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Location: Catawba, Wisconsin
Joined: 10/06/2009
Posts: 80
What about after the shot?

What do you do after you've shot and field dressed it. What do you do with the bones and everything else. I plan on hunting public land so i don't want to get a ticket and a big blotch on my record for dispossing of the remains the wrong way.

Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
Joined: 03/25/2005
Posts: 245
What about after the shot?

I have never heard of anyone getting a citation in that situation unless they were wasting edible portions of the animal.

Leaving the gutpile is almost always done.

If it is hot weather some hunters will skin it right there. Some places provide hide barrels for hunters but it is not unheard of to leave the hide as well.

I don't do the gutless field dressing method but I'm pretty sure that those who do don't pack out the refuse.

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
What about after the shot?

I do believe it depends on the state; but in CO it is like Alamosa stated; all edible portions and they do have it listed somewhere.

Some key ones to remember are the neck meat & skirt. Talked to a guy a couple of years back that was ticketed for it and then got stupid yelling at the ranger and spent the night in jail b/c of it!!! DOOOH!

In some states I believe you have to bury the gut pile/bones or remove them from the field.

I almost always de-bone the gutless way unless it happens to be VERY close to the truck!! Just so much easier! Thumbs up

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
What about after the shot?

I use the bones to make gravy and stock. Pronghorn are not that heavy, so why not just keep some bones if you like? They can be used. Plus Pronghorn are a faily desease free animal.

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
What about after the shot?

As far as taking care of the meat goes, the most important "next step" is getting the hyde off so the meat can start to cool. Try to keep the "green flies" off the carcass, they lay the maget larva. Ideal situation would be to hang the carcass for about 72 hours at 38-39 degrees, at this temp, only the "good" decomposers are active, and will tenderize the meat greatly! Good luck

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
What about after the shot?

Hanging 72 hrs eh? That seems a bit long for antelope. To each their own I guess. My experience is that it tends to get a bit too mushy the longer you age antelope.

I usually process it after about 24 to 48 hrs depending on how quick I can get home. You are correct in that if it's warm out you want to get the hide off ASAP.

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Location: New Mexico
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 84
What about after the shot?
WesternHunter wrote:
Hanging 72 hrs eh? That seems a bit long for antelope. To each their own I guess. My experience is that it tends to get a bit too mushy the longer you age antelope.

I usually process it after about 24 to 48 hrs depending on how quick I can get home. You are correct in that if it's warm out you want to get the hide off ASAP.

I agree western that 72 hours is too long at 38 degrees, but it takes me 24-30 hours to cool the carcass completely to the "ideal" (subjective) temp, so its actually only "aging" 48 hours.

hellomcfly's picture
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Location: Denver Colorado
Joined: 04/29/2007
Posts: 328
What about after the shot?

i believe the colorado minimum meat requirements are the four quarters, back straps and tenderloins. when i goat hunt we just gut em in the field then drag em to the truck. then we hang them up back in the barn and skin em

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Joined: 10/11/2009
Posts: 6
What about after the shot?

The best luck I have had has been to skin them when I home, quarder them up and age the meat for about three days.

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Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 383
Re: What about after the shot?

I've been doing the following for years & haven't had a bad piece of meat yet. Keep in mind that all my animals have been taken in NV where the season is in August. Gut it when you get to it (the only time I've seen animals removed from the field w/o gutting is watching whitetail hunting on TV. Can't figure out just what they do but it seems pretty weird). Try to get the whole carcass back to the truck whole - it'll keep it cleaner. Skin it at the truck. I've skinned them on the ground (lying on a tarp), hanging from a tree (if you can find one) and from the boat rack on top of the p/u bed cap. Doesn't matter which just as long as you get the hide off to circulate air and start cooling the carcass down. If you have thought ahead you have already bought a large cooler. I've got a couple of 120 qt coolers (the biggest I could find at the time at Costco/Sportsmans Warehouse). Each will hold a whole doe & with some effort just about a whole buck skinned with the lower legs removed along with a couple of blocks of ice. The lid won't quite close with a typical buck in it but I just tie the lid down with some rope & cover it with a blanket or two to keep the chill from the ice in.

At the house I'll break down the carcass into the usual big pieces. I've got an extra regrigerator in the garage that's only used for game (and the occasional case of beer). I'll put the pieces in the fridge directly on the wire shelves with some plastic wrap laid on top. I don't like leaving the meat in the ice chests as after a short while they end laying down in melt water. Similarly if you put them on trays in the fridge they'll end laying in blood. If you don't have the fridge space, keep the carcass in the ice chest but remember to drain aften and replace the ice.

I'd agree that aging isn't needed for antelope. The meats' too delicate and does seem to get mushy with aging. I bone and process the meat myself. 20 minutes of surfing the net will give you plenty of how too's. It isn't nearly as hard as you might think and will result in sweet meat cut the way you want it, preferably w/o and bones, fat, blood shot meat or silver skin. Hands down antelope done right is my families favorite game eat.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: What about after the shot?

Of all the North American biggame animals, pronghorn are the easiest to process, in the field or at home. They just don't weigh that much once gutted and because of their size they are pretty easy to butcher at home. I think any game meat handled and cared for properly after the shot is going to be much better tasting.

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