Prepare for the deer meat


A delicious game meal begins in the field. By having the right butchery equipment and knowing how to use it, white tail hunters give themselves a one-way ticket to a quality product. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kayser)

If you’ve been living in a cave feeding on freeze-dried meals due to pandemic paranoia, consumer prices are on the rise, driven by inflation. Meat is caught squarely in the midst of this working class dilemma. Yes, that delicious meal centerpiece as you push aside the cauliflower bowl to reach the first one has sticker shock. Ideally, meat is your game if you are reading North American Whitetail.

While antlers may be your googly-eyed goal, this gorgeous hat rack comes with a muscle pack of good nutrition. Now more than ever, venison plays an important role in supporting your family while providing healthy protein through your efforts.

In the field

Every sizzling pan of venison goodness begins in the field. To start kindness, make your goal true. Deer almost immediately die from bullets in both lungs or in the heart, but hit anywhere else they can live for hours, putting your meat’s delight at risk.

Injured deer endure a short but stressful existence that includes releasing a substantial amount of chemicals into their system to survive. In short, this chemical rush spoils the meat leaving it tasting wilder than most people like.

After a quick volley of tasteful social media snapshots, it’s time to get down to the meat business. First and foremost, purposefully place all of your meat care equipment next to the carcass for quick use. You will need two small to medium knives, two sets of latex gloves, long gloves for gutting, a light sharpener, game bags if you are carrying meat, Ziploc bags for the storage of vital organs, water and field wipes.

Next, dress your deer in the field taking great care to avoid spilling any internal liquid that could spoil the meat. Think about intestinal matter, urine, digested vegetation, and excess blood. New hunters should watch the YouTube tutorials first to familiarize themselves with the proper steps.

Prepare for the deer meat
The internet provides many examples of evisceration techniques, but nothing is better than experience, so roll up your sleeves and go for it! (Photo courtesy of Mark Kayser)

Before opening the cavity, place the head slightly upstream if possible. This simple movement gives you gravity assistance as you pull and let the innards slide down away from the carcass. Put on your long gloves and latex over them.

Start with a cut around the anus, slicing it deeply to loosen it so that it can be pulled back into the body and rolled up attached to the intestines. Then carefully cut the penis and scrotum, following the trail attached to the back. This too can be cut and discarded unless proof of sex is required as state law. The udder can also be removed if it is a doe.

With slow precision, open the cavity from the anus to the chest, taking care not to pierce the gastronomic entrails. When you reach the chest, carefully reach with your knife and open the diaphragm, then extend further until you pass the heart. Grab the trachea, cut it, and use it to pull back to bring in the heart, lungs, liver, and possibly the digestive tract.

You will need to slice along the sides of the body cavity to loosen each section. Let gravity help you as you unwind the bowels, being careful not to tip the bladder or any other contents. In the event of an accident, splash a little water and rinse immediately. Lift your pet by the head so that gravity again pushes all the blood out of the opening in the anus. You’re officially done, unless you need to bone the animal and style its head.

In case of deer breakdown, rinse your knife and start skinning, leaving the head for later.

Boning is pretty easy even without the help of YouTube. Examine all the exposed muscle groups and separate them layer by layer. Remove the thongs, the inside of the kidneys and the excess meat from the neck. Place in game bags for packing. An average sized buck is about 75 pounds of boneless meat and even an adult doe can add up to 50 pounds of boneless weight.

If you need to remove the head and possibly cover it, change gloves and knives if the area has a history of chronic wasting disease. A fresh set ensures that you won’t contaminate the meat later if your deer is infected with CWD. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is still no link between CWD and human infections. Nonetheless, it is still worth being careful and using new gloves and tools to detach the head or vertebrae where the tissues and fluids that spread the disease reside.

After extracting the deer from the woods, you can have the CWD deer tested. Find out about hunting and fishing agencies to see if testing is available near your hunting location.

Now on to the mining business. Be prepared for the hike as directed, but even simple prep steps can help. Assess the terrain and weather forecast to determine if you’ll need an ATV, wheeled play cart, or just a cheap tarp to help you slide the deer while protecting it from environmental contaminants. Keeping the skin on until you reach a final destination is also justified if it does not exceed four hours, especially at temperatures above 50 degrees.

