Ready for deer meat

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A deliciously tasting game dish begins in the field. With the right slaughter equipment and knowledge of how to use them, white-tailed hunters give themselves a single-use ticket to a quality product. (Courtesy photo by Mark Kayser)


If you have lived in a cave due to pandemic paranoia and ate freeze-dried meals, consumer prices are on an upward trend due to inflation. In the midst of this working class dilemma, meat is trapped. Yes, the delicious centerpiece of the meal, after which you slide the bowl of cauliflower aside to grab first, has a sticker shock. Conveniently, meat is your game when you read North American Whitetail.

Although the antlers may be your focus of attention, this gorgeous hat shelf comes with a muscle pack for great food. Today, more than ever, venison plays an important role in feeding your family while also providing healthy protein from your efforts.

in The Field

Every sizzling pan of venison begins in the field. To begin the kindness, make your goal come true. Deer die almost instantly from double-lung or heart shots, but if hit elsewhere they can live for hours and that risks the deliciousness of your meat.

Wounded deer endure a short but stressful life in which a significant amount of chemicals are released into their system in order to survive. In short, this chemical onslaught spoils meat and leaves a wilder taste than most people appreciate.

After a quick volley of tasty social media snaps, it’s time to get down to the meat business. Most importantly, place all of your meat care equipment specifically next to the carcass for quick use. You will need two small to medium-sized knives, two sets of latex gloves, arm-length gloves for gutting, a light sharpener, game bags for rucksack meat, Ziploc bags for storing vital organs, water and field towels.

Next, carefully dress your game to avoid spilling internal fluids that could spoil meat. Think about intestinal contents, urine, digested plants, and excess blood. New hunters should check out YouTube tutorials beforehand to familiarize themselves with the correct steps.

Ready for deer meat
The internet has many great examples of gutting techniques, but nothing is a better teacher than experience, so roll up your sleeves and be on your way! (Courtesy photo by Mark Kayser)

Before opening the cavity, place your head as slightly uphill as possible. This simple movement gives you gravity assistance as you slide the guts off the carcass down the hill. Put on your arm-length gloves and latex over them.

Start with a cut around the anus and cut deeply to loosen it so it can be pulled back into the body and attached to the intestines. Next, carefully cut along the penis and scrotum, following the trail made backwards. This can also be cut off and thrown away, unless state law requires proof of gender. The udder can also be removed if it is a doe.

With slow precision, cut open the cavity from the anus to the brisket, being careful not to pierce any gastronomic entrails. When you reach the chest, carefully reach in with your knife and cut open the diaphragm, then continue extending it until you pass the heart. Grab the trachea, cut it open, and pull it back to reveal the heart, lungs, liver, and finally the digestive tract.

You will have to cut along the sides of the body cavity to loosen each section. Let gravity help you roll out the bowels and be careful not to spill the bladder or any other contents. If you have an accident, splash out some water and rinse it off immediately. Lift your animal by the head so that gravity will squirt all of the blood out of the anus opening again. You’re officially done, unless you have to bon the animal and put your head around your neck.

Rinse off your knife and start skinning to save the head for later.

Boning is pretty easy, even without the help of YouTube. Look at all of the exposed muscle groups and separate them layer by layer. Remove the back straps, inner loins, and excess neck meat. Place in game bags for packing. An average size buck has roughly 75 pounds of boned meat, and even an adult deer can add up to 50 pounds of boned weight.

If you need to remove your head and possibly cover it, change gloves and knives if the area has Chronic Emoagination. A fresh kit ensures you don’t contaminate 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 infection in humans. Even so, it is still worth being careful and using new gloves and fresh tools to loosen the head or vertebrae, where there are tissues and fluids that spread the disease.

After you get the deer out of the forest, you can have the deer’s CWD tested. Check with the Game and Fish Agency to see if tests are available near your hunting location.

Now for the subject of extraction. As mentioned, prepare for backpacking, but simple preparation steps will also help. Assess the terrain and the weather forecast to determine if you need an ATV, game cart, or just a cheap tarp to glide the deer while protecting it from environmental pollution. Holding the skin until reaching a final goal is also guaranteed if it does not exceed four hours, especially at temperatures above 50 degrees.

