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.
When placing a trail camera don't just look for a well used trail. What you want to do is look for a freshly used trail off by itself that goes from a north facing ridge, thick forest, brushy knob or some other similar bedding area to a food source. Don't forget water sources. Especially in the summer months the deer need water so look for a good trail going down too a creek surrounded by thick cover and place the camera 100 yards up from the water source.
Scent control is very important...