Why Register?Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.
Welcome to Field & Stream!
Question by PSEbowhunter. Uploaded on December 09, 2009
if it is a doe or small buck and you don't need the cape for mounting, it is easier to start the skinning from the neck.
Better to show off the headgear on buck poles.
Butchers hang them by the gambrels. Helps the blood drain away from the best cuts of meat when animals are sliced at the neck. Also just easier to work with a carcass that way. The rear legs naturally extend - it's hard to hang from the front legs or head and split the carcass.
The use a rock/tennis ball and a truck to skin a deer thing they've been writing about lately requires that the deer be head-up.
I hang them by the head the first night so the blood drips out of the cavity better. Then I'll flip em over and hang them by the hind legs with an old single tree "gambrel" from a horse-drawn wagon so I can start skinning. It is NOT easier to skin them if they are hung from the head and I have no idea how someone who does that would go about splitting the deer for butchering. Whataya do, cut upwards with a sawzall and then let the halves fall on the floor? Also, cutting through that thick hair around the neck makes a furry mess out of the meat below it, whereas cutting the hide up the inside of the leg to the hock is much less hairy.
If you're at camp and you hang the deer upside down from its hind legs, you just created a dandy perch for the magpies and camp robbers to come and steal the sweetest parts of hind quarters and tenderloin. If it's hanging by the head, it's almost impossible for the birds to get at the meat.
Bottom line: people who skin a deer hanging from the head are either making a lot of work for themselves or they don't know what they're doing. Same goes for those who hang their animals by the hind legs in the out of doors.
Ontario Honker: If you cut the neck properly there is no hair at all makeing a mess. Me and my brother skinned and quarterd 2 deer in less then a half hour with both of them hanging from their neck.
Bottom Line: Do it how ever you like.
It really doesn't matter as long as the blood is drained. One benefit to hanging by the neck is it prevents stuff like dust (if hung inside) and precipitation (if hung outside) from collecting in the chest cavity. To each their own.
hang them up by the legs to drain the blood and you wont mess the hide up if you want to mount them
Okay, Lovetohunt, how did you split the animal? I use a hand meat saw and I can't imagine getting on my knees to start pulling a saw that's upside down upwards from the butt to the head and still manage to keep the cut going in a straight line. The weight of the meat is going to close in on that saw blade and pinch it tighter than a drum head. It's hard enough work when I've got gravity and the design of the saw working in my favor when the deer's hanging from it's hind legs.
I have to admit, I've never quartered a deer in the shop or in the field (and I had shot more than sixty when I stopped counting). Nor have I seen anyone else that did. I can see no point in it. I packed out whole muleys on my back (with no packboard) or, in the case of one big buck, half at a time (not my deer!). They go on the butcher table split down the spine so the backstraps and tenderloins come off in one piece.
Buddy, if you want to make life a whole lot easier, skin and split your deer hanging from the hind legs.
YEA I ALWAY HANG DEER BY THERE HIND LEGS.IF I'M GOING TO LET THEM HANG FOR COUPLE OF DAYS I'LL CUT THE HEAD OFF SO THEY CAN DRAIN ALITTLE MORE
I always hang them by the hind legs. Easier to use the pulley and gambrell system I have. I say do it how you do it and enjoy your venison!
to each his own. honker we must agree to disagree. i have skinned many deer that were hung from the neck and it is quick, simple and clean. i am not sure what everyone means when they mention splitting the deer. all of the deer i clean are in a shed/garage, maybe the splitting is being done in the woods. when i get a deer skinned, i first cut out the backstraps/tenderloins and then remove the front legs followed by the hind legs. like i said, quick and simple.
by the way, i don't even need horses. bottom line.
I hang from the hind legs using a gambrel to aid draining the blood and simplify butchering. We use a crane that fits into the hitch receiver to hang antelope to skin and bone it out in the field so we can get the meat on ice in the coolers. That makes all the difference in the taste of antelope. Elk are hoisted by gambrel through the hind legs from the truck bed up to the rafters of the garage that is like a walk in refer that time of year.
Sourdough, I remember one hunting season when we had eight deer and two elk hanging in my parents' double garage at one time. That was a full house. Guess you're not worried about a game warden checking those antelope. Don't they have to be tagged as a carcass in the field?
