Field dressing deer

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by doc623, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if this is the right forum or not so feel free to move it.
    Do you field dress your deer harvest?
    If so how?
    If not why not?
    Has any one have experience with or use a 'Wyoming' style/type knife and what is or has been your experience with it.
    Do you hang your deer to cure? If so for how long and by the head or the hind legs and why?
     
  2. bryon huff

    bryon huff Well-Known Member

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    yes you must gut your deer as soon as you get it so it cool down then it upside down and skin it starting at the back legs as for hanging it it must be cold if over 60 it must be cutup soon
     

  3. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    Yep...same as above..field dress to help cool it faster and hang it up by hind legs to skin and finish cutting.Not really sure what a Wyoming knife is so can't comment there, we've always cut and packaged for the freezer, never let it cure. If you do hang it to cure you'd hang it head down so the blood settles in the non eaten parts..you don't want blood pooling up in your meat.
     
  4. Here is how I do mine. Since I'm usually hunting by myself I remove the stomach and intestines to reduce weight when dragging out of the woods. I keep the heart and liver providing I didn't tear them up too bad with the shot. After checking them in at the tag station I take them home and hang them up by their back legs and skin them out. If the weather is cold enough, I'll leave them hanging for at least one day. If not I'll cut the deer up into smaller peices and place them in the bottom part of the refrigerator. In big plastic sacks. From this point I will work on them every chance I get until I get the whole thing processed and into the freezer.

    I start by cutting the backstraps and tenderloins into butterfly steaks. Then I take the two hindquarters and make a cut across the top of each with a saw just below the knuckle bone. This gives me two butt roast with lots of meat. Then I cut several 1 1/2 inch round steaks out of the rest of the hindquarters. Then I bone out whats left of the hindquarters and bone out the shoulders. I cube them up and this becomes my stew meat. The rest of the meat, the rib meat, neck meat, brisket, and all the trimmings go into the grinder and becomes ground burger that we use for chili or various sausages.

    Your venison can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks as long as the temperature stays 40 or below.

    Final process of the deer is to make leather out of the hide.
     
  5. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    If I'm hunting behind the house, I don't field dress. I just throw 'em on the 4-wheeler and take care of 'em in the barn.

    I tend to soak my venison in ice water for at least 24 hours before cutting them up.

    Knives? Favorite is the Old-timer Sharp Finger. Inexpensive, sharpens very well, and is about the right size for skinning work. I've seen more Canadian guides carry a brace of these, than any other...
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I also do not field dress nor do I gut. I hunt at the farm where I live and I just take the animal to the house and I use a front end loader to skin the deer. Only takes a few minutes and I am done with the skinning and removing the shoulder, hams and loins. Our deer are not very large so there is little other meat to salvage. The limit is 6 and I just hunt again for more meat. The venison is aged under refrigeration as it it typically warm here, 79 F today.
     
  7. bryon huff

    bryon huff Well-Known Member

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    not good to get your meat wet
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I soak all blood shot meat. Wetting is not a problem. Keeping fresh water for the soak is a must however.
     
  9. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Deer are actually easier to skin hanging by the neck. The skin seems to let loose easier and not as much skin muscle peels up. I skin them that way if I plan to bone the meat, because I can then take off the shoulders, then the loins, then the tenderloins, and last bone out the hams, all while he is hanging by the neck. I'm left with a two legged skeleton.

    Usually we hang by the hind legs, like most people. But give the neck method a try some time. If you hang the meat a while, the neck will stretch out a bunch and give you more stew meat.
     
  10. MississippiSlim

    MississippiSlim Well-Known Member

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    I never have field dressed one. Ususally only 15 minutes or less to ge them out of the woods and home. I used to hang mine head down to skin but now hang head up and tie a rope from a truck or fourwheeler and ie the other end to the hide at the neck (put a rock in the hide and loop the rope around it. Real quick method) Learned this method as a teenager at a camp where we would clean several deer each day.
     
  11. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Ed, I use the head up technique. I cut the skin around the neck and then slit the skin down to the chest, pull the cape from the neck and then secure a golf ball in the cape on the hair side and using a nylon rope with a slip knot over the gold ball from the flesh side. I put a small chain around the skinned neck at the head and the chain is hooked to the front end loader. I tie the nylon rope to a piece of heavy farm equipment and lift. The hide will peel from the body in one piece. I get off the tractor as the front legs are exposed and cut the legs off with a saw. Then back on the tractor I continue with the upward pull, stopping only when the lower back legs are exposed and then again I cut off the back legs. Deer is skinned!
     
