used my EZ Loader winch hoist to load and clean the deer. We hung her by the neck and skinned her out. Then we could remove the tasty back-straps, shoulders, and finally the hams. By not gutting her we did not have access to the tenderloins, but it was cold and we were hungry and ready to get indoors. Wash the meat and get it on ice. Daily drain off the bloody water and re-pack with ice. After several days of that you can take it to a processor to be cut-up, ground, cubed, and wrapped. The taste of your meat is totally dependent on how you handle the chores after the shot. Do not shoot them in the guts! Wait for a broadside shot. The hoist makes loading and cleaning easier.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:44 PM   #3
 
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Hello I don't do woods hunting,gave it up in 1969 when i left Nam jungle. Welcome to the forum.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 08:47 AM   #4
 
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Thanks for the tips ngashooter, I do have a hitch, but I live 2 hours from where I hunt. But quartering in the field makes sense, and I see your point to the hide, so I can do the pig ham method, but need skin off, too. That helps me out alot, I also got a lesson learned with the bobcat. I don't have an atv or anything, and that lil cat really started to feel like a panther after 1/2 mile of heading back, haha. Another reason why I'd like to lighten the load in the field!!
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Old February 5th, 2017, 09:15 AM   #5
 
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Hopefully you are eating more than just the hams and backstraps. The whole deer is good eating. Smoked deer ribs, steaks on the grill. If you kill it, you should respect it enough to use the whole animal. Only thing that gets thrown out is the head and spine at our place. Everything else is used. Bones make a mighty fine broth.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 11:55 AM   #6
 
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I process my own game myself, and have my whole life of 40 + years of hunting.
We use everything from the head back. The neck makes awesome roast.

I gut mine in the field, cut the scent glands off, cut the anus out.
You should cut the scent glands off the rear legs immediately after shooting it..
And be liberal cutting a wide swath around the glands.

One thing I learned about processing venison and butchering beef,, GET the blood out. Blood is what spoils the meat. I wont even buy bloody meat in a butcher shop. Blood tells me it was NOT DONE right.
I bring mine home gutted. Hang them up by the back feet, skin them out and leave them hang about 2 days in a cool basement. Clean everything up with cool water and get the blood hosed off. . I also cut the head off and put the neck in a bucket.

There will be several inches of blood in the bucket over night, but the meat will be drained out nicely. I would think even in FL you could let one hang over night.
Venison with the blood drained out will darn near turn to jerky before it will spoil.

After the meat is drained out and seasoned a bit, I then quarter it and cut it up for packaging. Seasoning the meat by letting it hang is what makes it tender. But it must be done in a cool place. You being in FL could cause some issues with that.

Good luck.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 12:25 PM   #7
 
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Florida requires you tom leave proof of gender attached to the carcass until butchered and packaged, deer not hogs........robin
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Old February 5th, 2017, 01:40 PM   #8
 
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All good points here. Another reason to gut and skin quickly is that hair on the meat is not good. My hunting buddy is chef and swears that he can taste it if there was hair on the game meat, even if cleaned off before cooking. Leaving it on when quartered will almost guarantee a few hairs.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 03:21 PM   #9
 
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All good points, thank you very much guys! I'll use the whole deer, sometimes just gotta man up, haha. Thank you all for some tips and procedures.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 03:31 PM   #10
 
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Just look how they slaughter cattle. Kill, gut, skin and off to the cooler to chill and age. A time proven method. If your field dressing, gut it immediately and prop the cavity open and get it into a cooler ASAP.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 03:56 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngashooter View Post
Does your work van have a receiver hitch? I load deer on a Hitch Haul platform even though I drive a truck because it is lower and easier to load by myself. How you handle the deer after downing it makes a huge difference in the quality of the meat. Two things are super important:
1) If any penetration of the stomach/ intestines occurs you have to get that nasty stuff out right away. Immediately field-dress and remove all internal organs and everything including the anus. Flush the cavity with clean water.
2) Cool the meat. Normally this means skinning (the hide is a tremendous insulator), quartering and getting it into a cooler. On cool nights when it is late getting back to camp I have packed the body cavity of the dressed and hosed out deer with ice to keep until morning.
Regardless of what you do the skin must come off. There is no "quartering" a deer with the hide on as it means you are splitting the rib-cage. My friend's son shot a nice doe at my camp last season right before dark. I used my EZ Loader winch hoist to load and clean the deer. We hung her by the neck and skinned her out. Then we could remove the tasty back-straps, shoulders, and finally the hams. By not gutting her we did not have access to the tenderloins, but it was cold and we were hungry and ready to get indoors. Wash the meat and get it on ice. Daily drain off the bloody water and re-pack with ice. After several days of that you can take it to a processor to be cut-up, ground, cubed, and wrapped. The taste of your meat is totally dependent on how you handle the chores after the shot. Do not shoot them in the guts! Wait for a broadside shot. The hoist makes loading and cleaning easier.
This is exactly what I learned to do. Read it twice, or maybe thrice.
"...taste of your meat is totally dependent on how you handle the chores after the shot." The first deer I brought in was so bad I didn't think I would ever eat venison again. (I hauled it 30 miles on my hood. LOL). In addition try never to leave the back strap.

Gehlsurf, hunting is an art and skill that improves with with patience, dedication and time. It's also something you can enjoy for a lifetime no matter when you start. I've hunted (with BB Gun) since 10 years old and I am now 78 going on 79. Keep it up.

I see that you may be hunting by yourself and not be able to share with family or friends. That's cool. I also hunted a lot alone and enjoyed the time in the woods. Saying that, I found I have enjoyed greatly hunting with friends or with my sons. We have been telling the stories repeatedly over the years which I treasure,even though I "retired" due to health reasons. As you continue hunting and invite someone to take with you.(after you determine they are safe.) Get with an experience hunter when you can. There are three people who taught me what I know about hunting, including what I learnedon my own. For that I have been greatful. Be safe and enjoy.

Last edited by RockDoctor; February 7th, 2017 at 03:59 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 04:04 PM   #12
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Another option after checking your tag is take it to a local butcher. May cost a few Bucks (pun intended) but well worth it. Personally this has worked well with a lot more of the animal being used. Smaller pieces can be ground into sausage or burger and lots of uniform cut steaks. One of the local taxidermy shops here doubles as a butcher.
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