If you have never been hunting for deer before, then you are in for a real treat. Deer hunting is one of the most popular types of sports related to hunting, not only because it provides a person with a great adventure, but also is practical, as the meat that is obtained can last you and your family for weeks, maybe even months.
For seasoned hunters they know exactly what to do after shooting a deer, but if you are new to hunting these animals, then here are some tips that can help you to get the most out of your experience by letting you know exactly what to do after shooting a deer.
#1 Is It Dead?
This is the most important question to ask yourself. Even a severely wounded deer can be a danger to you. If you even have the slightest doubt that the animal is completely dead, then you may need to place an additional shot into the animal to ensure that is the case. The last thing you want is to be attacked by one of these creatures as their horns can be extremely dangerous.
#2 Time to Gut
Gutting the deer, what is referred to as field dressing, is the next step. Before you even do anything related to this it is important that you have a few sharp knives with you. A dull knife will make the task a lot more difficult, so make sure that you have brought at least two sharpened knives out to the field with you.
As you are getting the animal you want to ensure that you do not puncture any of the organs. This can lead to fluids or debris being released from the organ, which contains your meat.
You want to cut away the internal organs and as much of the windpipe as possible. If you are unfamiliar with exactly how to do this, there are several videos and articles on the web that can teach you the proper techniques. It is important that you spend a little time learning how to do this as you don’t want to find that your meat is tainted and unusable. This would make your day out hunting a waste of time.
#3 Getting It Home
The transporting of the deer is important as well. You may find that it is impossible for you to bring your vehicle close to where the kill was made, meaning you have to drag your deer out of the woods.
If you find that you have to carry it over any distance that it is a good idea to wrap the deer in a tarp. This ensures that it does not come in contact with the ground, thus getting dirt, leaves and tree branches, and other debris on it. This will make the cleaning of the deer a whole lot easier later on if you follow this important step.
#4 Hang That Deer
The purpose of hang the deer is to train all the remaining blood out of the animal. Once you have hung the deer take a hacksaw and cut through the deer’s ribs. From there, take a piece of wood and pry open the cavity so that it is kept open.
If you want to preserve the hide that it is important that you cut it off at this point. With the hide removed, the deer meat will cool more rapidly which will protect your meat for a longer period of time.
When you are sure that most, if not all of the blood has been removed, take your garden hose and rinse the deer off. This will not only help to remove any debris that is still on the deer, but will also help in the cooling process. Don’t get crazy though. Moisture can lead to fungus and bacteria build up, so just rinse off the deer to get the debris off. You may also want to use a towel to clean areas where you see debris.
#5 Let It Age
You want to give your dear some time to hang. Aging is an important part of the process. However, the temperature plays a significant role and how long you should age your dear. If it is warmer, above 70°, you may only want to allow your dear to age for two or three days. If the temperature is below 40° you can wait as long as a week.
#6 Cutting the Meat
After you have gone through all of this, it is time to finally start cutting your meat. This can either be done by yourself or you can take the deer carcass to a professional to do the job for you.
If you decide to do it yourself, you want to make sure that you take all the proper precautions to ensure that the meat does not get contaminated. This means using tools that have been thoroughly cleaned and are free of debris and bacteria. You should wear gloves and should wash your hands before and after the cutting process.
Once you are done cutting up your meat, you should package it in freezer bags or paper and place the meat inside your freezer. Deer meat should always be thoroughly cooked to ensure that bacteria, fungus, and viruses are killed. This protects the health of you and your family.
It is true that, it takes some time to move from killing a deer to you being able to enjoy it for dinner, but it is well worth it. When you are enjoying deer meat for months after your kill and enjoying its taste and flavor, you will be glad that you took these proper precautions and follow these steps. It will truly turn your dinner meal into a fantastic event.