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Joined: 10/13/2010
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New Hunter with question

I am a new hunter.  I will be hunting in GA this year and have a few questions for anyone that wants to help.

Once I kill a deer, I know I am supposed to feild dress it.  But how long do I have to get it to a precessor before having to feild dress it? The reason I ask is because the persons who land I am hunting on doesn't want me dressing it around their land.

 

gatorfan's picture
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Location: Chula Vista, CA
Joined: 10/01/2010
Posts: 465
Good question!

Congratulations on getting into the sport of hunting! 

As far as your question goes, the longer you leave the entrails in the animal, the more gamey the meat will taste.  So, just do it as soon as you can!   There are many animals harvested every year that are shot in the evening and not recovered until the next morning/day.  So, there's not really a set time limit.  Just dress the deer as soon as you can.  The weather also plays a big part in tainting the taste of the meat (not dressed).  With that I mean, the colder it is, the more time you have.  Of course where you hit the deer also has an effect.  If you somehow gut-shoot the deer, you'll want to get that one field dressed lickidy-split.  I've also found that the longer you can hang and bleed the carcass (hide removed as soon as possible also), the less gamey the meat will be.  I took one to a processor last year and he let it hang in his walk-in cooler for three days.  That meat was way less gamey than a deer I had processed at my house.  Because I don't have a walk-in, I have to process the meat the same day.

Hope this helps.Thumbs up

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Welcome to the site, and to

Welcome to the site, and to hunting.  What Jim says is pretty spot on.  I will go further and say that we have left deer hanging in Vermont for up to a week in some cases.  The longer it hangs, the more tender it seems to be.  It will depend on weather though.  If it's out of the 40's, which if you're hunting in GA I would guess it will be, then you don't want to leave it very long. 

So, if you don't have access to a walkin cooler, and it's warm, I would have it cut the next day.  If you do have access to a cooler, then give it 3-5 days then start hacking.

Good luck!!!

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
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Welcome to BGH!!! and cograts

Welcome to BGH!!! and cograts on getting into hunting. its a very fun and rewarding sport. gatorfan and CA gave you some really spot on info. good luck with your hunt, keep us posted, sgare some pics and stories from your hunt.

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Location: Clayton NC
Joined: 09/22/2010
Posts: 99
I too would like to welcome

I too would like to welcome you to both the site and sport.  The suggestions the guys above gave are pretty accurate.  I prefer my deer to have a faint game taste to it so once I dress the deer (usually same day) I will soak in a cooler of water overnight out side (pending cool enough weather) if not I will put in the fridge.  This will draw out most of the blood and can make the meat just a bit more chewy but it makes it perfect for my pepper steak recipt .  Speaking of which I can't wait to make a batch of that oh so tastey pepper steak

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Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
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2 fold
Welcome to BGH and Hunting maverick2383.
great answers above.
The need for field dressing  is 2 fold.
First there are bacteria in the intestinal tract that will continue to do their work however the bowels will no longer function so all that bacterial waste just sets there and festers drawing more "un-useful" bacteria in and thereby tainting the surrounding meat.
Depending on temperature it should be safe for a couple of hours but for hotter temps I wouldn't want to eat anything from a deer that has been dead and ungutted for more than an couple of hours.
Secondly is that field dressing will allow the cavity to be opened up so as to help cool the carcass and helping the meat avoid spoilage.
Allowing the deer to hang, dressed, for a few days to a week, depending on how hot or humid it gets, will make all the difference in the taste of the meat and as mentioned, the tenderness.
You might ask the land owners if it would be ok for you to field dress the deer on a piece of plastic wrap and then rolling up the entrils in the wrap and stuffing it into a heavy duty industrial garbage bag and pack it out with you.
At any rate, get the deer carcass cool as quickly as possible after the kill and good luck !!
jim boyd's picture
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deer field dressing...

Welcome to the site - I too am new and love it!

If you recover the deer rapidly - you may not have to field dress it.

We simply take them to the processor now in most cases... and all the hard work of processing the deer is taken care of by the processors.

