Making An Animal Into Meat

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Mike Franklin, May 9, 2008.

  1. How many of ya'll know how to dress game? Ya know how to butcher larger animals? If I dropped off a quarter of a beef at your camp could you cut it up into edible meat?
    Yeah, some of ya'll know but some don't. I went hunting with a friend once upon a time. He shot a squirrel and had no idea how to dress it.
  2. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

    I know how to dress most animals up to the size of deer.

  3. mitch_mckee

    mitch_mckee Guest

  4. Nope, I'd either starve or become very ill. lol Need to and love to learn though. I've hunted, but not in a long time and when i did, as a teenager, cousins always took care of that stuff.
  5. I'm the same as Midas but like a Deer you can quarter the beef and cut stakes and roast and make a lot of hamburger meat.
    I get a lot of hair on my squirrels when I don't have a helper...LOL
  6. "I get a lot of hair on my squirrels when I don't have a helper...LOL"

    Drive a nail in a tree. Poke a hole in one hind foot and hang the squirrel on that. Works almost as good as a helper.

    In the case of survival, there would not be many roasts, stakes, chops, or ground, most would be jerked, smoked, or salted.
    Cutting up an animal would not be a problem to most hungry people. If it will fit in a pot, that will work. Just don't cut a gut while you are dressing it. That stinks and makes the meat go bad real quick.

    HARDERTR Guest

    Some of my fondest momories of my childhood involved (hunting) season....deer, dove, rabbit, quail season and fishing. My grandpa dressed my first deer I shot when I was 8. We butchered it as a family affair. The second one that season, he watched me dress myself. I also remember cleaning my first bass in the middle of a gravel road when I was about 6 or 7. It wasn't perfect, but it "passed". After that point, Grandpa and I turned fish-cleanin' into an assembly line process.

    I think one of the most proud moments my Grandpa shared with me was when I took him a link of the first batch of deer sausage I made after I moved out of the house. I ground it, mixed it and smoked it all by myself. It turned out just like his always did.

    Grandpa is gone now, but I carry on a lot of the legacy he passed down to me. Every fall (when I'm in the States), I start a batch of wine, and get ready to cut up the deer of the season. A lot of my older relatives call me "little Smitty" after him.

    I have taken deer into have it butchered in the past. A couple of times becasue I lived in an apartment and didn't have the room, and a couple of times because I just got lazy. BUT, like the song says...."a country boy can survive..."
  8. I could feel your pride. It is so strong that I could feel it with you.
    Reminds me so much of my youth. The ones that don't have memories like that have been cheated out of so much in life.
    Get Home safe.
  9. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    I learned from basically skinning what I shot, and dis-jointing pieces from squirrels and rabbits...Deer were a whole other ball game. Then I Moved to Alaska where you have to deal with Monster sized pieces of Meat from moose,caribou, bear, and Buffalo, as well as Hogs and Steers you homegrow.
    I got a chart from the National Livestock and Meat Council that shows where to make the cuts and what cuts of meat come from where. I Invested in a Meat bandsaw and Burger Grinder and now I can cut T-Bones, Porterhouse, and New York steaks, Round steaks, etc from any Large animal and they look professional !
  10. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

    I butcher all of my meat including moose. It is alot of work (more than field dressing and packing it out ) but I get it exactly the way I want it and I know it is getting the best care throughout the entire process.
  11. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    Amen !
    We now have to keep our meat on the Bone (which I do anyway) , so it cannot be boned out in the field by Regulation...I carry large New plastic tarps to keep twigs, leaves, and Moss off my meat...when quartering and transporting the pieces from the field! If you take pride in your meat and care for it properly , you get the best product for your labor !
    Skinning properly to not get cuts in the meat which can allow Bacteria in is also something you need to learn , as well as where to make your cuts with a handsaw for proper pieces and meat cuts...and little waste!
  12. Big Tool

    Big Tool G&G Newbie


    I'll have to look up that chart. My dad has always skinned and quartered our deer. I usually help and hold em, but he does all the cutting. This past year I did a couple deer and it isn't as easy as it looks.

