venison care begins when a bullet or arrow hits a deer.It is a challenge to break down the carcass and get it ready to eat.You will learn how to field dress a deer and keep your freezer stocked with meat from this article.
Step 1: Hang the deer to skin it.
If you want to lift the deer up, you may need a tractor with a lift or bucket.You will want plenty of clean water from a water system with a garden hose and sprayer.
Step 2: Attach a rope or strap around the animal's head, or under it, as high as possible.
The steps are the same for hunters who prefer to hang their deer by the achilles tendons.Hanging head up makes it easier to remove the stomach, intestines, and bladder.
Step 3: A field dress.
This is the best way to use the resources from the once-living animal.The meat needs to be cooled off and the internal organs removed to keep it fresh.
Step 4: It's a Gut.
Only the tip of the knife should be allowed into the abdomen.
Step 5: Prepare to remove the organs.
Pull out the organs when you have split upward to the base of the sternum.Keeping your work area clean will be aided by having a large container to drop them in.If you plan to save them to eat, be careful that they don't spill out with the stomach.
Step 6: There is a bladder near the spine in the abdomen.
It will look like a balloon filled with liquid.You will need to hold the urethra closed and cut it free.The bladder should be wrapped in a bag while it is still attached.The bag should be Zip up as far as possible.You will need a small rubber band or zip-tie to make your cut.Even if you pierce the bladder, you will still be able to keep the meat.In case of an accident, having a water hose handy is very helpful.
Step 7: You need to remove the anus and the intestines.
Cut a circle around the anus with your knife.Pull out the rectum and tie it shut with a rubber band or a zip-tie.This will keep feces out of the meat.Carefully remove the tissue from the body.
Step 8: The center of the ribcage is split into two parts.
A saw or large knife is suitable for this task.If you want to save the heart for food, spread the chest open.The lungs, heart, wind pipe, and esophagus must be removed before the body can be washed.
Step 9: If you plan to eat internal organs, place them in a clean bucket or pan and rinse them with water.
The heart and kidneys can be eaten, but additional preparation is needed.
Step 10: The remnants of the cleaning process can be left in a deep hole.
You may be able to save this step if your local Fish and Wildlife service has a disposal area.If the land owner doesn't mind, you can leave the organs for animals to eat in a remote area.
Step 11: Start with the hooves at the elbow.
You need to find the joint with the point of your knife.Carefully working your knife around the elbow joint as deep as possible by moving it around with the flat blade and cutting the ligaments.If you want to snap it off, twist the joint firmly.
Step 12: Cut the skin at the base of the animal's skull.
Next, cut around the base of the neck, then down towards the breastbone and finally to the stomach.Cut only the skin, and not the muscles or abdominal tissues, as hair will ruin the meat.
Step 13: Pull the skin off of the shoulders and neck.
Downward, toward the chest.If muscle tissue is pulling on the skin, slice through it so that it doesn't tear as you go.The skin will be easier to pull free if it is cleansed.
Step 14: The skin can be pulled with a vehicle or by hand.
If skinning by hand, pull the skin down a bit and slice the tissue that connects it to the muscles.If you want to save energy and use a four wheeler or even a truck, you can tie a golf ball or similar stone under the skin, looping your rope around it, then tie the free end to the vehicle.Pull the deer's skin from the carcass with little effort.
Step 15: Take the head off.
Put the deer on a work surface.Cut the ligaments under the jaw to loosen the neck.To break the neck and remove the head, you'll need to twist it.If you want to save the antlers, but not the head, you'll need to use a saw to remove part of the skull.If you want to save the whole head, keep it cool.If you want to keep meat from the skull, boil it for several hours, remove the tissue, and bleach it.Get it white by cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide.
Step 16: After the skin is removed, rinse the deer's corpse.
This will help cool the meat and wash away hair that has stuck to it.After removing the organs, the deer is ready to be processed.If you want to break it down yourself, take it indoors or a clean cutting surface where you can work.
Step 17: The venison should be washed with plenty of cold water and transported with ice.
Wrap it with butcher paper at this point because it will trap heat in the meat and cause it to rot.The carcass needs to be cool and dry.As soon as possible, the meat needs to be transported and stored.The aging process will be slowed if the meat is frozen right away.
