Puzzled deer hunter.

Greer L

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I have always taken my deer to the processor, but now I’m wanting more self sufficient lifestyle. Need helpful posts on field dressing (especially in warm weather like we have here in the Deep South). All help appreciated.
 

frustratedearthmother

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I haven't butchered a deer since I used to help my daddy when we'd hunt. That was a really long time ago, lol. But, I've butchered a sheep, several goats and plenty of pigs since then. I generally do a gutlesss method. I skin, take out the backstraps, peel the shoulders off and then the hindquarters. You're left with a head a spine and a belly full of guts. For a pig - because they're a little harder to skin, I don't even skin the belly. The Texas redneck way of cooling one off is an ice chest full of salty, icy water. It does speed up the process a little because you're not digging out the guts but probably not a whole lot quicker. You should be able to find plenty of info on youtube.
 

tortoise

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Welcome! My DH hunts and we process at home. He field guts and hangs the carcass. He skins it a few days later and we start cutting. However, this is in near-freezing weather and we have a cold room if we ever need to butcher out of season. I'm not much help on the warm-weather logistics.
 

Fixit

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While I do hunt and self dress deer I am not Deep South . Middle Tennessee here so it can be warm .
What I do is gut befor you move it as this will start the cool down process . I then skin it and remove the head as soon as i can . Normally less than an hour later .
Now here's the part that will be hard to replicate . I quarter it and place it in a plastic barrel . In this barrel I put water , apple cider vinegar and salt . This is set down in one of my spring flows which holds it at 54 degrees . This will hold it tell I can cut it up and put it up .
Water to cover , about half gallon of ACV ( mine is homemade ) and two handfuls of salt . The ACV pulls calcium from the meat and tenderize it . The salt pulls blood from the meat making it have a milder flavor .
 

wyoDreamer

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The key is to cool the meat down as fast as you can.
Field gut it and get it to camp and hang it up in a shady place. Wash out the inside with cold water, this helps to cool it down. Cut the legs off at the knees. The idea is to make the pieces small enough to get in a cooler with ice so it can cool down as fast as possible.
Skin it as soon as you can, some friends of mine will skin it with a tennis ball and a winch on their jeep, lol. Make a cut around the neck up by the head and slit to all the way down to the belly, loosen the skin enough to get a flap of skin to fold over a tennis ball and tie a rope around the skin below the tennis ball. attach rope to winch and as you winch in the rope the skin will come off. Use a knife to ease any areas where the skin is sticking or where the muscle is coming off with the skin. Be aware that there is a very thin layer of muscle right under the skin that the deer uses the "shiver" off biting bugs, that can stay with the skin.
First cuts are to remove the tenderloins and back straps. Those are the best cuts of meat in my opinion, so treat them well.
Cut the leg muscles where they attach to the body, working tight against the bones. Most joints can be broken once the surrounding muscles are cut. Leg quarters go into coolers with ice, coolers go into the garage or under the trees to be in the shade. Front legs should have most of the shoulder meat on them, and the hind legs have all the hams.
We go for boneless meat so we remove everything we can from the remaining carcass before working on the legs. Meat from the neck goes into a bowl for ground meat. You determine how picky you are going to be about cleaning the carcass off.
My sister and brother-in-law remove the ribs and BBQ them for supper, too much bone to bother throwing into the freezer. Takes up too much space.
Front leg meat can be pretty tough, we use that for ground venison.
Hind legs, piece it out into steaks and roasts which are the size you want. I am very picky about my venison and I remove all the fat and silver skin that I can.
I then take the bowls of meat into the kitchen to sort them out and cut them, vacuum seal, label and freeze.
 

Greer L

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The key is to cool the meat down as fast as you can.
Field gut it and get it to camp and hang it up in a shady place. Wash out the inside with cold water, this helps to cool it down. Cut the legs off at the knees. The idea is to make the pieces small enough to get in a cooler with ice so it can cool down as fast as possible.
Skin it as soon as you can, some friends of mine will skin it with a tennis ball and a winch on their jeep, lol. Make a cut around the neck up by the head and slit to all the way down to the belly, loosen the skin enough to get a flap of skin to fold over a tennis ball and tie a rope around the skin below the tennis ball. attach rope to winch and as you winch in the rope the skin will come off. Use a knife to ease any areas where the skin is sticking or where the muscle is coming off with the skin. Be aware that there is a very thin layer of muscle right under the skin that the deer uses the "shiver" off biting bugs, that can stay with the skin.
First cuts are to remove the tenderloins and back straps. Those are the best cuts of meat in my opinion, so treat them well.
Cut the leg muscles where they attach to the body, working tight against the bones. Most joints can be broken once the surrounding muscles are cut. Leg quarters go into coolers with ice, coolers go into the garage or under the trees to be in the shade. Front legs should have most of the shoulder meat on them, and the hind legs have all the hams.
We go for boneless meat so we remove everything we can from the remaining carcass before working on the legs. Meat from the neck goes into a bowl for ground meat. You determine how picky you are going to be about cleaning the carcass off.
My sister and brother-in-law remove the ribs and BBQ them for supper, too much bone to bother throwing into the freezer. Takes up too much space.
Front leg meat can be pretty tough, we use that for ground venison.
Hind legs, piece it out into steaks and roasts which are the size you want. I am very picky about my venison and I remove all the fat and silver skin that I can.
I then take the bowls of meat into the kitchen to sort them out and cut them, vacuum seal, label and freeze.
I read to wipe the inside with a damp rag because water causes spoilage. By the way, if you cut off the legs at the knees, I’m curious how you would hang the deer for skinning. Good comment though. Thanx.
 

livinglandnz

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After I have hung an animal for 4-5 days somewhere cold I usually cut out the back legs right at the hip joint with the rump steak attached, remove the back steaks, this is all my good quality steak, anything else off the body is bagged up for sausage meat which I freeze into 7kg bags (15lbs). back legs are hung by the tendon.
 

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tortoise

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My sister and brother-in-law remove the ribs and BBQ them for supper, too much bone to bother throwing into the freezer. Takes up too much space.
I give rib cages to chickens. They pick the bones clean.

We get some chubby deer here so we freeze excess fat and give it to the chickens when the weather is very cold.
 

livinglandnz

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I give rib cages to chickens. They pick the bones clean.

We get some chubby deer here so we freeze excess fat and give it to the chickens when the weather is very cold.
That is a good idea, I was thinking of saving the fish heads/fames I get from diving and putting through the mincer to use for chicken food.
 
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