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Old November 29, 2016, 05:32 PM   #76
Doyle
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Okraknife, YouTube is your best friend. There are tons of videos on how to process deer and hog. Some will show you the method where you only gut in the field, skin back at camp, and debone/process at home. Others, will show you the process I use where you skin and quarter in the field and then debone/process at home.

In both cases, the principles are the same:
1. Use SHARP knives.
2. Keep the meet clean of dirt, leaves, hair, etc.
3. Get the meat chilled ASAP. Heat is your enemy.

Most new home processers keep things simple. Don't try to cut fancy steaks and roasts. Leave that to the professional butchers if you really want them. You'll be able to cut simple roasts and steaks with a little video education but beyond that, I personally think it is easier to just grind it.
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Old February 16, 2017, 12:34 PM   #77
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We butcher all of our own deer. If the temps are below 50 degrees I will let the deer hang for 2-3 days or more if I can. I don't know that it truly improves taste, but I do know if I can let it hang until rigor is gone it makes it a lot easier to work with. It is also easier if the meat is cold and dry. I have had people tell me I am crazy for various reasons. Letting it hang, not skinning it right away and so on. Here is what is real and true about meat care. Meat spoilage doesn't happen quickly as it is caused by bacteria. It takes time for bacteria to grow and certain temperature ranges aid in it growing faster depending on the type of bacteria. Bactria will grow on meat at pretty much any temp above freezing. This is why we freeze meat for long term storage. The key is that it grows on the meat and not in it. If you leave the skin on and limit the meats exposure to the outside world you will minimize the bacterial growth to the exposed meat. The bacteria aren't going to bore down into the center of that deer ham. Temps below 40 are best for reduced growth and exposure to the elements reduces the area bacteria can get to. If trimming exposed meat swap out the knife or wash to avoid introducing bacteria as you cut and trim the rest of the animal. Once a large part of the animals flesh is exposed bacteria will be present and will spread. Get it processed once exposed and cook it to proper temp and this is a non issue. I have heard a lot of differing opinions over the years and many of them are just plain crazy. However, there are a lot of folks who are down right passionate about how they handle an animal and would argue with anyone who disagrees with them. Sometimes it is amazing how paranoid folks can get with this. Yet they eat meat hacked up from a slaughter house somewhere that is full of bacteria and they even eat the steaks rare! It is more likely you will get sick from a commercial kitchen or slaughter house made burger than from that deer you let hang when it was 54 degrees out! Just my 2 cents.
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Old November 3, 2017, 03:57 PM   #78
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Old thread, still good info, and IT"S THAT TIME AGAIN!

Quote:
Most of us don't have a facility that we can wash down completely before and after each job but we do the best we can.
We butcher our deer in camp on folding 2 1/2' x 6' camp tables and cover them with trash bags slit up the sides and use duct tape to secure the corners to the underside of the table. To clean up, remove the trash bags and replace with a fresh one, wipe down with 10% bleach/water, water and then wipe dry ......

Quote:
Do you guys bleed out your animal?
I was always told by my dad to slit the animals throat to bleed it out as soon as it is killed. I think he said it delays the decay process and make the meat taste better.
If you shoot a deer in the chest with an expanding bullet from a decent caliber deer rifle, he will "bleed out" before you get to him .... his chest cavity will be full of blood and his blood pressure will be zero. Cutting his throat will not drain any more blood out of him unless you hang him upside down and do it, as there is no pressure in the circulatory system to push the blood out- the heart is stopped, either because you physically wrecked it with the bullet and it's energy, or more likely, because his blood pressure dropped to the point the heart had nothing to pump, because the enough blood ran out of the system due to wrecked arteries and lungs .....

I do cut the throat, though, and all the way to the spine, right up under the chin: you have to cut the windpipe, esophagus and the veins and arteries running alongside them, so that when you go to eviscerate the animal, you are not trying to pull his head down through his neck.

Quote:
Can anyone recommend any books that deal with field processing deer and hog? I don't mind taking it somewhere to process but I'd like to know what to do to preserve the meat in the field.
Read this thread. It's more concise than a book. And it's free.
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Old November 3, 2017, 09:24 PM   #79
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Quote:
Can anyone recommend any books that deal with field processing deer and hog? I don't mind taking it somewhere to process but I'd like to know what to do to preserve the meat in the field.
Read this thread. It's more concise than a book. And it's free.
Most library systems have something available. I have read several. The only benefit of the books is you get some pictures. Problem is the pictures are usually B+W and pretty much useless.
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Old December 30, 2017, 01:41 AM   #80
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Quote:
The only benefit of the books is you get some pictures. Problem is the pictures are usually B+W and pretty much useless.
These are in color .....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hams1.jpg (66.2 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg hams2.jpg (39.7 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg hams3.jpg (55.2 KB, 11 views)
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Old December 30, 2017, 01:42 AM   #81
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....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hams4.jpg (62.9 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg hams5.jpg (63.8 KB, 11 views)
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Old December 30, 2017, 01:44 AM   #82
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That's how to start breaking the rear leg into steaks or roasts ....
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Last edited by jimbob86; December 30, 2017 at 10:04 PM.
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Old December 30, 2017, 10:07 PM   #83
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Anybody want explanation/ play-by-play of the last two posts? Pictures can be worth 1000 words ... I am not a photographer .....can barely run my phone camera .... managed to lose the last pic where the top and bottom rounds get separated ...
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