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Hurteau: Write a Tip, Win a Knife

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October 27, 2010

Hurteau: Write a Tip, Win a Knife

By Dave Hurteau

While we are on the subject of butchering your own deer, I’ve been meaning to tell you about the very good boning/filet knife I used while cutting up the muley buck I shot on the Cabela’s hunt in Wyoming.

Yes, Cabela’s footed the bill for the hunt and you may be thinking that I owe them some ink, but this knife is not a Cabela’s product (although you can buy it at cabelas.com for the can’t-beat price of just $17), and I was not given a knife to keep (which seems wrong after I promised to blog about it).

No, I am going to buy this knife (at cabelas.com, for the fantastically low price mentioned above) with my own money—because, seriously, it’s great. Trust me (and trust Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter since 1961.)

All kidding aside: I’m particular about boning/filet knives for butchering. I like a thin blade that has a little bit of flex but isn’t so long that it’s hard to control and maneuver quickly. And I like a nice big handle that doesn’t get slick amid the slime. This one is just right. Anyone who has been in the food industry will recognize the brand Dexter-Russell Sani-Safe. I used one way back when I worked as a “chef” in a large commercial kitchen (where anyone willing to wear the hat could be called a “chef”). The brand is popular in such kitchens because the company produces inexpensive, practical knives that really work. That’s just what this 5-inch Boning Knife is. As long as you touch up the edge regularly, it will do the job all day long. And you can’t beat the price.

That is, unless yours is one of the two best vension-prep tips in the comment section below--in which case you can get one for free. Give us your best tip on aging, cooling, skinning, boning, trimming, wrapping, freezing, thawing, or preparing venison (no recipes, please). I’ll chose the best two, and Cabela’s will send each of the winners a free boning knife.

Comments (85)

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from rootju wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Remove the inner loins immediately after you hang the deer. This will prevent them from drying up and losing meat from the best cut of venison. Rinse them and store appropriately until you use them.

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from dighunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Vaccuum pack you venison when you can. The meat stays longer and the bags make a great container to marinade in as well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowman77 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Here's a simple tip: after wrapping your meat, (that's what she said...) put the date on the wrapping. This will allow you to make sure you are eating the older meat first if you end up taking more than one deer through out the season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bassmasterking wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Have the right tools: A clean and sharp knife that works for you. P.S. If you want to mount it then don't cut from the breastbone and up!

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

For those of you who offered tips in your comments to the last post, you may re-use them here.

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from DANO wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

To make skinning easier: I make a small incision between the skin and meat on one of the rear legs, then I use my air compressor with the Blower nozzle and slip that under the hide and seal around it with my fingers. When you open the nozzle the hide will blow up like a balloon and seperate itself from the meat. If you give it time it will blow up all the way to the head.

This works very good especially on deer once they have already cooled off. You barely have to pull and the hide just peals off.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When preparing meat from a lean venison cut taken from a young, properly stored and handled deer, it is best to use bacon. This will prevent you from wasting good meat by drying it during the roasting process. When preparing meat from a fatty venison cut from an old, improperly stored and handled deer, it is best NOT to use bacon. This will prevent you from wasting good bacon.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'll re-submit my tip that if your wife has a Kitchenaid, then for the price of a grinder attachment, you have an excellent burger/sausage grinder. Mine'e worked through a truck-load of burger over the last decade without a hiccup.

Aging: I live in Missouri, and our weather fluctuates ALOT, so letting deer hang for days to age is often- times just not possible. My wife stumbled upon this aging technique, and it has produced the most tender, succulent venison I've ever tasted:
Get a package of roast (loin works too, but you'll be amazed how good plain old roast will turn out) out of the freezer and put it in a large bowl with about a 1/4" of balsamic vinegar in the bottom. Let sit in your fridge, UNCOVERED for 2 to 3 days. You can flip it if you want to, but this aging method was discovered by "forgetting" about it for 3 days! Now I know you don't want recipes, but if you "quick-sear" it in a skillet of hot oil for about 1 minute on each side (longer if it's a big roast), you will have the most tender, delicious roast you've ever tasted. Use loin and it's almost decadent.

butchering: take your time, especially with the roasts and loins! There is no part of a deer that adds any good flavor to it besides the meat. Get all the fat and tissue off your "prime" cuts before rinsing, patting dry, and wrapping. A little left on the burger or jerkey meat is fine, but get every bit off of the good stuff.

wrapping: If you have a vacuum packager, great, but if not, save yourself some money and get a big roll of freezer paper and a sharpie. Soak your meat in water as you de-bone, then after it's trimmed, pat it dry with paper towels and wrap it TIGHT in freezer paper. A little masking tape to seal it up, and mark it and date it w/the Sharpie or a grease pencil. I've used this method for 11 years, and have never "freezer burnt" anything, even stuff that got buried in the bottom of the deep-freeze for OVER a year. It will bleed when you thaw it, so put it in a pan or bowl after you take it out of the freezer.

OK I'll stop now;)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Every year, I sing "Save your heart for me" to the folks I hunt with. Deer heart, pan fried in onions and butter or pickled, is something to savor. I have been known to root thru fresh gut piles to salvage a heart.
To prep, get the heart cool, split it, cut out the fat and stringy cords and clean well. Par boil it, cut into chunks and pack it into a canning jar. Fill to the top with white vinegar, (or Wild Turkey if you want to be radical) and put it out next to the pickled eggs at hunting camp.

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from ejunk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

1. Rather than cutting your meat into steaks as you process, package and freeze, freeze large pieces of meat that you can then slice after you defrost at a later date. Less surface area = less meat susceptible to freezer burn.

2. Before you do ANYTHING, prepare your workspace - knives sharpened, carboard put down on your table along with cutting boards, bags and/or freezer paper located and placed within reach, grinder at the ready, bowls or any other container you may want or need washed and ready, etc. for no reason should you have to stop in the middle to do some mundane task that should have been completed before starting the job.

3. procure a butcher chart and either laminate it or put it inside of a plastic bag so that you can refer back to it when needed.

4. But the book "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing" by Michael Ruhlman and don't turn your nose up at hundreds of years of meat curing methods. with practice, they will always, always turn out better than pre-packaged silliness from Cabelas.

yrs-
Evan!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wyattbower wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

a small, plumbing torch works excellent for burning off any stray hair that was left on the carcass after skinning

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Rather than letting your deer age in the creek bottom over the weekend, attempt to recover the deer in a timely fashion and field clean immediately to facilitate cooling of the carcass.

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from rob wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Bowman - Thanks for the juvenile giggle.
In regards to processing, always butcher your own.
ALWAYS.

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from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

when baiting live traps or any type cut a pop (or beer) can in half or less and put you bait in it also you can mix fly bait posin and coke or milk and it will kill varmits like coon or graound hogs. dad set some in the corn dryer and the next mouring they found a coon dead not 5 ft away.

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from smstnsn wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

when it comes time to thaw your meat if your in a hurry get a large bowl or Tupperware container and place the wrapped or unwrapped meat in the bowl and set it in the sink with cool or barely warm water running over it let the bowl keep overflowing, this will keep the water in the bowl from getting to cold and thaw the meat faster.

