Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hunting part deux

Shooting a deer is the easy part.  Cleaning and quartering and butchering is the hard part.

So, I have been asked, "if dad or grandpa never taught me these post shooting hunting skills, how do I learn how?"

Good question.  Many options.

Do what I did.  Pair up with an experienced mentor like I did with MBtGE.  I have now, thanks to him, been in on the preparation of 4 smallish bucks (he got 3 of em... what is he doing right that I am doing wrong...?).  He commented this time as I fumbled my way through my part of the quartering, "hey, you are WAY ahead of me when I started.  I can't tell you how many carcasses I munged up when I first started out."  I'm a slow learner.   I might be able to do one solo now, but it'd have to be NOW, while I have these two fresh in my mind.  But if I did go solo anytime, I am ahead of the game, I hope.

Another option, just learn the field cleaning part.  Take your tagged deer to a butcher that does this sort of thing.  You don't even have to skin it.  They call you and you come back and pick up your shrink wrapped meat, prepared as you requested.

Another option... the Internet.  Lots of videos on youtube about how to do this.

Prep ahead of time.  Think ahead through the process before you go out to hunt.  And be ready to do it when the brown goes down.  A place to hang it, rope to hang it, sharp knives, both big and strong to cut through the ribs and thing to get into tight spaces.  You need something like a hatchet, maybe, to crack bones, though the strong knife can often work between joints.  Gloves and a cooler and ziplock freezer bags.  A hose is nice.  Don't hang it in the foyer if the missus cares about the broadloom. 


DaddyBear said...

Tim Farmer and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife put together an excellent DVD on how to field dress, butcher, and process a deer. It's also good to show to a new hunter so that they're not shocked by the blood and such that the process entails.


Wolfman said...

I'm a huge fan of wet wipes in travel packs. Waaaay nicer than cleaning your hands with snow, or in a freezing stream. And I like to pack a small camping/bone saw (the two sided ones with the t handle) to split the sternum and the pelvis. And dont pop the bladder- it makes your meat taste funny.

Geodkyt said...

See, this is the primary reason I'm not a hunter.

The stalking and skill part intrigues me (especially if I used a traditional flintlock with roundball), but the dressing part (while I've done it in training with smaller animals), eh, not so much. Not for recreation, anyway.

I'm too lazy to do the full dress myself, and too arrogant in my belief that "You kill it, you clean it," to sit back and leave it to the native bearers. {chuckle} (I'm also too cheap to hire native bearers. {snicker}).

OTOH, varmint control is a whole 'nother matter.

Kirk said...

Got my first deer in 25 years yesterday around 4:45 in Burtonsville at a friends place.

The last one I shot my buddy did all the gutting and his dad did the processing.

Since I don't have a hunting buddy this one was all on me. I just took the dressed animal to Austin's for processing. Not going to do any butchering without an experienced person to back me up...