One of my mentors always emphasized “keeping meat clean, dry, and cool” for best results. Now prepare for processing.

At home

Be honest with yourself when thinking about the art of processing a deer. Are you good at DIY projects? Are you proud of the kitchen? Do you have the time to remove a deer from its carcass and put it in small white parcels? Your enthusiasm, family, career, and everything else will determine whether DIY processing is your future. If you answered “no” to most of these questions, then find a processor beforehand to take care of the meat care.

Again, keep CWD considerations in mind when traveling across state lines with a cadaver. You may need to process the deer on site and travel with wrapped meat along with a pipe-clean skull.

Even if you decide to take meat to a processor, you may want to let the meat mature first. You can skip this process if you don’t mind the option of a bit harder meat or the following, according to experts at the University of Illinois Extension Service. They suggest you can skip aging when the meat is being ground into a burger or is on its way to a sausage end.

Ready for deer meat
Game is one of the most versatile types of meat on the market: burgers, tacos, sausages, lasagna, pasta and many other uses. (Courtesy photo by Mark Kayser)

Their information also suggested skipping the aging process if the deer were low in fat, a yearling or less, and possibly stressed out during the hunt.

Maturing is an age-old practice of hanging meat for a week to even 20 days at temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees. The hang time gives enzymes in the meat the ability to break down complex proteins and thus make your cuts tender.

To be safe, the meat needs to be hung in a temperature-controlled, air-circulating environment, such as an old refrigerator, iced freezer, or a shady shed. As the temperature rises, you can see an outbreak of bacteria leading to bad tasting meat or foodborne diseases.

Meat experts at the Penn State Extension office of the Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences warn of such outbreaks at temperatures of 40 to 140 degrees and refer to this zone as a “temperature hazard zone”.

If you decide to compete with JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat supplier, you need some basics. Depending on your thirst for meat mastery, you may want to keep investing. Here are the basics and beyond.

First of all, you need to decide how deeply you want to invest in your meat market. You can keep it simple with a knife, sharpener, cutting board, freezer paper, and a hand for serving food-sized portions. Look at each beef or venison meat cutting chart to see where restaurant cuts are in living things.

In my opinion, back straps are the most convenient to remove and cut to the perfect size in steaks. The insides of the fillets practically self-remove and require little trimming to keep the pans hissing superbly.

Roasts can be easily cut from the rump, whereby the lower leg portions are processed into steaks with flanks on the sides, depending on the size of the deer. You can cut out or remove the rib meat for the core of the fajita building, although they’re bite-sized portions.

Front shoulders also include some cuts of steak, but many take the front half of the venison and turn it into stew or chislic servings (a Midwestern flavored appetizer). Neck meat, including the front, can be quickly processed into selected pieces for the stew.

That cares about people like me who would rather cut the meat and hunt the hills for more. For the rest of you, a little more tech could be in your budget.

Instead of “chopping up” meat, you may be interested in grinding, cutting and stuffing. And instead of white wrapping paper that fills your freezer, the sight of clear, neatly organized, vacuum-packed meat packaging will make your dreams come true. You could go a step further and get into the choppy business by purchasing a dehydrator.

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

Economical grinders and sausage fillers start at $ 99 and cost over $ 800. A vacuum sealer starts at around $ 90, but you can easily spend nearly $ 400 on a quality model. Dehydrators also range from $ 130 to $ 200, although you can dehydrate in an oven or your smoker to save on your meat budget. Sausage kits contain spices, cure, and casings, as well as extensive instructions on how to stuff like a pro.

Bringing a deer from a fresh carcass to the dining table is no rocket science. Even so, you need to plan carefully, execute precisely, and keep the meat cool throughout the process so that you can get thumbs up from your diners later.

Ready for deer meat
Go out in the field and be proud that you know where your next meal is coming from. (Courtesy photo by Mark Kayser)




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