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from taylor1 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i wrap the meat after it all dealt with a thing layer of plastic wrap and then the meat wrapping paper, this ensures the meat will not get freezerburnt,

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When packaging your ground meat I use 1 gallon ziploc(only) freezer bags, I weigh out 1 lb balls and roll out into the bottom of the bag to fill from corner to corner. Pinch the corners where air bubble forms and then role itself over the bag (like a sleeping bag) and seal. Then I flatten it out as flat as I can, it usually ends up being around 1/2" thick. I put into a milk crate in the bottom of my deep freezer. By doing this you can stack much more packages of meat on each other to save massive amounts of much needed freezer space. Last year I was able to stack 60lbs of meat into a single standard milk crate in my freezer.

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Forgot to mention another benefit to this is quick thawing time without cooking the edges of your meat like you do with the tubes of meat you get from the butcher, because your tired of waiting for it to thaw out in warm water so you then place in microwave! Now don't lie I know alot of you do this as I used too!

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from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Start gutting from the neck down. It just makes sense the knife is going through meat and then at the end being down by the bad stinky meat ruining parts.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Care less about a knife, my Buck 110 has always done me fine!
But I will give a tip to all you Mule Deer Hunters who go FULL AUTO at the first size of a Monster Buck!!
Listen up dar Pilgrim, when you jump a Mule Deer quickly figure out just were the deer is going to go over the ridge then quietly without further spooking the deer setup in a good kneeling or setting position and be prepared to shoot at that area were the Buck will top the ridge. Mule Deer instinctively when not pushed will stop and turn sideways just before going over the ridge and that’s when you make your shot!

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from ilikehunting wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Put safety first. Don't be distracted and don't use a dull knife.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Want to have some real fun with deer, try this the next time your busted crossing an open field. Provided the deer haven’t swooped into the next Zip Code, stop, bend over at the hip like you’re going to pick something up, hold that position for 3-5 seconds then bolt straight up looking at them, repeat bending over again but this time move towards them slowly but not directly towards them while bent over and after those few steps bolt straight up looking at them. Keep repeating this, I’ve had deer instead of swooping into the next county, they started moving towards me eventually within bow range. NO JOKE!

This has been a no “BS” moment!

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from streack wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Before and during the butchering process make sure your knives remain sharp, a sharp knife is a safe knife. Dull knives force you to use excessive pressure to make a cut which can result in fatigue, broken blades, and/or a blade slipping out of control, all three instances can lead to bodily harm to you and people close by.

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from streack wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Sorry ilikehunting, must have been typing while you posted your comment.

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from jeffisutherland wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I live in Winnipeg (nicknamed Winter-peg for a good reason, it gets down to -50C/-58F on occasion throughout the winter). If you want to hang dry your venison, use your garage. Earlier in the season, the temperature inside your garage will be similar to that of a walk-in fridge that butchers use.

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from elkslayer wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My number one tip is to use a sharp knife, doing so will keep the process quick easy and clean.

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from Swampdonkey8 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When vacuum sealing your venison try wrapping it in saran wrap first. This prevents the seal from getting any moisture and also is added protection from frostbite.

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from deanlikes2fish wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Don't stab yourself, because it hurts and your wife will laugh at you all the way to the emergency room.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

If you don't have the space or temperature to age your meat before freezing just process the meat wrap and freeze. After your meat is frozen all the way start taking it out of the freezer and letting it thaw partialy. Make a mark on the package do this 3 times your venison will taste as if it has been aged and you don't have to pay for storage in a locker etc.

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from mutt wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I keep a wet rag and a steel honing rod close by. every 5-10 minutes I clean the knife and put a fresh edge on it. I found this helps the blade flow smoothly through the meat.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Skin and quarter your deer ASAP, wrap the quarters and backstraps in saran wrap and put in your garage refrigerator. This will allow you to safely age your meat without it drying out and also keeps your meat at an even temperature, it also eliminates the chance of flys getting at your deer. keep an old cookie sheet the size of the bottom of your fridge around to put under the shelves to catch dripping blood, this will make your wife happy and keep you from being called a moron!

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from Fruguy101 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My meat tastes great after the following:
1. Here in Mississippi, you have to dress the deer ASAP.
2. Cut the front legs, hindquarters, backstrap, and inside loins off the deer and put them in a cooler.
3. Put enough water in the cooler to just cover the meat, add salt, and then add ice to the rim. Set the cooler inside if possible. If not, keep it out of direct sunlight, and in open air.
4. Empty out the water the next day, and fill up with more ice. Do so for the next two days.
5. After three days in the cooler, the meat will be ready to process. Cut your steaks or roasts from the quarters as you would like. I tend to use most of the meat as burger meat.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Don't waste your money on a vacuumn sealer and expensive bags. Go to your local grocery store and buy a Ziploc hand vacuum pump and Ziploc vacuum bags in quart or gallon size. They are easier to use than a expensive sealer, they don't require electricity or batteries to operate and they keep food just as fresh as long or longer. Who ever designed it is a freeking genius!

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from jenks wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

As my dad said work smart not hard. Spend the extra 50 bucks and get a winch to lift your deer for you, lifting is for chumps. Secondly I like to skin my deer before gutting if I am hunting close enough to home that I will not risk meat spoilage. This is because it is much easier to just use your gut hook and let gravity pull everything out in to a rubbermaid tub to be hauled away or stored for coyote bait. Good luck this fall!

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from LFS 10 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

These are some great tips but I especially liked DANO's use of the compressor and I can't wait to try it!!!

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from woodsdog wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When hunting a distance from home, say a couple of hours or more, always bring a med to large cooler and a big game sized skinning gambrel and stout rope or chain with you when hunting. Upon getting your field dressed deer to your vehicle, hang the deer up on the gambrel you brought and cut off the head and feet at the "knees" and then skin the entire carcass. With your skinning knife, separate the four legs from the torso, about where they meet it. With a little practce you can slip the knife and cut around the shoulders and the hips without having to saw bone. Throw these legs with the shoulder roasts steaks etc. in the cooler. You can get some neck meat too for roasts. Then, take the backstraps and tenders or tenderloins and put them in the cooler too. Now you have all the good meat in a neat and tidy package, just dispose of the head and ribs (unless you're mounting the head) and you have your entire deer in a cooler that protects the meat and keeps it cool and dirt free compared to hide on. You don't have to worry about taking it to the butcher right away or if you butcher it yourself, you're basically finished. The hide is off and the meat is cooling down the whole trip home instead of staying warm with the hide on in the vehicle.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When boning, I keep a damp cloth (dish towel works well) laying beside me. Errant hairs can be quickly picked and a quick wipe across the damp cloth removes them from your fingers!

Bubba

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from 007 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Interesting stuff here! Walt, I mentioned this in another post, not to be a re-run but I don't think you can get those vacume bags anymore. We had one with the little pump and they did work great. Tried to find more bags to no avail, went to Reynolds' site and there was a notice that the product was discontinued, so we bought a Food Saver. Dcast, I like your burger idea, I've got some to grind and freeze this evening from Saturday's archery doe, I'll try that, thanks. Swampdonkey, like your idea too. Don't know if this qualifies as a tip or not but it's how I like to do it. When I gut a deer in the field, I try to always split the pelvis and remove all the plumbing so as to get rid of all fecal waste and urine. It also makes the cutting up easier at home. Thanks for all the good info, good hunting, my friends!

