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View Poll Results: Which do you do?
Gut the deer. 68 97.14%
Just quarter it, keeping the abdomen/chest closed. 2 2.86%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 8, 2007, 11:47 PM   #26
FirstFreedom
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Quote:
I'm scared a processor might pull a little "some for you and some for me... some for you and some for me" while doing his work
lol, last year my buddy went to a processor I had recommended - they had done me right. He gets back only FOUR packages of steaks from a 90 lb buck, per instructions to "steak everything possible, and rest hamburger". Sure he had a fair amount of hamburger, but only *four* small packages of steak? I think that that processor didn't even keep track of who's deer was who's. He probably just put it all together in the freezer, and then when you pick up it, look at the tag to see the deer weight, and then say, "yeah, this much looks about right."
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Old July 9, 2007, 10:31 AM   #27
davlandrum
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I am curious about the guys that hang them before gutting. Where do you hang them? One of the loose group I bowhunt elk with made the mistake of bringing in a cow whole and then hung it and processed it. Even after all the "parts" were gone, it stunk up camp for the rest of the season.

Granted, this is in the woods, so options for clean-up are limited. I suppose some lime scattered on the area would have helped, but we don't usually have lime with us in that area.

New rule after that was gut them where they fall...
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Old July 10, 2007, 04:07 PM   #28
john in jax
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Most of the deer we have here on the public lands (WMA's) in FL are small. 100lbs and under are very common - - not enough on the ribs or enough tender loin to worry with. Daytime temps during bow season (September) are usually in the 90's. During blackpowder (October) it is sometime cooler, like the upper 80's. Daytime temperatures during general gun (November - Early January) are a crap shoot, highs could be in the 80's one weekend and 60's the next weekend. There's no "cooling" a deer down here unless it involves ice and/or a cooler of some sort.

If you put a deer or hog down in the AM, taking just the hams, shoulders, and backstrap, to put on ice (ice chest in the vehicle) means you get to hunt the afternoon. True, there's meat left lying in the field, but hogs and other critters will clean that up real quick.
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Old July 31, 2007, 06:30 PM   #29
ibfestus
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I know I'm late on this but here is my $.02

It all depends on the climate. When I hunted in Swampeast Georgia we would immediately hang the deer, skin it out, gut and quarter it and put the meat on ice, usually within 30 minutes of the kill.

In Missouri it is usually much cooler and things are done a bit differently. On public ground we field dress immediately (I have personally killed a nice buck that was smelling around a gut pile.) On my private property, we transport the deer to the shed where we gut it and depending on the temperature let it hang until we are ready to either process or transport to the commercial processor.

Venison will age perfectly well in the freezer. When I was young in Arkansas (1950's) I saw guys with deer strapped to the hoods of their pick up. They would shoot the deer at 7:00AM and take it back to the tavern in town to show it off. About 6:00PM they would decide to "clean" the deer the next morning. Of course by then the deer was bloated and near rotten in the 80 degree heat. No wonder the meat was less than delicious!

Common sense is increasingly uncommon.
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Old July 31, 2007, 07:54 PM   #30
kingudaroad
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Ok here goes. Cut off back feet leaving the skin attached so the feet are dangling. Cut an incision in the skin from one side of the leg, under the tail and to the other dangling foot. Peel the skin back on the hind legs and hang them by the loop formed by the cartridge and the bone in the lower leg. Make an incision through the skin only, from under the tail to the neck. Another up the inside of both front legs meeting the middle incision. Cut off the tail from the underside leaving it attached by the skin. Tie both the dangling feet and the tail together with a 8-10 foot long rope. Tie the other end to your truck or atv. Slowly drive backwards until the skin peels all the way to the neck and bottom part of the front legs. Cut off the bottom of the front legs and the head right where it has been exposed by the peeled skin. Absolutely no hair, and now you can gut.

If you have a buck you have to cut the head off first or the antlers will be in the way.
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Old July 31, 2007, 09:12 PM   #31
FirstFreedom
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Quote:
During blackpowder (October) it is sometime cooler, like the upper 80's.
Wow - I feel for you. Last year I made a new rule after getting eaten up by mosquitoes in October, and a couple of cold experiences too:

"If the weatherman's forecast HIGH for the day is above 75 deg F, or the forecast LOW is below 15, I ain't huntin. OR, if the forecast high is 80 deg or less, but we're past the first freeze for the year, then I'll hunt." The latter is because the mosquitoes should be mostly dead. Hunting is supposed to be enjoyable, and a cool or cold weather sport. Not hot, not warm, and not hard frozen. Deer don't move much in the extremes either, anyway. I have plenty of other hobbies to stay home and do, or stay in the camper & read if I'm going to hunt the next day in extreme cold.
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Old August 1, 2007, 07:41 AM   #32
Doyle
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FirstFreedom, the first word you learn when hunting in Florida is THERMACELL. I wouldn't be caught without one now.
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Old August 1, 2007, 08:17 AM   #33
rantingredneck
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Yep, the eastern swamps of NC are bad without a thermacell too. I don't know how I ever hunted down there before those came out.
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Old August 1, 2007, 12:01 PM   #34
davlandrum
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Do the thermacells put out a smell? It seems like a lot of people use them while hunting, but I am curious about that part...
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Old August 1, 2007, 12:14 PM   #35
Doyle
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The do have a slight scent, but animals don't seem to mind. I've read reports of people having deer walk right up to them when they were using thermacells.
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Old August 1, 2007, 02:47 PM   #36
support_six
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Having been a professional game processor, I can tell you the last thing a processor wants is some of your deer! We used to receive about 50 head of deer a day, and process about 25 from the cooler. Nobody would think of stealing your deer because it's very hard to explain to a hunter why the 100 lb deer he brought in yielded only 25 lbs of meat! Besides, if I wanted some of your meat, I'd steal your beef or pork, not your rotten deer!

