Making the Most of Your Deer

Making the Most of Your Deer
You’ve bagged your buck and that’s outstanding, but your job isn’t done until you get the deer home and in the freezer. The deer is down, but is it down for good? Do you know how to ensure that you’re safe and that you can get the deer home legally so that you can skin your deer and start the meat on the path to the freezer?

Approaching Your Downed Deer

Always move up on the animal from behind it.
Keep your gun or your bow ready for a follow up shot if you need to take one in order to assure your own safety.
Make sure that the animal you’ve shot is completely dead before you come too close to the animal. Amazingly there have been hunters who actually have taken an animal into their vehicle only to have it stand up and begin to try getting out.

Tagging Your Kill

Nearly every state in the United States as well as all provinces of Canada require that you tag your kill prior to moving it. To assure the proper tagging of your animal be sure that you are within the law when moving the animal.

Cleaning Your Kill-Field Dressing

Lay the animal on its back with the head pointing uphill if at all possible.
You will want to make several cuts immediately in order to assure that the mean stays clean.
The first cut will be to remove the male anatomy if necessary.
On any animal, your next cut will be around the rectal area. Some people will tell you to pull out the rectum in part and then tie it off with a rope. You don’ t have to do that but it does help to prevent fecal contamination of the meat.

Then working from the rectal area forward, you’re going to begin to cut down the abdominal area making sure not to cut too deeply.

Flip your prey on the side and allow the organs to fall forward, severing the tissue that holds them into place. Be sure that you’ve severed all of the tissue.

If you keep the organs or part of them, have a cooler or some other way to carry them with you.
Once you’ve gotten your deer or other animal home, hang it to let the excess heat and blood flow from the body.
If you choose to have someone else butcher your deer for you, then make that phone call.

It’s a fairly easy accomplishment to clean and freeze your own deer if you have the stomach and the talent for it. If you’d like to give it a try, there is also great information online including instructions on how to butcher your own venison.

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