  12. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

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    Never have shot my own, but have gutted a few & helped others field dress. After making the cut from fore to aft, I try to cut thru the pelvis (easier to get the "tubes" out). Before trying to remove anything, my dad told me to cut thru the diaphram, all the way around it, then reach up in, cut the esophagus, grab it and pull. The entrails pretty much just follow along, with maybe a small cut needed here or there.

    I've tried the head up and head down positions for skinning. I prefer the head down position, myself. I don't have anything to make the job go quick, it's all done by hand. I've aged the meat in the fridge...no place to hang it here where it'd be safe from critters. But I've also frozen it right away at times.

    One year I did the entire butchering process with flint chips, from skinning to meat cutting. Didn't have a knife sharpener, and a guy trying to help me had already hurt himself trying to use a dull knife...ended up with several stitches.
     
  13. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I golfball as well to skin one. I cut the skin around the neck down the chest out each leg etc and hang it by the head. I then slip a 1/8'' cable around the ball thats under the skin and the other end to the four wheeeler truck etc and just go forward. I then put a breathible game bag over it and let it hang 48 hours as long as the temp is right. I got the idea for the cable about 12 years ago when i saw a set up at the deer show in birmingham. I just madea loop in one end of the cable and run the other end back through then wrap around the ball with the skin wadded around it. 3 bucks to make tops.
     
  14. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    i don't field dress at all. even if i don't hunt on the base, i use the base set up for dressing & primary butchering. i skin so my dogs can have it for a chew toy. i use kitchen shears, my hands & a small jacknife. after the skinning i cut off the bigger sections each leg, the backstrap w/ rib & flank meat, last are tenderloins & neck meat. then i cut off ribcage for dogfood, all scraps except some organs are dogfood. then i take pieces to the kitchen to cut into smaller serving pieces. i hate to waste the spine but CWD keeps me from using it as dogfood.
     
  15. East Texas Pine Rooter

    East Texas Pine Rooter Well-Known Member

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    I aways carry a plastic garbage bag with me. As soon as I find the deer, I roll it over on it's stomach, cut down the back bone on both sides. I then pull the hide away from the meat, and cut both back straps out. I then cut around the hams, pull the skin off, use a saw to cut the hip bone, and feet off. When I get back to the truck, i put the meat on ice. When I get home, I drain the water off, and add more ice. I keep it on ice for seven days, turning the meat every day, draining the water off, and adding more ice. This method lets the blood drain out of the meat. The whole process takes 10-miniutes. I call this method Poachers Delight, it's so easy, fast, and no mess.
     
  16. whistler

    whistler Well-Known Member

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    For those of you that don't gut the deer how do you get at the tenderloins on the inside of the body cavity?

    Whistler
     
  17. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    i have seen people leave them because the deer here are small & they don't feel it is worth the mess. for example, the button i shot a couple of weeks ago each tenderloin was only about 2x6x1 1/2", basically the wife got both of them while ate some liver & onions. i try to use almost everything. since i had to open up to get to the organ meat i take the tenderloins too. if i had a gutshot or fresh roadkill where i wasn't going to take the organ meat i wouldn't bother w/ the tenderloins either. i would still use the carcass for dogfood but would keep a close eye & try not to let them get to the spinal tissue.
     
  18. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Whistle, after the shoulders, hams, and loins are removed I just tie the end of the back bone and hang the deer head down. The innards will go toward the chest cavity. I make a small slit in each flank and reach in and remove the tenderloins.
     
  19. whistler

    whistler Well-Known Member

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    Hey, that's pretty slick. I might have to try that if I shoot a small one sometime. Thanks.

    Whistler
     
  20. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    If I were to do it myself for the first time alone, never having seen it done, how would suggest I go about it?

    I'm thinking I should start with a squirrel or rabbit. Make sense?
    How are they done? Also, how do you cure the pelt or hide?
    I have dressed game birds, but not mammals.

    p.s. Knowing what can go wrong might be helpful.