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from wisenbach wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Personally, i have found that hanging the deer by the antlers or neck skinning from the top down is the easiest method and makes removing the rear quarters much easier. another tip i have and pertains directly to the post before this is to not saw any bone that is going to leave residue in your meat, the bone marrow has really bad taste. and finally when deboning take the time to remove the silver coating from all the meat, this will also make the deer taste much better in those cold winter months and summer grill outs!

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from wisenbach wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

quick tip- after skinning the animal take a blow torch and quickly go around the entire animal and burn all the hair, this will keep you from spitting out your burger next summer due to hair. quick and easy and it works wonders.

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from chsntail wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

After shooting your deer, first thing you need to do is inspect it for scars or wounds that may have been caused by an arrow, and always be carefull of the possibility of broken arrow blades in the deer. Nothing can ruin a good hunt like a trip to the ER,

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from huntnystate wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When processing your deer meat,remove the silver skin for better tasting venison.

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from dcurtiss wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Try this tip and you will love it and stay with it. If you take your game before cooking or even before freezing and soak it in Coke (Coca Cola). It is amazing how it tenderizes the meat and removes any bad game taste. There is no added flavor left behind. This will also give you a break from the citrus (orange juice) flavor or the pineapple people say to soak in. I know it sound a little off, but the Coke will make your game tender and taste great. You can still use any marinades or seasonings. this is just to prep the meat a little. It will work for older hogs, rutting bucks, old bucks, wounded animals that take longer than expected to pass. I shot a old 270lb plus boar, and after soaking you could cut the meat with a spoon. Soak in the Coke in the frider over night and enjoy. Try this tip and you will not be disapponited.

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from mpapitbull wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

For aging deer in warm weather use a combination of tips that I see here and one that has not been stated. Fill the chest cavity with ice, wrap the meat in suran wrap and then cover the whole thing with an old or new cheap sleeping bag. This will not only make your ice last longer but keep more even temps for the meat to cure, use a meat thermometer to check the temps of the meat even in the warmest climates this will allow the meat to stay near 45 degrees so you can cure it for 5-7 days for maximum tenderness and taste.

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from 007 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Good grief!! If Coke does that for game meat, think what it must do to your insides!! haha.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

007-- The bags you are refering to are Reynolds brand, they used a battery operated pump. I used to use them but the pump sucked and the 4 batteries didn't last long. The system I've been talking about is Ziploc brand, they have a hand operated pump, like a basketball pump. You could take this to your deer stand and vaccum seal meat if you desired too!

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from chris_hunt wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

For best results, skin your deer as soon as you get home and hang it by the hind legs. This way the meat cools faster and by hanging upside down the blood doesn't drain into the best cuts of meat.

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from Walter Wood wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Hint1. Use a different color Sharpie each year to mark your packaged cuts. It make it easy to see in the freezer if you have any left from last year. Donate any that is left from the previous year to the local foodbank.

Hint 2. When grinding burger add a couple slices of bacon per pound. It adds fat for cooking and an instant bacon burger.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Yes, coke is capable of doing wonders, just what do you think mechanics use to loosen stuck nuts?
That´s good ol' phosphoric acid to you.

The same principle that vinegar (acetic acid),lemon, etc.

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from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

A Da** good comment ejunk,+1

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from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

a lot of great tips and comments

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from CorieSquared wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Instead of using ground beef or pork fat to "cut" your ground venison, try using ground up bacon instead. It adds the same moistness, but you end up with a delicious smoky flavor that makes burgers out of this world!

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from brettdj99 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

There have been a lot of great advice already posted. I would say the best advice I can offer is this:

-Do it yourself.
-Involve as many people (especially your children) in it as possible.

Last year we butchered 15 deer in our barn in MO and a lot of the deer being butchered were taken by either new hunters or hunters that had not butchered their own venison before.

Simply put, the experience of the hunt is not over until you have processed (and then eaten) your deer.

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from cotton wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

To make skinning game like deer etc. easy, use an air compressor. Just make a small cut on one of the back legs, slip air blow gun under skin, Hold below end of air gun to keep it from escaping and the skin will blow up like balloon and come off without much effort.

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from Pacific Hunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

1. Avoid water if at all possible, a poorly shot deer may require water to remove stomach fluids but a cleanly hit deer should never have water used since in promotes bacteria growth
2. Make sure the meat has air circulating all around it, just sitting on a rack in the fridge doesn't let the air circulate and put the desired crust on the meat, throw a mesh type rack underneath or better yet try to get it to hang.
3. Numerous have said it already but can't be emphasized enough, cut off all silver skin and fat.
4. Double wrap, nothing worse than opening a package of meat to find a small hole was created trying to cram that last pheasant in the freezer and leading to excessive freezer burn
5. Get dirt on all your friends, nothing motivates better than a incriminating photo when trying to get a deer or elk cut when the forecast calls for 70's and sun.

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from 007 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Walt, I was not aware of the Ziplock product. The pump sucked? Pun intended? haha

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from johntalbott wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My dad, brother, and I all use coke crates in the bottom of our coolers come deer season. The coke crate is the kind you get when kids sell 20 oz bottles of coke. They crates stick up 3-4 inches off the bottom of the cooler. We put the deer meat on top of the crate, then ice on top of the meat. This keeps the meat from soaking in water, and keeps the meat COLD. If the ice melts and water fills the bottom, simply remove the plug from the cooler and let it drain.
*this works great for us because the South usually doesnt have the temperatures to leave deer hanging, and you cant always butcher the same day as the kill.

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from weswes088 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Pay attention to blogs such as this.

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from wiegs1992 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

WHen scouting for deer, scout early, scout often, wear rubber boots and scent controlled clothing, try to stay down wind of where you think the deer are, and if possible, use more than one trail camera. They work like a charm.

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from bookflyer wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Make a mark on the package do this 3 times your venison will taste as if it has been aged and you don't have to pay for storage in a locker etc FFxiv Gil.Get dirt on all your friends, nothing motivates better than a incriminating photo when trying to get a deer or elk cut when the forecast calls for 70's and sun.

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from Sanjuancb wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Do right by the old-timers and don't cut against the hair when skinning a deer; you make a mess and look like a greenhorn.

Someone mentioned buying a winch in an earlier post. You can save yourself a lot of money and backache by using a fence-stretcher or come-a-long to hoist your deer up. Most rural folks (or landowners) will have them around and they are worth their weight in gold. The are possibly the best multi-tasker around, as you can build fence, pull a calf, or hoist a deer up.

Take the time when your deer is aging to document wound cavities both with a camera and on paper. Keeping a journal of such animals provides you with a not only a collection of memories, but also with a documented means of debunking campfire myths about bullet performance. This way you can encourage fellow hunters to pursue ethical shots and give real-world reports on terminal ballistics.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I've always used a knife to split the pelvic and to cut out the breast bone when field dressing deer, never again! This year I purchased a Gerber Pelvic Saw that I spotted in a Dunhamns store. It is T shaped, with a molded rubber handle, a saw blade like a folding hand tree saw that has a blunt end on it. It only cost $20.00 and I used it for the first time this weekend on a nice doe. The little saw (It's about 4 inches long) zipped right through the pelvic bone and when I used it on either side of the breast bone I was amazed how quick it blasted through the cartilage. I've always been a bit nervous using a wet knife to do these jobs before as I'm sure most of you won't admit! This little saw eliminates the danger of these two steps. It cleans up easy and comes with a nice sheath, and it would be a heck of a good gift to give your hunting buddy!

