Heads or tails? [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Heads or tails?


onemilmhz
11-22-2003, 03:40
For those of you who dress your own deer after the kill, do you do so head up or tail up? I have done it both ways depending on several things. If, for whatever reason, the deer was gutted in the field and then brought in, I dress it the rest of the way tail up. However, if its a large deer, fully intact, I dress it out head up for several reasons. For one, there is less cutting. You don't have to slice down the legs, just around the neck and then pull the hide down over the shoulders and down to the joints. Second, the insides fall out more quickly and cleanly because they don't get hung up in the chest cavity. Same thing goes for the remainder of the blood. It doesn't pool in the chest cavity and then get all over everything when you take the deer down to go in the cooler. How do you do it? Any tips either way? Anyone lucky (or squemish) and have someone who does the whole thing? I'm headed out in a couple hours and was just sitting here wondering. Hopefully I will have the chance to dress a bigun' later this morning!

TScottW99
11-22-2003, 04:40
Head up for me, for the reasons you listed.

P.S. Good luck this morning, I work all weekend, have to wait until Monday. Took the week off though and am hunting everyday ^5

DJ Niner
11-22-2003, 04:44
I prefer heads-up. I learned in Michigan, and we always hung our deer to clean them. When I moved on to other places (some flat and mostly treeless, like the northern plains and Alaska), I had to learn to do it on the ground. It's not like you can hang a moose in almost any case. What a mess I made of the first couple critters I "ground cleaned"...

Anyway, I prefer to have both gravity and anatomy working WITH me, not against me. :)
Everything sucks compared to hung head up, in my book.

onemilmhz
11-22-2003, 21:44
No deer to clean today but I did see a large doe. Monday morning's another chance. I'm somewhat suprised the first two replies advocate heads up. It's been my experience, around here anyway, that most hunters prefer the legs up method although I can't understand why. Most of the other hunters who bring deer to our processor, including our processor himself, have ribbed us about our technique. Some of them have never even seen it done before. When I ask why they do it legs up they always reply, "It's the way I've always done it." My father-in-law taught me heads up so I always assumed it was THE way. It wasn't until later I learned of the legs up method.

ithaca_deerslayer
11-24-2003, 08:44
My father was a meat cutter, and cut up deer for others on the side, piles of them in our driveway every season. Always gutted before hanging, then hang by hind legs (hooks in hocks).

Michigun
11-24-2003, 12:28
I always gut them in the field… hence the term “field dress”. Why bring that ‘stuff’ inside (or close to your home for that matter) when you can leave it for nature to take care of? All those innards should be taken out ASAP anyways! If you bring an un-field dressed deer to any of the processors I know, they’ll either turn you away or charge you double to do the job for ya.

Are we talking about the same thing here?

vaulter
11-24-2003, 14:08
I hunt close to home so after shooting one I load it in the pickup bring it to the shed and skin down the legs cut off the lower legs and hang it on the gambrel hind legs up, finish skinning it down tothe neck, cut off teh head then gut it, I also split the sternum with the saw being very careful to stop just as you get through the bone then everything has a free shot to drop onto teh ground (a groundcloth actually) then take the saw and split in lengthwise and you have two cleaned halfs to hang up.

onemilmhz
11-24-2003, 15:04
Originally posted by Michigun
Are we talking about the same thing here?
Yup, but we're lucky enough to have a processor who provides facilities to do the work. He charges extra to do it himself but has three stations with drains, drop buckets, saws and everything else needed to do the job. We just back the truck up to one of them, loop the rope around the deer's neck and hoist it up. All he asks is that you clean up after yourself and hang your own deer in the cooler. He supervises and labels it when it's hung. The only time we ever "field dress" one is if we had to track it for over an hour, a gut shot or something like that where the insides need to come out before the trip to the processor. In that case we may hang it the opposite way when we get it there because the guts are already gone. The processor is only 10-15 minutes from where we hunt so there's usually no problem getting there quickly after the kill.

DWavs
11-24-2003, 21:57
Originally posted by vaulter
I hunt close to home so after shooting one I load it in the pickup bring it to the shed and skin down the legs cut off the lower legs and hang it on the gambrel hind legs up, finish skinning it down tothe neck, cut off teh head then gut it, I also split the sternum with the saw being very careful to stop just as you get through the bone then everything has a free shot to drop onto teh ground (a groundcloth actually) then take the saw and split in lengthwise and you have two cleaned halfs to hang up.

