After the Kill

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After the Kill

Postby MnMario125 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:09 pm

Super newbie here, I have a question on what to do after the kill/harvest.
From what i've read through articles and the forums the steps I would follow would be to:
1. Field dress
2. Skin it
3. Process/butcher
what steps am I missing? and what does Field dressing consist of?

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RE: After the Kill

Postby Patriot » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:25 pm

Field dressing is also known as "gutting out" the deer.  You basically remove all the innerds from esophogus to anus.
I'm sure there are volumes of books our there that go into more detail.
I have a series of photos I can share if needed. 
Paul K. "aim small, miss small"

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RE: After the Kill

Postby Nubs » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:48 pm

Don't forget to place your hunting license on your animal also known as "tagging" your deer. Make sure to take pictures too or people will get on your case about it....

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RE: After the Kill

Postby Patriot » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:56 pm


Don't forget to place your hunting license on your animal also known as "tagging" your deer. Make sure to take pictures too or people will get on your case about it....

Yes.  Pictures are a must!  I think MN is actually making that part of the 2011 hunting regulations.[:D][:D]
Paul K. "aim small, miss small"

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RE: After the Kill

Postby Deebz » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:18 pm

Hey Mario,
definitely put your tag on your kill first of all. That makes it a legal kill.
then you need to field dress it.  There are literally TONS of books/videos/etc... on how to do this.  Seems like everyone has their own specific tips or tricks on getting it done.  Your best bet is to try to make friends with other people who hunt and let them know you'd like to be there when they field dress a deer to get some experience. 
As far as skinning and butchering, as a first timer and until you get some experience or help, you may want to find a good processor.  Most places will take a deer with the hide on...  Again, there are tons of resources you can go to for details on this.  I personally learned all these skills from other people i hunted with (dad, friends, uncles, etc...)

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RE: After the Kill

Postby fr0sty » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:37 pm

In addition to tagging the deer, you also have to register it.

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RE: After the Kill

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:22 pm

Looks like you have it down.  Tagging, field dressing, and skinning/butchering.  The latter two will need practice to become proficient, and I've found the best way to do that is to learn by watching someone else do it.  You can also find tons of information online obviously.

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RE: After the Kill

Postby shaman » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:23 pm

Let me just tell you what I do here in Kentucky, start to finish.

1)  Make sure the animal's dead. Don't forget this important step.
2)  Fill out the harvest log.  It includes the type of deer, the date, and the county.  This is KY's substitute for afixing a physical tag to the carcass.
3)  Normally I call back to camp and have someone come out with the truck.
4)  Load the carcass into the truck and schlep it back to camp
5)  We've got a system that makes it very easy to hoist the deer out of the truck and hang it.
6)  We gut at camp, where there are lights, all the proper tools, etc.
7) Before leaving camp, we call the Telecheck 800 number and register the kill and record the confirmation number in the hunter log and additionally fill out a note to the processor with the number, and contact info
8)  Hoist the deer back into the truck and run it to the processor.

Skinning:  Normally I don't skin unless. . . well, I skin about 1 in 10 deer.  It depends on how quickly I'll get to the processor.  The hide protects the meat and makes transport easier. It all has to do with which processor I'm going to and what time of season it is. 

If it's late and the processors are closed and the deer is small, I'll hoist the whole carcass into the freezer at camp.  It's a big chest freezer and we've put up to a 180 lb buck with a 8 point rack in the freezer and shut the lid.  This cools the carcass as quickly as possible.  If it's a big deer, and it's cold out, I'll just put the gutted carcass into the truck and wait until morning.

Guts:  We normally gut at camp, so the last step is to put the gut bucket into the back of the truck an run it out to the middle of a quiet pasture and dump it for the vultures.  I know a lot of guys who gut in place and I do when I can't get the truck close.  However, I like having the luxury of doing it at the meatpole.  It may or may not be a factor, but we have now taken 8 deer in three seasons from the same patch of pasture less than 50 X30 yards in size. This year we took 3 in a week from that spot. I prefer to have as little impact on the hunting area as possible, and I think the added effort has paid off.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer

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RE: After the Kill

Postby Cut N Run » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:39 pm

You would do yourself a favor by finding another hunter in your area who is willing to help show you the ropes. Not everyone would do that, but if you can get in a club or connected to a seasoned hunter who'd take you under his wing, it will help shorten your learning curve big time.

I grew up not far from a slaughterhouse and knew how to dress a cow by the time I was 9 years old. Deer are just smaller versions of cattle really. The better care you take of dressing the animal the better the meat will be. I have seen guys who leave the guts in for hours, or drive the deer around in the back of their truck showing it off around town. That kind of thing will not improve the taste of the meat, believe me. I usually field dress a deer within 10-25 minutes of the shot. The longer waits are usually for a bow-shot deer that I had to wait on or had to look for. The quicker you can get the insides out and start cooling the meat down, the better it will be.

I have hunted a few places pretty deep in the woods that don't allow vehicle traffic where it only makes sense to gut them not far where they fall. There's no sense in dragging the added weight of guts if you don't have to. If you are goin to the trouble of hunting in deep woods, you're probably not going to shoot the first young buck you see, because it is a chore to get something that size out of the woods (especially by yourself). You probably wouldn't hunt such a place the next several days afterwards anyway and by the time you hunted there again, everything would have been cleaned up long ago.

I shot a buck way back in on some public land eighteen years ago at a little after 7am and it took me until a little after noon to drag him out by myself. He was the biggest buck in the area and I knew I wasn't going to be hunting that section of woods again for a time, so I gutted him where he fell. I accidentally left something in the woods by the stand site and had to return the following day. Everything but the stomach contents was gone.
I'll post a picture of him here.


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RE: After the Kill

Postby drowningincorn » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:18 am

I've had a few questions in this area.  There's lots of info about field dressing to be had but I'm wondering what to expect when looking for a a place to get your deer processed.  I've got a room with a hose and a drain in the basement but would be risking divorce if my wife knew that was happening in the house. Do they have package options on what they do with your deer?  What options you have for keeping the hide and head?  Do you just show up and drop it off?  I really don't know.  How do you go about it when you're hunting a long ways from home?  Can they ship the meat to you?  How does that work?
I'm also wondering what you do with coyotes.  What would you do if you're not interested in thier fur?  Are there places you can give them to someone that wants them?  I've never thought about hunting them but now I'm thinking it's something I should try and do.  I see from reading this forum that other people are seeing them in the numbers I'm seeing.  More tellingly, I've noticed this year, especially out a friends 40 acre wooded home that there are no rabbits, no pheasants, and only one faun that we have seen, and nothing other than coyote tracks around.   That is completely different than what it's normally been like there over the years.
Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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