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from woodpecker wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

my best tip that hasn't already been posted is the last thing Ido after I gut my deer is to take out all of the esophagus as possible. I do this by taking a stick just small enough to fit in the esophagus and about 14 inches long. I put it up as far as it will go while leaving enough so that I can squeeze the esophagus to the stick, then jerk it up and down a few times, twist and repeat untill esophagus breaks loose.

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from j-johnson17 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Make a small slit/cut in the lower hind leg of your deer carcass. Take any air compressor and use a tip to blow air into the carcass between the hide and the meat. Doing this will separate the hide from the meat and leave a dry surface on the carcass. With the dry carcass you can make a couple more cuts around both legs and the hide will basically fall off. If any hair gets on the carcass it will wipe off by hand - no need for a wet cloth!!!!

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from 2Poppa wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Do NOT fill your freezer with too much chilled or room temperature food at one time. This causes the freezer to "warm" up. This leads to a longer time in freezing the food.

When food (mainly meat) is frozen commercially, the food is placed in a quick freeze or blast freezer. These freezers are operated at temperatures as low as 50 degrees below zero!

This freezes the food very quickly. The faster the meat is frozen, the less chance ice crystals will form, and the likelihood of freezer burn is greatly reduced.
Try not to place more than a quarter of the freezer space with "warm" or room temperature food.
If possible, try and leave as much air space around each package of warm food for at least 24-hours; 48-hours is better.

After this time the food should be completely frozen, and you can stack the meat in the tightest position.

Check the temperature of your freezer periodically with a high quality thermometer; 5-degrees above zero to 5-degrees below zero would be a good temperature.

Also ...Panicked deer flood their bodies with adrenaline when they’re in danger. Their heart races and blood pours into their muscles. The extra blood helps rev up the muscles for flight but produces lactic and pyruvic acids in return. These acids, extra blood and adrenaline are the major reasons why venison may taste wild or gamy.

Pork fat or beef fat improves the palatability. Pork fat may be preferred to improve flavor, but beef fat will increase freezer storage time. Mix 15% pork or beef fat with ground game and 35% pork fat with fresh game sausage.

Freezing meat before making sausage, insures that it will be free from live parasites which are sometimes found in game meat.

Over the years of skinning deer, the number one thing to keep in mind is to use your hands more than your knife. Pull the hide away from the body HARD, as you skin,this makes the pulling of the hide away from the carcass much easier. You could almost skin a deer with your fingers this way if you start skinning while the deer is still warm.

The longer a deer hangs the harder it will be to skin. Skin the deer as soon as possible.

Younger deer are easier to skin than older deer.

Does are normally easier to skin than buck.

DON'T EVEN TRY AND SKIN A FROZEN DEER!
If it's frozen, let it hang in a commercial cooler to thaw out some, then try skinning the deer.

If your deer meat has hair or dirt on it, use water if you must, along with paper towels, as this will rid your meat of any unwanted particles before cutting and freezing.

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from fourfeathers1 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

This tip will make sure that you take away any gamey taste out of your meat! First you should always make sure the silver skin or (shiny membrane) is trimmed off all of your cuts before packaging. That membrane contains bad blood in your meat that can't be rinsed off before packaging which results in a more gamey taste once the meat is thawed and cooked. One more pearl of information that I would like to share with this method of preporation is to make sure that you DO NOT slice and prepackage your backstaps before freezing. This results in crystalization of the cut sides of the chop and leads to a tougher cut of meat once it is cooked.

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from Brutus3542 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The best tip i can offer is to teach your children how to process there own deer. My father was a butcher and he taught me at a young age how to process my game. If he wouldn't have taken that time then I don't think i would be able to hunt as much as i do because i woudn't be able to afford the deer processing fees for all my deer. And as fellow hunters we all know that we need to get the younger generation involved and that we can't lose any hunters that we already have.

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from Cgull wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Cube venison, season, then freeze in water. The freeze will break expand and break down the tissue tenderizing the venison.

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from Cgull wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Cube venison, then freeze in water. The freeze will expand and break down the tissue tenderizing the venison

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from L Lavio wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When skinning a deer, its easist to just start at the rear end when the deer is hanging upside down, then once you get past the flanks, just pull the skin all the way down to the neck. Once you are low enouph for satisfaction, cut the neck all the way through. you will end up with a clean, nice looking deer hanging in your meat room.

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from IceClash wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Buy low sell high

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from Hoytboy wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Take your time, starting immediately after the shot.. Do the little things right, it'll show!

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from Jason32 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

As a carpenter, the most usefull skinning knife I've found is a utility knife with a hook blade. You can open a deer up like a zipper with no hair on the inside. They are dirt cheap and razor sharp.

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from pahunter1973 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

If you accidentally cut through the hamstring tendon on the hind leg when making the cut to hang the deer, get some heavy-gauge wire or an old coat hanger. Cut a 6 to 8 inch piece. Wrap it around the spot you need to repair and then use pliers to twist the wire or hanger and tighten it up. Now hang the deer up by inserting a gambrel through the slot you made.

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from kennedy706 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Dont hunt one stand too often.. smarter bucks will catch on to your scent. Have multiple stands set up 2 months before opening day

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from Cody Las-Vegas wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Thawing: It's important to thaw your meat properly and efficiently to avoid spoiling it. A lot of people put their game in a ziploc, then in a sink full of water, or they let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Thawing overnight in the fridge is fine if you'll be marinating, but not for simple thawing.

The best method is quick and takes advantage of ambient room temperature. Place your steaks, loin cuts, etc. in a flat bottom pan on the stove. Make sure the meat has good contact with the pan. The pan and stove top grate will act as a heat sink with the ambient room temperature. It will thaw quickly. What used to take several hours, over night or several sinks full of water, will take a fraction of the time. No more soggy cuts of meat. No more smelly fridge.

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from motts331 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Removing game taste:
Trim fat off of all meat and soak in iced salt water for an hour. Dry off, wrap in plastic wrap then butcher paper, and freeze. This also works for fish fillets. Find it removes the blood and the irony taste from it.

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from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

i will have to remember all these tips thanks guys

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from kurtski25 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

When I am deer/elk hunting in grizzly country I do several things to prevent close grizzly encounters. Firstly, I take the entrails and move them away from the carcass. Next after quartering the animal I take the quarters and hang them in four different directions about 100 yards apart and as high in a tree as possible away from the trunk of the tree. You still might lose a quarter here or there, but at least you'll get the majority of your meat.

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from Timmy12 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

When making deer cuts if you want to make some really good thin deer steaks cut them like 1/2 inch thick.

