Deer Hunting 101 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Bow season for deer is upon us here in NC, and rifle season is just around the corner. There is nothing like a steamy bowl of venison stew, served with some hot buscuits on a cold winter's evening to keep the chill off.

Some folks may be contemplating their first hunting season, and I thought it might be a good idea if some of the "seasoned veterens" of the woods might post a couple of thoughts or tips for us newbies to the sport regarding anything from safety, suggestions about putting yourself in the right place at the right time, field dressing, cooling the carcasss and how you process the meat for long term storage.

(However, we may have to be patient in waiting for the replies, till they come out of the tree stand!) So maybe some of us can fill in the void with some recipes or something. :-)

And besides, last night, while waiting to pick up my son from a birthday party at a friends house, I saw a teenager target practicing with the bow into straw bales, while the FATHER of the family was behind the target looking for arrows. Well, I was literally sick about that.

-- Lilly (, September 27, 1999


I like this site for all sorts of food preservation information:

Michigan State University Extension

Michigan State University Extension - Preserving Food Safely -


Venison may be canned according to directions for canning beef, veal , pork, lamb and mutton. Remove all fat as it has a strong flavor.


Bear, beef, lamb, pork, veal, venison

PROCEDURE: Choose quality chilled meat. Remove excess fat. Soak strong-flavored wild meats for 1 hour in brine water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart. Rinse. Remove large bones.

Hot pack -- Precook meat until rare by roasting, stewing, or browning in a small amount of fat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired.

Fill jars with pieces and add boiling broth, meat drippings, water, or tomato juice (especially with wild game), leaving 1-inch headspace.

Raw pack -- Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill jars with raw meat pieces, leaving 1- inch headspace. Do not add liquid.

Adjust lids and process.

Recommended process time for STRIPS, CUBES, OR CHUNKS OF MEAT in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of

Style Jar Process 0- 2,001- 4,001- 6,001- of Pack Size Time 2,000ft 4,000ft 6,000ft 8,000ft

Hot Pints 75 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb and Raw Quarts 90 11 12 13 14

Recommended process time for STRIPS, CUBES, OR CHUNKS OF MEAT in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of

Style Jar Process 0- Above of Pack Size Time 1,000 ft 1,000 ft

Hot Pints 75 min 10 lb 15 lb and Raw Quarts 90 10 15

-- Lilly (, September 27, 1999.

Sorry that didn't format correctly on the time/pressure to cook, but it would probably be best to go to the link, then for me to attempt righting it here.

-- Lilly (, September 27, 1999.

If you're a neophyte nimrod or would like to be, I suggest your best bet is to find a "seasoned veteran" who is willing to share some 'seasoning' with you. Then concentrate on being an apt pupil. Like most somewhat arcane things it's easier to learn about hunting from someone who is willing to teach you face to face. This is a traditional role for fathers or grandfathers but alas has been much neglected of late. There are far too many climatological and geographical variations and differences in population and hunting pressure for me to launch an essay on how to hunt. What works for me in my area might be laughable somewhere else.

I _do_ suggest you take a hunter safety course as a good first step. They are widely available- check with your favorite sporting goods store or call your local fish and game or wildlife officials for information on classes. I grew up under the tutelage of two grandfathers, one father, and whole bevy of unrelated "old men" who all had hunted for a lifetime (see Robert Ruark's _The Old Man and the Boy_ for some idea what I'm talking about) and I've been through hunter safety courses twice.

As to handling venison, there is no such thing as "excess" fat on deer meat. ALL venison fat is excess- trim as closely as you can. Venison fat is like mutton fat- it goes rancid in spite of almost anything including freezing, and if cooked it gives a dish a consistency I find unpleasant.

Identify your target carefully, kill quickly and cleanly, field dress promptly and handle and process your venison correctly. If you can't do that, don't take the shot- this is your obligation to the animals you hunt. Learn to control your excitement- I have seen and heard of people doing astonishing things when confronting Bambi's father for the first time. Above all else be careful. And may Orion's call remain loud in your ears for life. All of us who follow it wish you well.

