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Location: Louisiana but hunting MS
Joined: 09/15/2009
Posts: 24
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

I read a good post "venison vs beef" check it out. i think it would be a good learning experience for us all if we post some of the unique ways and different different ways to process a deer from the woods to the pot. if you have something special that you do, please post it here.

me personally i shoot it, drag it home and clean it. what i dont do is soak the meat in ice. i just cut my selected cuts bag them and to the freezer. thats the way my family has done it my whole life.

i've heard of people gutting the deer in the woods and removing the testicles. does this help anything other than the weight of the animal? how long do you age your deer meat and how?

Please post a reply. no one is going to learn anything from what i have to say but if we all chip in maybe we can shed some light on the issues others are running into. i like the way my deer tast, but i am only 26 yrs old and i am sure there are much better and easier ways to do this. so by all means join in.

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

I almost always gut the deer in the woods, unless the land owner doesn't want gut piles left behind. The testicles usually go with the gut pile unless the law requires them to be left attached to the carcass. I skin and process as soon as possible. "Hanging to Age" in my opinion is hanging to decay if the carcass is not wiped very clean. Be very careful not to handle the hock glands and then touch the meat. I debone all the meat!! CWD is found in bone marrow and nerve tissue. There is no CWD very near me but is south of me in Wisconsin. If the temperature is warm, as in early seasons, get the hide off as soon as possible.Deer hair is a very good insulator and will trap body heat, promoting spoilage. I vac seal all the meat! Burger is ground with fat pork at a 3 to 1 ratio. Burger is ground straight into round plastic bags and tape sealed. Check out BUTCHER-PACKER.COM (lower case) for processing supplies and sausage kits

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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

What has worked best for me is dress it quickly and forget the "victory lap" through town...get it to a professional butcher as fast as you can.

So far most of my deer have been hanging in the local butcher's cooler within 4 hours of being shot. When that;s just not possible - keep it as cool and as clean as you can from dressing until its cut, wrapped and in a freezer.

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Location: Minnesota
Joined: 11/26/2007
Posts: 74
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

I hunt with a party, and leaving for the butcher is done after the day is over. WE take the guts and nuts out as soon as we recover the animal. We spread the ribs best we can to aid the cooling process and let the deer sit. We register and take the animals to butcher that night. In MN, it is typically 40 degree highs at best during the hunt, so cooling is not an issue. check your fridge, it is likely set to 38. We have packed cavaties with ic during warm spells. My advice is to not daudle in getting the meat to butcher. Do you have to sprint there after a kill? No. With that said, don't waste time either.

Field dressing, we leave the gut pile in the woods. the farmer doesn't care, and we don't ahve to dispose of it ourselves. the 'yotes, hawks, and other critters will eat it up anyway.

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Location: eastern Washington
Joined: 03/02/2009
Posts: 40
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

Personally I have never taken a deer to a butcher except in the form of trimmings to get sausage and jerky made.

We feild dress in the bush, Guts and nuts left for the Yotes so we can wack some of them later if all of our deer tags are full and no one needs help packing out. we get the deer back to the house or camp depending on where we may be. Skin and thoroughly clean with warm water and a CLEAN rag. make sure you get all of the hair off. then we put in game bags and let it cool out. I like to let a deer hang for 7 days or so, Temperature permiting if it is too warm ( above 40 -45 degrees) I will quarter and put in the fridge. then I do my own cutting.

I know that some of you will say that this is the wrong way but I feel if you know what you are doing or have ever butchered a steer, a deer is very simple. but you have to be very clean and careful or you will end up with just a nasty peice of meat.

Tim

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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

I've cut up a couple does in camp and yes, with a good meat saw and a couple sharp knives it's not that hard, especially when its a smaller deer like these were (and were pretty much eaten by the time we left).

If its a substantial deer or will be headed for a freezer for any length of time, I very much prefer to get it cut professionally.

It's been said repeatedly by everyone on both sides of the fence though that when it comes to meat processing that keeping it cool and CLEAN are paramount if you want to enjoy eating it as much as you enjoyed shooting it.

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Location: eastern Washington
Joined: 03/02/2009
Posts: 40
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?
saskie wrote:
I've cut up a couple does in camp and yes, with a good meat saw and a couple sharp knives it's not that hard, especially when its a smaller deer like these were (and were pretty much eaten by the time we left).

If its a substantial deer or will be headed for a freezer for any length of time, I very much prefer to get it cut professionally.

It's been said repeatedly by everyone on both sides of the fence though that when it comes to meat processing that keeping it cool and CLEAN are paramount if you want to enjoy eating it as much as you enjoyed shooting it.

Dont get me wrong I have no problem with takin a deer to a profesional. I would if I had the money or if the weather is too warm I have very close but found a cooler that was close that I could borrow some space.

I do tottally agree that if you dont keep it clean or at least know how to keep it clean then you should probably go to the butcher. the only reason I do it this way is because it is the way my grandparents and parents have done it so I grew up with doing it and I have some of the know how. I am no butcher by anymeans though. sometimes I screw up a good cut of meat.

Tim

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 602
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

I butcher my own deer but let the professional do the elk for me.
I have never gutted a deer anywhere but where it died. But i do believe we have different hunting here than most of the people on this thread.

I will say i was lucky in that a veternairn showed me how to discect. Deer only take a couple of hours to process. Elk is a different story. We sometimes have to quarter and bone our game and that makes the butchering easier but not as many nice cuts of meat.
I do try to get my deer cut up and in the freezer fairly quickly though.
tim

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Location: eastern Washington
Joined: 03/02/2009
Posts: 40
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?
tim wrote:
I butcher my own deer but let the professional do the elk for me.
I have never gutted a deer anywhere but where it died. But i do believe we have different hunting here than most of the people on this thread.

I will say i was lucky in that a veternairn showed me how to discect. Deer only take a couple of hours to process. Elk is a different story. We sometimes have to quarter and bone our game and that makes the butchering easier but not as many nice cuts of meat.
I do try to get my deer cut up and in the freezer fairly quickly though.
tim

I am with you tim. I am not gonna drag a "full" whitetail or mule deer verydamn far. I gut them where they lay. as far as Elk go I would have to agree as well I have never Killed an elk but if I do I think it will go to a butcher mainly for space reasons.

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Location: Louisiana but hunting MS
Joined: 09/15/2009
Posts: 24
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

I have never been to a place where the owner of the property let me gut it where it died, but there is no doubt that if i had the opportunity that is what i would do. 2 reasons. 1 you dont have to haul the heavy deer, and 2 you dont have to haul the guts to the dump.

if you leave the guts near your stand, does it affect the deer in that area? i would think not but maybe it will attract preditors to the area and that might creep the deer out a little.

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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
How to properly prepare and process white tail deer?

I don't think the gut pile bothers them too much, but you're going to leave a big human scent bomb gutting and dragging you kill out...not to mention the fact that (assuming its a rifle hunt) your shot will have spooked off every deer within 200 yds and that may be too much for them.

I'd give it a few days to settle down before I'd go back.

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