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from markbottorff1 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Best low budget butchering tip: Once your deer is hangin, and needs some part removed, go grab yer trusty sawzall. I use a medium tooth sized - 11 inch demolition blade (new). Most hunter already have a sawzall, and it'll only cost a few bucks for a decent blade. It sure beats cutting yourself trying to get through the shoulders with a knife!

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from TheEasternShore... wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

when field dressing tie the legs apart to 2 separate trees so you can cut the pelvis bone.

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from wildcaller11 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

If the weather is too warm to let your deer age as long as you would like, but it is cold enough to let hang a day or 2, skin the deer as soon as you hang it. this will allow the deer to cool faster. Just be sure to have something over the top end of the deer, to prevent undesirable matter on your meat. cut it up the next day

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from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

Dont cut youself

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from hfedder40 wrote 3 years 13 weeks ago

many people mistaken to keep a knife at 45 degrees wen sharpening but there wrong keep it at 30 degrees to get a good sharpening

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from DANO wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

To make skinning easier: I make a small incision between the skin and meat on one of the rear legs, then I use my air compressor with the Blower nozzle and slip that under the hide and seal around it with my fingers. When you open the nozzle the hide will blow up like a balloon and seperate itself from the meat. If you give it time it will blow up all the way to the head.

This works very good especially on deer once they have already cooled off. You barely have to pull and the hide just peals off.

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from deanlikes2fish wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Don't stab yourself, because it hurts and your wife will laugh at you all the way to the emergency room.

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from ejunk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

1. Rather than cutting your meat into steaks as you process, package and freeze, freeze large pieces of meat that you can then slice after you defrost at a later date. Less surface area = less meat susceptible to freezer burn.

2. Before you do ANYTHING, prepare your workspace - knives sharpened, carboard put down on your table along with cutting boards, bags and/or freezer paper located and placed within reach, grinder at the ready, bowls or any other container you may want or need washed and ready, etc. for no reason should you have to stop in the middle to do some mundane task that should have been completed before starting the job.

3. procure a butcher chart and either laminate it or put it inside of a plastic bag so that you can refer back to it when needed.

4. But the book "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing" by Michael Ruhlman and don't turn your nose up at hundreds of years of meat curing methods. with practice, they will always, always turn out better than pre-packaged silliness from Cabelas.

yrs-
Evan!

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from bowman77 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Here's a simple tip: after wrapping your meat, (that's what she said...) put the date on the wrapping. This will allow you to make sure you are eating the older meat first if you end up taking more than one deer through out the season.

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from jbird wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'll re-submit my tip that if your wife has a Kitchenaid, then for the price of a grinder attachment, you have an excellent burger/sausage grinder. Mine'e worked through a truck-load of burger over the last decade without a hiccup.

Aging: I live in Missouri, and our weather fluctuates ALOT, so letting deer hang for days to age is often- times just not possible. My wife stumbled upon this aging technique, and it has produced the most tender, succulent venison I've ever tasted:
Get a package of roast (loin works too, but you'll be amazed how good plain old roast will turn out) out of the freezer and put it in a large bowl with about a 1/4" of balsamic vinegar in the bottom. Let sit in your fridge, UNCOVERED for 2 to 3 days. You can flip it if you want to, but this aging method was discovered by "forgetting" about it for 3 days! Now I know you don't want recipes, but if you "quick-sear" it in a skillet of hot oil for about 1 minute on each side (longer if it's a big roast), you will have the most tender, delicious roast you've ever tasted. Use loin and it's almost decadent.

butchering: take your time, especially with the roasts and loins! There is no part of a deer that adds any good flavor to it besides the meat. Get all the fat and tissue off your "prime" cuts before rinsing, patting dry, and wrapping. A little left on the burger or jerkey meat is fine, but get every bit off of the good stuff.

wrapping: If you have a vacuum packager, great, but if not, save yourself some money and get a big roll of freezer paper and a sharpie. Soak your meat in water as you de-bone, then after it's trimmed, pat it dry with paper towels and wrap it TIGHT in freezer paper. A little masking tape to seal it up, and mark it and date it w/the Sharpie or a grease pencil. I've used this method for 11 years, and have never "freezer burnt" anything, even stuff that got buried in the bottom of the deep-freeze for OVER a year. It will bleed when you thaw it, so put it in a pan or bowl after you take it out of the freezer.

OK I'll stop now;)

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from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Start gutting from the neck down. It just makes sense the knife is going through meat and then at the end being down by the bad stinky meat ruining parts.

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from Pacific Hunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

1. Avoid water if at all possible, a poorly shot deer may require water to remove stomach fluids but a cleanly hit deer should never have water used since in promotes bacteria growth
2. Make sure the meat has air circulating all around it, just sitting on a rack in the fridge doesn't let the air circulate and put the desired crust on the meat, throw a mesh type rack underneath or better yet try to get it to hang.
3. Numerous have said it already but can't be emphasized enough, cut off all silver skin and fat.
4. Double wrap, nothing worse than opening a package of meat to find a small hole was created trying to cram that last pheasant in the freezer and leading to excessive freezer burn
5. Get dirt on all your friends, nothing motivates better than a incriminating photo when trying to get a deer or elk cut when the forecast calls for 70's and sun.

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from dighunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Vaccuum pack you venison when you can. The meat stays longer and the bags make a great container to marinade in as well.

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from TM wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When preparing meat from a lean venison cut taken from a young, properly stored and handled deer, it is best to use bacon. This will prevent you from wasting good meat by drying it during the roasting process. When preparing meat from a fatty venison cut from an old, improperly stored and handled deer, it is best NOT to use bacon. This will prevent you from wasting good bacon.

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from streack wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Before and during the butchering process make sure your knives remain sharp, a sharp knife is a safe knife. Dull knives force you to use excessive pressure to make a cut which can result in fatigue, broken blades, and/or a blade slipping out of control, all three instances can lead to bodily harm to you and people close by.

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from jeffisutherland wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I live in Winnipeg (nicknamed Winter-peg for a good reason, it gets down to -50C/-58F on occasion throughout the winter). If you want to hang dry your venison, use your garage. Earlier in the season, the temperature inside your garage will be similar to that of a walk-in fridge that butchers use.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Skin and quarter your deer ASAP, wrap the quarters and backstraps in saran wrap and put in your garage refrigerator. This will allow you to safely age your meat without it drying out and also keeps your meat at an even temperature, it also eliminates the chance of flys getting at your deer. keep an old cookie sheet the size of the bottom of your fridge around to put under the shelves to catch dripping blood, this will make your wife happy and keep you from being called a moron!

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from Fruguy101 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My meat tastes great after the following:
1. Here in Mississippi, you have to dress the deer ASAP.
2. Cut the front legs, hindquarters, backstrap, and inside loins off the deer and put them in a cooler.
3. Put enough water in the cooler to just cover the meat, add salt, and then add ice to the rim. Set the cooler inside if possible. If not, keep it out of direct sunlight, and in open air.
4. Empty out the water the next day, and fill up with more ice. Do so for the next two days.
5. After three days in the cooler, the meat will be ready to process. Cut your steaks or roasts from the quarters as you would like. I tend to use most of the meat as burger meat.

