So, any suggestions on how to avoid these little rascals during field dressing? I usually have one knife I use just to cut them out so I don't contaminate the rest of the carcass. Anyone got any better ideas?
I usually don't mess with them during field dressing. When I butcher the deer I will cut them off with a different knife and save them, especially if it is a rutting buck. They are great as a scent attractor placed near a scrape to draw in another buck for an investigation.
I agree with Trouthunter. I don't see any reason to deal with the tarsal glands during field dressing. Focus on getting your deer dressed out, cooled down and out of the field. I also do my own cutting/processing and set the leg portions with the tarsal glands aside until I'm completely done with the rest of the deer. Then I will cut out the glands (bucks only) and vacum seal them for later use. They make a great scent attractrant to hang near scrapes or mock scrapes. You're right about not using the same knife you use to remove the glands that you are using to process the meat. Good Luck!
The tarsal gland is located on th inside of their back legs at the knee joint. The hair on this part of the leg is dark brown and stinks. When a buck makes a scrape it will stand in the scrape and urinate onto the glands while he rubs them together. This will leave his "rutting scent" in the scrape to mark his territory.
Let me start off by saying I am not a farmer.
I am a deer hunter and I do own a tractor and have all of the equipment - but that does not make you a farmer any more than standing in the garage makes you a car - well, you get the picture!
Having said that - and with most of my ineptitude fairly well hidden - I do think that buckwheat is one of the most under rated cover crops out there.
I say cover crop because I see mixed results as it relates to the deer eating the plants.