One of my mentors always insisted on “keeping the meat clean, dry and fresh” for the best results. Now get ready to deal.

At home

When contemplating the art of transforming a deer, be honest with yourself. Are you comfortable with DIY projects? Are you proud of the kitchen? Do you have time to take a deer from the carcass to the small white packages? Your enthusiasm, your family, your career and your means combine to determine if DIY treatment is your future. If you answered “no” to most of these questions, find a processor in advance to handle the care of the meat.

Again, keep in mind the CWD considerations on travel with a carcass on state borders. You may need to treat the deer on the spot and travel with packaged meat and a clean skull.

Even if you decide to put the meat in a processor, you may want to age it first. You can skip this process if you don’t mind the possibility of a little tougher meat or the following, according to experts at the University of Illinois Extension Service. They suggest that you can skip the aging if the meat is to be ground into a burger or on the way to a sausage end.

Prepare for the deer meat
Minced venison is one of the most versatile meats: burgers, tacos, sausages, lasagna, pasta and many other applications. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kayser)

Their information also suggested skipping the aging process if the deer was fat-free, a year old or younger, and may have been stressed while hunting.

Aging is an ancient practice of hanging meat, ideally at temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees, for a week to 20 days. The suspension time allows the enzymes in the meat to break down complex proteins, tenderizing your cuts.

To be safe, meat should be hung in a temperature-controlled, air-circulating environment, such as an old refrigerator, frozen coolers, or a shaded shed. If the temperature rises, you may see an outbreak of bacteria leading to bad taste of the meat or foodborne illness.

Meat experts at the Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences extension office at Pennsylvania State University warn of such outbreaks in temperatures of 40 to 140 degrees, and they call this area the “Zone. temperature danger ”.

If you choose to compete with JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat supplier, you will need a few basics. Depending on your thirst for meat domination, you may want to invest more. Here are the basics and beyond.

First of all, you need to decide how much you are going to invest in your meat market. You can keep it simple with a knife, pencil sharpener, cutting board, freezer wrapping paper, and a gift for cutting out meal-sized portions. Look at any meat, beef, or deer cut chart, to see where the restaurant cuts are on living creatures.

In my opinion, backstraps are the most fun to pull off and slice into perfectly sized steaks. Inside, the fillets practically pull out on their own and require little trimming for the pans to whistle kindly.

Roasts can easily be cut from the rump with the lower thighs turned into steaks as well as the flanks on the sides depending on the size of the deer. You can cut the meat from the ribs for the heart of making fajitas or remove them whole, although these are bite-sized portions.

The front shoulders also contain chunks of steak, but many take the front half of the deer and turn it into stew meat or portions of chislic (a seasoned Midwestern appetizer). Neck meat, also on the front, can be quickly turned into selected pieces perfect for stewing.

This is for people like me who prefer to cut meat and go to the hills to hunt more. For the rest of you, a little more tech may be within your budget.

Instead of “chopping” meat, you might be interested in grinding, slicing, and stuffing. And instead of white wrapping paper wraps filling your freezer, the sight of clear, neatly stored, vacuum-packed meat wrappers makes your dreams come true. You can go one step further and get into the jerky business by purchasing a dehydrator.

Fortunately, sporting goods stores like Bass Pro have everything to get you up and running.

Economical sausage crushers and stuffers start at $ 99 and go up to over $ 800. A vacuum sealer starts at around $ 90, but you can easily spend almost $ 400 for a quality model. Dehydrators also cost between $ 130 and $ 200, although you can dehydrate them in an oven or smoker to save on your meat budget. Sausage kits include seasoning, cure, and casings, plus plenty of instructions for stuffing like a pro.

Taking a deer from a fresh carcass to the dinner table isn’t rocket science. Nonetheless, you need to plan carefully, execute with precision, and keep the meat cool throughout the process to receive approval from your diners later.

Prepare for the deer meat
Get out on the field and take pride in knowing where your next meal is coming from. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kayser)


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