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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well...I'm still away from home today and am using my brothers 'puter. He lives at Marion, KS.

When I asked if he could handle company for a couple of days I also told him to carry on with whatever he had been planning on doing. Well...today he had planned to butcher his last deer which was still hanging up half frozen in a barn. His son, about 45 yrs old, who lives about a mile away, has a home with about 5 acres and the site has a couple of old barns still standing. Thats where the work bagan today. Regardless of what I say, I had fun doing all the work I'm writing about.

Inside that barn was an area about 20' x 20' which had been half way insulated and it had a concrete floor. From the ceiling "Rob" had attached 4' x 4' timber beams, which held pulleys, which held up to 12 deer ready for butchering. That was our task...to complete butchering the final two deer which had been killed about a week ago. The weather had turned to subfreezing during that time so the carcasses had remained frozen.

Not ever having had the opportunity to butcher deer before, this was very interesting to me. With the head hanging down over a pan to catch dripping fluids, we started cutting the hide off around the hind leg heels first. Kept pulling the pelt down and slicing the tissue away so that the pelt would finally completely come off. We then sawed through the neck area since we weren't keeping the head or pelt.

Then we were faced with cutting the large pieces of meat down to piles of meat which would become either roasts, backstrap, or hamburger pieces. We were using as a butcher table a 5 ft x 12 ft section of flooring salvaged from a bowling alley when they tore out their wooden lanes.

Anyway, it took me quite a while to whittle off the fat, grissle, and pieces of skin which I was told wasn't desirable to keep. Then we packaged up all the backstraps and roasts and then labeled them ready for the freezer.

Finally got that done, cleaned up the area and headed back to my brothers house where we used his meat grinder to complete the work by grinding up all the small pieces which were salvaged to be made into hamburger. Put them in plastic baggies with about 1.75 lbs in each bag and labeled them, too.

Ok...that's it. I'm sure most people on this thread have done these things before but for me this was a first. Gotta start somewhere. Found it fun to do while working and B.S.ing with my bro. and nephew doing the same thing, too.

Overall, I had a great day but learned what the meaning of the old statement really meant when they say, " the work just begins when you pull the trigger."

Ox:nod:
 

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well just my 2 cents but skinning is a lot easier if the game is warm, skinning a cold deer is hard work, youre a better man then me ox, I always skin the game warm, it also makes de-boning a little easier, they also taste better if you get the hide off right away, those glands near the hoof will spoil the meat, if not taken off right away, also jerk that backstrap. castrating is a must, probably the first thing you should do. Ive alaways found that slitting the throat soon and draining the blood keeps away the gamy taste. I dont think id eat a deer hanging for a week with hide
 

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SOME GUYS HAVE ALL THE LUCK

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In response to comments above...I was following the process set up by my brother and nephew when I helped with that butchering. Guess they've done this many times before and it wasn't a big deal to them. It was a first for me so it was interesting to try out my skills. At least I didn't cut myself.(ha) For those of you who don't know that I'm colorblind, when I got home my wife asked where all the blood came on my apron which I had worn. Hey...I didn't even see that red stuff.(ha)

More comments...First, the two deer were both doe's. Therefore, I don't believe they have scent glands on their legs like bucks. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Second, we didn't spend that much time deboning small bones because there was meat from four previous deer in the freezer and they said that the time and effort needed to clean ribs and some other bones wasn't worthwhile. They wanted the backstraps, roasts, steaks and hamburger pieces only.

Thirdly, it wasn't difficult at all to dehide the cold deer. Had a very sharp 4" knife and pulled downward with a little force while cutting loose the hide on the inside. That only took about 30 minutes for the entire deer. We spent much more time removing grissle and fat from the pieces that we intended to keep.

Regarding Shaun's comment about a faster way to remove the hide...I wonder if he tied onto the hide with something and pulled it off with a truck, tractor or something?? I've previously heard about that method.
 
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The first deer I skinned was frozen. I skinned and butchered the thing with my gerber buck knife. I had no idea what I was doing. It tasted like a deer that had not hung long enough.
next time will be different.
I have heard conflicting reports on skinning. When it is a good thing not to do?
 

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Grizzly its a simple process -- when the animal is on the ground finish bringing the cut from the chest all the way to where the head meets the neck. Circle the neck and cape the neck back enough that you can wrap a baseball in the inside out hide. Tie a rope around the hide so the ball is held tightly in it and then make a loop you can attach to the truck. tie the head to something solid (tree, another car, post, really anything immobile) cape out the front legs only all the way to the chest opening. back up the truck -- the hide pulls off like a pair of socks - in most cases it won't harm the meet to take extra care backup very very slow and have someone with a knife touching the fat tissues with the blade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
One reason we delayed butchering the deer I mentioned about in the earlier post was because they wanted to spend as much time possible hunting while the weather was right...then butcher when the weather turned bad. That means blowing snow. :nod:

The skinning method you described, Shaun, sounded about like what I'd heard about from another fellow up in northwestern MO where I hunted. The deer carcass in that case was tied up in a country barn and the hide was pulled off with a tractor about like you described. Don't know about whether or not they used a baseball or not, but obviously something had to be used to get enough grip on the hide. :nod:
 

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This year I have to maximize my hunting time as well -- our gun season is going to allow us to harvest 132 deer per person --- so I will be skinning them immediately and hanging them before processing before returning to the field
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
132 deer allowed per person!!!!!! That's amazing! That means there's either too few hunters or too many deer running into cars...or both, plus heavy crop damages. Are your deer white tail or mule deer? In MO, all I've seen have been white tail. :nod:

This past year our deer hunting licenses allowed one deer (either/or), plus one additional deer tag for an additional fee. As I recall, statewide there were around 300,000 deer harvested. I've hear that next year we'll have to harvest one doe before getting a buck. Guess there's too many of them around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Ok, I get what you're saying. In other words you get a total of 148 liberals, albino's, three legged deer, white eared deer, mule eared deer, cross eyed deer, black power deer, arched(humped) back deer, and so on. Guess that gets the count up really fast, especially with those liberals. :) :nod:

But seriously, I learned this weekend that what I posted in my previous post here has been changed by the Missouri Conservation Dept. regarding hunting deer for 2004. It has been changed from the requirement that one doe must be harvested first to something like either a doe...or a buck with at least two antlers which are X" in length.

Now I can see how this could get hunters really in trouble if they don't actually measure the antlers before shooting them. Guess the deer will have to stand very still while we take those measurements...or face the wrath of the game warden. I'll try to find out more about this new requirement and post it if it's different from what I just wrote. :nod:

Ox
 
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