Skinning and City Boys (or Girls)

Discussion in 'Turf and Surf Hunting and Fishing' started by CBMS, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. CBMS

    CBMS Looking for a safe place

    Well here it is, I am a city boy who has never had the chance to hunt or skin a deer. I was curious as to how its done. So the question is this: How does one Field Dress a Deer?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Check out Monkeyman's butchering tutorials, he tells you all you need to know for several critters, and I think I remember a reference to doing deer the same way.

    One of several on the subject.
  3. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    +1 on Monkeyman's Tutorial, it's very well done.

    But we have a terminology issue.....
    "Field Dressing" is different than skinning or butchering.

    When you "field dress" an animal (any animal), you're simply preparing it for the trip home..... mainly removing the guts and then perhaps quartering the carcass if it's something big like an elk. Skinning and butchering is what you do when you get it home.

    I know there are some decent field dressing photo tuts out there if you google it. The biggest thing to remember is.... be very careful not to puncture the intestines or bladder because it will taint the flavor of the meat.

    Don't forget to always save the heart and tongue, they're the best parts :)

    btw... since you're livin' in BC..... it's time to get out there and kill you some meat. There is nothing better than doing it all yourself...hunting, killing, butchering, cooking, and then eating. It's a sense of satisfaction that you'll never get from a grocery store or restaurant, and money can't buy it.
  4. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    I agree with want was already said, but would just add this. Start on something small like a rabbit which is very easy to skin and then once you know the concept you can butcher anything because it's all basicaly the same.

    Worst comes to worst I'll rent you out my 8y/o daughter and she'll teach you how to butcher. [ROFL] [boozingbuddies]

  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks for the praise on the tutorials.

    As far as field dressing the deer (or other large critters), if theres no restrictions against it you could butcher it in the field the way the tutorials show or you can field dress it then do the rest at home. To field dress it you basicly just 'stick' it (cut the throat like shown in the tutorials then you would cut the animal from rectum to chin (like shown for the gutting process in the tutorials) and remove the inards and put the heart and liver in a bag for use as they are excelent meat, especialy the heart. At that point you take it home/camp and hang it up then skin it out as shown in the tutorials and as long as the weather is suitable (25-45 degrees) let it hang over night to cool then butcher it up. If its an extra large critter like a good sized elk or a beef or some such then you skin it on the ground (unless you can hoist it up there to skin and maybe even cool out) then cut it up into quarters or to primal cuts (explained in the tutorials) as needed to be able get it down to chunks you can cary home.

    If you have any other questions on it let me know, I also have the complete tutorials (cattle, pigs, sheep [similar to deer], and chickens as well as more explaination of tools and cut charts and such) if your interested.

    If its small critters like rabbits, squirles, coons, etc then I would just go ahead and skin them then gut them all in the field as soon as get them then have a bag to put them in to take them home, that way they dont bloat and can cool better. To skin them you can do them the same as the cattle and such or you can case skin them which is basicly a cut down each back leg then get the skin loose from them, cut up through the tail then pull the skin up to the head and off the front legs, gut of the front feet and head then gut it. This meathod keps the skin like a tube and can make emergency moccasins pretty easy by just putting your foot where the body was and tieing the back leg skins behind your ankles.
  6. griffin1340

    griffin1340 Monkey+++

    Hey CBMS, just a suggestion, try to find a hunter safety course somewhere around you. If you do you will probably find a kind experienced hunter who could teach you a thing or three! A video is a good thing but until you actually 'get bloody' you won't learn the in's-and-out's of the process.
  7. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    If you keep the very basics in mind you'll do fine. The basics are: #1 treat it like food - ie keep it clean and cold #2 do not allow the innards contents (poo and such) to touch your food. #3 skin it like taking off a jacket #4 - cook thoroughly.
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thats pretty well it and from there you can at least make it cookable and figure out some of the cuts as you go. Some of the rules are even a LITTLE flexible. If you DO cut into the bowl or whatever and get it on the meat you can wash it off and it wont hurt anything, while you dont want to leave it out a long time in hot weather and itcomes out tasteing better if its cooled well and quickly moderate to warm weather can be dealt with and once you get it all butchered up then for domestic animals and even some wild ones it can be cooked rate and such the same as the stuff from the store with no ill effect though if not sure and its wild then well done is the safest bet. If you can stick to all the rules though then all the better, I just know that bad cuts happen at times and it dont ruin the meat (even in butcher shops and such) and for the individual doing it a cold room is a rare luxury so you deal with the weather and if must, just crank up the A/C and get the critter into chunks the table can support and inside as quick as can, been there done that for mid summer butchering.
  9. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    monkeyman: My little snippet is in no way meant to negate your excellent series of photos and instructions. Well done!
  10. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Look through MM's tutorial so you will be armed with the knowledge needed, but have an experienced hunter show you how to do it in person. There is no substitute for being there, not to mention that the hunter can show you where and how to make the cuts, what to remove when, how to pull the hide, etc.. My family owned and operated a deer processing facility back in the day, and while watching a video, or reading an example will definitely make you better, there is nothing like doing it in person, the smells, the feeling, the sights, well they are definitely benchmarks in my brain. As I am typing this I can still smell what it smells like to puncture the stomach, or dress out a gut shot deer. I have gutted, skinned, and quartered more than I can count.