I've called up hunters when I placed their deer on my cutting block and "required" them to come down and see what a mess they gave me to fix. Oh sure, it weighs 100 lbs and was "very expertly shot in the neck with one shot". BULL! You or somebody else shot it twice in the butt and once in the gut besides. You let it cool out so slowly that it has an anaerobic bacteria colony building in each large joint of both the front and hind quarters. Every seen this? Green meat and the most sour smell in the world! ...and of course when you dragged it, you filled it with leaves and dirt! I've seen maggots inside from being fly-blown.

"But sir, I put it in cheese-cloth bags so it wouldn't get dirty or covered with flies!" Well you didn't do it right or soon enough!

You probably didn't even know your deer looked like that, you never looked inside the game bags till you brought it to me! Yes, I've cleaned up your messes, messes you claim you never made – but you did! This is the collective "you", not the individual "you".

I only hunt in the West. I gut my deer on the spot. When I get it back to my truck, I remove the legs at the knees, leave the head on (DNR requirement!), and get to a cooler where I skin it and leave it alone for five days at 40°F. The I cut it up. Muscle boning hot meat at the kill sight will only result in tough meat (you could always grind it for burger). Leave it on the bone till "after" rigor sets in, than you can bone it. If you do otherwise and claim it produces quality meat, your standards of quality are too low.

You're on your own, guys.

I was very glad to leave that job behind, graduate from college, and receive a commission in the Regular Army! I had a hard time making people believe that the crap I cut away wasn't fit for a dog to eat, let alone a human.
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Old August 1, 2007, 04:33 PM   #37
Charles S
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The majority of hunters I hunt with do a very, very, very poor job of meat handling.

OTH I am less concerned with a butcher stealing my meat than I am their handling in a way that is less than desirable.

I have seen with my own eyes extremly dirty cutting rooms, filthy freezers, and individuals who have never washed their hands from handling the last gut shot deer to moving on to the next animal.

I have personally seen places where all the ground meat is ground at one time (this means that the individual who kept his deer on his hood for the day and then brought it in the next morning gets part of your meat and you get part of his).

I process my own animals from start to finsh.

I gut it where I shoot it.

Quote:
(I have personally killed a nice buck that was smelling around a gut pile.)
I have also...

I then get the meat back to camp and get it cool as quickly as I can. I let the meat dry age for about 5 days, then I process it.

Off topic...if you live in a warm climate thermacell is your friend.
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Old August 1, 2007, 04:38 PM   #38
fisherman66
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Support six, you ain't ever seen one of my deer. No butcher ever will. I handle it from hove to plate. What you describe is just nasty, but I don't doubt you. I hate to think of all the unedible meat that goes to waste by slovenly hunters.:barf:
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Old August 1, 2007, 06:58 PM   #39
support_six
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fisherman66, I believe you, and you and I are in the minority. I guess I have to say I've seen some very well dressed deer, taken care of properly, and a big basket of good meat, too. But this was rare. The problem wasn't especially that the animals came in so poorly taken care of, but that the hunter thought he was taking good care of it but really had listened to too many urban legends about game care.

I'll see you up in the hills, fisherman66!
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Old August 1, 2007, 07:31 PM   #40
Charles S
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fisherman66, I believe you, and you and I are in the minority. I guess I have to say I've seen some very well dressed deer, taken care of properly, and a big basket of good meat, too.
That is because the vast majoity of hunters who really know how to take care of meat would never bring it to a meat processor....no offense intended. I firmly believe that I can personally do a much better job of processing meat than any of my local butchers. From knife to package a typical carcass takes me a little under 2 hours (not including the sausage).

I have every meat handling area sterilized, my hands are scrubbed (more than washed) and the meat is meticulously packaged and sealed.

My hamburger has a precisely controlled meat to fat ratio of the fat type I choose. My sausage has the spices I like in the portions I like...none locally can match it.


OTH, I have seens with my own eyes extremly dirty cutting rooms, filthy freezers, and individuals who have never washed their hands from handling the last gut shot deer to moving on to the next animal.

I have personally seen places where all the ground meat is ground at one time (this means that the individual who kept his deer on his hood for the day and then brought it in the next morning gets part of your meat and you get part of his).

I agree with fisherman...you ain't seen none of my deer. I don't believe you will see deer from the majority of hunters who truly care about how their meat is processed and handled.
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Old August 1, 2007, 08:24 PM   #41
tarheelshooter
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Thermacels are a necessity for hunting in the heat.I have had deer within five yards of me while using it during turkey season.As far as field dressing goes,It depends on if I will be hunting anymore that day.At our deer camp in PA,they always get field dressed and hung by the camp.When I am hunting here in NC,I will gut them well away from my good spots and get them iced immediately.I will only quarter deer when I shoot one late in the evening and it is fairly cool.
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