-- Lee (, September 27, 1999.

Hello, If someone else answers, could you address the issue of scent glands located on the hind legs of the deer. A relative of mine says carefully removing these before dressing the deer makes all the difference in taste. Thanks

-- KoFE (your@town.USA), September 27, 1999.

I don't know about the tarsal scent glands on the hind legs, but I'll let you in on my favorite trick. To keep the bladder from leaking urine into the body while you're dressing the carcass use a plastic electrical cable "zip tie" to close-off the urinary tract.

If you've ever ruined a good kill by puncturing the bladder or otherwise getting urine onto the meat, this will make things easier.


-- Wildweasel (, September 27, 1999.

If one plans on hunting, he should know his weapon inside and out, know how to handle it instinctively. It takes many hours and hours and hours of having that weapon in his hands. It is even a good idea when sitting down and watching TV, to have the weapon in his lap.

The great way to hunt deer is to find a good place to sit where you think deer will be browsing, and fall asleep. I can not count the number of times a deer has awaken me to become my dinner.

When dressing a deer, I field dress leaving the bladder. I skin by hanging the deer by the head and start skinning at the neck. The only bones that are removed from the carcass is the shoulder and front leg bones. All the rest of the meat is deboned off the carcass and only boneless chunks of meat are brought into the kitchen.

The bladder and tarsal glands are left on the boned carcass.

-- chicken farmer (chicken-farmer@, September 28, 1999.

I've never considered hunting a sport. I know many people enjoy it, but for me it is just an unpleasant way to get meat.

I recommend being in a tree (above a spot you've been feeding deer at) before light on the first day of the season. That is legal here, be sure it is where you are too. Then be very sure of your first shot. Being in a tree shooting down is the considerate thing to do if you're a novice, as it cuts down on the chance of you shooting someone else. If you've never dressed one out yourself, have someone you can call over to help. Or just have it custom butchered, which adds a great deal to the cost of the meat but is preferable to doing a botched job on your own.

Then pressure can the meat. It is excellent this way and stores the longest.

-- Gus (, September 29, 1999.

Buy a good quality knife with a comfortable grip and keep it sharp. You are more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one.

Bleed the animal thoroughly (cut throat),remove all guts and scent glands. Have an experienced person show you how 'cause there is a knack to it. Immediately wash off any fecal matter that leaked into the cavity. Prop the cavity open with a stick and transport promptly. Keep the cavity clean. In warm weather, pack the cavity with bags of ice.

Hang by the hind feet and skin down towards the head. Use a propane torch to singe off any remaining or loose hairs. Break the carcass down by removing the front legs at the shoulder joints and the hind legs at the hip joints. Remove as much fat as you can. Using a sharp knife, remove the meat from the bones. The large muscles of the rump make excellent roasts- the smaller muscles of the "thigh" can be cubed for stew, etc. The muscles of the lower leg tend to be tough, so they are best saved for trim.

The large muscles of the shoulder can be used as roasts, sliced into steaks or saved for jerky. The smaller ones, cube. The lower leg is reserved for trim. The loin muscles run parallel to and on either side of the spine. Bone them out in one piece, slice and butterfly for chops. There is a strip of connective tissue on the outside of the loin that is very tough. Remove as much of that as you can-sometimes it comes off easily, but usually not. Sharp knife!

Remove as much meat as you can from the carcass-there are usually sections of usable meat around the neck, between the ribs, etc. Save for trim.

Inside the cavity, near the hind, are two narrow muscles on either side of the spine. These are the tenderloins and MUST NOT BE MISSED!! The tenderloins are THE best part of the deer. Wrap in bacon and grill. TRUST ME!!!

Grind the trim and use for burgers or mix with ground beef or pork for burger or mix with ground pork for brats, sausage, salami, etc. We usually use Half deer, half pork. The pork should be about 80% lean-any leaner and the meat won't stick together.

We normally freeze our deer meat. If you can it, cut it all into cubes and add a slice of bacon in the jar. But grill the tenderloins.

-- Sam Mcgee (, September 30, 1999.

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