They charge you, of course - but for us it is worth it.

Talk with the hunters in your area and see how they handle it - and if they have used processors, who they would recommend.

Good luck this year - Georgia has some great bucks!!!

 

JimBob in SC

hawkeye270's picture
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
It looks like you have

It looks like you have already gotten some fantastic advice from everybody. I think the main thing is to get that meat cooled quickly. Sure you can let that thing hang for up to a week, but that is only if the meat is cool while it is doing so. You leave that thing out in the sun if it is hot and you are going to have some serious problems. Be carefull with wet meat too. Moisture can aid the growth of bacteria. When you are opening up the abdominal cavity be carful to not puncture the intestines or rumen with your knife blade. Keep it pointed up with your finger out front to push away the guts that are going to try and leap in front of your knife's path. A knife with a gut work works awesome for this task too. Lastly, make sure you keep the meat clean. I cringe when I see hunters that have dragged their meat through all kinds of nasties. Keep the dirt off of it. Good luck out there, welcome to the site and to this beautiful thing we call hunting.

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Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the help.  I

Thanks for all the help.  I haven't got a deer this season yet.  But I am being patient.  I am hunting my dads 3.5 acres that never gets hunted and has a 9 pointer out there roaming very close to the house.  I am hoping to take him down. 

I appreciate all the advice.  I have come up with a plan that I think should work.  There is a processor about 20 mins from where I will be hunting.  I plan on taking the deer straight there and letting them walk me through the dressing process.  I have watched over 20 videos on youtube and everyone seems to do it a little different.  So I would like to have a profesional show me. 

Do you all think that a 20 min ride and any other time associated would be too long to wait to dress the deer.  Right now the temps when I have been out are between 40 and 45.

Thanks again.

hawkeye270's picture
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
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Thanks for all the help.  I

Thanks for all the help.  I haven't got a deer this season yet.  But I am being patient.  I am hunting my dads 3.5 acres that never gets hunted and has a 9 pointer out there roaming very close to the house.  I am hoping to take him down. 

I appreciate all the advice.  I have come up with a plan that I think should work.  There is a processor about 20 mins from where I will be hunting.  I plan on taking the deer straight there and letting them walk me through the dressing process.  I have watched over 20 videos on youtube and everyone seems to do it a little different.  So I would like to have a profesional show me. 

Do you all think that a 20 min ride and any other time associated would be too long to wait to dress the deer.  Right now the temps when I have been out are between 40 and 45.

Thanks again.

First of all, you should not worry about a 20 minute ride at those tempertures by any means. You will be fine. It is good that you are already being patient. That is a trait that a lot of hunters take decades to develop... if they ever develop it at all. I sure hope you can get a crack at that 9 point. I am expecting pictures if you succeed in nailing that big boy... and a story too!

One thing to keep in mind is that some processors are really busy come hunting season and they might not have time to show you how to field dress a deer. Some processors will also have you pay an extra fee if you have not field dressed the animal. Some will not even accept a deer that has not been dressed. Some will also charge a skinning fee if it has been dressed but not skinned. If you were able to talk to the guy and he said that this would be fine than that is going to work out perfectly. I learn the best through hands on teaching and that will be the best way to learn how to field dress big game... you will be getting instruction straight from the professionals.

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Location: Fort Collins, CO
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I will also add that I think

I will also add that I think there are many good books and videos out there that would serve beneficial to a hunter that has never field dressed or taken care of game meat. A quick trip to the local Cabela's, Bass Pro, Gander Mountain or Sportsman's Warehouse should turn up some really good books and videos on the subject. If you are going to be doing a lot of hunting and putting a lot of animals on the ground than I would highly suggest starting to process your own game. You will take more satisfaction in doing it on your own and you will save a whole lot of money over sending every big game animal that you take to the local processor. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has a very good video on DVD dealing with field dressing, boning out and taking care of game meat. If you visit their website you can find it and purchase it. I think that they talk about elk too so it might be beneficial if you ever make it out here to chase these big brothers of the deer. Youtube might also have some pretty good videos... it would atleast be worth a shot.

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