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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Field Dressing

Ah, yes, that blood. We get the same thing when we defrost our stuff. Like you, I just `pour' it off into the sink ... and get about cooking. That blood seems to show up no matter what.

Well, you're off to a good start. You will learn a lot just by doing ... and a lot is awkward, at first, though none of it should be extremely difficult. After a while it can get a bit tiring, when we get several of these critters in a row.

To sum it up - whatever `method' you use ... remember ... keep the meat 1) cool, 2) dry, and 3) CLEAN.

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Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 11/02/2005
Posts: 58
Field Dressing

CAUTION HALO
Before you cut out the meat like serious hunter does check your states laws. Here in ok you can't do that you have to weigh the deer when you check it in. You can field dress it but your not suppose to cut out any meat. I'm not sure if thats how VT is or not but deffinately something you need to check into. I wish we didn't have to it sure would be nice to be able to take the meat and leave the rest for the coyotes. We sure have plenty of them to feed.

Bowlady I agree with the more gamey taste when a deer is in heavy rut. One way this can helped if you don't take meat immediatly is to cutt of the tarsal gland (http://www.youngbucksoutdoors.com/QuizWiz/deerglands.html). This is very important if you let your deer hang (this might help with your blood delima) if it is cold enough we let our dear hang for about 2 days before processing. This lets alot of the blood drain.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Field Dressing

Thanks nw_ok_hunting ... I have run my `method' kind of by the gammies here in Idaho and while they haven't endorsed it - they haven't advised me otherwise. But I have a lingering feeling not all game wardens would like it. Part of the situation out here is the sheer horridness of the terrain we are sometimes faced with.

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Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 11/02/2005
Posts: 58
Field Dressing

Ok halo as for your field dressing question. I got this off of a website (http://www.learn-taxidermy.com/field_dressing_deer.htm) But I edited some of the steps more like the way I do it.

Roll the deer carcass over on its back with the rump lower than the shoulders and spread the hind legs. Make a cut along the centerline of belly from breastbone to base of tail. First cut through the hide, then through belly muscle. Avoid cutting into the paunch and intestines by holding them away from the knife with the free hand while guiding the knife with the other. I use a wyoming knife for this works very well as to not puncture the guts.

Unless the deer head will be mounted, the cut should pass through the sternum and extend up the neck to the chin to allow removal of as much of the windpipe as possible. (I did not know this) The windpipe sours rapidly and is a leading cause of tainted meat.

Split the pelvic or "aitch" bone to hasten cooling. I use an axe for this (dulls a knife quick. With a small sharp knife, cut around the anus and draw it into the body cavity, so it comes free with the complete intestines. In doing this, avoid cutting or breaking the bladder. Loosen and roll out the stomach and intestines. Save liver (I don't but I guess you can).

Cut around the edge of the diaphragm which separates the chest and stomach cavities, and split the breastbone. Then, reach forward to cut the windpipe and gullet ahead of the lungs. This should allow you to pull the lungs and heart from the chest cavity. Save heart(once again I don't) Drain excess blood from the body cavity by turning the body belly down or hanging animal head down. Prop the body cavity open with a stick to allow better air circulation and faster cooling.

A clean cloth may be useful to clean your hands. If you puncture the entrails with a bullet or your knife, wipe the body cavity as clean as possible or flush with water and dry with a cloth. Don't use water to wash out the body cavity unless the paunch or intestines are badly shot up. (I always flush out the cavity with cold water.)

The important points are to remove the internal organs immediately after the kill without contaminating the body cavity with dirt, hair, or contents of the digestive tract and to drain all excess blood from the body cavity.

All parts damaged by gunshot should be trimmed away. If the weather is warm of if the deer is to be left in the field for a day or more, it may be skinned, except for the head, and washed clean of dirt and hair. It should be placed in a shroud sack or wrapped with porous cloth to cool (cheesecloth is ideal). The cloth covering should be porous enough to allow air circulation but firmly woven enough to give good protection from insects and dirt. Lacking porous cloth, hunters often coat the inside of the body cavity with black pepper to repel insects. Adequate cooling may take six hours or more, depending on weather conditions.

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Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 11/02/2005
Posts: 58
Field Dressing

Yeah I know what you mean serious hunter. I don't think I would be dragging a deer through the trees and up and down mountains if i was hunting there. I guess here in the flatlands they are a little pickier about us weighing the whole deer. At several check stations here the checkers themselves come out and weigh the deer themselves. This forum has really proved to me that hunting techniques and state laws are really different all across the country.

P.S. Awesome website (that is truely some beautiful country)

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Field Dressing

Thanks for your comment on my website. If you're ever out this way - give me a shout - I can point you in the direction of some fabulous country. I saved as a favorite that link you put up on the more traditional way of dressing ... good. Also, I agree - the forum is so valuable. I think it could be boiled down into the beginnings of an encyclopedia in modern hunting.

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