Huntnow, the animal is split down the spine butt to the ears. Each half goes on the table where the work begins. Tenderloins and backstraps removed, rump roast cut out, round steaks sliced off the ham, maybe a shoulder roast (maybe not) and rest boned out for the grinder. I just can't imagine trying to bone out an animal when it's flopping around hanging from either the feet or head. Much easier and safer to be working on it on a table. Don't have to worry about dropping anything on the ground. And I don't need horses to take care of a deer either. The single tree is a piece of harness equipment. Used as a gambril, it holds the hind legs apart and keeps the halves separated while the animal is being split with a meat saw. Less problems with the saw binding or going off track.
i hav always hung mine from the rear legs. i think it is much easier. i hav seen people hang them by the neck but i looked to difficult for me(i always take the easy road, i will say though that they had done it that way for a while and didnt hav trouble) but everyone hang them, skin em, and cut em how he likes and when your done and eatn it it wont matter to anyone how you did it just that they are eatin it
I gut in the field then hand by hind legs to skin. Throw him in the back of my truck and take him outside to hose him off. Then back in the garage and hang by the hind legs. If I have two deer I use only one tendon. If one deer I'll hang by both tendons. I inly have two hooks. I've never had one fall on me. When I bone them out I put the whole deer on a table in the garage and start cutting.
I hang them by the hind legs too. never heard of hanging them by the neck.
In my folks' garage we mounted a long pipe almost from one side to the other, hung a few inches from the ceiling and strapped to rafters at about four or five places. My dad used a torch to bend several chunks of round steel stock into "S" curves and then sharpened one end of each on a grinder. We had a couple of single trees to use as gambrels and made some others out of notched 2x4s. For elk we'd usually put them right on a gambril and run em up using a shiv pulley hung to the pipe and the pickup truck. We'd always skin the elk out immediately, especially if wasn't very cold out. The hide on the back and shoulders of a bull can be up to an inch thick. Bucks would be hung by the horns and does by the neck until we could get around to skinning them. Then they'd be flipped upside down. Usually we'd split them as soon as they were skinned and hang the halves on the hooks. Elk and moose, of course, are quartered. It's hard enough lifting half a deer onto the hooks - I doubt three guys could hang up half an elk in one piece. Then the skinned meat would season for a week or so before cutting it up. A split half was taken in to the table, the backstrap would be stripped (tenderloins usually taken out when skinning) and then we'd gang tackle the carcass. One guy would take off the ham while the second person worked on boning the rest, usually starting with the neck. When the ham was finished, that person would remove the front shoulder and start to work on it. There were four boys in my family so we were often working on two halves at once. A bottle of whiskey was usually somewhere in the mixture but it disappeared slowly. Lots of BSing. Those were memorable times.
Its better to hang from head to 'finish' up cleaning.If any stomach, fecal ,urine is there it doesnt run all thru the carcass. then you can wash it out with heavy salt water .
its easier to hang from neck and do it but most ppl like to get a shoulder mount. Also most ppl just have a gambrel and no rope to hang a deer from the neck so they just use the hind legs
Must be some regional differences. We don't have magpies, though we have crows and ravens. I've never seen a problem. Around here hanging by the head and too close to the ground exposes the hams to coyotes and dogs, but 90% of the deer I see hanging in the field are head up and barely off the ground. Anyway, have to admit that it is a whole lot easier to lift them by their head in the field, especially since few tote gambrels.
I wonder if the veins in deer legs have one way valves like humans that prevent blood flow when hanging from their heads.
Always hung by the hind legs, never knew people hung them by the head/neck. Been told that it helps drain blood and keep dirt from floor away from rear qtrs where most of the meat and best parts are cut from.
I may be wrong, don't know.
Anyone out there a butcher by day?
from personal experience i have done it both ways but its much easier to skin if you hang a deer from the neck
i would say by the neck is easier, but that is just my opinion.
its easier to hang it and also allows any excess blood to drain
Fieldandstream.com is part of the Field & Stream Network, a division of Bonnier Corporation.
Copyright © 2012 Bonnier Corp. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.