Step 18: A suitable location for aging can be found.
Finding a space big enough for your deer that can be temperature controlled is the most difficult part of the process.A garage, shed, or outbuilding is the most popular location.The place that gets the most heat seepage from the house is the garage.You can find a suitable location if you talk to friends and hunting acquaintances.The first few steps of the breaking down process can be followed to quarter the meat and age it in a spare refrigerator.The deer quarters should fit in a standard fridge.It's too cold on the side of the building.Some of the meat will be frozen after you break it down.Don't let your venison aging above 40 F ruin it.It's important to keep a thermometer in your space.
Step 19: The carcass needs to be hung.
Attach meat to a rafter with a meat hook, chain or rope.If you don't have a meat hook, you can use an old wire hanger to hang the deer.
Step 20: The meat should be at least a week old.
The aging meat causes the muscle cells to break down.Allowing the meat to sit for a week in a cool space with good air circulation improves the venison's quality and flavor.The surface of the meat can be trimmed off during the butchering process.For 16-21 days, the meat will grow more tender.
Step 21: Prepare a clean surface for your work.
It's helpful to have a large knife for this task.Make sure your tools are sharp and clean and that you have a sterile work surface large enough to handle large pieces of meat.Before you start, try setting up a portable card table or picnic table and cleaning it with food-safe sanitizer.
Step 22: To separate the chuck meat from the round, split the backbone.
The rib cage should be between the 12th and 13th rib and cut through the spine using a saw or meat cleaver.Firm pressure is used.If you want to break the back in half, you'll need to put one hand on the hind quarters and one on each of the legs or neck area.
Step 23: The backstraps and tenderloins must be removed.
Probably the most tender and tasty cut of venison, the tenderloins are the dark, lean, red meat found inside the cavity.The ribeye is called the "outside tenderloins" because they are on opposite sides of the ribs.To remove them, run your knife along the inside of the backbone, or the outside of it, and work the meat loose from the ribs, so as to get as much of them as possible.Pull the meat away from the bone with long cuts.The hind quarters and rib section of the carcass are where you'll find these.The best cut for steaks is this one.
Step 24: Saw through the ribs, cutting them all the way down the spine.
You can either leave the ribs intact or separate them.The outside of the ribs is where you can open the belly to remove the organs.If you want to cut into chops later, you can leave the entire backbone intact.Remove the upper shoulders by cutting the muscles that attach them to the chest and lifting on the leg as you do so.A good, sharp knife is all you will need since there are no joints in the bones connecting the front shoulders to the chest.
Step 25: Remove the neck and shoulder meat.
Many people don't know how much meat a deer's neck has.This meat is ideal for grinding into sausage or stew meat, as it isn't as good for steaks.Pull the arm away from the body as you work your knife around the shoulder joint.
Step 26: The hams should be separated from the hocks.
The hams of the deer are found around the back hips or the rump, and the hocks are the remaining leg meat above the joint.Both hams and hocks are good for stewing.If you want to leave the deer's bones in, cut the hindquarters from it, then separate the ham from the hock by cutting through the joint.If you want to remove the hams from the bone completely, you need to work the hind legs off the hip with a knife and lift the leg off of the carcass.Next, position the ham at an angle that is close to the leg bone and cut through it.You can cut the meat from the leg bone with a knife.You can either cut it into steaks or leave it whole.
Step 27: Prepare it for cold weather.
If you want to remove fat, you have to use a very sharp knife.The gaminess associated with venison can be lessened by removing the parts.
Step 28: You will want to make the cuts.
When you're ready to cook the meat, it's at the perfect stage for butchering, which will save you time down the road.If you have a meat grinder, you can grind the neck and flank muscles for sausage or venison.Leave the shoulder meat whole for slow roasting.The steaks have to be cut across the grain.
Step 29: The meat can't be eaten while it's frozen.
Pack the meat into plastic freezer bags.The bags have to be sealed tightly before being placed in the freezer.Don't forget to date the meat.All-natural, healthy, and hormone free meat is procured this way.It should last at least a year.