Getting the Most from Your Deer

  The photo below is a disgusting image of a deer which has its back half skinned out, the rear legs and backstraps removed and the remainder of the deer left untouched. Not only this, but the carcass was left at a public Dumpster, despite a sign that no dead animals parts would be accepted.  This is unfortunately not the only such carcass that I have found nearby.

Even if you have never skinned a deer, you can do a better job than this.

    To me not taking as much as can be reasonably had of a deer disrespects the deer, hunting and hunters. Even a beginner who had never processed a deer, could have done a better job  than this. Although  the Georgia limit is 12 a year, that is no reason to waste this much meat.  Some states have strong laws against purposefully not utilizing the meat from game animals. Georgia is apparently not among them, and this may be because game meat spoils so quickly in 80 and 90 degree weather.  

  From this half of the deer, I would have taken the ribs, side meat on top of the ribs (for burger or fahitas), the neck for a neck roast (among the best parts of a deer) and salvaged the heart and liver. Others, more experienced than I could have used even more of the deer.

  This is a small deer, and I can appreciate that the shoulder would not yield nearly the meat found on the rear legs, but even this can be skinned off the bone,  wrapped with bacon and tied up as a roast or turned into burger meat.

  I work hard for my deer, and when I get one I am going to make better use of it than this. For cleaning instructions consult my books, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound  and   Crossbow Hunting.    


2 thoughts on “Getting the Most from Your Deer

  1. It is difficult for me to tell from the photograph whether the forequarters of the deer pictured are blood-splashed and perhaps ruined from too much gun.

    Assuming that the subject forequarters and the rest of the deer are “okay”, then I agree with your comments entirely.

    It would seem that too many folks forget that these magnificent creatures were put on this planet so that we might fully utilise them. The hide, flesh and any other useful parts from them have meant the very survival of man through the ages. Without question it is disrepectful to treat them as this one was treated. Just because we have dominion over wild creatures does not mean that we should waste them.

    The late King George VI said: “The wildlife of today is not ours to do as we please with. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after.” I believe this maxim extends to any edible parts too.

    Not only was the flank meat apparently wasted, but also the brain, tongue, neck and between-ribs meat, but also all that two shoulders can provide in the way of fabulous stew meat along with ground meat for burgers; chili; shepard’s pie; cabbage rolls; meat balls; meat loaf; spicy fajitas, etc. But of course all of this takes effort and a degree of know-how.

    I’m lucky, as my formative years were spent in the meat trades and to butcher a deer is not much of a challenge for me, even though I’m getting on in years. But if people would read your books I have no doubt that they would come away with some new tools between their ears. Never before in the history of man has so much good information been available and it is inexcusable to remain uninformed.

    I think that whoever discarded the remains of this deer missed an oportunity to learn more about what is really the world’s oldest profession, or worse yet, to teach others about proper hunting ethics.


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