Mine is very similar to this except I do dress it in the field. Bring it home, hang from the hinds legs, split the sternum, cut the head off, hose it out, skin it, and let it hang for about 4-6 days if weather permits. Then I cut it down the backbone in order to have two halves. At that point, I am ready to cut it up for steaks.

RJ Schuknecht
11-25-2003, 15:18
Originally posted by Michigun
If you bring an un-field dressed deer to any of the processors I know, they’ll either turn you away or charge you double to do the job for ya. At the place where I take mine in Bay City, the first thing they do, before they even take your name, is to spread the hind legs to make sure "everything" is removed.

coboconk
11-25-2003, 15:40
I have always gutted the deer in the field and (weather permitting) hung the deer head up for several days to drain. The turn it legs up to skin and butcher. That was the way I was taught by my father and uncles. Everyone I hunt with does it that way, to be honest I never heard of skinning from the neck down. Since it has been explained here I will give it a try next year. I have already filled my tags this year and am all done. It is always good to learn different methods. Thanks for the info.

onemilmhz
11-25-2003, 18:06
Originally posted by coboconk
I have always gutted the deer in the field and (weather permitting) hung the deer head up for several days to drain.
That's why we have coolers down here. The weather, even at it's coldest still gets too warm in the afternoons to leave the deer outside. Sure would be nice though. That way we could stay out in the woods for several days hunting and then make just one trip to the processor with all of them.

Michigun
11-26-2003, 06:10
Originally posted by RJ Schuknecht
At the place where I take mine in Bay City, the first thing they do, before they even take your name, is to spread the hind legs to make sure "everything" is removed.

Are you REALLY sure that is why they do that? There are some real weirdo/sicko’s in Bay City! ;f

As I write there is a nice, big, fat doe hanging in my garage curtsey of ‘Mother Nature’ last night… well, my Beretta 390 12-gauge helped out a little... ;)

With the forecast as of this morning I think she’ll be fine for a day or so… this deer is going to a needy family in the thumb area. 1st she has to visit the local DNR (main office) check station as I promised those guys a fresh doe head, for research, a week ago.

Craigster
11-26-2003, 13:50
I gut in the field. Just lean him against a tree, sitting like a drunk, and un-jip him.

I prefer to skin ASAP to get the meat cooled down and have used the following method for years on many Deer and Elk, easy and it works great. A warm animal is better but cold works also.

After gutting and removing the legs from the knee down tie a strong rope around the neck close to the head. Hang the animal from a tree (meat pole preferred) or lay it on a large clean plastic tarp or whatever on the ground next to something strong like a stump or large bush and secure to the stump/bush.

Cut the hide around the neck and skin down its neck about 1 foot, complete the belly cut from the neck to the tail. Make a cut from the belly cut down each leg to the knee. So far no big deal but now………...

Find a rock the size of your fist and put it under the hide (skinned earlier) at the back of its neck up by the head. From the hair side (outside) grab the rock that’s underneath so you have the rock captured under the skin. Now with a strong rope or cable snatch, (a rope with a loop that gets tighter as you pull…… like a noose), put the noose around the hair ball at the bottom and tighten. Now you have a hair ball with a rock inside and a rope around the bottom of the ball. Hook the other end to a truck or, I prefer a winch, and SLOWLY pull. If its hanging from a tree be careful not to swing it out too much, GO SLOW. You dont need to touch the hide and the deer will cleanly skin itself, legs and all, just like a rabbit without any effort and without any hair on the meat. The only places you need to watch is an area around the shoulder and ribs where some meat will try to come with the hide but a sharp knife will get you back on track. Let the rig do the work.

If you can figure out my explanation and try it, you will never hand skin another animal.

vafish
11-26-2003, 14:07
I gut mine in the field as well.

Then bring it home, hang it up by the hind legs and skin it in the garage. I quarter the deer and pass the chunks to my wife who washes them and cuts up to smaller pieces. The kids run the grinder and fill the ziplock bags. The whole family get's put to work.

DWavs
11-28-2003, 00:07
Originally posted by Craigster


If you can figure out my explanation and try it, you will never hand skin another animal.

I have tried that and discovered that I can skin it the old fashion way faster than the described way. :)

DWavs
11-28-2003, 15:27
This is what mine looks look when it is ready for skinning.