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Do you gut your deer?

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Back when the processing fee wasn't too bad, I would kill one, remove the tarsal glands, gut it, wash it out really well and let the processor skin it and cut it up. I knew very few people that paid to have their deer gutted, we all did it in the field.

When the fees got over $100, I would skin and quarter a deer and take it to the processor as a "cooler" deer which cost about $50 if I had breakfast sausage made, $40 for a basic cut and burger. I have since started butchering deer myself.

I took my first deer this year to the processor because I wanted a lot of sausage made. I noticed a bunch of deer stacked outside (opening week) waiting to go to the cooler, 7 out of 10 had not been gutted. I asked my butcher about this; he said guys were either too lazy or didn't know how to gut a deer now. He said he charged $25 to gut a deer and bought an almost new pick-up truck every year from his deer gutting fees.

I always though field dressing deer was part of the process of killing one, I guess times have changed.
 
I always though field dressing deer was part of the process of killing one, I guess times have changed.

Cooling down the meat, removal of the digestive system which holds beneficial bacteria so long as it "holds" that bacteria, are good ideas.

BESIDES the heart is quite tasty, and some guys like the liver, and a hunter haggis needs the lights, the liver, and the heart.....

LD
 
I, too, gut my own deer - and any other animal I kill.

The worst thing for obtaining good, fresh meat is not cooling it properly. Those little bacteria fellas just love body-temp food for themselves, and they will quickly multiply in an effort to make gluttons of themselves.

Gut that carcass, whether it be a mouse or an elephant. Prop open that cavity, let it cool. In hot temps, it will not hurt a bit to chuck a bunch of ice in there.

And as soon as you can, skin it! Hang it in a cool place if at all possible. Cover it in a game bag to keep flying insects away. And while skinning the carcass, please take care to keep the hair away from the meat - it can impart a "wild and nasty" taste to the meat.

Cool, dry, clean - makes your meat taste best.
 
I've never heard of that, most of our deer are 1/2 mile in the woods or more, I wouldn't want to drag the guts that far. I've been even thinking about boning it out in the field and packing it back in a meat bag so I could avoid the weight of the hide and bones
Other critters will clean up those "left behinds" rather quickly. I've hunted in the same area a day or two after gutting game; not much left but stained grass!
 
I have the problem of my wife knowing every deer within a mile of the house, by it's first, middle, and last name and it's ancestry back 20 generations.
She insists i go abroad and shoot a stranger. truth be told i am the same way anymore.
I have always field dressed a deer and usually quartered them to pack out. Elk and Moose get boned out for weight reduction and because those big old bones hold lots of heat for a long time and bone sour tends to curl my nose hairs. only lost one hind quarter i can think of to bone sour when it was left for second trip on a warm day and i blundered into a ground hornet nest and got stung up pretty good. delayed the second trip by half a day.
 
I've been gutting my deer since I took my 1st one in 1996. This year was a little different as 1st firearm season was unusually warm, so I tried the gutless method with the assistance of the John Deere tractor. Quick, easy and in the freezer to cool down by 9am. Will I do it this way every year? Probably not, however it was effective on a warm day.

I have never taken a deer for processing, always processed them myself. I have a friend that makes summer sausage, we trade out the labor. This way I know I'm getting my meat back and not somebody else's kill.

No gut process I used;

 
We gut our deer as soon as we shoot them. Get them in the garage and skin them right away. Then I try to let them hang for a week or two depending on the weather. I’ve never paid to have a deer processed. I paid for a hog to be processed once and that was a big mistake. Every time we went in for a package of meat we found a handful of hair. I wasn’t happy and never again
 
I always though field dressing deer was part of the process of killing one, I guess times have changed.
It certainly should be part of the process. I would be embarrassed for not doing it. I do everything myself. About 10 years ago I bought a good quality meat grinder. So I can cut steaks, roast, and make hamburger or sausage to my hearts content. Only downside is I don’t have the energy I had just a few years ago, so I don’t hunt as much as I should. But I don’t trust most processors.
 
I always gut my deer as soon as it's down. When I hunted with my dad, the first deer I shot I had to gut. I was 13, he helped but I did the actual knife work and learned how sweet the smell of a punctured stomach. LOLOL Me and the guys I hunt with usually cut and wrap the deer we get as soon as possible. I've had my share of hair, bone dust, and got tired of paying high prices for something that I could do on my own. After the hunt we get together and take a back strap from one of the deer and slice it up and cook it with mushrooms and onions sautéed in butter on a toasted bun and a cold beer to end the day.
 
This thread reminds me of a muzzle loader deer hunt on the Hart Mountain area in SE Oregon in the late 70's. It was down around freezing at night and pretty warm during the day. We got two bucks and after a long but downhill pack we got them hung up and skinned. Of course we gutted them as soon as we shot them. If you make a cut in the back shanks and stick the front legs through it you can pack it on your back. When you're young anyway. During the day we wrapped our sleeping bags around the deer. At night we took the bags off the deer and slept in them. The deer stayed cool, we stayed warm, and we all smelled wonderful.
 
Gut, skin and bone out everything prior to any trip to processor. Bone out saves $$$ on the processing fees. If it's a bear, I'm trying to save as much fat as possible anyway. I want the skin off deer and elk as soon as possible to make sure most of the ticks are still attached to it and not to me.
 
I have the problem of my wife knowing every deer within a mile of the house, by it's first, middle, and last name and it's ancestry back 20 generations.
She insists i go abroad and shoot a stranger. truth be told i am the same way anymore.
I have always field dressed a deer and usually quartered them to pack out. Elk and Moose get boned out for weight reduction and because those big old bones hold lots of heat for a long time and bone sour tends to curl my nose hairs. only lost one hind quarter i can think of to bone sour when it was left for second trip on a warm day and i blundered into a ground hornet nest and got stung up pretty good. delayed the second trip by half a day.

I had to laugh because it's the same way here at the Empire of Rust. Small herd, the does drop fawns in our back yard (safe area for them) and they live their whole lives within earshot of our house. I always keep the water trough full and feed them protein pellets in lean years. Haven't killed a doe on our own place in over 15 years, though I have taken a couple of bucks that visit from far away during the season....after I'm sure they've done their duty to posterity.

The resident matriarch is an 11-year-old named "Apple", she will take apple slices out of your hand. She lost both her fawns one year and adopted an orphan of another doe that was killed by a vehicle. She had just one last year, not sure how many seasons she has left but her offspring have grown up as strong producers and will take her place.

I'd much rather hunt elsewhere and for different animals, principally axis deer and wild pigs.
 
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