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from wisenbach wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Personally, i have found that hanging the deer by the antlers or neck skinning from the top down is the easiest method and makes removing the rear quarters much easier. another tip i have and pertains directly to the post before this is to not saw any bone that is going to leave residue in your meat, the bone marrow has really bad taste. and finally when deboning take the time to remove the silver coating from all the meat, this will also make the deer taste much better in those cold winter months and summer grill outs!

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from Walter Wood wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Hint1. Use a different color Sharpie each year to mark your packaged cuts. It make it easy to see in the freezer if you have any left from last year. Donate any that is left from the previous year to the local foodbank.

Hint 2. When grinding burger add a couple slices of bacon per pound. It adds fat for cooking and an instant bacon burger.

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from woodpecker wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

my best tip that hasn't already been posted is the last thing Ido after I gut my deer is to take out all of the esophagus as possible. I do this by taking a stick just small enough to fit in the esophagus and about 14 inches long. I put it up as far as it will go while leaving enough so that I can squeeze the esophagus to the stick, then jerk it up and down a few times, twist and repeat untill esophagus breaks loose.

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from rootju wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Remove the inner loins immediately after you hang the deer. This will prevent them from drying up and losing meat from the best cut of venison. Rinse them and store appropriately until you use them.

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from Bassmasterking wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Have the right tools: A clean and sharp knife that works for you. P.S. If you want to mount it then don't cut from the breastbone and up!

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

For those of you who offered tips in your comments to the last post, you may re-use them here.

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from Douglas wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Every year, I sing "Save your heart for me" to the folks I hunt with. Deer heart, pan fried in onions and butter or pickled, is something to savor. I have been known to root thru fresh gut piles to salvage a heart.
To prep, get the heart cool, split it, cut out the fat and stringy cords and clean well. Par boil it, cut into chunks and pack it into a canning jar. Fill to the top with white vinegar, (or Wild Turkey if you want to be radical) and put it out next to the pickled eggs at hunting camp.

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from wyattbower wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

a small, plumbing torch works excellent for burning off any stray hair that was left on the carcass after skinning

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Rather than letting your deer age in the creek bottom over the weekend, attempt to recover the deer in a timely fashion and field clean immediately to facilitate cooling of the carcass.

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from rob wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Bowman - Thanks for the juvenile giggle.
In regards to processing, always butcher your own.
ALWAYS.

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from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

when baiting live traps or any type cut a pop (or beer) can in half or less and put you bait in it also you can mix fly bait posin and coke or milk and it will kill varmits like coon or graound hogs. dad set some in the corn dryer and the next mouring they found a coon dead not 5 ft away.

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from smstnsn wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

when it comes time to thaw your meat if your in a hurry get a large bowl or Tupperware container and place the wrapped or unwrapped meat in the bowl and set it in the sink with cool or barely warm water running over it let the bowl keep overflowing, this will keep the water in the bowl from getting to cold and thaw the meat faster.

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from taylor1 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i wrap the meat after it all dealt with a thing layer of plastic wrap and then the meat wrapping paper, this ensures the meat will not get freezerburnt,

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When packaging your ground meat I use 1 gallon ziploc(only) freezer bags, I weigh out 1 lb balls and roll out into the bottom of the bag to fill from corner to corner. Pinch the corners where air bubble forms and then role itself over the bag (like a sleeping bag) and seal. Then I flatten it out as flat as I can, it usually ends up being around 1/2" thick. I put into a milk crate in the bottom of my deep freezer. By doing this you can stack much more packages of meat on each other to save massive amounts of much needed freezer space. Last year I was able to stack 60lbs of meat into a single standard milk crate in my freezer.

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Forgot to mention another benefit to this is quick thawing time without cooking the edges of your meat like you do with the tubes of meat you get from the butcher, because your tired of waiting for it to thaw out in warm water so you then place in microwave! Now don't lie I know alot of you do this as I used too!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Care less about a knife, my Buck 110 has always done me fine!
But I will give a tip to all you Mule Deer Hunters who go FULL AUTO at the first size of a Monster Buck!!
Listen up dar Pilgrim, when you jump a Mule Deer quickly figure out just were the deer is going to go over the ridge then quietly without further spooking the deer setup in a good kneeling or setting position and be prepared to shoot at that area were the Buck will top the ridge. Mule Deer instinctively when not pushed will stop and turn sideways just before going over the ridge and that’s when you make your shot!

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from ilikehunting wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Put safety first. Don't be distracted and don't use a dull knife.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Want to have some real fun with deer, try this the next time your busted crossing an open field. Provided the deer haven’t swooped into the next Zip Code, stop, bend over at the hip like you’re going to pick something up, hold that position for 3-5 seconds then bolt straight up looking at them, repeat bending over again but this time move towards them slowly but not directly towards them while bent over and after those few steps bolt straight up looking at them. Keep repeating this, I’ve had deer instead of swooping into the next county, they started moving towards me eventually within bow range. NO JOKE!

This has been a no “BS” moment!

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from streack wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Sorry ilikehunting, must have been typing while you posted your comment.

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from elkslayer wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My number one tip is to use a sharp knife, doing so will keep the process quick easy and clean.

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from Swampdonkey8 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When vacuum sealing your venison try wrapping it in saran wrap first. This prevents the seal from getting any moisture and also is added protection from frostbite.

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from hengst wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

If you don't have the space or temperature to age your meat before freezing just process the meat wrap and freeze. After your meat is frozen all the way start taking it out of the freezer and letting it thaw partialy. Make a mark on the package do this 3 times your venison will taste as if it has been aged and you don't have to pay for storage in a locker etc.

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from mutt wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I keep a wet rag and a steel honing rod close by. every 5-10 minutes I clean the knife and put a fresh edge on it. I found this helps the blade flow smoothly through the meat.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Don't waste your money on a vacuumn sealer and expensive bags. Go to your local grocery store and buy a Ziploc hand vacuum pump and Ziploc vacuum bags in quart or gallon size. They are easier to use than a expensive sealer, they don't require electricity or batteries to operate and they keep food just as fresh as long or longer. Who ever designed it is a freeking genius!

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from jenks wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

As my dad said work smart not hard. Spend the extra 50 bucks and get a winch to lift your deer for you, lifting is for chumps. Secondly I like to skin my deer before gutting if I am hunting close enough to home that I will not risk meat spoilage. This is because it is much easier to just use your gut hook and let gravity pull everything out in to a rubbermaid tub to be hauled away or stored for coyote bait. Good luck this fall!

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from LFS 10 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

These are some great tips but I especially liked DANO's use of the compressor and I can't wait to try it!!!

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from woodsdog wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When hunting a distance from home, say a couple of hours or more, always bring a med to large cooler and a big game sized skinning gambrel and stout rope or chain with you when hunting. Upon getting your field dressed deer to your vehicle, hang the deer up on the gambrel you brought and cut off the head and feet at the "knees" and then skin the entire carcass. With your skinning knife, separate the four legs from the torso, about where they meet it. With a little practce you can slip the knife and cut around the shoulders and the hips without having to saw bone. Throw these legs with the shoulder roasts steaks etc. in the cooler. You can get some neck meat too for roasts. Then, take the backstraps and tenders or tenderloins and put them in the cooler too. Now you have all the good meat in a neat and tidy package, just dispose of the head and ribs (unless you're mounting the head) and you have your entire deer in a cooler that protects the meat and keeps it cool and dirt free compared to hide on. You don't have to worry about taking it to the butcher right away or if you butcher it yourself, you're basically finished. The hide is off and the meat is cooling down the whole trip home instead of staying warm with the hide on in the vehicle.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When boning, I keep a damp cloth (dish towel works well) laying beside me. Errant hairs can be quickly picked and a quick wipe across the damp cloth removes them from your fingers!

