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Author Topic: Butchering your own Deer  (Read 10066 times)

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Offline Rancid Crabtree

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Butchering your own Deer
« on: October 01, 2007, 09:43:39 AM »
While butchering a bow kill, I took some pictures of two other parts of the deer that you would encounter while doing your own processing. These are the tenderloins and the front shoulders. The tenderloins are the two small cuts of meat on the inside of the deer's rib cage. (the loins are on the outside and run along either side of the spine) These are the most tender of all the cuts of meat on a deer (or cow or pig) There are two tenderloins and they are located along the spine between the rib cage and the hind quarters

Start by cutting them at the point where they are closest to the hind quarter and run your knife along the short ribs and the spine. Peel them down as you cut.

When removed you will see the short ribs of the deer

This what they look like after being removed. Remove any white fat before cooking. I prefer to remove them when I a gutting the deer  (or very soon afterwards) If you don't get them out soon, the exposed areas will turn dark red/black due to drying out. If that happens, soak them in cold (ice) water and scrub them lightly to wash away any blood. DO NOT freeze tenderloins!! these are to be enjoyed as soon as possible. Freezing will make them less than tender-loins. Cook them until slightly pink in the center with onions and mushrooms.

The front shoulders have a lot of bone and will be damaged most of the time due to shot placement. Unlike the hind quarters, the front legs are not connected to the body by a bone joint. The only thing keeping them in place is meat. After skinning, pull the front leg away from the rib cage and cut the stretched meat. They are very easy to remove. This is what it will look like. You can see the ridge bone that runs the length of the scapula

Run your knife on both sides of the ridge bone

Cut along the bone until you have exposed the entire scapula

Follow the leg bone and remove the rest of the meat. There is no wrong way to do this. This meat will end up in a grinder or made into stew or jerky. It is a tough cut of meat as these muscles do a lot of work.

These are the three bones of the front leg. The blue object is my crude depiction of the heart. You can see the the leg bones do a pretty good job of protecting the heart but it still can be gotten to by correct shot placement. It is better to shoot a little high and then you will still get both lungs and the top of the heart, this is a deadly shot that will bring a deer down in very short order.

Don't be afraid of cutting up your own deer. You will learn alot about deer anatomy and shot placement.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 07:28:40 PM by mudbrook »
Any day in the woods is a good day.