    He had to show me where and how to cut the joints, and shoulders.
  13. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

    Absolutely, these points are often overlooked or disregarded . There are far to many "hunters" that don't really care about the meat but that is another subject. Keeping the meat clean and dry is critical but the biggest cause of bad or "gamey" meat is improper gutting. Getting any of the digestive contents on the meat will impart very undesireable flavors and speed spoilage tremendously, and it only takes a very small amount of contact.

    In the case of a gut shot animal ( my brother in-law did this to a mosse some years back) it is vital to remove the viscera ASAP and clean the body cavity thoroughly before making any other cuts in order to keep exsposure to the minimum. We were fortunate in that in dropped it in a clear cut that had a wealth of 4ft high grass, we gathered it by the arm ful and used it to swab out the body cavity. This worked quite well and we didnt suffer any noticeable spoilage.

    Clean, dry and cool. Also if you are hunting from a camp for a week or two, after the meat is hanging, inspect the meat/game bags for holes ( have to keep those flys out), odor, and proper drying or glazing. If the bags are soaked in blood and you have spares (as you should :) ). Change them out if they haven't dried or been frosted hard overnight.

    Sorry for the tangent but, Mooseman started it ! :09:
  14. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    Tip from The Mooseman...
    Spray the Hanging quarters with Red wine Vinegar to keep the flys off and help "Crust" the outside of the meat for aging...It will also remove the gut stuff from the meat and act as a natural antibacterial barrier...Keeping the meat from getting tainted if you get gut stuff on it !
    I hang my moose Meat for a month to "AGE" it before I cut and wrap it for the freezer...Tender, no Gamey flavor, and will make its own Gravy...Uh-OH , I'm getting Hungry Now ! LOL

    HARDERTR Guest

    I learned a little trick from some of my in-laws a couple of years ago. Down south, it's too hot and humid during deer season to hang and age the meat (unless you have a cooler). They quartered their deer and soaked it for 2 to 3 days in an ice chest full of salted ice water. I've done it three times now, and the meat comes out a lot milder...probably because some of the "goodness" is lost in the water, but it tames the flavor of the meat to a point where my wife and friends (self-proclaimed wild game flavor haters) will eat it. It also buys you a little more time to get your butchering supplies ready. I refuse to do this to my straps and loins, but it works great for the hams, shoulders and neck.
  16. "Uh-OH , I'm getting Hungry Now ! LOL

    Me too.

    My wife and I always shower so the bathtub is where I ice down my quartered deer. Cover it with salt water, fill it the rest of the way with ice and cover it all with an old quilt, good for a couple of days, even if the weather is warm.

    "I refuse to do this to my straps and loins,"

    Me too.

    Sorry, but I have to relate this to everyone:
    Right after my wife came to live with me 30 years ago, I got a deer. I quartered it and got it in the bath tub. That evening, of course, we had the straps for supper (around here we call them tenderloins). While we were eating, she looked at me so serious and said, "The next one you get, let's cut it into all tenderloins." I just love that memory.
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  17. soonerborn

    soonerborn G&G Newbie

    I have butchered a couple cows and many deer and hogs. I find that "most" hunters who say they know how to butcher a large animal actually know almost nothing about the right way to do it.

    I do know one trick for those that cant get their meat aged (WHICH IS A MUST FOR ANY ANIMAL). A good soaking in vinegar for 20-30 mins for thin slices and 1 hour or more for larger pieces, just before cooking will knock the gamey taste out.

    I havent ever tried the salt water soaking but I will next time I cant hang one up.

    not saying that people here who say they know how cant, just an observation I have noticed from people I know around where I live.
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  18. I have found that the soaking in vinegar is more for the gamey taste and salt water will take out more of the old blood.
  19. Bravo

    Bravo G&G Newbie

    If I was "starving", I would be able to do a good enough job to get by.

    But I'm pretty bad at dressing large game, and haven't tried to butcher any for meat. :(