Bubba

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from 007 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Interesting stuff here! Walt, I mentioned this in another post, not to be a re-run but I don't think you can get those vacume bags anymore. We had one with the little pump and they did work great. Tried to find more bags to no avail, went to Reynolds' site and there was a notice that the product was discontinued, so we bought a Food Saver. Dcast, I like your burger idea, I've got some to grind and freeze this evening from Saturday's archery doe, I'll try that, thanks. Swampdonkey, like your idea too. Don't know if this qualifies as a tip or not but it's how I like to do it. When I gut a deer in the field, I try to always split the pelvis and remove all the plumbing so as to get rid of all fecal waste and urine. It also makes the cutting up easier at home. Thanks for all the good info, good hunting, my friends!

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from wisenbach wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

quick tip- after skinning the animal take a blow torch and quickly go around the entire animal and burn all the hair, this will keep you from spitting out your burger next summer due to hair. quick and easy and it works wonders.

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from chsntail wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

After shooting your deer, first thing you need to do is inspect it for scars or wounds that may have been caused by an arrow, and always be carefull of the possibility of broken arrow blades in the deer. Nothing can ruin a good hunt like a trip to the ER,

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from huntnystate wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When processing your deer meat,remove the silver skin for better tasting venison.

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from dcurtiss wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Try this tip and you will love it and stay with it. If you take your game before cooking or even before freezing and soak it in Coke (Coca Cola). It is amazing how it tenderizes the meat and removes any bad game taste. There is no added flavor left behind. This will also give you a break from the citrus (orange juice) flavor or the pineapple people say to soak in. I know it sound a little off, but the Coke will make your game tender and taste great. You can still use any marinades or seasonings. this is just to prep the meat a little. It will work for older hogs, rutting bucks, old bucks, wounded animals that take longer than expected to pass. I shot a old 270lb plus boar, and after soaking you could cut the meat with a spoon. Soak in the Coke in the frider over night and enjoy. Try this tip and you will not be disapponited.

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from mpapitbull wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

For aging deer in warm weather use a combination of tips that I see here and one that has not been stated. Fill the chest cavity with ice, wrap the meat in suran wrap and then cover the whole thing with an old or new cheap sleeping bag. This will not only make your ice last longer but keep more even temps for the meat to cure, use a meat thermometer to check the temps of the meat even in the warmest climates this will allow the meat to stay near 45 degrees so you can cure it for 5-7 days for maximum tenderness and taste.

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from 007 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Good grief!! If Coke does that for game meat, think what it must do to your insides!! haha.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

007-- The bags you are refering to are Reynolds brand, they used a battery operated pump. I used to use them but the pump sucked and the 4 batteries didn't last long. The system I've been talking about is Ziploc brand, they have a hand operated pump, like a basketball pump. You could take this to your deer stand and vaccum seal meat if you desired too!

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from chris_hunt wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

For best results, skin your deer as soon as you get home and hang it by the hind legs. This way the meat cools faster and by hanging upside down the blood doesn't drain into the best cuts of meat.

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from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Yes, coke is capable of doing wonders, just what do you think mechanics use to loosen stuck nuts?
That´s good ol' phosphoric acid to you.

The same principle that vinegar (acetic acid),lemon, etc.

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from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

A Da** good comment ejunk,+1

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from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

a lot of great tips and comments

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from CorieSquared wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Instead of using ground beef or pork fat to "cut" your ground venison, try using ground up bacon instead. It adds the same moistness, but you end up with a delicious smoky flavor that makes burgers out of this world!

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from brettdj99 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

There have been a lot of great advice already posted. I would say the best advice I can offer is this:

-Do it yourself.
-Involve as many people (especially your children) in it as possible.

Last year we butchered 15 deer in our barn in MO and a lot of the deer being butchered were taken by either new hunters or hunters that had not butchered their own venison before.

Simply put, the experience of the hunt is not over until you have processed (and then eaten) your deer.

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from cotton wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

To make skinning game like deer etc. easy, use an air compressor. Just make a small cut on one of the back legs, slip air blow gun under skin, Hold below end of air gun to keep it from escaping and the skin will blow up like balloon and come off without much effort.

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from 007 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Walt, I was not aware of the Ziplock product. The pump sucked? Pun intended? haha

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from johntalbott wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My dad, brother, and I all use coke crates in the bottom of our coolers come deer season. The coke crate is the kind you get when kids sell 20 oz bottles of coke. They crates stick up 3-4 inches off the bottom of the cooler. We put the deer meat on top of the crate, then ice on top of the meat. This keeps the meat from soaking in water, and keeps the meat COLD. If the ice melts and water fills the bottom, simply remove the plug from the cooler and let it drain.
*this works great for us because the South usually doesnt have the temperatures to leave deer hanging, and you cant always butcher the same day as the kill.

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from weswes088 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Pay attention to blogs such as this.

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from wiegs1992 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

WHen scouting for deer, scout early, scout often, wear rubber boots and scent controlled clothing, try to stay down wind of where you think the deer are, and if possible, use more than one trail camera. They work like a charm.

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from bookflyer wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Make a mark on the package do this 3 times your venison will taste as if it has been aged and you don't have to pay for storage in a locker etc FFxiv Gil.Get dirt on all your friends, nothing motivates better than a incriminating photo when trying to get a deer or elk cut when the forecast calls for 70's and sun.

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from Sanjuancb wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Do right by the old-timers and don't cut against the hair when skinning a deer; you make a mess and look like a greenhorn.

Someone mentioned buying a winch in an earlier post. You can save yourself a lot of money and backache by using a fence-stretcher or come-a-long to hoist your deer up. Most rural folks (or landowners) will have them around and they are worth their weight in gold. The are possibly the best multi-tasker around, as you can build fence, pull a calf, or hoist a deer up.

Take the time when your deer is aging to document wound cavities both with a camera and on paper. Keeping a journal of such animals provides you with a not only a collection of memories, but also with a documented means of debunking campfire myths about bullet performance. This way you can encourage fellow hunters to pursue ethical shots and give real-world reports on terminal ballistics.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I've always used a knife to split the pelvic and to cut out the breast bone when field dressing deer, never again! This year I purchased a Gerber Pelvic Saw that I spotted in a Dunhamns store. It is T shaped, with a molded rubber handle, a saw blade like a folding hand tree saw that has a blunt end on it. It only cost $20.00 and I used it for the first time this weekend on a nice doe. The little saw (It's about 4 inches long) zipped right through the pelvic bone and when I used it on either side of the breast bone I was amazed how quick it blasted through the cartilage. I've always been a bit nervous using a wet knife to do these jobs before as I'm sure most of you won't admit! This little saw eliminates the danger of these two steps. It cleans up easy and comes with a nice sheath, and it would be a heck of a good gift to give your hunting buddy!

