Sorta. My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast got a deer. I wasn't so lucky.
We set up at different stands on the property. As I was walking to mine I spooked a deer off. We got there at noon so it was deifinitely a deer. I didn't confuse a squirrel scamper in the dark. The deer I scared looked like if was sitting in the stand I was heading to. It was nice of him to give up his seat for me.
So I settled in on a pretty afternoon, hopeful that, where there was one, there would be more. 45 minutes in I hear shots and turn on the 2 way radio. Yup. MBtGE got one. So, off to him.
He thought it was a doe, but it had little button antlers. And, also, you know, yarbles. Probably a yearling. It pretty much dropped where it stood. 25 yards. The thing HEARD the safety get switched off. Wow. The picture didn't turn out, so... nothing to post here. Sorry. But it wasn't my deer so it was less important I get a pic.
So, I get to gut it. None too pleasant. One buckshot pellet did hit south of the diaphragm. A little stomach nick made gutting a little stinky, but it wasn't too bad. The liver had a through and through. Most hit in the heart and lung area.
The trick to field dressing is to get the organs out without letting the digestive contents get into content with the meat. Especially the lower intestine contents. Freeing the terminal end of the intestine is the hardest part because it is encircled by the pelvis.
The farm we hunt belongs to MBtGE's sister and brother in law, so we have free run of farm equipment and water hoses to help the next part. A golf cart toted the carcase where we needed it, and a convenient rafter in a barn was where we hung it up upside down.
Once you get the skin off around hind legs you can pull off the rest down to the head like it was a warm, slimy, wet sweatshirt. Carve away the tenderloin and put it in a cooler. Then carve off both forelegs, chop off the feet and put em in the cooler. Then split the pelvis, chop off the hind feet and put the 'hams' in the cooler.
MBtGE didn't want to save the skin, so it went in the trash. It looks like it would be a lot of work to prep a skin. If he had saved and tanned every skin he harvested in his life, he could carpet his house in deer. He sorta wishes he had. Too late now.
Once home, rinse the meat, and de-bone it. The tenderloin or back strap is the tasty part. Steak medallions or grill it hole. The hind legs make for decent roasts. The odds and ends on the hind legs and the forelegs are stew meat for the most part. Maybe I'll get a meat grinder and make venison chili. Here's a tip. If you grind venison, throw a couple slices of fatty bacon in the grinder too. Bacon makes everything taste better and venison is pretty lean. Without bacon you might not get your FDA dietary recommended daily value of fat.
Oh, and we named him Jeffery. It made it easier to disassemble him when he had a cute name.
MBtGE shared half the meat with me. And I learned how to prep a deer. Here is a picture of what was left over when we were done, ready for the garbage man: NOT for the squeamish.
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