    If outside keep in mind the temps, as if it is cold when you kill you can let it hang several days to age the meat (as I am sure most days in B.C. in winter would be), it will make it more tender, as long as you do not have to worry about any predatory animal taking some of it. Wash or trim any contaminate especially fecal material (preferably trim then wash). Refrigerate ASAP if the temperatures begin to rise. You will want to refrigerate the carcass, quartered meat, and processed meat to 45F or below, and when you cook it take the product to an internal temperature of at least 160F. Then, as soon as the meat is eaten, take the cooked leftovers and refrigerate as soon as possible. Most people do not get this part right. They mistakenly believe that putting hot product in their refrigerator causes it to spoil. Wrong, (I personally believe this comes from the days of old when ice boxes were used to refrigerate and when a hot item was placed in it the temperature would rise to the point where the food could spoil over time, sorry for the extended diatribe) The reason you want to chill cooked food (called stabilization) is because their is a spore forming bacteria called Clostridium perfrengens that is particularly nasty and it loves to grow in meat that is not cooled quickly.

    So kill it, clean it, cool it, cook it, eat it, then chill it ASAP. Just a little guidance from a guy that enforces this kind of stuff for a living for the .Gov. When you have a little time you can go through for more info.
  11. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    No problem, wasnt taken as such. I basicly just wanted to kind of temper some of the rules for folks who such things are foriegn to so no one thought that if they ruptured the bowl or some such that they neede to throw the animal away or that it was highly dangerous and not doable to butcher if they didnt have a refridgerator (or temps just right). Ive just heard to many folk say they didnt figure there was no way for them to be able to butcher because they couldnt have a totaly steril enviroment or a cold room and all the equiptment to do it, so I kind of try to clarify what my experience has shown if things come up that could be (mis?) interpruted as saying all those things were escential to safe meat.
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Oh, one other helpful hint fo those times when the temps are marginal or especialy if its to warm in the day then will be ok at night to cool it but butchered/killed in the day time. After you get it skinned and gutted, dont split the carcass. Hang it rump up and put a bag of ice in the chest cavity and tie it shut or the front legs together then can also put another in on top of it in the abdominal cavity and if needed to keep it in tie a string around the body. It will help to bring the temp of the meat down and allow it to hold safer if the day time temps are to warm to hang but night temps would be acceptable or if the temps are marginal to high (like IMO under 25 you dont want it to long or it will freze solid in as little as 8-10 hours and be a pain to work with even more than to warm, 25-39 would be great, 40-49 would be ok for overnight hanging especialy with ice in the cavity but not extended hanging, 50-60 would still not be BAD for butchering but hanging overnight would be questionable at best especialy without ice, over 60 you get it cut up and into the frezer or fridge as quich as you can especialy over 75 and the warmer it is the more 'crawley' the meat will be and the more of a PITA it will be to work with.)
  13. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Personally I have never really worried about the temp. If we need meat I butcher. Now if is something like a large cow or a hog then I usally wait untill it's cool enough to let it hang over night but I have done whole hogs or cows in a day by myself. As far as goats/sheep I butchered them in 80+ degree weather and never had any problems.

  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Oh yeah, if you are gonna do it all right then you can get by with it at most any temp and if its smaller stuf like chickens and rabbits its no prob at all. Main thing I was getting at was the way that if its to warm you cant cool the meat and if its hot then the meat tends to be 'greasy' while working with it and any time it isnt chilled/cooled it tends to be 'crawley' and harder to work with, especialy for getting nice clean/smooth cuts. Just EASIER to work with the meat the colder it is untill you get a little ways below freezing. At least in my experience/opinion. I have also done whole hogs when was flat hot out and it can absolutely be done and done safely, just not as easy/neat in my experience.
  15. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Ok I, mostly skimmed through the thread. So I should read better next time. [beat] Any way highly agree. [boozingbuddies]

  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    No I think I might have done that once or twice (skim and miss or misunderstand meaning ina a post/thread). lol
  17. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You can butcher meat at just about any temp, it is the extended amount of time in afterwards in non-cooled storage that can have you in the bathroom or the hospital.
    Brokor likes this.
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