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from j-johnson17 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Make a small slit/cut in the lower hind leg of your deer carcass. Take any air compressor and use a tip to blow air into the carcass between the hide and the meat. Doing this will separate the hide from the meat and leave a dry surface on the carcass. With the dry carcass you can make a couple more cuts around both legs and the hide will basically fall off. If any hair gets on the carcass it will wipe off by hand - no need for a wet cloth!!!!

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from 2Poppa wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Do NOT fill your freezer with too much chilled or room temperature food at one time. This causes the freezer to "warm" up. This leads to a longer time in freezing the food.

When food (mainly meat) is frozen commercially, the food is placed in a quick freeze or blast freezer. These freezers are operated at temperatures as low as 50 degrees below zero!

This freezes the food very quickly. The faster the meat is frozen, the less chance ice crystals will form, and the likelihood of freezer burn is greatly reduced.
Try not to place more than a quarter of the freezer space with "warm" or room temperature food.
If possible, try and leave as much air space around each package of warm food for at least 24-hours; 48-hours is better.

After this time the food should be completely frozen, and you can stack the meat in the tightest position.

Check the temperature of your freezer periodically with a high quality thermometer; 5-degrees above zero to 5-degrees below zero would be a good temperature.

Also ...Panicked deer flood their bodies with adrenaline when they’re in danger. Their heart races and blood pours into their muscles. The extra blood helps rev up the muscles for flight but produces lactic and pyruvic acids in return. These acids, extra blood and adrenaline are the major reasons why venison may taste wild or gamy.

Pork fat or beef fat improves the palatability. Pork fat may be preferred to improve flavor, but beef fat will increase freezer storage time. Mix 15% pork or beef fat with ground game and 35% pork fat with fresh game sausage.

Freezing meat before making sausage, insures that it will be free from live parasites which are sometimes found in game meat.

Over the years of skinning deer, the number one thing to keep in mind is to use your hands more than your knife. Pull the hide away from the body HARD, as you skin,this makes the pulling of the hide away from the carcass much easier. You could almost skin a deer with your fingers this way if you start skinning while the deer is still warm.

The longer a deer hangs the harder it will be to skin. Skin the deer as soon as possible.

Younger deer are easier to skin than older deer.

Does are normally easier to skin than buck.

DON'T EVEN TRY AND SKIN A FROZEN DEER!
If it's frozen, let it hang in a commercial cooler to thaw out some, then try skinning the deer.

If your deer meat has hair or dirt on it, use water if you must, along with paper towels, as this will rid your meat of any unwanted particles before cutting and freezing.

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from fourfeathers1 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

This tip will make sure that you take away any gamey taste out of your meat! First you should always make sure the silver skin or (shiny membrane) is trimmed off all of your cuts before packaging. That membrane contains bad blood in your meat that can't be rinsed off before packaging which results in a more gamey taste once the meat is thawed and cooked. One more pearl of information that I would like to share with this method of preporation is to make sure that you DO NOT slice and prepackage your backstaps before freezing. This results in crystalization of the cut sides of the chop and leads to a tougher cut of meat once it is cooked.

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from Brutus3542 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The best tip i can offer is to teach your children how to process there own deer. My father was a butcher and he taught me at a young age how to process my game. If he wouldn't have taken that time then I don't think i would be able to hunt as much as i do because i woudn't be able to afford the deer processing fees for all my deer. And as fellow hunters we all know that we need to get the younger generation involved and that we can't lose any hunters that we already have.

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from Cgull wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Cube venison, season, then freeze in water. The freeze will break expand and break down the tissue tenderizing the venison.

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from Cgull wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Cube venison, then freeze in water. The freeze will expand and break down the tissue tenderizing the venison

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from L Lavio wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

When skinning a deer, its easist to just start at the rear end when the deer is hanging upside down, then once you get past the flanks, just pull the skin all the way down to the neck. Once you are low enouph for satisfaction, cut the neck all the way through. you will end up with a clean, nice looking deer hanging in your meat room.

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from IceClash wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Buy low sell high

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from Hoytboy wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Take your time, starting immediately after the shot.. Do the little things right, it'll show!

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from Jason32 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

As a carpenter, the most usefull skinning knife I've found is a utility knife with a hook blade. You can open a deer up like a zipper with no hair on the inside. They are dirt cheap and razor sharp.

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from pahunter1973 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

If you accidentally cut through the hamstring tendon on the hind leg when making the cut to hang the deer, get some heavy-gauge wire or an old coat hanger. Cut a 6 to 8 inch piece. Wrap it around the spot you need to repair and then use pliers to twist the wire or hanger and tighten it up. Now hang the deer up by inserting a gambrel through the slot you made.

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from kennedy706 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Dont hunt one stand too often.. smarter bucks will catch on to your scent. Have multiple stands set up 2 months before opening day

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from Cody Las-Vegas wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Thawing: It's important to thaw your meat properly and efficiently to avoid spoiling it. A lot of people put their game in a ziploc, then in a sink full of water, or they let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Thawing overnight in the fridge is fine if you'll be marinating, but not for simple thawing.

The best method is quick and takes advantage of ambient room temperature. Place your steaks, loin cuts, etc. in a flat bottom pan on the stove. Make sure the meat has good contact with the pan. The pan and stove top grate will act as a heat sink with the ambient room temperature. It will thaw quickly. What used to take several hours, over night or several sinks full of water, will take a fraction of the time. No more soggy cuts of meat. No more smelly fridge.

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from motts331 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Removing game taste:
Trim fat off of all meat and soak in iced salt water for an hour. Dry off, wrap in plastic wrap then butcher paper, and freeze. This also works for fish fillets. Find it removes the blood and the irony taste from it.

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from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

i will have to remember all these tips thanks guys

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from kurtski25 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

When I am deer/elk hunting in grizzly country I do several things to prevent close grizzly encounters. Firstly, I take the entrails and move them away from the carcass. Next after quartering the animal I take the quarters and hang them in four different directions about 100 yards apart and as high in a tree as possible away from the trunk of the tree. You still might lose a quarter here or there, but at least you'll get the majority of your meat.

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from Timmy12 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

When making deer cuts if you want to make some really good thin deer steaks cut them like 1/2 inch thick.

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from markbottorff1 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Best low budget butchering tip: Once your deer is hangin, and needs some part removed, go grab yer trusty sawzall. I use a medium tooth sized - 11 inch demolition blade (new). Most hunter already have a sawzall, and it'll only cost a few bucks for a decent blade. It sure beats cutting yourself trying to get through the shoulders with a knife!

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from TheEasternShore... wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

when field dressing tie the legs apart to 2 separate trees so you can cut the pelvis bone.

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from wildcaller11 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

If the weather is too warm to let your deer age as long as you would like, but it is cold enough to let hang a day or 2, skin the deer as soon as you hang it. this will allow the deer to cool faster. Just be sure to have something over the top end of the deer, to prevent undesirable matter on your meat. cut it up the next day

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from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

Dont cut youself

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from hfedder40 wrote 3 years 13 weeks ago

many people mistaken to keep a knife at 45 degrees wen sharpening but there wrong keep it at 30 degrees to get a good sharpening

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