How do you hang and skin?

JTComfort

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Nov 19, 2017
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184
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VA
One note about meat care, trash bags are treated with an anti bacterial treatment which taints the meat rapidly with chemicals made for a garbage and is not food safe. Also any colored bag uses chemicals in the dye that are not food safe, a clear bag made for food is all I would put meat into. Also only bag meat in plastic after it has come to ambient temperature and when going on ice or cold outside, if it's warmer than 40 it's best to have meat in breathable bags so there is air circulation.
Correct on all fronts. Plastic is an insulator. We should only bag in plastic after complete or near complete cooling and in a cold environment. Bacteria need two things to grow rapidly, heat and moisture - plastic ensures both. The "best" anti bacterial enclosure is the animal's own skin - excepting a badly gut-shot specimen. Properly bled, gutted and cooled as rapidly as possible (within a couple hours), the animal won't spoil. Propping open the body cavity and washing inside with vinegar will help to build up a dry cuticle and ****** bacterial growth. A dry-aged deer handled this way (and stored in a well ventilated place, shaded, <40 deg. F and <50% humidity) and allowed to hang for two-three weeks and even longer if conditions allow, will be sublime, tender and unlike any game meat you have ever had.
 

JTComfort

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Nov 19, 2017
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184
Location
VA
On occasion I'm fortunate to kill one within a couple hundred yards from my truck. It's been a very rare moment. But with elk it's usually in deep steep terrain where the only thing that will get close is a mule. I don't own a mule.
My Dad and Uncles all did it the "Indian Way"! Today it's the Gutless Method.
As outlined by many here. With deer it doesn't matter if you do it on the ground or from a tree. If I can hang the deer I will. Again its the time of day, terrain and location that dictates to what extent I struggle. I carry a shower curtain and heavy construction trash bags jn my pack. I cut down from the base of the head to the tail. Skinning one side and boning out the meat. Roll it over and do the same on the opposite side. I bone out all the exposed meat. This includes the shank meat. I hang the animal head down. If it's on the ground I try to position the carcass with the head facing up hill. After all the exterior portions are removed. I cut the windpipe out continuing my cut to anus. Split the pelvic bone and rip out the guts. This give's me a clean clear access to the tenderloins. On elk there are two strips of meat that meet at the top inside of the rib cage and neck junction. About the size of a deer tenderloin. These get cooked on the spot over an open fire. Yum
I look at having an animal on the ground as the completion of the hunt. Now the hard, cold work starts. Build a fire, warm up and get to work, celebrate.

Having been in combat I would rather be up to my old butt dressing out an elk, than dragging my dead and wounded off the battle field.
Remember our Veterans in Harms Way!
Gonzo
SEMPER FIDELIS
Awesome post. What are these muscles you're describing inside the rib cage? It sounds like a "hanger steak" or "onglet" in France - they support the diaphram in cows, very small in deer. In an elk, I would think they may be bigger because of the way the bugle. Do you notice smaller or undeveloped in cow elk? Curious.
 

Snyderite

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Oct 17, 2021
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Montana
Gutless method. Haven't taken a deer out whole in a long time. So much easier as I cut the meat myself. Get home and half the work is already done.
 

mnoland30

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Dec 24, 2010
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315
No need to gut them if you're boing them out. I open the gut to relieve the pressure from the expanded stomach, then cut behind the last rib and reach in and remove the tenderloin. Much less mess.

I can tell you from years of experience that meat cools much faster in a plastic bag than on the bone. Five mil plastic isn't much of an insulator. Put ice in a bag against your forehead if you don't believe me. I've bagged meat in plastic bags in 75 degree temperatures and placed it in the shade (on cool ground) and come back for it the next day. Once it is in the cooler, bagged meat will cool down much faster than bone-in meat. I boned an elk ham that had been hung at 40 degrees for 4 hours, and it was still warm on the inside. Just the process of removing it from the bone cools it down quite a bit.

My dad hung my first deer in the garage for a few days. Worst deer I ever ate. Perhaps because it was in sagebrush country. It had 1/2" of "jerky" on the exposed meat. That just seemed like a waste to me. You can cure it in the refrigerator just as well without the drying. I just leave mine in the ice chest with a milk jug of ice until I'm ready to butcher. Or, leave it in the fridge for a week after you butcher and wrap. When I butcher, I wrap the meat in Saran wrap before the butcher paper. Keeps well for several years.
 

isaaccarlson

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May 11, 2011
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186
Location
NW Wisconsin
We have always gutted, hung by the hocks, and skinned, then in the cooler to hang at 35* for 3-4 weeks.
It might not chill down as fast as boned out meat, but it's less work and we can take out time cutting it up and still use the bones if we want. A walk in cooler is a great thing to have and it doesn't have to break the bank. We built ours for a few hundred dollars. I would do gutless if hunting elk in a remote place, but that's about it.

I can skin a deer in a few minutes, but it's the waiting while it hangs that I have a hard time with. It just smells so good when you open the door.....
 

mnoland30

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Dec 24, 2010
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315
If you ever shoot a javelina, take the skin off immediately. They have a musk gland on their back. George Herter had a recipe for javelina that makes it taste like corned beef. I've never tried it on venison, but I think I might. It is really good.
 

JTComfort

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Nov 19, 2017
Messages
184
Location
VA
We have always gutted, hung by the hocks, and skinned, then in the cooler to hang at 35* for 3-4 weeks.
It might not chill down as fast as boned out meat, but it's less work and we can take out time cutting it up and still use the bones if we want. A walk in cooler is a great thing to have and it doesn't have to break the bank. We built ours for a few hundred dollars. I would do gutless if hunting elk in a remote place, but that's about it.

I can skin a deer in a few minutes, but it's the waiting while it hangs that I have a hard time with. It just smells so good when you open the door.....
Yes it does.
 
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